Re-Sign or Release: DE David Bowens

With the start of free agency not too far ahead, we take a look at the Dolphins' free agents and weigh in on which players the Dolphins should bring back and which players they can afford to let go. Today we examine the case of defensive end David Bowens.

When he joined the Dolphins: Bowens was signed by the Dolphins on Oct. 22, 2001 about a month after being released by the Washington Redskins.

His 2006 season: Bowens saw action in all 16 games as a backup defensive end and also played on special teams. Bowens racked up only 19 tackles on defense on the season, but five of those were sacks, which put him fourth on the team in that department. He also had six tackles on special teams and also recovered a fumble.

2006 base salary: $750,000

Forecast: Bowens isn't a front-line player, but he's very valuable nonetheless because he's a good situational pass rusher and he also is very good on special teams. As one of the longest-tenured members of the team, Bowens has become a fixture in Miami and you know he wants to stay put. Because his lack of size doesn't make him ideally suited to start, Bowens probably is never going to have a huge pay day, which means his reasonable price tag shouldn't be too much for the Dolphins to handle. The Dolphins need players like him.

Projection: Bowens already went through free agency before re-signing with the Dolphins and we see the same thing happening this time.

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