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Dolphins loading up for another big free agency score

Branden Albert

Kansas City Chiefs tackle Branden Albert looks on in the final moments of the game against the San Diego Chargers during an NFL football game Thursday, Nov. 1, 2012, in San Diego. The Chargers won, 31-13. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)

AP

A year ago, the Dolphins made a huge splash in free agency, signing three guys to $125 million worth of contracts on the first day.

They might make an equivalent ripple this year, or it might be bigger because of the sheer size of the free agents involved.

According to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, the Dolphins used the early moments of the league’s legal tampering period to express their deep and sincere admiration for the top free agent offensive linemen, with particular interest in Chiefs tackle Branden Albert and Rams tackle Rodger Saffold.

They also made contact with the representatives for Eugene Monroe and Jared Veldheer to cover their bases, but a source described the Dolphins as most interested in Albert, and willing to pay big money for Saffold to play guard.

It’s so early in the period that a lot of this should be taken with a grain of salt. But we knew the Dolphins needed to upgrade at left tackle in particular and the line in general entering the offseason.

But after former General Manager Jeff Ireland signed Mike Wallace, Dannell Ellerbe and Phillip Wheeler to big contracts on the first day last year, it’s a little surprising to see them loading up again.

Or perhaps not, since the guy who authorized those signings was fired, and the new guy (Dennis Hickey) has his own identity to establish, for an owner eager to put last year’s ugliness behind them, and willing to put his wallet behind that effort (as he did with Brent Grimes already).