The new league year begins on March 18th, and subsequently does free agency. The Dolphins will enter the pool with more cap space than any team in the NFL ($89 Million, OverTheCap). While the Dolphins’ shopping list is quite long, I believe most of the money will be spent wisely and carefully by Chris Grier.
It would be smart of the Dolphins to allocate their free agent resources towards the offensive and defensive lines. So, that’s why each of the 5 players listed below address such needs specifically.
— DolphinsTalk.com (@DolphinsTalk) February 11, 2020
Kyle Van Noy, 4-3 DE
- Van Noy played under Brian Flores in New England, making this an easy place to start. The 29-year-old end racked up 6.5 sacks last season, along with 3 forced fumbles, 15 QB hits, and 7 tackles for loss. The 2019 Patriots defense was vicious for most of the year, and Van Noy graded better than any player on that defense – even Stephon Gillmore. Van Noy is a force on the defensive side of the ball, and even at 29 he would be worth committing to.
Brandon Scherff, Guard
- Scherff, the 8th best free agent in the 2020 class according to NFLTracker, is expected to be departing from Washington. Miami needs help all over their offensive line, and they have money to spend. Scherff is a 3-time Pro-Bowler, though he hasn’t played a full season since 2016. Still, adding Scherff would be a great way to begin fortifying the trenches.
Yannick Ngakoue, 4-3 DE
- Ngakoue could end up being the most heavily coveted free agent of the entire 2020 class. At only 25 years old, the former Jaguar would certainly cost more than an option like Kyle Van Noy, but he will be an anchor for years to come. In 2019 he put together 8 sacks and 15 hits on the QB. In 2017 Ngakoue forced 6 fumbles and recorded 12 sacks on his way to a Pro-Bowl. However, it is still possible that Jacksonville opts to place slap him with the franchise tag. If he reaches free agency untagged, then I would not be opposed to seeing Miami back up the truck for Ngakoue.
Jack Conklin, OT
- It’s hard to envision Mike Vrabel and the Titans not finding a way to bring Conklin back with the way their offense runs through Derrick Henry and the offensive line. Though, if Conklin does hit free agency, Miami should have the former All-Pro on the phone immediately. A potential anchor on the offensive line for the foreseeable future would be ideal for the Dolphins and the team they want to build.
Joe Thuney, Guard
- Another potential ex-Patriot here, Thuney has been linked to Miami since the start of the offseason. He’s a very solid lineman that would go well with another free agent signing and/or draft pick. Thuney has played all 16 games in each of his first 4 years in the NFL. At 27 years old, he should have a rather fruitful market. He’d make for a great complimentary piece on a newly constructed Dolphins offensive line.
If Miami is able to acquire one, or even two, of these players then they would be setting themselves up well for the draft. Investing in the trenches has consistently proven to be the way to build a successful team and open a championship window. Smart and strong veteran acquisitions would blend perfectly with the many rookies that are soon to join Miami’s roster.