Players Miami Dolphins Absolutely Must Re-Sign This Offseason
With five restricted and 12 unrestricted players testing the free-agent waters, the 'Phins need to carefully assess each players' value to the team, determining who should return and at what cost.
It's safe to say that some players will remain in South Beach for the 2013 season, while others will move on to a new chapter in their NFL career.
Although it's still very unclear who will remain and who will depart, it's not too early to look at a few players the Dolphins should focus on keeping around next season.
Chris Clemons, S
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Last season, Clemons ranked first among safeties in first downs and touchdowns allowed, with Jones right on his tail in the fifth spot.
There is no doubt that Jones is the better of the two, but Clemons has certainly proved himself as a reliable safety nonetheless.
With the Dolphins secondary already wearing thin, a major priority for this upcoming offseason should be keeping Clemons in Miami.
With the expectation that the team will add some talent to the cornerback position, one can only expect the safeties' level of play to get better as well.
Brian Hartline, WR
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Ryan Tannehill and Hartline seemed to have good chemistry in their first season together, and it's always nice to keep some familiar faces around a young developing quarterback.
With Davone Bess returning to the slot and a big-name free agent likely to claim the top spot on the depth chart, Hartline is undoubtedly the man they want as their No. 2 receiver.
Surely others will have their eyes on Hartline in free agency, but Jeff Ireland is going to make a strong effort to keep him in a Dolphins uniform for the foreseeable future.
Randy Starks, DT
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Randy Starks is one man you don't want to run into—literally.
It's no secret that the Dolphins want to bring back the 29-year-old defensive tackle, but exactly how much are they willing to offer their two-time Pro Bowler?
Starks knows this will likely be his last chance to receive a sizeable long-term contract, and the market is out there for a versatile run-stopping lineman.
Let's hope that the front office and Starks can see eye-to-eye in negotiations and work out a deal to keep his presence up front for a few more years.
Reggie Bush, RB
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The Miami Dolphins are in desperate need of playmakers, so I find it hard to believe they'd be willing to let their biggest one walk this offseason.
Reggie Bush turns 28 in March, and he hasn't taken the wear and tear that most every-down backs do up to this point in his career.
With Lamar Miller still unproven and Daniel Thomas looking all but finished, Miami needs to add another reliable threat to the backfield.
Miller looked excellent in his limited touches in 2012, and I can't think of a better way for the young star to develop than by working alongside the always-elusive Reggie Bush.
As long as Bush isn't asking for some absurd amount to return to Miami, the Dolphins would be foolish not to bring back their most talented offensive weapon.