The Miami Dolphins‘ free agency approach will look far different in 2023 than it did in 2022.
After being flush last year with cap space — money they used to acquire the likes of Tyreek Hill and Terron Armstead — austerity could be the plan this week.
The Dolphins, as of last week, had north of $25 million in cap space.
But that was before Sunday’s blockbuster trade for Jalen Ramsey that both eliminated the Dolphins’ No. 1 need and accounted for much of their spending money.
With that background, here are our Dolphins free agency predictions, with a best- and worst-case scenario for the AFC’s No.7 seed in 2022.
Miami Dolphins Free Agency Predictions
Even after the Ramsey trade, the Dolphins have needs aplenty. As of last week, they had just 43 players under contract, a figure that included prime cut candidates such as Byron Jones and Jason Sanders.
They have needs at offensive guard and tackle, both secondary positions, and the interior defensive line.
Plus, as of last week, they had one running back under contract in 2023 (Salvon Ahmed) — although Jeff Wilson recently told the local FOX affiliate he “would love to be back and want[s] to be back.”
The Dolphins’ ideal scenario: re-sign at least one of the two of Wilson and Raheem Mostert, tender restricted free agent Salvon Ahmed, and further address the position in the draft.
“We’re very open to those guys coming back,” Dolphins general manager Chris Grier said at the NFL Scouting Combine. “We’ve talked about that scenario where they may be back. We may have the same backfield back next year.”
MORE: Miami Dolphins Offseason Preview
The Dolphins also need at least one more starter-quality offensive lineman, but the entire league can probably say that. The likes of Orlando Brown Jr. (10th on PFN’s Top 100 Free Agents list), Mike McGlinchey, and Isaac Seumalo will be costly, but finding a way to add one of them would turn a solid offensive line into an excellent one.
As for the secondary, Bills free agent Jordan Poyer has made no secret that Miami is on his list of preferred destinations, but honestly, he’s a luxury the Dolphins cannot afford.
Barring setbacks, Brandon Jones should be available this fall after tearing his ACL last October, and even if he’s not, there are far less expensive options at the position (like San Francisco’s Jimmie Ward and Green Bay’s Adrian Amos).
We’ve covered what the Dolphins should do.
Here’s what they absolutely should not: Trade for Titans running back Derrick Henry, who’s reportedly being shopped.
We’re not saying Henry couldn’t help the Dolphins. He absolutely could.
But giving up an asset and paying a running back $10.5 million who has 1,750 career carries and whose yards-per-carry average in 2022 was a full yard off his career high isn’t prudent.
Now, if the Titans are willing to eat some of Henry’s salary and only ask for a Day 3 pick in return, then sure, it should be considered. But there would be a long list of interested teams if that’s the case.
One other must-not-do for the Dolphins: Sign a backup quarterback with an injury history. Teddy Bridgewater was basically a waste of money in 2022, and considering Tua Tagovailoa’s medical history, the Dolphins can ill-afford a repeat.
So if Carson Wentz comes calling, the response should be, “thanks, but no thanks.”
Miami Dolphins Free Agent Targets
Here is a list of players, by position, the Dolphins should at least consider targeting in free agency (not including their own like Mostert and Wilson).
- Orlando Brown Jr., OT, Kansas City Chiefs
- Mike McGlinchey, OT, San Francisco 49ers
- Isaac Seumalo, G, Philadelphia Eagles
- Wes Schweitzer, C/G, Washington Commanders
- Ben Powers, G, Baltimore Ravens
- Jimmie Ward, S, San Francisco 49ers
- Adrian Amos, S, Green Bay Packers
- David Montgomery, Chicago Bears
- Miles Sanders, Philadelphia Eagles
- Boston Scott, Philadelphia Eagles
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