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The Miami Dolphins Want To Add Adalius Thomas, but Only for the Right Price

Michael PintoSenior Writer IMay 4, 2010

FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 10:  Adalius Thomas #96 of the New England Patriots gestures as he gets set on defense against the Baltimore Ravens during the 2010 AFC wild-card playoff game at Gillette Stadium on January 10, 2010 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. The Ravens won 33-14.  (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

Since being released from the New England Patriots last week, Adalius Thomas has become one of the hottest free agent names on the market, but as is the case with every valued commodity, he's looking to cash in on that status.

Despite struggling for much of the last three seasons, Thomas is still considered to be a solid outside linebacker with enough production left in the tank to make a significant impact next season. 

He's a versatile athlete with great size and strength. Thomas is at home in the 3-4 and plays both the run and the pass very well—he'd fit right into the Dolphins' scheme. Even though he recorded only three sacks in 2009, a change of scenery could be exactly what he needs to get back on track. 

That might be exactly what Miami's front office is thinking, but they aren't going to overspend to see him join the club. If he's willing to join the team on the cheap, they'll jump at the chance to sign him, but at the moment the sides appear far apart.

At 32 years old, age isn't really an issue for Thomas, but it doesn't help his case either. He's got two, maybe three, productive years left in the tank and won't be given the starting nod over younger guys if the competition is close. 

The Dolphins are hoping that second-round pick Koa Misi emerges as the starting strongside linebacker in 2010 and will give him every chance possible to earn that role—even if it means benching a player like Thomas. 

If they were to sign Thomas and then relegate him to reserve role, he would voice his displeasure loud and clear just like he did a year ago in New England.

Miami doesn't need that kind of negative attitude in the locker room.

That isn't to say they shouldn't be interested in Thomas, because they certainly should be. It just makes it very understandable why they aren't willing to open their wallet too wide for him even though they don't have any proven talents at outside linebacker.

Everything would work out fine if Thomas were to be the starter, but it could get ugly real quickly if he weren't. That type of gamble just isn't worth it when a large contract is attached.  

So for now, Miami will play the waiting game and hope Thomas drops his asking price to something more realistic. If he wants to play against the Patriots twice a year, which he's been rumored to be very interested in doing, that's exactly what he'll need to do. 

The New York Jets also have a lot of interest in Thomas, but like the Dolphins, aren't going to sign over a hefty check for a player they might not be able to count on throughout the season. 

Neither team appears likely to bend on their stance, so if Thomas wants to come to the AFC East, he needs to come to his senses first.

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