Free Agents Dolphins Should Pursue After 2021 NFL Draft

Alex Ballentine@Ballentine_AlexFeatured ColumnistMay 12, 2021

Free Agents Dolphins Should Pursue After 2021 NFL Draft

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    Gerry Broome/Associated Press

    The Miami Dolphins are in an exciting place in 2021. They will break in four rookies selected in the top 50 while trying to build on a 10-6 season where they almost made the playoffs. 

    It's rare to have such a successful season and have the opportunity to make so many premium picks in the draft. But that's the beauty of what general manager Chris Grier has done in rebuilding this roster. 

    Even with a slew of impact rookies coming in and much of the talent that drove the team last season returning, there's still some cash left over. According to Spotrac, the Dolphins have $16.3 million in cap space, leaving open the possibility they look to free agency to round out the roster. 

    Even this late in the offseason there is talent to be had. It all comes with some level of risk, though. If there were any perfect free agents, they wouldn't still be available. However, there are proven commodities out there who could make the Dolphins better or provide crucial depth for a 17-game schedule. 

    Here's a look at three guys they should be calling up now. 

RB Le'Veon Bell

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    Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

    The Dolphins were expected to address the running back position in the draft, but they didn't do so until the seventh round with the selection of Gerrid Doaks. He shouldn't be relied on to actually contribute, though. Being a Day 3 pick his primary objective will be making the roster. 

    Miami's draft tells us what they think about Myles Gaskin. He is going to be expected to shoulder the load in the running game. 

    But it never hurts to add depth. The team acquired Malcolm Brown earlier in free agency, but they might want to consider Le'Veon Bell as well. The 29-year-old isn't the back he once was, but he did play a role in Kansas City's backfield last year, helping keep Clyde Edwards-Helaire fresh. 

    Bell could play a similar role in Miami. He averaged 4.0 yards per carry for the Chiefs while bringing in 13 of his 17 targets for another 99 yards. 

    The age is obviously a concern, and Bell isn't going to generate explosive plays, but he offers a high floor for the running back room. 

S Tre Boston

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    Bruce Kluckhohn/Associated Press

    Tre Boston has been an underrated safety on the free-agent market for the second consecutive season. 

    While he doesn't have the upside of Malik Hooker, a former first-round pick who is still on the market, Boston has provided solid play in the back half for the Panthers. In the last two seasons there, he had four interceptions and 15 passes defended.

    The Dolphins just drafted Jevon Holland in the second round, but they also parted ways with former team captain Bobby McCain. That opens up the starting spot for Holland, who opted out of the 2020 season at Oregon. 

    Should Holland get off to a slow start, the team is going to want other options at free safety. Boston would provide a steady hand in the defensive backfield and provides depth when the team wants to employ three safety sets. 

    Boston is heading into his age-29 season, so he isn't an exciting option long term, but he could provide good tutelage for Holland and a strong backup plan. 

Edge Melvin Ingram III

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    Doug Murray/Associated Press

    In today's NFL, you can never have too many pass-rushers or defensive backs. Whether it's trying to contain Josh Allen or shutting down the Chiefs passing attack, the Dolphins are going to need to be as deep as possible to get the most out of this team. 

    Grier has done a great job of building one of the best secondaries in football. 

    The pass rush could still use another body to add to the rotation though, and Melvin Ingram III is one of the most intriguing names available. He was held sackless in seven games with the Chargers last season but had 24.5 over three seasons previous to that. 

    Ingram only played in seven games due to a knee injury, so it makes sense that he's still on the market heading into his age-32 season. But as a rotational piece who would play a limited number of snaps, he may be able to stay healthy and add additional teeth to their pursuit of the quarterback.