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Miami swings and misses in free agency

Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham
DAVIE, Fla. -- TE Sean Ryan emptied the contents of his stall into a cardboard box Thursday afternoon in the Miami Dolphins' locker room. He said he had been let go.

Dolphins coach Tony Sparano wouldn't totally confirm Ryan's dismissal, but said a roster move was coming.

Ryan's departure makes the Dolphins free-agency haul look that much worse.

Of the 19 unrestricted free agents football operations boss Bill Parcells and GM Jeff Ireland signed before the NFL draft, seven of them are on the 53-man roster. Six of those seven played Sunday. Only two of them started. One of their keepers was WR Ernest Wilford, whom they gave $6 million in guarantees but scratched from the lineup.

The Dolphins waived FB Boomer Grigsby on Monday, less than 24 hours after he started the season opener.

As ESPN's John Clayton pointed out in a recent article, free agency hasn't been fruitful around the league. There were 29 starters found among the first 69 unrestricted free agents signed by March 10. Only five eventual starters were signed after March 10. The total pool offered 132 players to choose from.

In that context, unearthing two starters (three if you count Grigsby) sounds pretty good, but consider that most teams didn't have the number of holes or lack the amount of depth the Dolphins did.

Two starters and arguably seven keepers out of 19 unrestricted free agents is a weak batting average for a team that went 1-15 last year.

Here's a rundown of what happened (with signing dates):

  1. QB Matt Baker (Jan. 28), waived

  2. OL Trey Darilek (Jan. 28), waived

  3. LB Junior Glymph (Jan. 28), waived

  4. CB Joey Thomas (Feb. 8), waived

  5. WR David Kircus (Feb. 28), waived

  6. TE Sean Ryan (Feb. 29), waived Thursday

  7. WR Ernest Wilford (Feb. 29), inactive Sunday

  8. LB Charlie Anderson (March 1), played Sunday

  9. QB Josh McCown (March 1), traded to Panthers

  10. LG Justin Smiley (March 1), started Sunday

  11. DE Randy Starks (March 1), played Sunday

  12. LB Reggie Torbor (March 1), played Sunday

  13. FB Boomer Grigsby (March 5), waived Monday

  14. S Keith Davis (March 11), contract terminated

  15. K Dave Rayner (March 12), waived

  16. CB Nathan Jones (March 14), played Sunday

  17. WR Tab Perry (March 20), waived/injured

  18. S Chris Crocker (March 31), started Sunday

  19. CB Will Billingsley (April 14), practice squad