Miami has many decisions to make this offseason, and each one will help or hurt Tony Sparano a little more in keeping his job.
Tyler Thigpen (Quarterback) - It is hard to think about Thigpen being let go. This can go either way though, because Miami might choose to keep Chad Henne. It should also be expected that Miami goes after a quarterback in free agency and/or the NFL Draft.
Ricky Williams (Running Back) - After Ricky Williams openly criticized the Dolphins organization and certain players, it is unlikely that Miami will re-sign Williams. He said "I was drafted in 1999, and this is the first time I’ve been a free agent. I’m excited to see what happens." All signs point to Ricky Williams hitting the market.
Chad Pennington (Quarterback) - Pennington has been a model citizen his entire career, and especially with the Miami Dolphins. However, given Pennington's injury history, his playing days are most likely behind him. He would make a great coach one day.
Quentin Moses (Defensive End) - Moses will be re-signed. He has played well enough this season to all but guarantee a roster spot next season. He has been with the team for several seasons, and he is also a solid contributor off of the bench and on special teams.
Pat McQuistan (Offensive Guard) - McQuistan's status is likely up in the air. He didn't play lights out, and seemed to be a liability on the offensive line when he needed to make a crucial block. Miami would not be worse off if he hit the market.
Tony McDaniel (Defensive Line)- Both the Dolphins and McDaniel have expressed interest in working out a deal. McDaniel has played well this season, and Miami feels like he is an important part of the defensive line rotation. He will likely be kept.
Paul Soliai (Nose Tackle) - Soliai is Miami's most important free agent player. He is the future at nose tackle, barring a relapse of his past ways. Soliai had a hard time getting motivated in his first several seasons with Miami, but he has gotten his act together, and has been playing at a high level all season. He will likely cash in on a big contract.
Ronnie Brown (Running Back) - Brown's status is also up in the air. If Ricky Williams leaves for free agency, Brown could be re-signed to a smaller contract. He hasn't lived up to his hype as the #2 pick of the draft, but Miami would like at least one veteran in the backfield when they likely bring in a younger running back during the offseason.
Lydon Murtha (Offensive Tackle) - Murtha provides solid depth on the offensive line, but don't expect Miami to make a big push to re-sign him. He is expendable at this point, and as a restricted free agent, he likely won't get much attention from other teams around the NFL.
Kory Sheets (Running Back) - Sheets was injured during the 2010 offseason, and would have provided a speedy option on kick returns. He hasn't really gotten a chance to shine here in Miami, but if speed is what they desire, he will likely be kept.
Lex Hilliard (Running Back) - Hilliard is another guy who hasn't been given a chance. Hilliard is the same type of runner as Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams, which is why I expect him to hit the market. It is uncertain whether he will get attention or not, and if he doesn't, Miami could place him back on their practice squad or bring him in to compete during training camp.
Joey Haynos (Tight End) - Joey Haynos is a huge tight end, and he could have been effective this year with Anthony Fasano. Expect Haynos to be re-signed, while Miami will also likely draft another tight end or pick one up via free agency.
Nate Garner (Offensive Line) - Garner will be re-signed by Miami. He entered the 2010 offseason as a favorite to start at right guard, but injuries forced him to be placed on the Injured Reserve List. Garner has value, because he can play both guard and tackle. He will be an asset to Miami in the future.
Patrick Cobbs (Running Back) - Cobbs has become less valued to this team, and while he still may not have been 100% since his ACL tear in 2009, he likely won't be retained. The only reason Miami would bring Cobbs back is because of his special teams contributions.