Advertisement

A look at 10 under the radar free agents for the Dolphins

The Miami Dolphins appear to be all-in on signing Ndamukong Suh, and if Mike Tannenbaum does deliver, and Steve Ross' team does reel in the biggest fish in this year's free agent class everyone involved should be commended.

Advertisement

But Suh won't be easy to sign (look out for Oakland, Washington and Indianapolis), and he's not the finishing piece on a Super Bowl contending team in South Florida. He's a good piece, but not the missing piece.

And the financial strain Suh's $100-plus million contract will place on the franchise would require some smart, and cheap signings moving forward.

Advertisement

Here's a look at 10 under the radar free agents I'd sign, either for the Dolphins or another NFL franchise. Some of these players would make a great plan B, or C if the Dolphins do loose the Suh sweepstakes.

Cornerback Brandon Flowers - Don't let his age (29) fool you, this former Atlantic High standout still has plenty good football left in him. He contributed 52 tackles, three interceptions and broke up 10 passes in the 14 games he played last offseason. His 20 career interceptions proves he's still worth a $7 million a year salary.

Nose tackle Dan Williams - The Arizona Cardinals finished 13th against the run, and Williams consistently took on two blockers on the front line. He's not a stats monster (31 tackles, one sack in 2014) but he's an efficient player who can hold up a center and a guard, freeing the inside linebacker. He should be cheaper to sign ($4-5M a season) than Jared Odrick.

Pass rusher Jabaal Sheard - I've been a fan of Sheard since he was a high school player at Hollywood Hills. Last season was a disaster because of an injury, but he can contribute more than 44 tackles and two sacks if used as a 4-3 defensive end. He's contributed 23 sacks in four seasons, and could become a double-digit sack producer in the right scheme. Adding Sheard to the D-line rotation that could lose Wake, Vernon and Shelby next year would be wise.

Advertisement

Inside linebacker Brandon Spikes - He's not an every down inside linebacker, but what this former Gators standout can do is suffocate the run game. Last year he tallied 54 tackles, one sack and forced one fumble in the 16 games he played for the Bills, which finished 2014 11th against the run.

Safety Ron Parker - Parker's career didn't take off until this season because he was stuck behind some elite football players in his stops with the Seahawks, Panthers and Chiefs, and he was making the transition from cornerback to safety. But last season Parker contributed 94 tackles, one sack, one interception and broke up 12 passes. He's 27-years-old and still trending up.

Receiver Nate Washington - Washington has had an under the radar career in Tennessee because he's rarely had a consistent quarterback. But this 31-year-old has produced 6,296 receiving yards and scored 40 touchdowns in his 10 seasons while averaging 15.3 yards per reception. He's a solid option to serve as Brian Hartline's replacement.

Tailback Shane Vereen - He's not a powerful runner, which is what Miami needs, but he's a reliable pass catcher who has caught 107 passes for 1,023 yards and scored 14 touchdowns in the past four seasons with the Patriots. He can also pick up a blitzer effectively, which makes him an ideal third down back.

Receiver Leonard Hankerson - This former Hurricanes standout's career has been put on pause because of numerous injuries while with the Redskins. But the talent is there. The 1,081 yards and six touchdowns he's produced on 81 receptions in his first three seasons serves as proof, but this 26-year-old needs a healthy season, and an accurate quarterback for his career to take off.

Cornerback Darius Butler - This former Coral Springs Charter School standout has blossomed into a reliable nickel cornerback for the Colts, but he has the potential to do more in his 7th NFL season. He's started 29 NFL games, and has position flexibility, which collectively makes this 28-year-old worth a 3-year, $12 million contract.

Linebacker Andrew Gachkar - Sometimes a playmaker can be buried on the depth chart because of their draft status, and that appears to be the case for Gachkar, who contributed 49 tackles and one sack for the Chargers. But this 26-year-old is 6-foot-3, 240 pounds, athletic, has range, and position flexibility.

Other players worth mentioning: WR Eddie Royal, QB Tyrod Taylor, TE Virgil Green, QB Jake Locker, RB Bilal Powell, DT Kenrick Ellis, LB Colin McCarthy, RB Stevan Ridley, WR Junior Hemingway, WR Eddie Royal, WR Deonte Thompson, C Rodney Hudson, ILB Darryl Sharpton, and CB Brandon Harris.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement