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Which free agents or trade candidates could improve the Dolphins’ roster in 2020?

Which free agents or trade candidates could improve the Dolphins' roster in 2020?
USA Today Sports

As we continue to move into the summer and the NFL regular season looms in the not-so-far-off distance, there are still a number of players available via free agency, or trade, that the Miami Dolphins could explore adding to their roster. In this article, you will find some available options, either free agents or via potential trades that, on paper, seem to fill a remaining need on the Dolphins roster in 2020. You’ll also find our estimates of the likelihood that the Dolphins actually pursue the player in the near future.

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Miami Dolphins potential trade or free agent targets

Larry Warford – Guard

I’ll start off with the most obvious and best fit for the Dolphins, who are rebuilding a putrid offensive line. Yes, the Dolphins added Austin Jackson, Robert Hunt, Solomon Kindley, and Black Ferguson (long snapper/center) during the 2020 draft. However, only Hunt and Jackson seem to be considered to start this upcoming season.

Miami also spent some money in free agency, adding veterans Ted Karras and Ereck Flowers, but there is work still needed, and a potential opening at right guard. That is where Warford fits. The former Detroit Lion and New Orleans Saint made the Pro Bowl in each of his three seasons with the Saints but was released due to some increasing struggles in pass protection, the drafting of Cesar Ruiz, and his salary of $12.875 million.

With Miami fielding one of the NFL’s worst rushing attacks in the league last season, Warford brings an obvious boost, but his struggles in pass protection and the potential asking price could give the team pause.

Chances – Coin Flip

Josh Gordon – Wide Receiver

Gordon has applied for reinstatement, and assuming that he is granted it, he will become an intriguing option for a number of teams, including the Dolphins. With questions about health surrounding the likes of Albert Wilson, and even if Jakeem Grant can make the full transition from kick returner to deep-threat wide receiver, the Dolphins still seem to need that proven deep threat weapon.

Gordon, 29, could be that guy, assuming that if he is reinstated he stays out of trouble. On paper, Gordon gives the Dolphins someone to line up opposite of DeVante Parker, but given the culture rebuild that has taken place under head coach Brian Flores, it doesn’t seem likely that Miami explores this route, even if it would come at a bargain rate.

Chances – Not Likely

Logan Ryan – Cornerback

It’s kind of surprising to see veteran defensive back Logan Ryan still on the free-agent market given his consistent production, reliability, and veteran leadership. Ryan had been a key part of the Tennessee Titans the last few seasons before landing on the free-agent market in 2020.

Ryan has an obvious link to Miami, due to his connection with head coach Brian Flores from his days with the New England Patriots, but Miami did some solid work to fortify their secondary, particularly at the cornerback position, during the offseason.

However, with concerns surrounding the durability of Xavien Howard and the transition of rookie Noah Igbinoghene to the NFL, Miami could use an insurance policy, just in case. The Dolphins opened up their checkbook for Byron Jones, so adding Ryan as insurance rather than as a dire need may not be cost-efficient or financially smart, despite the fit.

Chances – Not Likely

Jamal Adams – Safety

Adams makes this list because it’s a given that Dolphins fans will be mentioning his name as an option. Despite Adams’ play as one of the league’s elite young safeties, the only way the Dolphins would land Adams would be via a lucrative free-agent contract, which could happen down the road.

Adams has demanded a trade from the New York Jets, a division rival, and even listed seven teams that he would like to be traded to. The Miami Dolphins were not on that list. However, a number of teams such as the Houston Texans, Dallas Cowboys, Baltimore Ravens, and the Super Bowl Champion Kansas City Chiefs may not have the ammunition to make the trade or the financial flexibility to land him on a big deal.

This would open the door, in theory, to other teams. But, it won’t be the Dolphins. For starters, the Jets wouldn’t trade Adams to a division rival, not unless it was an extreme offer, which Miami wouldn’t make.

Add into the mix that current head coach Adam Gase is the former head coach of the Miami Dolphins and that Gase can be a bit of an ax grinder. It’s a pretty safe bet that the last team he would want to trade Adams to would be the Dolphins…or the Broncos….or the Bears. So, let’s just put the Adams-Dolphins talk on pause until he hits free agency.

Chances – Zero

Damon Harrison – Defensive Lineman

Harrison finds his way on this list because Miami has discussed signing him in the past and because he is the true nose tackle that the team lacks. Harrison, 31, has drawn interest from teams such as the Seattle Seahawks, but a deal has yet to materialize.

Harrison has considered retirement, which could give teams pause while also driving down his price. He is also coming off a down year in 2019 when he collected 49 tackles and 2 sacks in 15 starts for the Detroit Lions. At 6’3 and 350 pounds, Harrison would give the Dolphins a space-eater to open up lanes and continue the Dolphins offseason efforts to revamp the defense.

Chances – Coin Flip

Anthony DiMoro is a writer for Pro Football Network (@PFN365). Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiMoro

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