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Free agency opens a month from today, and the Miami Dolphins are facing the potential loss of one of their up-and-coming defensive players. Middle linebacker Channing Crowder has completed his rookie contract, and he’s eligible to hit the market. Absent a contract extension or the application of the franchise tag, he will.A league source says that the Fins aren’t expected to apply the franchise tender to Crowder. What’s unclear at this point is whether the two sides will be able to work out a deal. One of the knocks against Crowder, a four-year pro who played college football at Florida, is that he had a couple of knee surgeries in college. But he has appeared in 58 of 64 games during his NFL career, and he racked up 113 tackles in 2008. As we hear it, Crowder’s camp believes that the Dolphins are lowballing him, which could result in Crowder heading to another city.