The Dolphins will have a projected 67-70M in cap space after giving Howard a raise in 2019 and extending him through 2023.  Who are the free agents (as of now) the Dolphins should be looking at?  Here is a quick run-down.  NOTE: These are some of the best available UFA, some or none of these players may actually hit the open market.

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Ryan Groy, G/C, Buffalo Bills– If he hits the market, Groy will be in high demand.  He has played well on an under-performing line this year.  Currently playing C, he will be more suited to move back to Guard for his next team in my opinion.  (could also look at Kevin Pamphile, Max Garcia)

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Grady Jarrett, DT, Atlanta Falcons– I see no scenario that Jarrett leaves Atlanta.  However, for the sake of this article, he is an UFA.  The Dolphins want to fix their run defense issues?  Look no further than here.  He is also only 25 and will command big bucks on the open market.  The Dolphins should definitely consider him.  (Rated 6th overall according to PFF, with a run grade of 88.1, 11th best).  He should command near 10-15M on the market.  He will be worth every penny. (could also look at Sheldon Richardson, Jonathan Hankins and Danny Shelton)

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Dante Fowler Jr, DE, LA Rams– Fowler has had his off-field issues.  But he will come a lot cheaper due to that.  I project he should cost between 7-10M per year on the open market, which is what the team is paying for 37 year old Cam Wake.  This is a huge upgrade and Fowler instantly upgrades the DL. (could also look at Trey Flowers, Frank Clark)

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Ronald Darby, CB, Philadelphia Eagles– Darby is injured for the Eagles but is young and will come in around 6-9M on his next contract.  There were rumors the Dolphins tried to acquire him last year in a trade but, just a rumor.  He would be an immediate upgrade over anything the Dolphins have on the boundary opposite of X.  (could also look at Bradley Roby, EJ Gaines, Bryce Callahan).

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Anthony Barr, OLB- Minnesota Vikings– While I find it hard to believe he will hit the open market, Anthony Barr would be an immediate upgrade over Kiko Alonso.  The Dolphins can use his instincts, pass rush skills and coverage skills.  He’s the total package.  (could also look at Dee Ford, Jadeveon Clowney, Anthony Chickillo)

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Teddy Bridgewater, QB- New Orleans Saints- Teddy B is going to be a hot commodity this off-season.  With teams like the Giants, Jaguars, Redskins, Dolphins, Buccaneers and Raiders all potentially lining up for a new signal caller, the Dolphins will need to be smart.  There was mutual interest last year in bringing him in.  The Dolphins didn’t want to pony up.  Now they are going to be forced to.

I have enjoyed researching and typing up this article.  Again, this is all predictions and nothing completely set in stone.  If the Dolphins get their cap over 70M, they can be players for some of the names listed above.  The time for being cheap is over.  You need play makers at the right positions, and mediocrity needs to end.  The Dolphins have a good young core to build around.  Adding in elite talent can elevate this team past .500.  What will they do?  Time will tell.  The first steps of rebuilding begins on December 31st when their season ends for the 15th time in the last 18  years.