Free Agency Forecast

Five Dolphins starters — Vernon Carey, Channing Crowder, Andre Goodman, Yeremiah Bell and Renaldo Hill — are scheduled to become unrestricted free agents next spring. Who does the team need to re-sign? Who will attract the most interest? We checked in with Adam Caplan, national NFL reporter and Sirius NFL radio host, to get his thoughts on the matter.

Q: The Dolphins have five starters scheduled to become unrestricted free agents after the season — T Vernon Carey, LB Channing Crowder, FS Renaldo Hill, SS Yeremiah Bell and CB Andre' Goodman. If all are allowed to test the market, who do figure would do the most interest?

Adam Caplan: Out of that group, I'd say Crowder and Bell would attract the most interest.

Crowder is the type of physical linebacker that teams that run a 3-4 defensive scheme will covet. And he's also capable of playing in a 4-3 scheme at a variety of positions. So I'd expect him to receive plenty of interest.

Bell does turn 31 in March and he did have major surgery (Achilles) within the last 12 months, but he's a very talented and underrated defensive back. He also has done a nice job this season and I don't think anyone can say his play has dropped off much considering the surgery he had. He has enough upside for a team to give him a decent short-term deal.

Carey can play right or left tackle and has in his five seasons of play. However, he's not seen around the league as a high-end starter, so he may not receive a ton of interest. But there are about 6-7 teams that may be looking for a left tackle come March.

Q: How about the least interest?

AC: Hill is a smart player, but at 31, I think teams will see him as a backup.

Goodman has been a nice story considering he was a part-time starter with the Detroit Lions. He's another smart player, but I don't know if he's the kind of impact defender that's going to yield a big contract (turns 31 in August).

Q: Which of the five do you believe the Dolphins will try hardest to re-sign?

AC: Because the team really doesn't appear to have a solid backup right tackle, Carey should draw Miami's interest from the team to re-sign.

It's interesting that Hill, Goodman, and Bell are about the same age. I'd say Bell would yield the most interest out of those defensive backs because of his talent and his versatility.

Q: Given the fact the Dolphins already have signed Ricky Williams, Patrick Cobbs and Greg Camarillo to contract extensions this year, how would you view the fact they haven't done the same with any of those guys yet?

AC: As noted previously, the defensive backs are older players so the sense of urgency isn't probably there for the front office. But it should be noted that if Hill, Goodman, and Bell aren't re-signed, there's aren't any viable replacements for any of them. The replacements would have to come from the draft or free agency.

Others who could be up for an extension next year: Ronnie Brown. He's eligible to void the final year of his contract (2010), Chad Pennington (contract expires after 2009).

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