Creating Miami Dolphins' Free-Agency Fallback Plan

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Creating Miami Dolphins' Free-Agency Fallback Plan
Al Bello/Getty Images
Zach Strief is one of the many solid options the Dolphins can look to at right tackle.

While all NFL teams can officially begin signing free agents at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, the Miami Dolphins have already been extremely busy.

For the second year in a row, the Dolphins have plenty of cap space and are looking to spend it by signing a few marquee free agents.

According to Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio, the team already has a deal in place with Branden Albert that should get signed shortly after the market opens.

They have also signed safety Louis Delmas to a one-year deal worth up to $3.5 million, according to ESPN's James Walker.

Delmas was available to sign before the free-agency deadline because he had been cut by the Detroit Lions.

With those two moves and the re-signing of Brent Grimes, the Dolphins have gotten off to a great start to free agency.

But there's also no doubt that they still have plenty of work left to do.

General manager Dennis Hickey has a clear plan in place that he is trying to execute this offseason. He has executed it thus far to perfection, but sometimes things don't always go according to plan and you need to have a fallback option.

Much like Hickey has likely done, I have created a fallback plan for the Dolphins in case their pursuit of some of their top free-agent targets don't work out.

 

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Rodger Saffold is likely pricing himself out of the Dolphins' range.

Offensive Line

Bringing in Albert was a huge and much-needed step for the Dolphins to open free agency. He is one of the top left tackles on the market and was clearly a high priority for Miami.

With that said, there are still three other holes on the offensive line that need to be fixed.

Adam Beasley and Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reported on Sunday that along with Albert, Rodger Saffold was a top target of the Dolphins.

However, as time progresses, Saffold coming to Miami appears to be less and less likely, as Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald points out.

If Saffold is out of the picture, the Dolphins should turn their attention to right tackle Austin Howard. The 6'7", 333-pound Howard hasn't missed a game over the past two seasons for the New York Jets and is just 26 years old.

According to Brian Costello of the New York Post, Howard is still negotiating with the Jets but is also drawing interest from other teams as well.

Another solid option could be Zach Strief of the New Orleans Saints, who has been a starter at both guard and tackle over the past eight seasons.

At the guard position, the Dolphins could also make a run at Zane Beadles of the Denver Broncos or Davin Joseph, who was just cut by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers on Saturday.

 

Ben Margot/Associated Press
It appears that both Paul Soliai and Randy Starks won't be returning to Miami next season.

Defensive Tackle

It appears the Dolphins are already on their fallback plan at this position, with Paul Soliai and Randy Starks both likely to leave Miami, via Adam Beasley and Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald.

This means that Plan B of the defensive tackle position is already in place and there are plenty of ways that the Dolphins can go with it.

If they are willing to spend some money, they can go after Linval Joseph, who is one of the best defensive tackles on the market.

Rich Schultz/Getty Images
Linval Joseph would be a great pickup for the Dolphins to replace Paul Soliai and Randy Starks.

The 25-year-old has spent his first four seasons with the New York Giants and is capable of being even better than Soliai and Starks.

Earl Mitchell, who was released by the Houston Texans on Monday, could also be a great option for Miami.

In fact, the Dolphins have already shown interest in the 26-year-old, according to ESPN's Tania Ganguli.

However, the team could also look to a less expensive option and pursue either Chicago's Henry Melton, Green Bay's B.J. Raji or Dallas' Jason Hatcher.

The NFL offseason is in full swing, and there will likely be plenty of big news coming over the next few weeks.

The Dolphins have already made a couple of big splashes, and it seems very likely that they will continue to make big moves as Hickey tries to get the team back into the playoffs in 2014.

 

Andrew Tornetta is a Miami Dolphins' featured columnist for Bleacher Report. Check out his B/R archive and follow him on Twitter @AndrewTornetta.

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