Miami Dolphins: Buying or Selling Latest Free-Agency Buzz Surrounding Miami

Richard SantamariaCorrespondent IIFebruary 10, 2013

Miami Dolphins: Buying or Selling Latest Free-Agency Buzz Surrounding Miami

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    We're about a month away from the NFL's free-agent signing period, and the Miami Dolphins will be huge offseason players in 2013. 

    Even calculating contracts for draft picks, Miami, realistically, has about $50 million to spend on free agents.

    The Dolphins general manager, Jeff Ireland, can potentially build a team with no glaring holes heading into the draft.  That's right.  Miami's draft picks should fortify an already-strong team. 

    Let's dissect the free-agency buzz surrounding the Miami Dolphins.

Speculation No. 1: Miami Will Sign Greg Jennings, Mike Wallace or Dwayne Bowe

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    Buzz Stock: Hot Buy

    Everyone knows the Miami Dolphins need a No. 1 receiver, and there are three in the 2013 free-agency class.

    Greg Jennings is reciprocating the interest (h/t Ben Volin, The Palm Beach Post), but is he Jeff Ireland's top choice?  If he is, a deal may be consummated shortly after the free-agent signing period begins.

    Mike Wallace and Dwayne Bowe are younger options than the 29-year-old Jennings but will likely be more expensive.

    The truth is Miami has the means and desire to land one of the "Big Three."  This is the core of the Dolphins' plan, and if it falls through, Miami's offseason will be a failure.

    On the bright side, it is very likely, making mock drafts where Miami drafts a receiver in the first round baffling.

Speculation No. 2: Miami Will Re-Sign Brian Hartline

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    Buzz Stock: Hot Buy

    Brian Hartline proved to be dependable last year, surpassing 1,000 receiving yards while catching passes from a rookie quarterback.

    He is also the second ingredient needed to transform the Dolphins' passing game from subpar to high end.

    Hartline's asking price is rumored to be $6 million (h/t Barry Jackson, The Miami Herald).  Ireland may be able to land the stud No. 2 receiver for a little less, but make no mistake, Hartline is a priority for Miami.

Speculation No. 3: Miami Will Sign an Athletic Pass-Catching Tight End

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    Buzz Stock: Buy

    Anthony Fasano has been a steady performer for the Dolphins, but Miami has a chance to upgrade this position in free agency with tight ends such as Jared Cook, Fred Davis, Dustin Keller and Martellus Bennett.

    The Green Bay Packers may release Jermichael Finley, a player that Miami coach Joe Philbin is familiar with.  Finley meets the criteria of a tight-end upgrade but has been inconsistent and outspoken about disagreement with his team's game plan.

    Luckily for Miami, Philbin has insight on this matter, and a decision on whether to pursue Finley has likely been made already.

    Even if it is not Finley, the Dolphins have money to spend on a position that is important for the success of Ryan Tannehill.  Expect one of the top free-agent tight ends to ink a deal in Miami.

Speculation No. 4: Miami Will Re-Sign Sean Smith

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    Buzz Stock: Sell

    While the Miami Dolphins would love to have Smith back, it will have to be at the right price.  Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald reports that Smith is seeking $8 to $10 million per year (h/t Armando Salguero, The Miami Herald).  Jeff Ireland and the Dolphins will never pay that price.

    Smith is a good cover corner but does not have good hands, making only five interceptions in four full seasons.  The 2013 free-agent cornerback market is full of able players with question marks, of which many would sign for significantly less.

    Smith has not separated himself from a group that includes Brent Grimes, Chris Houston, Cary Williams, Derek Cox and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, among others.

Speculation No. 5: Miami Will Re-Sign Reggie Bush

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    Buzz Stock: Sell

    Reggie Bush is a favorite among Dolphin fans, and he appears to want to stay in Miami.  Unfortunately, he has not received an offer from his current team.

    The perception is that Jeff Ireland sees him as a luxury.  After all, Miami has last year's fourth-rounder Lamar Miller and 2011's second-round selection, Daniel Thomas.

    This may also be a play to get a huge hometown discount from Bush as it is a down market for running backs.

    As great as it would be to have No. 22 in Miami for the next few years, the outlook is bleak for a continued marriage with the Dolphins.

Speculation No. 6: Miami Will Re-Sign Jake Long

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    Buzz Stock: Buy

    The market for a top-notch left tackle is not as good as many would think.  Miami needs Jake Long.

    Andre Smith was recently arrested and is prone to lacking motivation.  A big payday will likely not be good for Smith.

    The Kansas City Chiefs are interested in keeping Branden Albert as a guard.  It may be a money play and draft strategy, but it raises a red flag about Albert's future as a left tackle.

    Sebastian Vollmer is a right tackle with a balky back.

    There is no way, the Denver Broncos are letting go of Ryan Clady, especially if they can franchise him for much less than his market value.

    Jonathan Martin played well last year, but he is no Jake Long.

    If Miami does not intend to move up in the 2013 draft for Luke Joeckel or even Eric Fisher, then Jake Long may be their only option.