Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Fins Focus: Update on Prospective Free Agents

February 23, 2010

The Carolina Panthers have announced that they will allow DE Julius Peppers to walk. Peppers had been the focus of Miami Dolphins trade rumors in recent years and is now available in the free agent market. At age 30, Peppers is still a dominant force in the league and can impact the outcome of a game, no matter what uniform he wears next season. The Dolphins could use some help with their front seven as Joey Porter's departure is imminent and Jason Taylor's future uncertain.
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The New England Patriots dubbed DT Vince Wilfork with their franchise tag and hope to find a long-term agreement with the 6'2, 325-lb. D-lineman. While it was a distant dream and Wilfork himself stated he would like to play in the Dolphins, Miami showed some interest in the Florida native, but knew that their chances were slim to none. According to the rules, the only way another team can sign Wilfork is by signing him to an offer sheet, and if the Patriots decline to match the receive two first-round draft picks. With that said, the Dolphins can expect to see Wilfork on the opposing sideline at least two times next season, and perhaps for many more to come.
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After bringing home the Lombardi Trophy and providing the New Orleans Saints with veteran experience in the secondary, the Super Bowl Champs have decided not to franchise tag S Darren Sharper and allow him to test the free agent market. This is a move of interest to the Dolphins as they received poor play from S Gibril Wilson last season after paying him over $9 million in salary. With two young, developing CBs in the secondary, Miami needs a consistent and dependable presence to lead the unit; Sharper can be that guy. While it seems likely he'll stay in the NFC, there is a chance he can land elsewhere. The only factor going against him is his age, 34, and the reluctance of teams to sign players past their early-30s.

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