Re-Sign or Release: LB Donnie Spragan

With the start of free agency not too far away, 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 linebacker Donnie Spragan.

When he joined the Dolphins: Spragan signed a two-year contract as an unrestricted free agent from Denver in 2005.

His 2006 season: Spragan appeared in all 16 games, starting nine at strongside linebacker. The seven times he didn't start, the Dolphins opened with five or more defensive backs. Spragan finished the season with 46 tackles, with 1.5 sacks, one fumble recovery, one forced fumble and three passes defensed. He also saw action on special teams, collecting four tackles in that capacity.

2006 base salary: $700,000

Forecast: Spragan has been in the NFL for six seasons, and it's clear by now that what he is is a serviceable player but certainly not a difference-maker. Because of that, the thought was the Dolphins would look to upgrade at his position in the offseason. They also don't figure to make much of a push to re-sign him because they already have a few special teams players at linebacker already.

Projection: There might a team out there who sees Spragan as being starter material and it's not like he was terrible for the Dolphins in his two seasons with the team. It's just that Spragan is a marginal player, and the Dolphins will be better served by focusing on higher-priority free agents on their own team, as well as trying to upgrade by signing players from other teams. The bottom line is it would be a surprise if the Dolphins made a big push to re-sign Spragan and if he were to return in 2007.


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