2013 NFL Free Agency: Miami Dolphins Update and Predictions

Garrett BakerSenior Analyst IMarch 27, 2013

ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 15:  Brent Grimes #20 of the Atlanta Falcons returns a fumble by Greg Jenning #85 of the Green Bay Packers in the first quarter during their 2011 NFC divisional playoff game at Georgia Dome on January 15, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Chris Graythen/Getty Images

The Miami Dolphins have dramatically slowed down after an eventful start to free agency that saw them sign three marquee players on Day One, and two more within the next week.

But the Dolphins have been strangely quiet since then, although their remaining targets have also been silent and have yet to commit anywhere. As of now, cornerback Brent Grimes, right tackle Eric Winston and guard Brandon Moore have to be the top-three available free agents on Miami's wish list.

Yet, none of them have been offered a deal to their liking at this point. This means that they should all be within the Dolphins' price range, and each of them would be impact starters right away. 

The Dolphins may be waiting on the developments of a few other situations before making their move. Kansas City offensive tackle Branden Albert is reportedly available for trade, although Miami may not be willing to give up a second-round pick for him. 

By waiting, they could force Kansas City's hand and get Albert at a reduced price. With Winston, they may also be waiting to try to get him to reduce his asking price, or perhaps be willing to take a short-term deal. 

Grimes is an intriguing possibility because he would become Miami's No. 1 cornerback immediately, as long as he is fully recovered from his Achilles injury. Other teams are interested in Grimes as well, but there has yet to be a strong push for his services.

Another interesting development that could affect Miami deals with Tampa Bay cornerback Eric Wright. The former second-round pick has dealt with off-the-field issues over the past couple seasons, and is owed a lot of money by the Bucs. 

However, because he tested positive for PEDs last year, he could be cut without costing Tampa Bay anything, and if they are unable to trade him, he very likely would get released, instantly making him one of the most talented players on the market at a position of dire need for Miami.

Lastly, the recent release of Jared Gaither by the Chargers also has an indirect effect on the Dolphins. By absorbing a $6 million cap hit next year to rid themselves of "The Big Lazy," San Diego is now 100 percent in the market for a new left tackle.

This means that Oklahoma's Lane Johnson is almost guaranteed to go before the Dolphins select at the No. 12 overall position in April's draft. If Johnson gets to the Chargers at No. 11, which may not even happen, it would be a shock if they did not take him.

Obviously, this means that Miami either needs to scoop up Winston, trade for Albert or be prepared to wait for the second round and hope that they find a solid right tackle there. Options are out there, Miami just has to make their move.

It seems that with the cutting of Gaither and availability of Wright, Miami's best move would be to lock up Winston, and make a hard push for Grimes to allow them to focus elsewhere in the draft.

Update 3/27: Miami signed OG Lance Louis to a one-year contract, taking Brandon Moore off their potential wish list.