Updated – 22Mar
I think the most appropriate quote of the day, in regard to Day One of Free Agency for the Miami Dolphins, could be summed up by Stan from South Park: “Holy <expletive deleted>, dude.”
I fully expected Miami and Jeff Ireland to make a splash on Day One of Free Agency. Everyone saw the writing on the wall that Mike Wallace would most likely be off the board fifteen minutes after free agency started. The Fins had cap room and a handful of needs at the skill positions on offense, and in the defensive backfield. We all saw Mike Wallace coming. What no one saw coming before Jeff Ireland pulled back the curtain was just how giant of a tsunami that was coming from the splash he’d make in Free Agency in day one. This makes what I expected of Louis Anderson on next week’s series debut of “Splash” look like a rubber duck landing in a kiddie pool, even if he does a cannonball off of the high dive.
Whether you love the moves or hate them, Jeff Ireland singlehandedly managed to reshape the landscape of the free agent period within a matter of hours. In a flurry of moves, Ireland managed to make the offense dangerous, strengthen the core of this teams already strong defensive front seven while getting younger, and shore up the safety spot for the upcoming season. In addition to this, he jettisoned two aging defensive standouts that could help a number of teams out there who are looking for help from the linebacker position while dealing a black eye to the reeling Super Bowl Champion, as the Ravens have been gutted on defense and lost a bit of bite on offense over the past few days.
The best part of all of this? I don’t think that Ireland is anywhere close to finished. Don’t be surprised if Miami adds another weapon or two on offense in the coming weeks, a tight end, a veteran corner, a veteran running back to provide depth and a component or two on the offensive line. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Jake Long potentially come back at a more team friendly rate now that several of his potential suitors have started shoring up their offensive lines. It’s no secret that this free agent pool and upcoming draft are both deep at Cornerback and on the Offensive Line, there are still options available at Tight End that could do some damage on a two to three year deal (Miami is rumored to be meeting with Dustin Keller today), and several young and potentially dangerous Wide Receivers available via the draft.
Ireland missed on some targets (I’m looking at you, Jared Cook!), and in a surprise move that flew under the radar, the safety net that I assumed they had in Anthony “The Bear Jew” Fasano was off the board in mere moments when he signed a multi-year deal with the Chiefs.
I will update this as more moves materialize in the coming days, but below is a brief synopsis of the Dolphins moves:
- WR Mike Wallace – FA, From Pittsburgh
- LB Dannell Ellerbe – FA, From Baltimore
- FS Chris Clemons – Retained
- OLB Philip Wheeler – FA, From Oakland
- TE Dustin Keller – FA, From NY Jets
- WR Daniel Gibson – FA, From St Louis
- OL Nate Garner – Retained
- MLB Karlos Dansby – Released
- OLB Kevin Burnett – Released
- TE Anthony “The Bear Jew” Fasano – FA, Signed with KC Chiefs
- RB Reggie Bush – FA, SIGNED with Detroit
- CB Sean Smith – FA, Signed with KC Chiefs
- LT Jake Long – FA, Signed with St Louis
- DT/DE Tony McDaniel – FA
Rumored to be pursuing:
- S Charles Wilson, FA, GB
- RT Eric Winston, FA, KC
- OT Bryant McKinnie, FA, Baltimore
- CB Brent Grimes, FA, Atlanta
- DE Osi Umenyiora, FA NY Giants
- DE Dwight Freeney, FA, Colts
- OG Brandon Moore, FA, NY Jets
Areas of need:
- Blocking Tight End
- Offensive Line