The Right Moves?

One of the latest orders of business prior to the start of free agency is tendering your own restricted free agents, which is what the Dolphins have done with Anthony Fasano and Quentin Moses. The Dolphins also opted out of the final year of Ronnie Brown's contract, making him a restricted free agent as well. But did the Dolphins make the right calls on those guys?

We'll start with Brown, who obviously is the most significant of the three players.

The Dolphins extended a $3.97 million tender, and that will give them a first-round pick should they decide not to match an offer Brown gets on the market.

Had the Dolphins not opted out, Brown would have received $5 million next season, so the Dolphins save $1 million on Brown's contract.

Sure, they take the risk of another team making an offer they don't want to match, but then, getting a first-round pick at this time for Brown wouldn't be a bad trade. That's strictly because of Brown's recent injury history, which includes a torn ACL and a significant foot injury in the last three years.

Those injuries are why it's doubtful any team would throw major money at Brown even if he were unrestricted.

So by opting out one year early, the Dolphins saved $1 million.

Smart move.

On to Fasano, who got a $1.176 million tender. It gives the Dolphins right of first refusal and a second-round pick if they decline to match an offer.

After a promising 2008 season, Fasano's production dropped considerably last year and he had problems with dropped passes. It's highly unlikely a team would give the Dolphins a second-round pick for his services, so it's likely the tender will ensure he's back next season.

Another smart move.

Finally, there's Moses, who got a tender of a little more than $1 million, giving the Dolphins the right to match or get a third-round pick in return.

Moses showed promised at strongside linebacker late last season, but again it's highly unlikely a team would give the Dolphins a third-round pick for his services.

So the Dolphins did a good job all the way across when it comes to their restricted free agents.

As far as unrestricted free agents, the Dolphins have four on their roster — Jason Taylor, Chad Pennington, Jason Ferguson and Nate Jones.

All four of them are valuable players who the Dolphins strongly shoulder consider bringing back (at the right price, of course.

The toughest decision might be Pennington because of the fact that Chad Henne now is the team's quarterback and Pennington's presence might be unsettling for Henne in terms of looking over his shoulder whenever he struggles.

As for the Taylor situation, it wouldn't be surprising to see this linger until the summer because the Dolphins probably want to see how their roster looks before making a push to re-sign the veteran linebacker. From Taylor's standpoint, he doesn't really need to sign early because of his experience.

Ferguson is still rehabbing the quad injury he sustained last November and has yet to publicly declare whether he wants to play again in 2010, but the Dolphins clearly could use him.

Jones, meanwhile, is a valuable player who fills a couple of roles and also shouldn't cost too much to re-sign.


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