Save Paul Soliai, there aren't many big names slated for free agency in March. Instead, Miami's free agents are mostly role players. This is both a blessing and a curse for the 'Fins.
While they won't suffer any earth-shattering losses, they also must find a way to replace the players who do the little things and the dirty work, which isn't always as easy as it sounds.
Ikaika Alama-Francis: $720,000 (Estimated)
There's no reason to believe Alama-Francis will receive a pay raise after his uneventful 2011 season. Despite Koa Misi's struggles, Alama-Francis was only active for five games and registered one measly tackle. Alama-Francis raked in $640,000 last season, but that number will increase as a result of the new CBA and its elevated veteran minimums.
Will Allen: $1 million (Estimated)
Somehow, Will Allen keeps finding ways to stay valuable. Despite missing almost two full seasons with lower-body injuries, the soon-to-be 34-year-old cornerback played a big role for Miami's defense last season. He ended the season as the team's starting nickelback, and his veteran savvy should help catalyze the growth of the Dolphins' young secondary.
Vernon Carey: $2 million (Estimated)
Carey took a paycut to stay with the team last year, but he now has a chance to hit the open market and field other offers. The 30-year-old offensive lineman made $2.5 million last season, but that number probably won't increase after an inconsistent and unspectacular year.
Steve Slaton: $685,000 (Estimated)
In the final year of his rookie contract, Steve Slaton raked in over $720,000. That number is guaranteed to go down. Slaton hasn't been relevant or productive since 2008, and did little to re-establish himself with the Dolphins last season. If anybody offers him a contract, it'll be for the veteran minimum.
Chad Henne: $750,000 (Estimated)
At this point, it's safe to call Chad Henne a bust. But, he could still make for an excellent backup quarterback, and that should keep value at its status quo. Henne made $771,500 in 2011—the final year of his rookie contract. He clearly doesn't deserve a pay raise, but his half-decent play at the start of the season should prevent him from receiving a reduced paycheck.
Kendall Langford: $3.5 million (Estimated)
Kendall Langford isn't flashy. In fact, few people outside of Miami probably know who he is. But, he has been one of the Dolphins' most reliable and consistent players since the team drafted him four years ago. Langford made $1.6 million in the final year of his rookie deal, but he is definitely due for a promotion.
J.P. Losman: $810,000 (Estimated)
Losman will be lucky to play in the NFL next season. He threw only 10 passes last season and did nothing to warrant a contract extension or pay raise. Like Slaton, if anyone offers Losman a contract, it'll be for the veteran's minimum.
Marvin Mitchell: $1.4 million (Estimated)
The Dolphins signed Mitchell to a $1 million contract midway through the preseason last year. He racked up 30 tackles and made an impact on special teams and defense. Mitchell deserve a slight salary bump, but not a drastic one—he still has plenty to prove.
Paul Soliai: $8 million (Estimated)
Last summer, the Dolphins slapped the franchise tag on nose tackle Paul Soliai. He raked in over $12 million. Now, Soliai is due for another hefty payday, this time in the form of a long-term deal. Massive nose tackles like Soliai are nearly impossible to find, so his value could be inflated. There should be at least one team out there willing to give Big Paul some big money.
Lex Hilliard: $750,000 (Estimated)
Lex Hilliard has enjoyed several impressive preseason performances and even a few solid regular-season outings. However, he seems to have reached his potential. Hilliard's rookie deal has expired, and his mediocre resume doesn't warrant a lucrative deal.
Jeron Mastrud: $525,000 (Estimated)
Mastrud has caught one pass in two NFL seasons. If he is offered a contract next season, it'll be for the veteran's minimum.
Phillip Merling: $1 million (Estimated)
The former 33rd overall draft pick has been a monumental disappointment both on and off the field. Merling made $2.3 million last season, but his unproductive play suggests that his cap hit will diminish next year.
Lydon Murtha: $800,000 (Estimated)
Murtha missed all of last season with a toe injury, but should still be due for a pay raise this summer. He impressed during the 2011 preseason and definitely deserves more than his $480,000 contract from last year.