I will be doing a series of articles that will be taking a methodical team by team approach to next year’s possible free agents. I will be starting with the team that has the least amount of salary cap space and ending with the team with the most. I will try to give a brief description of as many of the possible free agents as I can. I will also be looking for players that might be salary cap cuts in order for their teams to make room to sign some of these possible free agents. Any information anyone else can contribute on these players would be very much appreciated.
The Miami Dolphins are projected to be $28,915,750 UNDER the cap (all salary info via Over The Cap) for 2017 and with only 36 players under contract.
(EastBayNinerFan has the combined total of the salary cap surplus carry over from 2016 and the cap space for 2017 as $37,927,264)
Dollar figures listed are player’s 2016 cap hit.
ILB Kiko Alonso - $991,418
Kiko Alonso is 26 years old and was originally drafted by the Bills in the second round of the 2013 draft. After having a great rookie year, Alonso tore his ACL and missed the entire 2014 season. Chip Kelly traded LeSean McCoy for him in 2015 but unfortunately Alonso suffered a partial tear of the same ACL in September of 2015 and was moth-balled for the rest of that season. Philadelphia traded him to the Dolphins earlier this year. Alonso has 97 tackles, four passes defended and two interceptions this season. It looks to me like the Dolphins have plenty of cap space to extend him.
WR Kenny Stills - $1,671,000
Kenny Stills is 24 years old and was originally drafted by the Saints in the fifth round of the 2013 draft and was traded to the Dolphins in 2015. Stills did really well when he had Drew Brees throwing him the ball but has not fared as well with Tannehill. He had 63 receptions for 931 yards in his second year with the Saints but has only had 61 receptions for 1038 yards in nearly two years with the Dolphins. We should definitely sign him if we just so happen to trade for Brees.
TE Cameron Jordan - $8,000,000
Cameron Jordan is 28 years old and was originally drafted by the Browns in the fourth round of the 2011 draft. Jordan was signed by the Dolphins as a free agent in March 2015. He had a great year with Cleveland in 2013 with 80 receptions for 917 yards. However, he hasn’t done as well in Miami where he only had 35 receptions for 386 yards in 2015 and he had eight receptions for 60 yards this season before suffering a concussion in Week 3 and being placed on injured reserve. It was his fourth concussion and he is contemplating retirement.
43DE Andre Branch - $2,703,125
Andre Branch is 27 years old and was originally drafted by the Jaguars in the second round of the 2011 draft. Branch signed a one year deal with the Dolphins after having 91 tackles, 14 sacks, 11 passes defended and five forced fumbles in his first four years with the Jags. He has 39 tackles and 5.5 sacks so far this season. At 6’5” and 263 pounds, he sounds like an OLB in our 34 defense. He showed some quickness but was not particularly strong at the combine. I am sure he has added plenty of strength since then. Did I mention his 34 inch arms?
43DE Jason Jones - $1,398,070
Jason Jones is 30 years old and was originally drafted by the Titans in the second round of the 2008 draft. Jones signed a one year deal with the Dolphins in May and was suspended by the NFL for two games this season for violating the substance abuse policy. He has 16 tackles, 2.5 sacks, and two passes defended this season.
RG Jermon Bushrod - $1,347,500
Jermon Bushrod is 32 years old and was originally drafted by the Saints in the fourth round of the 2007 draft. Bushrod signed a one year deal in March after being released by the Bears. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the 77th best guard in the NFL this season. He has played better in past seasons but does not seem to be consistent.
43OLB Spencer Paysinger - $680,000
Spencer Paysinger is 28 years old and was originally picked up by the Giants as an undrafted free agent in 2011. I am not sure what we would do with a 236 pound OLB in our 34 defense.
CB Chimdi Chekwa - $312,000
Chimdi Chekwa is 28 years old and was originally drafted by the Raiders in the fourth round of the 2011 draft. Chekwa has 54 tackles in five years and only three tackles in between being cut at least three times this season by the Dolphins. It is never good when you have probably been cut more times than you have tackles.
LT Sam Young - $536,471
Sam Young is 29 years old and was originally drafted by the Cowboys in the sixth round of the 2007 draft. Young is another player that has been cut multiple times this year by the Dolphins. He has played sparingly and grades out pretty low with PFF.
43OLB Donald Butler - $564,706
Donald Butler is 28 years old and was originally drafted by the Chargers in the third round of the 2010 draft. Butler was picked up by the Dolphins in September of this year after being released by the Chargers and Cardinals. Butler has 19 tackles and no sacks in limited play this season. I doubt he fits our 34 defense anyway.
QB TJ Yates - $105,882
TJ Yates is 29 years old and was originally drafted by the Texans in the fifth round of the 2011 draft. He is a very mediocre lifetime backup quarterback who has only completed 132 passes in 227 attempts during his almost six year NFL career.
S Bacarri Rambo - $397,059
Bacarri Rambo is 26 years old and was originally drafted by Washington in the sixth round of the 2013 draft. That’s funny? He doesn’t look like Rambo? Rambo was signed by the Dolphins in October. He has 20 tackles, one interception, and three passes defended this season. Not very Rambo like numbers but he did have 62 tackles, one interception, two forced fumbles and six passes defended while playing for the Bills last season.
TE Marqueis Gray - $675,000
Marqueis Gray is 27 years old and was originally picked up by the 49er as an undrafted free agent in 2013. Gray is having arguably his finest season with 10 receptions for 126 yards.
43OLB Jelani Jenkins - $1,789,172
Jelani Jenkins is 24 years old and was drafted by the Dolphins in the fourth round of the 2013 draft. Jenkins’ best year was in 2014 when he had 110 tackles and 3.5 sacks. He has only had 27 tackles so far this season in a limited role. The Sun Sentinel has him playing nickel linebacker and PFF has him playing extremely poorly.
TE Dion Sims - $1,787,888
Dion Sims is 25 years old and was drafted by the Dolphins in the fourth round of the 2013 draft. Sims has 20 receptions for 215 yards this season. His best season was 2014 when he had 24 receptions for 284 yards.