The Miami Dolphins may have just had their linebacker prayers answered. AJ Hawk has been cut by the Green Bay Packers, as the perennial contenders seek to keep themselves under the salary cap and get younger at the position. The Dolphins have the opposite problem. With free agent busts like Philip Wheeler about to be jettisoned, Miami is falling back to a young linebacker core, and needs to throw at least one solid veteran into the mix in order to balance things out. But will they bite?
The Dolphins are betting that at least some of their young linebackers like Jelani Jenkins, Chris McCain and (if he moves there permanently) Dion Jordan can serve as a core going forward. The team has other areas of greater need, making it a tricky decision whether to invest high 2015 draft picks into the position. But by adding a known quantity like AJ Hawk via free agency, Miami helps ensure a smoother transition as well as a failsafe in case one or more of the prospects doesn’t develop as hoped.
AJ Hawk will attract broad interest on the market, and may not come cheap. But with the Miami Dolphins needing to use their draft picks on offensive guard, nose tackle, cornerback, and possibly wide receiver and running back, solving the linebacker position via free agency would be considered a win.