As promised. I have dug into where the team stands for next year as far as who the free agents will be. I know there will be many who think it is much to early to talk about next year. Please bare with me on this.
Next year we have 25 players who's contracts run out, and will be Free Agents. Amoung the big names are. Long, Bush, Starks, Fasano, McDaniel, Moore, Fields, Hartline, Smith, and the site that I looked at has Pouncey and D. Thomas on the list, although I don't think either of them will be free agents.
If you take a look around the NFL most teams have a small core of players the teams try to build around. Some teams have as little as 5 players and others may have as many as 8 or 10.
If the Dolphins don't resign any of there projected free agents they will have roughly 40 million dollars in cap space for the 2013/14 season. Needless to say we are not going to let all of these players walk, so that number will be less.
So the question becomes who goes and when. Which players of those mentioned above are core players. For me a core player is a player we can not do without. Or a player that shows so much promise he must be resigned. Jake Long fits that mold. Although from a personal stand point Jake Long has been a bit of a let down for me. Maybe he hasn't been healthy, but he is still a player I wouldn't want to lose, he has so much value to the team he must be resigned. One thing must be kept in mind when we resign him. He will cost the team 1/10 of the cap space for the length of his contract. That is a big number for a player that is not a QB.
Other than Jake Long, and Brandon Fields (a punter) I don't think any of those players are core players. If Bush, Hartline, Moore, Starks or Smith step up and have good years, they would most likely get hefty pay raises.
So as you can see next years free agents will be determined in this years production or lack there of. Although it is hard to imagine a few of these guys may not make the team this year because they don't fit the system, or this staff doesn't view them as the past regime did. That could very well happen.