Best Players Left in Free Agency 8/30

With NFL teams cutting players to meet the league's roster limits, more and more veterans will become available in the next few days. For now, here are the top players available, with comments on some of them as well as a position-by-position look at whether any of them could interest the Dolphins.

Quarterback

Tommy Maddox - A decent option as a team's No. 2 quarterback. Had visits with Miami, Oakland, and New Orleans earlier this year.

Vinny Testaverde - Cleveland has interest in him should their current plan for the No. 2 job not pan out.

Tony Banks - Could fill a role as a No. 2 quarterback.

Shane Matthews - Strictly a No. 3 quarterback.

Jesse Palmer - May be a better actor than signal-caller at this point in his career.

Others: Rob Johnson, Jeff Blake, Rohan Davey, Ty Detmer, Craig Krenzel, Travis Brown, Josh Harris, Rod Rutherford, Kliff Kingsbury.

Potential Dolphins interest: None. The Dolphins appear pretty set at quarterback with Daunte Culpepper, Joey Harrington and Cleo Lemon.

Running Back

Lamar Gordon - A once-promising back has bounced around the last few seasons and hasn't received a lot of attention in free agency.

Stephen Davis - Philadelphia has shown interest in him and he clearly wants to still play. Probably only a short-yardage, situational back at this point in his career. Philadelphia is unlikely sign him as they're preparing backup RB Correll Buckhalter to work in short-yardage.

Others: Mike Cloud, J.R. Redmond, James Jackson, Kerry Carter, DeAndra Cobb.

Potential Dolphins interest: Likely none among those players. The Dolphins still would like an upgrade at the No. 2 halfback spot, but none of the players available offer that.

Fullback

Jarrod Baxter - Decent blocker and can start if needed.

Harold Morrow, Omar Easy.

Potential Dolphins interest: None. The Dolphins are in good shape here with Fred Beasley and Darian Barnes.

Wide Receiver

Kevin Johnson - Clearly the best free agent receiver out there and could fill a team's No. 3 role.

Az-Zahir Hakim - Strictly a slot receiver and can return punts. Arizona and Detroit had shown interest in him recently.

Johnnie Morton - Could still fill a role as a team's No. 3 receiver.

Ricky Proehl - He still wants to play a few more years and brings an excellent veteran presence with him. He could fill a No. 3 or No. 4 role.

Patrick Johnson - Could fill a role as a team's fourth receiver.

Marc Boerigter - Could fill a role as a team's fourth receiver and has good size.

Troy Edwards - Decent option in the slot.

Derick Armstrong - Has good size and ability but has been an underachiever.

Rashaun Woods - Former first-round pick has been injured most of his short career.

Others: Dez White.

Potential Dolphins interest: The two the Dolphins should take a look at here are Hakim, who would severely upgrade the return spot, and Kevin Johnson, who is better receiver than anybody the Dolphins have outside of Chris Chambers and Marty Booker.

Tight End

Lamont Hall - Known for his blocking only.

Marcellus Rivers - Decent option as a third tight end.

Others: Cam Cleeland, Shad Meier, Matt Kranchick, Chad Lewis, Brian Kozlowski, Zeron Flemister, Sean Berton, Jed Weaver.

Potential Dolphins interest: None. There's nobody out there who's that intriguing.

Guard

Ron Stone - It's kind of surprising that he's still available. He's clearly not the player he once was but, at worst, he could provide solid veteran depth for team.

Kendyl Jacox - A solid veteran backup who could start in a pinch if needed.

Others: Victor Riley (OT), Tom Nutten Larry Moore (C), Cameron Spikes, Javiar Collins.

Potential Dolphins interest: The only we could see the Dolphins adding a guard if the knee injury to Joe Toledo is serious enough to sideline him for a good chunk, if not all, of the 2006 season. In that case, someone like Stone would be a good one-year stopgap.

Offensive Tackle

Orlando Brown - His starting days are clearly over but he could provide backup depth if needed.

Others: Matt Stinchcomb, Ethan Brooks, Jacob Rogers, Scott Gragg.

Potential Dolphins interest: Not likely. The Dolphins already have a veteran backup in Damion McIntosh.

Center

Jeff Mitchell - He probably could still be a starter but it appears he wants to retire.

Cory Raymer - A solid backup.

Potential Dolphins interest: Maybe Raymer, if the Dolphins decide that neither Wade Smith nor Joe Berger can get the job done should something happen to Rex Hadnot.

Kicker

Todd Peterson - Atlanta seems content on passing on him. He'll get a call from a team that isn't happy with their kicking game.

Paul Edinger - Poor on kickoffs but decent on field goals.

Martin Gramatica - May be at the end of the line.

Jose Cortez - Kickoff specialist only.

Others: Billy Cundiff, Nick Novak, Ola Kimrin, Seth Marler, Jeff Chandler.

Potential Dolphins interest: None. Dolphins are set with Olindo Mare.

Punter

Kyle Richardson - Still a decent option for a team that needs a punter.

Tom Tupa - Another ageless punter who can still get it done for a team.

Others: Sean Landeta, Bryan Barker, Toby Gowin.

Potential Dolphins interest: None. Donnie Jones is a terrific young punter.

Defensive Tackle

Brenston Buckner - Certainly could fill a role as a team's third or fourth tackle.

Jerry Deloach - Should find a job likely with a team that plays the 3-4.

Ed Jasper - He's still capable of being a team's fourth tackle.

Gary Walker (DE in a 3-4) - Injuries have worn him down but he could have enough left to be in a backup role.

Others: Steve Martin,Matthias Askew, Travis Hall (DE in 3-4), Willie Blade.

Potential Dolphins interest: None. Dolphins are more than enough.

Defensive End

Duane Clemons - Could fill a role as a team's third end.

Others: Adrian Dingle, Carl Powell (DT), Mark Word.

Potential Dolphins interest: None. Again, Dolphins are deep here.

Inside/Middle Linebacker

Earl Holmes - It's kind of surprising that he's not on a team. He could start easily for many teams if needed as he can play in a 3-4 or 4-3 scheme.

Rocky Calmus - He's had a lot of injuries but he's still very young and is healthy.

Chris Claiborne (WLB) - He's coming off of knee surgery but when healthy, he's capable of starting.

Saleem Rasheed - Decent reserve who can play inside or outside.

Others: Orlando Ruff, Trev Faulk (OLB), Ronald McKinnon, Frank Chamberlin, Kenyatta Wright, Zeke Moreno.

Potential Dolphins interest: Tough to call. Dolphins are set with their starters, but their depth is a little questionable. So don't be surprised if the Dolphins add a veteran linebacker at some point, but it will be someone to play outside.

Outside Linebacker

Jamie Sharper (ILB/WLB/SLB) - He can play just about any linebacker position and might have a few years left.

Barrett Green (WLB) - Was once a decent starter a few years ago but has bounced a round. A solid option as a backup.

Peter Boulware (SLB) - Probably a situational pass rusher at this point of his career.

Others: DeLawrence Grant (SLB), Alonzo Jackson (SLB), Marcus Reese (SLB), Eddie Moore (SLB), Chris Clemons (SLB).

Potential Dolphins interest: Hard to believe Boulware couldn't help the Dolphins, even though he's past his prime. The same could be said for Jamie Sharper, who would add quality depth if the price is right.

Cornerback

Will Peterson - Back problems are leaving his career up in the air.

Dexter McCleon - Could fill a nickel role for a team.

Others: Joseph Jefferson (S), Kevin Thomas, Denard Walker, Dale Carter, Willie Williams, Dewayne Washington, Terry Fair, Ray Walls, Hank Poteat, Willie Middlebrooks.

Potential Dolphins interest: The Dolphins did a good job of adding depth in the offseason, and the list consists of busts and guys way past their prime. So ... pass.

Safety

Lance Schulters - Could certainly still start for a team. Seattle showed interest in him earlier this year.

Brent Alexander - It's uncertain whether he still wants to play.

Kim Herring - Could fill a backup role for a team.

Jerome Woods - He would like to start for a team but probably best used as a backup at this point in his career.

Others: Reggie Tongue, Keion Carpenter, Ronnie Heard, Earl Little, Jerry Wilson, Ifeanyi Ohalete, Bracy Walker, John Howell, Antuan Edwards, Vernon Fox.

Potential Dolphins interest: Yes, there are concerns about the Dolphins secondary, but there doesn't appear to be anybody on this list who would represent a major upgrade, so we're thinking the Dolphins will go with the defensive backs they currently have -- barring an injury, of course.


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