Winston, Keller, and Other Remaining Targets for Miami Dolphins in Free Agency

Garrett BakerSenior Analyst IMarch 13, 2013

October 14, 2012; Tampa, FL, USA; Kansas City Chiefs tackle Eric Winston (74) against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers during the second half at Raymond James Stadium. Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated the Kansas City Chiefs 38-10. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Dolphins have already made some significant moves up to this point early in the free agency period, but they should not be even close to done yet.

They have over $100 million committed to Mike Wallace, Dannell Ellerbe and Philip Wheeler, but releasing Kevin Burnett and Karlos Dansby helped to offset those signings a little and leave them with some space to continue making deals.

By signing Wallace, they got their top offseason target, a gamebreaking receiver who will help stretch the defense and make Ryan Tannehill's life easier. Adding Wallace makes them significantly more dangerous on offense, but they still have a lot of holes to fill.

Jake Long is still unsigned anywhere, and it seems less and less likely that Miami will bring him back with each passing hour. Jonathan Martin can play either right or left tackle adequately, but there are a number of great right tackles on the market and virtually no left tackles.

Eric Winston has reportedly been contacted by Miami, who also negotiated with the veteran last offseason. They would be greatly bolstered by adding him to the roster, as it would give their line some stability and allow them to focus elsewhere during the draft.

Sebastian Vollmer and Andre Smith are the top-two tackles available, however, there has not been much news coming from either camps so far. Miami hasn't been connected with either of them, and so although they'd be good fits, they may be too expensive at this juncture, which is why there has yet to be any news there.

The next offensive need became even greater of a need with the departure of Anthony Fasano to the Chiefs. As of now, the Dolphins would be going into next season with Charles Clay and Michael Egnew as their top two tight ends, and nobody would be even remotely content with that.

Dustin Keller has reportedly visited with the Dolphins, and he would be a good pickup for Miami. He would probably get a reasonable deal, which is a plus, but he's injury prone and not a great blocker.

Keller would be a nice signing, but Miami would still need to target one in the draft if he's their only pickup. Dion Sims would be a nice mid-round grab, as he brings a solid blocking ability along with his athleticism, but Tyler Eifert could still be in play as a first-round option.

On the defensive side of the ball, Miami has improved, but hasn't really filled any of their needs. Their replacing of Burnett and Dansby with Ellerbe and Wheeler makes them younger and faster, which is obviously a positive, but it doesn't take care of their needs at other positions.

There are no real pass-rushers left on the market who would make more of an impact than Jared Odrick or Olivier Vernon next season, so that spot will be left for the draft.

A lot of questions remain in the secondary. Chris Clemons is back for another year, but unless he takes a big step forward, probably won't start in 2014. Dashon Goldson would have been a perfect fit for Miami, but it doesn't look like there is much mutual interest there. 

That makes Miami's current biggest need at cornerback. Sean Smith most likely won't be back, so the Dolphins really need two starter-caliber guys for next season. Chris Houston would have been perfect, but he resigned with Detroit.

Brent Grimes is a bit risky coming off his achilles injury, but is a moderately-priced option. Derek Cox is probably the top guy left at the position, but he will get overpaid by another team and Miami can't afford to do that any more.

I doubt Pittsburgh would let Miami take another one of its top players in Keenan Lewis, but he would be a great steal for the Dolphins. Two other guys who would be intriguing at the right price are former Eagles cornerbacks Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, who have some talent and would be worth taking a shot on a smaller one-year deal.

Winston should to be Miami's top priority from here on out. By signing him, it would seal up their offensive line and allow them to focus on other positions in the draft.

Keller would be a great pickup as well, and if they can grab one of the better defensive backs on the market, it would give them even more breathing room heading into the draft.