Here are the most interesting Miami Dolphins stories Thursday from around the Web:
  • Dave Hyde of the Sun Sentinel writes about Dolphins Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino's thoughts on Tom Brady.
Morning take: Marino is impressed by the Patriots quarterback's strong pocket presence. That is part of what sets Brady apart.
  • Surya Fernandez of Fox Sports Florida writes Dolphins tailback Lamar Miller has emerged.
Morning take: Miller rushed for a career-high 1,099 yards last year and averaged an impressive 5.1 yards per carry. Will Miller get more carries next season.
  • Hal Habib of the Palm Beach Post writes about Pro Football Focus’ rating of Dolphins players.
Morning take: There are some ratings I agree with and others I do not agree with. But everyone has their different takes.
Morning take: Pro Bowl cornerback Brent Grimes and safety Reshad Jones are returning to the secondary. But the team must make a decision with free-agent safety Louis Delmas and cornerback Cortland Finnegan.

Walker's Fab 40: Nos. 17-20

January, 28, 2015
Jan 28
4:00
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ESPN.com’s Miami Dolphins page continues its series ranking the top 40 players on the team.

Next up is Nos. 17-20.

No. 20: Randy Starks

Position: Defensive tackle

2014 stats: 28 tackles, 4.5 sacks

Analysis: Starks, 31, has been arguably Miami’s most consistent defensive tackle over the past several years. However, he finally showed his age as he wore down toward the end of last season. Miami’s run defense completely fell apart, and Starks played a role in that issue. He is owed $6 million next season and could be a salary-cap casualty.

No. 19: Matt Moore

Position: Quarterback

2014 stats: 21 passing yards, zero touchdowns

Analysis: Moore hasn’t played much in the past three seasons. He is Ryan Tannehill’s backup, which is not the job you want based on Tannehill’s incredible durability. Tannehill has started 48 straight games. But Moore remains one of the top backup quarterbacks in the NFL. He throws a beautiful deep ball and is solid as a part-time starter. Moore is an unrestricted free agent and will be wise to shop around if he wants a chance to compete for a starting job.

No. 18: John Denney

Position: Long snapper

2014 stats: 16 games, two tackles, one fumble recovery

Analysis: I’m sure this will be a controversial selection. But consider this: When was the last time the Dolphins had an errant snap? Few players on the Dolphins are as good at their jobs as Denney. That's why he is the longest-tenured player in Miami. Bad snaps are costly and can change games. The Dolphins do not have that issue.

No. 17: Brian Hartline

Position: Receiver

2014 stats: 39 receptions, 474 yards, two touchdowns

Analysis: Hartline is another hard player to rank. He had back-to-back 1,000-yard seasons in 2012 and 2013. Then, his production completely took a dive in 2014 under new offensive coordinator Bill Lazor. Hartline didn’t suddenly become a bad player. He’s simply not a fit in Miami’s current offense. The Dolphins have a decision to make with Hartline and his $5.95 million salary next season. It may be best for both parties to go their separate ways.
This offseason the Miami Dolphins have 16 free agents, 12 of which are unrestricted.

ESPN.com's Dolphins page continues to examine pending free agents and their chances of returning. Next we take a look at Miami's starting center.

Player: C Samson Satele

Status: Unrestricted

2014 stats: 16 starts

Analysis: Satele was a nice last-minute find by Dolphins general manager Dennis Hickey. He was a late signing in the summer following Mike Pouncey’s hip surgery and Satele wound up starting all 16 games at center for Miami. Satele held down the position so well in Pouncey’s absence that the team thought it would be best to play Pouncey at guard to keep Satele on the field. The results were mixed as Pouncey didn’t play as well out of position. However, Satele will be an unrestricted free agent in March and doesn’t appear to be a fit with Pouncey going back to center. The Dolphins will have an easier time finding a guard via the draft or free agency. But Satele proved that he can still be a solid center for someone next season if not the Dolphins.

Chances of returning: 30 percent

Walker's Fab. 40: Nos. 21-24

January, 28, 2015
Jan 28
11:00
AM ET
ESPN.com’s Miami Dolphins page continues its series ranking the top 40 players on the team.

Next up is Nos. 21-24.

No. 24: Dannell Ellerbe

Position: Linebacker

2014 stats: Two tackles

Analysis: Ellerbe was not the player the Dolphins expected when they signed him to a $35 million deal in 2013. He didn’t make enough plays in the run or passing game two seasons ago and suffered a season-ending hip injury in Week 1 this past season. Ellerbe was expected to be the leader of the defense, which never materialized. He is due $8.95 million next season and likely will be released. Ellerbe’s replacement, Jelani Jenkins, did a stellar job and led Miami with 110 tackles. The Dolphins need the cap space.

No. 23: Earl Mitchell

Position: Defensive tackle

2014 stats: 33 tackles, two sacks

Analysis: The Dolphins signed Mitchell in free agency to bring a high motor. But Mitchell rotated with two and sometimes three other defensive tackles and it was difficult for any of them to establish a rhythm. Mitchell didn’t make a huge impact last season but he was solid. The Dolphins, who finished 24th against the run, are expected to make changes at defensive tackle. However, Mitchell will be one of the holdovers.

No. 22: Louis Delmas

Position: Safety

2014 stats: 61 tackles, one sack, one interception

Analysis: Delmas was a solid, one-year pickup for Miami. He started 12 games and added energy and stability to the defense. However, Delmas tore his ACL in December and that greatly impacts his chances of returning to Miami during free agency in March. Delmas will not be healthy and the Dolphins -- as well as other teams -- must monitor his progress. If Delmas is 100 percent by September, he could bring some value.

No. 21: Jared Odrick

Position: Defensive tackle

2014 stats: 28 tackles, one sack

Analysis: You can’t fully gauge Odrick based on his numbers. The Dolphins felt Odrick was better suited as a defensive tackle and playing in a big rotation. That was frustrating at times for Odrick, and it bubbled over in Week 14 against the Baltimore Ravens when he had a sideline spat with head coach Joe Philbin. Odrick is more of a “tweener” who could rotate between defensive end and defensive tackle. His best fit may be as a 3-4 defensive end, which is not Miami’s base defense. The pending free agent may be better suited elsewhere.
Here are the most interesting Miami Dolphins stories Wednesday from around the Web:
  • Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press writes about New England Patriots tailback Jonas Gray's long road to the Super Bowl.
Morning take: A big part of that journey took place in Miami. Gray was a camp body for the Dolphins who was eventually released. New England has a history of getting production out of former Dolphins.
  • Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald writes Super Bowl media day is both wonderful and absurd.
Morning take: I’ve covered multiple Super Bowl media days, and it is an interesting experience. There is a lot of fluff to cut through to get actual work done. But it’s always entertaining.
Morning take: Jenkins came out of nowhere and thrived following the season-ending injury to outside linebacker Dannell Ellerbe. Now, Jenkins is a permanent starter and Ellerbe is likely to be released this offseason.
  • Hal Habib of the Palm Beach Post writes about the new wax statue of Dolphins Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino.
Morning take: Marino is arguably Miami’s most popular sports figure. The statue will be displayed in Orlando’s Madame Tussauds' museum.

Walker's Fab 40: Nos. 25-28

January, 27, 2015
Jan 27
4:00
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ESPN.com’s Miami Dolphins page continues to rank the team’s top 40 players.

Next up we have Nos. 25-28.

No. 28: Derrick Shelby

Position: Defensive end

2014 stats: 26 tackles, three sacks, one interception

Analysis: Shelby is a player who continues to hang around and be a valuable contributor for the Dolphins. He’s the third defensive end in the rotation and often gets high grades from the coaching staff. Shelby’s steady play is one of the reasons former No. 3 overall pick Dion Jordan doesn’t get many reps in the base defense. Despite less physical talent, Shelby understands leverage and technique and has earned the trust of the coaching staff. Shelby did run into some off-the-field trouble last season that is still being resolved. He was briefly suspended and then reinstated.

No. 27: Jimmy Wilson

Position: Safety/nickel cornerback

2014 stats: 59 tackles, one interception

Analysis: Wilson’s versatility came in handy this season. He started a career-high 13 games for Miami due to various circumstances. Dolphins starting safety Reshad Jones was suspended for the first four games of the season and fellow starting safety Louis Delmas missed the final three games of the season. Wilson also played nickel cornerback and earned six additional starts when Miami began the game with that defensive alignment. Wilson is a jack-of-all-trades player who has some value. He finished fifth on the team in tackles and is set to become an unrestricted free agent in March.

No. 26: Knowshon Moreno

Position: Running back

2014 stats: 148 yards, one touchdown

Analysis: Moreno is a difficult player to rank. He would have been much higher had multiple injuries to his elbow and knee not derailed his season. But durability and production are big parts of this equation. So Moreno comes in at No. 26 after playing parts of just three games with the Dolphins. He was dominant in Week 1 against the New England Patriots with 134 rushing yards and one touchdown, which showed promise for a big season. But injuries forced him to miss 13 games and he’s about to hit free agency.

No. 25: Cortland Finnegan

Position: Cornerback

2014 stats: 44 tackles, zero interceptions

Analysis: Finnegan had an up-and-down season for the Dolphins. There were positive flashes, such as his performance against the Chicago Bears. But there also were poor performances, such as his game against the Green Bay Packers. Finnegan’s biggest contribution was his steady influence and professionalism on younger cornerbacks Jamar Taylor and Will Davis. The Dolphins may ask Finnegan to take a pay cut or release him in the final year of his contract this offseason.
This offseason the Miami Dolphins have 16 free agents, 12 of which are unrestricted.

ESPN.com’s Dolphins page will examine pending free agents and their chances of returning. On Tuesday, we take a look at Miami’s backup quarterback.

Player: QB Matt Moore

Status: Unrestricted

2014 stats: 2-of-4 passing, 21 yards, zero touchdowns, zero interceptions

Analysis: Moore, who is a former starter for the Dolphins, had an uneventful past three seasons backing up quarterback Ryan Tannehill. Miami's starting quarterback is very durable and has made 48 consecutive starts for the Dolphins. That’s left Moore with little game action. In talking with Moore, I get the sense he wants to explore his options. He’s one of the top backup quarterbacks in the entire NFL, but Moore wants a chance to compete for a starting job, which he hasn’t had the opportunity to do in Miami for the past two seasons. The Dolphins paid Moore $4 million last year, which is an example of how much they value their No. 2 quarterback. But with tight cap room and bigger needs on the roster, Miami could seek a more affordable backup via the draft or free agency.

Chances of returning: 35 percent

Walker's Fab 40: Nos. 29-32

January, 27, 2015
Jan 27
11:00
AM ET
ESPN.com’s Miami Dolphins page continues its series ranking the top 40 players on the team.

On Tuesday, we rank Nos. 29-32.

No. 32: Daryn Colledge

Position: Guard

2014 stats: 13 starts

Analysis: The Dolphins needed help on their offensive line last summer and head coach Joe Philbin went with a familiar face in Colledge. Philbin coached the nine-year veteran in Green Bay. Colledge made 13 starts for the Dolphins and turned out to be a decent one-year rental. Colledge brought veteran leadership and work ethic to Miami’s offensive line. But he played his best football in the first half of the season. Colledge suffered head and back injuries and wasn’t the same player down the stretch. Miami likely will look to get younger at the guard position this offseason.

No. 31: Jason Trusnik

Position: Linebacker

2014 stats: 49 tackles, one interception

Analysis: The veteran linebacker continued to be a valuable part-time starter and contributor on special teams. Trusnik started six games due to various injuries at linebacker. He also was a captain on special teams. Trusnik had his best game against the Patriots where he recorded nine tackles and an interception off New England quarterback Tom Brady. Trusnik, a pending free agent, is versatile and his leadership is valuable inside Miami’s locker room.

No. 30: Dion Sims

Position: Tight end

2014 stats: 24 receptions, 284 yards, two touchdowns

Analysis: Sims was one of Miami’s most improved players. He quadrupled his reception total from six in 2013 to 24 last year. Sims also is the best blocking tight end on the roster. He also started two games in place of injured starter Charles Clay. It remains to be seen whether Miami feels Sims is ready for more responsibility. The Dolphins have an interesting decision to make with Clay, who will be an unrestricted free agent in March. Their decision with Clay will greatly impact Sims’ role in 2015.

No. 29: Dion Jordan

Position: Defensive end

2014 stats: 20 tackles, one sack

Analysis: It was another rough year for the talented, but unproven, Jordan. The former No. 3 overall pick in 2013 was suspended six combined games for violating the NFL’s substance abuse and performance-enhancing policies. Jordan’s regular season began in October and he contributed most on special teams and sub packages. It’s been two years and the Dolphins still don’t know what to do with Jordan’s skill set. Miami’s coaching staff has discussed using Jordan as an outside linebacker next season. That may be the best way to get production out of the former first-round pick.
Here are the most interesting Miami Dolphins stories Tuesday from around the Web: Morning take: Landry and Beckham were college teammates and roommates. They communicate often and push each other to be better players.
  • Omar Kelly of the Sun Sentinel has a plan for the Dolphins to create $40 million in cap room.
Morning take: Miami has a tight cap but plenty of veterans are expected to be released. The casualties will begin in the next few weeks.
  • Andrew Abramson of the Palm Beach Post does a seven-round mock draft for the Dolphins.
Morning take: Predicting seven rounds is ambitious. There are a lot of scenarios that can take place in three days of drafting. Abramson has an interesting selection in the first round.
  • Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald writes the Dolphins aren’t performing to the salary cap.
Morning take: Back-to-back 8-8 seasons are not good enough for the Dolphins. This is a team that was expected to make the playoffs.

Walker's Fab 40: Nos. 33-36

January, 26, 2015
Jan 26
4:00
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Continuing the top-40 rankings of Miami Dolphins players with Nos. 33-36.

No. 36: Jason Fox

Position: Offensive tackle

2014 stats: Two starts

Analysis: Fox dressed in nine games, but his two starts at the end of the season were most telling. Fox started in Weeks 16 and 17 against the Minnesota Vikings and New York Jets and held his own. Fox will be an unrestricted free agent and could be a valuable backup as the first tackle off the bench if Miami chooses to re-sign him. The last two games helped his stock before he hits the open market.

No. 35: Philip Wheeler

Position: Linebacker

2014 stats: 45 tackles

[+] EnlargeJamar Taylor
AP Photo/Alan DiazDolphins cornerback Jamar Taylor will be in the mix for a starting job in 2015.
Analysis: To put it bluntly, Wheeler has been a bust since signing a $26 million free-agent contract with the Dolphins in 2013. His second season was worse than his first. With zero sacks, zero interceptions and plenty of missed tackles, Wheeler failed to make any impact for Miami’s defense. Wheeler is best known for giving up the game-winning touchdown against Green Bay Packers tight end Andrew Quarless in a Week 6 loss, but that was one of many gaffes. He is on the books for $3 million next season and could be a salary-cap casualty as the Dolphins look to upgrade.

No. 34: Jamar Taylor

Position: Cornerback

2014 stats: 31 tackles

Analysis: Taylor improved in his second season. He played in 12 games, including three starts, and showed flashes of what the Dolphins expected as a former second-round pick. Taylor’s coverage and play speed both improved in Year 2. With a strong offseason, Taylor should be in the running for a starting job opposite Pro Bowl cornerback Brent Grimes.

No. 33: Brandon Gibson

Position: Wide receiver

2014 stats: 29 receptions, 295 yards, one touchdown

Analysis: Following a serious knee injury in 2013, Gibson deserves kudos for returning to play 14 games last season. However, Gibson wasn’t the same player. He began as the Dolphins’ slot receiver but quickly lost his job to rookie Jarvis Landry, who led Miami with 84 receptions. Gibson also could be a cap casualty considering he’s scheduled to make $3.26 million in 2015. That simply doesn’t match his production.

Final notes from the Senior Bowl

January, 26, 2015
Jan 26
1:30
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The 2015 Senior Bowl is in the books. Some final Dolphins-related notes from the Senior Bowl trip:
  • I have no doubt the Dolphins will be looking closely at defensive linemen in this draft. I noticed on two separate occasions head coach Joe Philbin and assistant general manager Eric Stokes taking up-close looks at defensive line prospects as they were practicing. There might not be a target there at No. 14 – especially if Washington defensive tackle Danny Shelton is off the board – but the position could be of interest to Miami in the second or third rounds.
  • Keep an eye out for Iowa defensive tackle Carl Davis Jr. He flashed often during Senior Bowl week and caught the attention of scouts. His size and athleticism are good for the NFL. Davis just needs to be coached up. But outside of Shelton, he was the next best defensive tackle I saw in practice.
  • I’m curious to see if the Dolphins grab any homegrown talent in this draft. All four University of Miami players performed well this week. The Dolphins need a linebacker (Denzel Perryman) and most likely will need receiver help (Phillip Dorsett) once they decide on who stays and who goes between Mike Wallace, Brian Hartline and Brandon Gibson. A tight end (Clive Walford) and cornerback (Ladarius Gunter) also are possibilities in this draft. The Dolphins have let plenty of homegrown talent get away in the past.
  • Finally, this was a great week for slot receivers. Kansas State's Tyler Lockett, Duke’s Jamison Crowder and Dorsett were all smaller receivers who made an impact in practices. The Dolphins, who have Jarvis Landry, are not in the market for slot receivers. But these college seniors should be able to help out other teams in need of a receiver to play inside.

Walker's Fab 40: Nos. 37-40

January, 26, 2015
Jan 26
11:00
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Beginning the top-40 rankings of Miami Dolphins players with Nos. 37-40.

No. 40: Chris McCain

Position: Defensive end

2014 stats: Five tackles, one sack, one blocked kick

Analysis: McCain came out of the gates strong last season. He recorded a blocked kick and a sack on New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady in Miami’s Week 1 victory over its AFC East rival. But McCain was never able to build off that success. The undrafted rookie had some injuries and personal issues that set him back most of the season. McCain must earn his way back into the rotation with a strong offseason. He certainly has the physical ability to contribute.

[+] EnlargeDez Bryant
AP Photo/James D SmithSecond-year cornerback Will Davis made 17 tackles before a season-ending knee injury.
No. 39: Will Davis

Position: Cornerback

2014 stats: 17 tackles, three pass defenses

Analysis: The jury is still out on Miami’s third-round pick in 2013. He has good quickness and man-to-man cover skills. But a season-ending knee injury derailed his second season. Davis flashed for the second consecutive training camp but wasn’t able to stay healthy long enough to turn that into a lengthy and successful regular season. Year 3 will be big for Davis to establish himself as an NFL cornerback.

No. 38: Terrence Fede

Position: Defensive end

2014 stats: 10 tackles, one sack, one blocked kick

Analysis: Fede came to Miami as a raw prospect from a small school (Marist). But the seventh-round pick continued to work hard and improved as the season progressed. Fede’s biggest play was his blocked punt in Week 16 against the Minnesota Vikings that produced the game-winning safety. Fede also had a sack and was productive on special teams. He has good size and athleticism and must continue to develop to find a bigger role in 2015.

No. 37: Dallas Thomas

Position: Guard, offensive tackle

2014 stats: Nine starts

Analysis: Thomas had another season of struggles at guard and offensive tackle. It’s not all Thomas’ fault. The coaching staff continues to move him around, not giving him a chance to firmly learn one position. But Thomas lacks the footwork and quickness it takes to be an offensive tackle, and it’s clear he is better at guard. Thomas should stay inside next season. But after two seasons, Thomas looks the part of a backup lineman.
Here are the most interesting Miami Dolphins stories Monday from around the Web:
  • Alain Poupart of the Dolphins' team site writes Dolphins cornerback Brent Grimes and defensive end Cameron Wake played well in Sunday's Pro Bowl.
Morning take: Both players were part of the winning team led by Hall of Famer Michael Irvin. Grimes nearly won MVP honors with an interception and several pass breakups.
  • Hal Habib of the Palm Beach Post wonders if the Dolphins' structure is good for the team.
Morning take: Increasingly, teams are setting up things where more people report to the owner. I tend to favor clarity on who is the boss.
  • Dave Hyde of the Sun Sentinel writes about the Dolphins' 12th-ranked special teams.
Morning take: It was feast or famine for this group. The best plays of the season were the five blocked kicks, which changed momentum in games.
  • Jameson Olive of Fox Sports Florida writes quarterback is not an issue for the Dolphins.
Morning take: Starter Ryan Tannehill is coming off a 4,000-yard season, which quieted a lot of critics. The Dolphins must continue building around him to take the next step.
video

Serena Williams, partial owner of the Miami Dolphins, talks about the top players in the men's and women's tennis circuits and picks which NFL position they would be best suited for.

Coming soon: Walker's Fab 40

January, 25, 2015
Jan 25
9:00
AM ET
It's coming baaaaaack!

For the past several years, I annually ranked the top 40 players for the AFC North and AFC East divisions. In 2014, I ranked the top-40 Miami Dolphins players and will do so again with “Walker’s Fab 40.”

ESPN.com’s Dolphins page is narrowing its focus strictly to Miami's roster. So check back throughout the week for rankings of Dolphins players.

"Walker's Fab 40" begins on Monday.

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