Over the last 72 hours, some former Pro Bowl safeties have become free agents. Former Indianapolis Colt defensive stalwart Bob Sanders and St. Louis Rams free safety OJ Atogwe are now open to the highest bidder.
And both can dramatically improve a defense.
Each brings something different to the table. Sanders is the run-first, hard-hitting safety that can disrupt an opponents running game. Atogwe is the ball-hawk free-safety that can boost any team's pass defense.
Now here's the Miami connection.
While Yeremiah Bell isn't getting any younger, Miami's biggest challenge is at free safety. While Chris Clemons has shown some promise (and was injured in the second half of the season, disrupting his progress), Atogwe could be the stabilizing force in a young secondary.
Money is never an issue in Miami, and though the Dolphins need more firepower on the offensive side of the ball, this may be one of those opportunistic "acorns" that can turn Miami's D into one of the best in the league.
With New England Patriots All-Pro Guard Logan Mankins getting slapped with the franchise tag, there are no instant upgrades on the interior line worthy of spending major dollars on. Running backs DeAngelo Williams and Ahmad Bradshaw are Miami targets, and maybe the Dolphins can lure wide-out Santonio Holmes into coming home. The quarterback situation most likely will not be solved with free agency.
But free agency can offer some major benefits if used correctly.
Just as Miami wants to go after the best available player in the draft, it's important to view the best way they can add to their talent in free agency.
Atogwe fits into that category.
And Miami's secondary.
Atogwe by the Numbers:
2011: 73 tackles, three interceptions, two forced fumbles, two sacks
2010 (12 games): 74 tackles, two interceptions, three forced fumbles, one sack
2009: 85 tackles, five interceptions, six forced fumbles, zero sacks