Written by Chad Hahn
Now that the NFL Scouting Combine is complete, free agency is upon us starting on March 18th. The legal tampering period will begin on March 16th, this is where agents are allowed to negotiate with teams interested in their clients. Entering this free agency period, Miami has a projected 88 million in cap room which is the most of all 32 teams.
Early reports indicate Miami will spend but spend smartly, so don’t expect Miami to overpay on any free agents. So I believe Miami will be very active in the second and third-tier type free agents. Let’s look at those players:
Anthony Harris- Safety (Minnesota Vikings)
Harris seemed to come out of nowhere and had an excellent 2019 season. Harris has 6 interceptions and played 60% of his snaps at free safety and 40% of his snaps in the box as a strong safety. That is the kind of position flexibility Head Coach Brian Flores will be looking for. He should come at a reasonable price and I believe Miami will pursue him.
Karl Joseph- Safety (Las Vegas Raiders)
Joseph was a former 1st round pick and hasn’t made enough splash plays to warrant a huge FA contract, but there is talent here. He can also play both free safety and strong safety. He’s got good character and has good instincts. Definitely someone to watch for in Miami.
Jimmy Ward- Safety/Cornerback (San Francisco 49ers)
Ward has played both CB and FS and was good at both although better suited at FS, Flores likes position flexibility.
Devin McCourty- Safety (New England Patriots)
Devin has played under Coach Flores in New England and is very familiar with the defensive scheme and would be an instant leader in Miami’s locker room.
Mackenzie Alexander- Cornerback (Minnesota Vikings)
Alexander is a former 2nd round pick and has been buried in the Vikings depth chart and still young enough to develop in Miami’s system.
Graham Glasgow- Offensive Guard (Detroit Lions)
Glasgow has been a consistent starter for Detroit and overall is a solid player. He would be an instant starter in Miami.
Connor McGovern- Offensive Center/Guard (Denver Broncos)
McGovern is the best FA center this year. If the price tag gets to 10+Million a year I don’t believe Miami pays that much. He would be a nice upgrade to Daniel Kilgore.
Austin Blythe- Offensive Guard (Los Angeles Rams)
Blythe is an under the radar instant starter. He should be a nice pickup for the team. He should be a reasonable price.
Ted Karras- Offensive Center (New England Patriots)
6’3 300 lbs
Ted is familiar with Brian Flores from New England and he’s a solid lineman but there are better options out there. Very comparable to Daniel Kilgore who’s already on the roster.
George Fant- Offensive Tackle (Seattle Seahawks)
Fant is a converted TE from college but has been developing nicely in Seattle. Played excellently when injuries occurred on there OLINE. Can play LT or RT. One of my favorites to become a Dolphin this off-season. Instant quality starter.
Andrus Peat- Offensive Tackle/Guard (New Orleans Saints)
Peat can play tackle or guard and was a Pro Bowl LG for the Saints. He would be an outstanding addition to Miami.
Daryl Williams- Offensive Tackle (Carolina Panthers)
Williams played at an elite level a few years and was out with injuries 2 years ago and started regaining his form last year in Carolina. He could be potentially a steal for Miami if signed. Instant starter.
Although there are plenty of big named free agents that would make sense, ultimately I feel like Miami will be reluctant to spend big in free agency this year. Former New England Patriots will be obviously linked to Miami because of Brian Flores such as OG Joe Thuney, OLB Kyle Van Noy, and former Patriot and Titan CB Logan Ryan. In addition, Miami will probably also have an interest in LB Corey Littleton from the Rams and LB De’Vondre Campbell from the Falcons.
General Manager Chris Grier is locked in on building this team through rookies and developing them through head coach Brian Flores’s program. It’s a winning formula and success isn’t completed overnight.
I expect Miami to sign anywhere from 3-5 starters in free agency but I don’t believe they will land any of the big names out there simply because I don’t feel they will spend 15 plus million per year on anyone at this point because they aren’t a playoff contender yet. So Miami fans, don’t expect them to be big spenders like prior management. Expect more of a savvy approach. This regime will not overpay players that hit the market. They want players that fit the new culture in Miami. Smart, hard-working, and high character.
If I was the General Manager these are the moves I would make:
Sign Andrus Peat OG/OT $12 Million a year
Sign George Fant OT $9 Million a year
Sign Connor McGovern OC $10 Million a year
Sign James Bradberry CB $12 Million a year
Sign Anthony Harris SAF $8-9 Million a year
After projected cuts of WR Albert Wilson, OC Daniel Kilgore, and SS Reshad Jones Miami will be projected in between $105-110 Million. Spending $51-52 Million on these players above will give Miami total flexibility in the draft to pick up players for the remaining holes on the roster, plus have draft choice flexibility when it comes to trading up for a franchise QB if that’s the plan.