So here we go with our rankings:
No. 1 — T Vernon Carey
This isn't necessarily a suggestion that Carey is the best player of the eight, but he likely would be the most difficult to replace because of the position he plays. Carey is a solid right tackle, and there really isn't anybody behind him on the roster to take over should he leave. Carey also has the added value of being able to play guard if the Dolphins ever decide to go in that direction.
No. 2 — S Yeremiah Bell
He probably is the most talented of the three secondary players on this list. He played a full season in 2008 and made his share of plays.
No. 3 — CB Andre' Goodman
He got off to a bad start in 2008, but really came on in the second half of the season. By the end of the year, he was playing at a Pro Bowl level. On the down side, he has battled injuries in the past and he is 30 years.
No. 4 — LB Channing Crowder
He's got a lot of things going for him, most notably four years of experience as a starter despite still being young. But the one problem with Crowder is that he just doesn't make many impact plays. He admitted late last season that making a lot of tackles in this defense isn't difficult; it's about making game-changing plays. Crowder, quite frankly, has come up short in that department and there's reason to wonder whether he'll ever become that type of player.
No. 5 — G/C Al Johnson
Here's a player with a lot of intelligence and a lot of versatility. He was brought in late last season and didn't play much, but could become a significant pick-up down the line.
No. 6 — S Renaldo Hill
Hill is far from an impact player, but say this for him: The secondary greatly improved after he took over for Chris Crocker as the starting free safety. Hill is 30 and is somewhat limited athletically, which is why he's not indispensable.
No. 7 — WR Tab Perry
Perry missed all of last season because of a knee injury sustained in the spring, but even before that there was no guarantee he was going to make the roster.
No. 8 — LB Derek Smith
Signed late in the season, Smith is a 12-year veteran who was cut by San Diego in 2008 after flopping as a free agent signing. He doesn't appear to have much football left in him.