Miami Dolphins Free Agent Wide Receiver Replacement Prospects

In a cost cutting decision, The Miami Dolphins released receivers Brian Hartline and Brandon Gibson this past Friday. Hartline coming off of a 39 reception, 474 yard with two touchdowns 2014 season was scheduled to count for 7.35 million against Miami's 2015 salary cap. Gibson with his 29 catches for 295 yards and one touchdown for 2014 was due 4.26 million pictures of President George Washington in 2015.

Brian Hartline's six year Miami Dolphin career included 298 catches, 4,243 yards, and 12 touchdowns. He will be 29 before the 2015 season's end. During 28 year old Brandon Gibson's 7 year career, he produced 233 receptions for 2,711 yards with 13 touchdowns.

Previous to these decisions, The Dolphins had approximately 3 million dollars available with the opening of free agency just ten days away. These most recent moves free-up an additional 6.4 million for Miami to play with which happens to be just the right amount to secure their 2013 MVP Tight End Charles Clay who is scheduled to hit the March 10th open market. Presently, the Dolphins now have a suggested 10 million dollars to make the best of with while many more millions will become available over the next ten days with the cuts of other positional overpaid underachievers. You know who they are beyond the receiver position!

Though he is not an under achiever while averaging 8 touchdowns and nearly 1000 yards per season, Mike Wallace is overpaid at 12.1 million for said production. He isn't willing to restructure his contract for the sake of the team. He has some personality conflicts with certain others. While, he may also be replaceable with a somewhat equal force at a more fair rate to the Miami Dolphins than what Jeff Ireland burdened them with. However. Few if any that may be legitimate considerations have been as consistently reliable or productive as Mike Wallace (thus-far), and most all receivers are to some extent, a diva.

Currently, Jarvis Landry, Rishard Matthews, and Mike Wallace are the only remaining 2014 Miami Dolphin receivers that saw the field.

Previously we discussed the combine/draftee prospects in the case of such a blossoming dilemma. Of 40 that will soon become available. Here are a handful of Free Agent receivers that are equatable to and/or recently upgraded replacements to fill the rolls of Brian Hartline, Brandon Gibson, and/or potentially Mike Wallace.

Hakeem Nicks 27 has missed 10 of 96 career games. His only 16 game season came this past year for Indianapolis at a pay rate of 2.2 million. His one season with Andrew Luck at Quarterback also happened to be the productively worst season of his career. In his first year away from a familiar system his 2014 numbers were 405 yards with 4 touchdowns. Such 2014 production was similar to the receiver that he is best suited skill-wise as an upgrade to replace Brian Hartline, (at a far more affordable price). Just one year ago Nicks had totaled 896 yards on 56 catches for Eli Manning and the New York Giants. His best seasons to date came in 2010 when he snatched 79 receptions for 1,052 yards with 11 touchdowns, and 2011's (76, 1,192 and 7 touchdowns) for the same Giants. For his six year NFL career, Hakeem Nicks has accrued 349 catches for 5,027 yards and 31 touchdowns.

Kenny Britt will be 27 and has missed 23 of 96 games, (basically a season and a half) of his six year career. He has been available for all 16 games in only his rookie and 2014 seasons. His best year was in 2010 with 42 catches, 775 yards, and 9 touchdowns in just 12 games while with a deficient at quarterback Titans team. His one 2014 season with the lacking at quarterback Rams was his second best year as he accounted for 48 grabs, 748 yards with 3 touchdowns. When totally healthy which has been a rare occasion to this point, he can do almost everything and more than what Mike Wallace does. He has good speed for his size while actually possessing the height 6 - 3, weight 218, and strength (23 reps of 225 as a collegiate) attributes of a true number one receiver. Landing a healthy Britt as a potential number One (at his current rate of less than 2 million), and keeping Mike Wallace as a Two (where he belongs, rather than as the one) could be the ultimately desired scenario. It would exceed by far the one, two punch potential of the Wallace/Hartline 2014 combo. As a five year Tennessee Titan, and 2014 St.Louis Ram, Kenny Britt has 205 receptions for 3,198 yards with 22 touchdowns.

Randall Cobb is 25 and has missed twelve of 64 career games. He excels from the slot position, but like Jarvis Landry (or Hartline), he is versatile enough to also be highly productive from the interchangeable number two receiver spot. Though not as fast (4.46) as Wallace (4.33), due to precise routes he's almost every bit as capable of getting beyond the coverage. Cobb is a highly competitive, motivational type player that rises to the occasion when called upon, and he is a physical player that's not afraid of contact over the middle, or in blocking. In his 2012 sophomore season with Green Bay he had 80 catches for 954 yards and 8 touchdowns. He missed 10 games in 2013, and still outproduced the 2014 numbers of Brian Hartline. For his breakout 2014 season, he caught 91 balls with 1,287 yards, and 12 touchdowns from Aaron Rodgers. Upon the duration of his four year career, Randall Cobb has tabulated 227 receptions, 3,049 yards with 25 touchdowns.

Torrey Smith at 26 years old has been relegated as active in all of his teams 64 games. Similar to Mike Wallace in size, Torrey Smith is also a true number two receiver that would desire a true number one option to complement, while with a (4.43) forty he is the fastest straight line runner of this free agent bunch. Smith has a great work ethic, passion, and displays good leadership skills. He has averaged 53 receptions for 900 yards, while his high yardage mark of 1,128 came during the 2013 season. His career touchdown season high of 11 came about this past 2014 season with 767 yards as he limped through a half season long knee issue. As Joe Flacco's security blanket over his four year Baltimore Raven career, Torrey Smith has accrued 213 catches for 3,591 yards, and 30 touchdowns.

Jeremy Maclin 27 at seasons start has been absent for 5 of his teams 80 games. He is the same size as Wallace and though he's not as fast at (4.45), he can get open and/or over the top just as easily due to great running of all routes. Over his first four years in Philadelphia (the origin of Miami OC Bill Lazor), Maclin averaged 875 yards on 64 receptions. His second most productive season came in 2010 when he gathered 70 balls for 964 yards with 10 touchdowns. In 2014 he had his breakout career year and accrued 1,318 yards for 10 touchdowns on 85 catches. With a revolving door variation of quarterbacks, Jeremy Maclin's 5 year career has accounted for 343 receptions with 4,771 yards, and 36 touchdowns.

Mike Wallace will be 29 at seasons start, he has missed one game of 96. During his first four years with Pittsburgh, Ben Rothlisberger accounted for 32 of his touchdowns while in the last two years Mike Wallace has kept up the pace as the recipient of 15 Ryan Tannehill touchdowns. Over his six year career Mike Wallace has 375 receptions for 5,834 yards with 47 touchdowns.

Wallace will count for 12.1 million as a 2015 Miami Dolphin.

He will count for 9.6 mill against the cap if he is cut before June 1st.

The cost is 6.6 mill if he's traded
(for whats being suggested to be a late round draft pick).

A 5.2 million dollar loss takes place if he's designated to be a Post June 1st cut.

He is guaranteed 3 million if he's on the team (without a June 1st cut designation) as of March 15th!!

With that March 15th guarantee of 3 million dollars!
One or more of the above options is likely to become official within the next ten to 15 days.

Free Agency opens on March 10th!!

MAYBE (over those 5 days) between March 10th and 15th?
Miami aggressively goes after and lands a free agent receiver replacement at (2 to 6 million) with a similar to Mike Wallace set of abilities?
In such a case, the potential immediate need for speed is somewhat voided.
Wallace can then be designated as a June 1st cut while Miami eats the minimum of future "dead money", and simultaneously creates additional cap space of (6 to 10 million) toward the 2015 seasons roster.

MAYBE The Miami Dolphins will prefer a reliably healthy and consistently productive Mike Wallace at 12.1 million over some other 2 to 6 million dollar wide receiver diva?
MAYBE by releasing the 11.6 million dollars due to Brian Hartline and Brandon Gibson for the 2015 season, the Dolphins can justify (to some extent) paying Mike Wallace his contracted 12.1 million? He was after all far more productive than both Hartline and Gibson combined!

THANK YOU for an Open-Minded read, and we look forward to your angle of view : )) !!
Who, How, Why, When, and What would be your preferred route??