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A look at the Dolphins replacements heading into 2015

New Dolphins czar Mike Tannenbaum has spent this offseason undoing everything former GM Jeff Ireland and coach Joe Philbin did in the 2013 offseason

Whatever word it rebuilding, retooling, renovation, a purging doesn't matter because it all applies to what the Miami Dolphins did in the first week of free agency.

New Dolphins czar Mike Tannenbaum spent last week undoing just about everything former Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland and coach Joe Philbin did in the 2013 offseason.

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At this point I can neither say that's a good, or a bad thing considering the Dolphins have been 8-8 for the past two seasons, and the fact that Tannenbaum isn't finished. Miami still has the second wave of free agency to go, and the draft to go, so the 2015 roster is still under construction.

The best way to summarize what the Dolphins did during the first week of free agency is to say they added two Pro Bowl talents, swapped out a nickel cornerback, traded for a possible starter, and created $21 million in cap space.

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The Dolphins are in a better financial position today than they were last Monday, but that doesn't make them a better football team when you breakdown the roster.

Not every position was upgraded during the first week of free agency. The Dolphins plan to undergo a youth movement, and in some areas that could be a wise decision. But in others it could blow up in the team's face.

Here's a look at players that departed, and a projection of who is filling their roles.

DEFENSIVE TACKLE

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OUT: Jared Odrick       IN: Ndamukong Suh

OUT: Randy Starks     IN: Earl Mitchell

STATUS REPORT: A.J. Francis, Anthony Johnson, Deandre Coleman and Kamal Johnson could potentially inherit Mitchell's role as the third defensive tackle rotated in. All are talented youngsters, but green NFL players.

THE BREAKDOWN: Anytime you add one of the top 10 players in your sport it's hard not to envision the unit improving, but there's a drop off from Starks to Mitchell. And are we sure one of the young defensive tackles is ready for 500 snaps in 2015? Suh makes everyone on defense better, but that alone doesn't make Miami a playoff team.

LINEBACKER

OUT: Dannell Ellerbe          IN: Jelani Jenkins

OUT: Philip Wheeler           IN: Dion Jordan or Chris McCain

STATUS REPORT: Jenkins led the team in tackles last season as Ellerbe's replacement at weakside linebacker, so his departure is no big deal. And Wheeler was a liability in his two seasons with the Dolphins, so he won't be difficult to replace. Jordan could blossom as a strong side linebacker, but Miami's coaches must commit to him making the position switch. And McCain is a talent athlete who must learn to become a student of the game. He needs to earn Kevin Coyle's trust, which isn't easy to do.

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THE BREAKDOWN: One of the team's most troublesome units the past two seasons won't get a newcomer until the draft unless Miami signs a second-tier linebacker. And truth is there's very little left in free agency. But a healthy Misi, and Jordan making the position switch could benefit this unit.

OFFENSIVE LINE

OUT: Daryn Colledge      IN: Dallas Thomas

OUT: Samson Satele      IN: Mike Pouncey

OUT: Shelley Smith        IN: Billy Turner

OUT: Nate Garner          IN: Sam Brenner

STATUS REPORT: Last year the Dolphins patched up the offensive line with Colledge, Satele and Smith. The organization is clearly seeking more long-term solutions this offseason. Problem is there's not much to pick from. Pouncey, who is slated to earn $7 million in the final year of his rookie contract, wants to move back to center, but there's a possibility that he might skip the offseason program if he doesn't receive a multi-year contract this spring.

THE BREAKDOWN: The offensive guard spot is a nightmare because Dallas Thomas struggled for most of the nine games he started in 2014. Maybe Thomas improves at offensive guard, his natural position, in year three. But he's still viewed as a liability as a starter. And even though the Dolphins have talked Turner up plenty this offseason isn't he still the player Joe Philbin didn't trust enough to play until the final two games of 2014? The Dolphins clearly need to upgrade the guard position through free agency or the draft, and depth in this struggling unit has become an even bigger issue despite the re-signing of Jason Fox.

TIGHT END

OUT: Charles Clay    IN: Jordan Cameron

STATUS REPORT: Clay hasn't signed an offer sheet with the Bills, so he's technically still Miami's player. However, Cameron is an upgrade over Clay because he has a higher ceiling if he can stay healthy. But the Dolphins hope to pair Clay and Cameron together. If they can't Dion Sims is a young player trending up. He's also a better in-line blocker than both Clay and Cameron.

THE BREAKDOWN: This unit has improved with, or without Clay. The Dolphins must decide if they are willing to commit $13-16 million to the tight end position in 2015. If that's the case they likely won't have a problem finding a trade partner for Sims considering the tight end class in this draft is fairly weak.

RECEIVER

OUT: Mike Wallace           IN: Kenny Stills

OUT: Brian Hartline          IN: Rishard Matthews

OUT: Brandon Gibson      IN: Matt Hazel

STATUS REPORT: Stills has deep speed, and run after the catch skills. However, he comes from a Saints offense where he was the fourth weapons opposing defenses were concerned about. He'll get a significant amount of attention in Miami as Wallace's replacement. Matthews is a young player who has some upside, but the 24-year-old now becomes the aged veteran of this group, which should be viewed as a concern.

THE BREAKDOWN: The Dolphins clearly need a veteran receiver to lead the way. Someone like Michael Crabtree, Greg Jennings, Reggie Wayne, Nate Washington, Cecil Short, Wes Welker and Hakeem Nicks can help right away. But the Dolphins will probably wait till the draft to select another receiver in the first three rounds. Miami should be in position to add one of the draft's top five receivers.

QUARTERBACK

OUT: Matt Moore             IN: McLeod Bethel-Thompson

STATUS REPORT: The Dolphins haven't re-signed Moore yet, but they probably will because the quarterback market is flat, and Moore hasn't drawn much interest. Bethel-Thompson has some talent, but he hasn't proven he can win NFL games like Moore has. However, the Dolphins do have some interest in former Browns and Redskins quarterback Colt McCoy.

THE BREAKDOWN: The Dolphins need to find a competent backup for Ryan Tannehill, and someone who fits the spread offense. Waiting to do this in the 2015 draft could become problematic because of how weak the quarterback class is.

CORNERBACK

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OUT: Cortland Finnegan     IN: Jamar Taylor

OUT: Jimmy Wilson            IN: Brice McCain

STATUS REPORT: Taylor has a ton of talent, which the 2013 second-round pick showed in his two starts last season. But he's struggled to stay healthy in his first two NFL years. Miami is rolling the dice projecting him as a starter. Wilson and McCain are similar players, so don't be surprised if McCain inherits the nickel cornerback spot.

THE BREAKDOWN: Depth at cornerback remains an issue considering the Dolphins have annually needed six to make it through a season since 2008. Right now Miami has seven, but T.J. Heath, Sammy Seamster and Lowell Rose haven't proven they belong on an NFL team's 53-man roster. And there's only one proven starter in Brent Grimes. Expect Miami to fill out this position some more in the draft.

SAFETY

OUT: Louis Delmas         IN: Michael Thomas or Walt Aikens

STATUS REPORT: Delmas held the secondary together last season until he suffered his ACL injury in December. It is possible he might be re-signed, but the odds of him being healthy enough to play in September and October are slim. Thomas, a core special teamer his first two seasons, is a promising youngster who is intelligent enough to become an NFL starter.

THE BREAKDOWN: The Dolphins need to address this position in free agency and possibly the draft because Miami's rolling the dice with one of the most important positions on defense. It's possible that Reshad Jones could move to the free safety position, but he struggled there earlier in his career. Miami might need to put a full court press on recently released safety Dashon Goldson, or free agents like Stevie Brown, Bernard Pollard or Taylor Mays.

G.G.G.

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