It has been reiterated over and over by Miami Dolphins writers this offseason that the team needs a high-caliber tight end in order to have a potent offense. A potent offense is exactly what the Dolphins need to be a legitimate playoff contender.
Currently present on the Miami roster are tight ends Anthony Fasano, Joey Haynos, Jeron Mastrud, Dedrick Epps and Mickey Shuler. Fasano has been the only player that has made any impact on offense and the other TE's listed are expendable.
Fasano has proved to be a serviceable TE with reliable hands who is a decent blocker. He has yet to make the step toward being an elite tight end and is not currently feared by opposing teams.
It is safe to say the Miami Dolphins could use some help at the tight end position.
Although it cannot be official until tomorrow (Thursday, July 28th), sources have indicated that the Baltimore Ravens will cut their TE Todd Heap.
A first-round pick in 2001, Heap is now 31 years old but has shown consistent play over the past few years as well as his entire career. He is a solid possession receiver and has been dependable when blocking.
The only question with Heap is his health. Heap caught 40 passes last season and had an average of 15 yards per catch but missed three games due to injury. He also missed most of the 2004 and 2007 seasons due to injury. His age may also raise a few questions.
Despite this, Heap is still a factor on offense and his veteran presence could help improve Fasano's performance.
There are also two other TE's slated for free agency that could vastly improve Miami's offensive attack: Kevin Boss and Zach Miller.
Kevin Boss is a massive human being standing at 6'6" and weighing in at over 250 pounds, and of the three tight ends mentioned, he would likely come at the lowest cost.
Boss has yet to have a breakout season but is a great blocker and would definitely improve Miami's offense, but will likely be re-signed by the New York Giants.
Lastly is the most coveted free agent TE of this offseason, Zach Miller of the Oakland Raiders. The youngest and likely most expensive of the bunch would dramatically upgrade the Dolphins' offense.
Miller has posted great stats in his short career, averaging 60 catches over the past three seasons and finishing each of those with over 680 yards receiving.
He has done this with who at quarterback? Bruce Gradkowski?
If put on a team where he can perform, Miller could jump to being one of the top five TE's in the league. That is exactly what Miami could use on their team, but at what price?
Miami has enough tight ends on their roster (perhaps too many). Should they cut any and make room for one of these players?