Miami Dolphins: Talking Free Agency With John Clayton
If you want to know how the Miami Dolphins may do in free agency, there are few sources better than John Clayton to find out. The ESPN analyst and NFL insider believes the team will become a real player on March 10th when free agency begins across the board for all 32 teams.
“Particulary in the front office there’s a realization, ‘like what can we do to get this team over the top,'” said Clayton. “You just saw it with the Dallas Cowboys. The Dallas Cowboys have been drafting to the offensive line, they’ve been drafting on offense, and were trying to surround Tony Romo with a chance to get better. What did it do? It broke them out of their 8-8 funk, and then got into a 12 win season.
“I would have to think you can be aggressive. Try to make sure the running game is in good shape, the offensive line is in good shape, and surround Ryan Tannehill just to make that offense better and try to get out of 8-8.”
Starting tight end Charles Clay and versatile defensive lineman Jared Odrick are two of Miami’s unrestricted free agents who are “homegrown” talents who have spent their entire careers here. Per Clayton, those two career Dolphins should be in the offseason plans for the 2015 season for the team. Clay has amassed 127 catches for 1,364 yards and nine touchdowns, while Odrick in his first season as a 16-game starter racked up 29 combined tackles with one sack, five passes defended, and a forced fumble.
Both players also provide position flexibility, with Clay playing tight end, H-back, and sometimes even in the slot, and Odrick has played every position and technique on the defensive line.
“They can’t lose both (of them), and you would hope that they don’t lose either one,” said Clayton. “Both are so valuable. There’s still debates on whether Randy Starks is going to be back, and if that’s the case, you can’t take two hits at defensive tackle…so you find a way to get Odrick signed. Charles Clay has also been a valuable guy at that tight end position.
The Dolphins have to improve their defense, given the fact it fell from a top five unit in 2013 to 20th overall in 2014. While Odrick is a player the team must try to re-sign, the chances are Louis Delmas, a free agent signee last season may also walk.
The NFL Draft starting on April 30th may bring the team help at linebacker, with plyers like Vic Beasley and Denzel Perryman and Benardrick McKinney could be players high on the team’s radar.