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The Miami Dolphins Won The Elusive "First Day of NFL Free Agency" Crown

The other teams outside of New England may not have many divisional titles over the last decade, but at least they take turns being offseason champions. Last year, it was Buffalo signing Mario Williams. The Jets have won multiple offseason titles with Rex Ryan. Tuesday, it was Miami creating buzz by winning in free agency.

The Dolphins signed Mike Wallace, a big move for a team needing to provide weapons for Ryan Tannehill. Wallace got a deal (subject to all the caveats that they never work out this way) that would average $12 million, with $27 million guaranteed. For some perspective on how much Miami really won, that is behind only Andre Johnson, Calvin Johnson, and Larry Fitzgerald. By average salary, Wallace is now third in the league at the wide receiver position. Mr. Right or Mr. Right Now? For salary purposes, Wallace was definitely Mr. Right Now, as he, Dwayne Bowe, and Percy Harvin are the latest to cash in on free agency in the post-rookie wage scale world.

So I guess it depends on how much you view getting a wide receiver in more the 15 to 25 range for top 5 money as a win (and it may be only top 15 money three years into the deal to be fair). The Dolphins also got younger at linebacker, signing both Dannell Ellerbe away from the Baltimore Ravens and Philip Wheeler from Oakland. They released Karlos Dansby and Kevin Burnett in response to those moves, as cap saving measures. We’ll see if younger equals better, because those two players could be emerging, but also don’t have the history of consistent play.

Jake Long is still out there, checking out his options. Reggie Bush just signed with Detroit. On the other hand, the Dolphins will likely add a tight end to replace Anthony Fasano, with Brandon Myers and Dustin Keller both options. The Wallace move was the big splash of day one, and it would appear to address a critical issue when it comes to aiding Ryan Tannehill’s development. With Wallace providing a speed threat, moving Brian Hartline to more of a second receiver role, the expectations should be that Tannehill makes the big second year jump that so many successful quarterbacks have had.

 

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