Free Agency Preview: A Dolphins Wish List

NFL teams can start signing unrestricted free agents a minute after midnight Thursday night/Friday morning, and this year's market appears to offer a lot of shoppers with very little quality merchandise. That doesn't mean, however, that the Dolphins couldn't come away with some nice additions. Here's one man's wish list when it comes to free agency.

The Dolphins' positions of need should be pretty obvious by now, and unfortunately it's quite a long list.

Really, the Dophins could help at quarterback, wide receiver, offensive tackle, guard, nose tackle, defensive end, outside linebacker, and in the secondary. And we're not even mentioning placekicker, where Olindo Mare's future in Miami is less than secure.

Already, the possibility of a trade with Kansas City involving quarterback Trent Green has been brought up, and it's one story worth following.

As for free agency, it might not be a stretch to say the Dolphins already have achieved their top goal, that being making sure to retain the services of DT Vonnie Holliday.

With Dwight Freeney and Charles Grant getting franchise tags from Indy and New Orleans, respectively, Holliday clearly would have been the top D-lineman in free agency, so re-signing him was a key move.

Next, here's what we would like to see, even though many observers think it's not realistic: How about forking over some cash to get Baltimore OLB Adalius Thomas.

Yes, he will cost big money, which is why the Dolphins aren't expected to be in the running for his services. But he's worth it.

He's not even 30 years old yet, he has experience in the 3-4 defense and he's very, very good. In fact, it's not that much of a stretch to suggest he was the Ravens' best defensive player last season -- and that's saying a lot.

We know, we'll hear the rationale that the Dolphins don't want to spend so much money on just one player, and there's validity to the argument that they could use upgrades at too many places to focus on just one area. But here's the thing: The difference in players at other positions generally isn't that big.

Thomas is by far, no disrespect to London Fletcher-Baker, the best linebacker on the market. The fact that he fits the Dolphins' system AND fills a major need make him that much more attractive.

Here's a list of other players we'd like to see the Dolphins make a push for:

-- S Ken Hamlin, Seattle: He's a big hitter in the secondary, something the Dolphins haven't had for many years.

-- WR Donte' Stallworth, Philadelphia: He's a speedy wide receiver with big-play capabilities. That's something the Dolphins really need. He is, however, injury-prone, so he's not somebody we would throw big money at.

-- G Kris Dielman, San Diego: He will be one of the most targeted O-linemen in free agency, but has connections with both Dolphins head coach Cam Cameron and offensive line coach Hudson Houck.

-- G Eric Steinbach, Cincinnati: Right here with Dielman as far as the top free agent O-linemen available.

Beyond those players, there's also Dolphins free agents the team would do well to bring back. One of those is nose tackle Keith Traylor, who has expressed a desire to play one more season.

Traylor is a short-term solution, but he's a tremendous run-stopping nose tackle, and the Dolphins don't have anybody else like him on the roster. All the young defensive tackles on the Dolphins seem to lack the type of bulk to do the type of work Traylor does.

In addition. we'd like to see the Dolphins re-sign defensive end David Bowens, a solid backup and good special teams player, and either Sammy Morris or Travis Minor, two running backs with good special teams ability.

Of the two, we prefer Morris because he's a better ball carrier, but he might be tougher to re-sign because he's likely to draw more interest than Minor.

So there you have it.

The Dolphins have operated under the principle of quantity over quality in recent years. This might not be the time to do that. Here's hoping to get bold and go after the top quality of the free agent market and find a way to sign Thomas.

It might not be realistic, but, hey, it doesn't hurt to hope.

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