Print and Go Back ESPN.com: AFC East [Print without images]

Thursday, January 3, 2013
Poll: Dolphins' most important free agent?

By James Walker

The Miami Dolphins have some interesting decisions to make with free agents this year. Not only will the Dolphins look at top outside talent, but they must also decide who to keep and who to let go among their in-house free agents.

So here is our latest AFC East poll question: Which pending Dolphins' free agent is most important to retain? There are several good choices to vote for.

Is it starting left tackle Jake Long? The former No. 1 overall just completed his rookie contract and is looking to cash in big. He's been to four Pro Bowls, although his play has slipped the past two seasons. Still, Long is better than 80 percent of NFL left tackles. Will Miami unload the money truck to re-sign Long to a huge extension?

Dolphins leading rusher Reggie Bush is another intriguing free agent. Bush proved he can be an every-down back in Miami and rushed for 2,072 yards the past two seasons. Bush surpassed everyone's expectations in Miami and also became a good leader in the locker room. He is one of the team's few offensive playmakers. But the Dolphins have young running backs behind Bush in Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas. Is it a must to bring Bush back?

What about No. 1 cornerback Sean Smith? He's had one of his best seasons guarding the opponent's best receivers in 2012. However, Smith can be inconsistent. Miami's cornerback position is thin and letting Smith walk would present another huge hole on the roster. Is Smith a must-sign for the Dolphins?

Miami leading receiver Brian Hartline also is a free agent. Hartline recorded the first 1,000-yard receiving year of his career and will be looking to get paid for his production. Hartline is not a true No. 1 receiver, but he's a solid No. 2 option. The Dolphins need to add receivers, not lose them, which should make Hartline a priority.

Finally, we have defensive tackle Randy Starks. He teamed with fellow defensive tackle Paul Soliai to make Miami's defense difficult to run against up the middle. Starks is an underrated player who could get plenty of interest on the open market.

Using our SportsNation poll, vote on Miami's most important free agent to re-sign. You can also share your thoughts in the comment section below.