Future of Dolphins defensive personnel looms large

US PRESSWIRE

Impending departures because of free agency or money concerns could spell short-lived cohesion for the Dolphins highly ranked defense.

By holding opponents to less than 20 points per game, the Miami Dolphins rank sixth in the NFL in scoring defense, an achievement that has helped to keep the Dolphins in many games. But with a 6-8 record and a very slim shot at making the AFC playoffs, the Dolphins must turn their attention to next season, where it looks like the team will have to reload or resign many key defensive contributors.

According to the Orlando Sun Sentinel, three key defenders, Randy Starks, Sean Smith and Chris Clemons, are all free agents next season and are unlikely to all resign with the team. As the players hit free agency, money will also come into play quickly as the Dolphins try to put together a winning team for 2013.

The NFL's sixth-ranked rush defense will also lose defensive tackle Paul Soliai and outside linebacker Koa Misi after the 2013 season to free agency, according to the report. Safety Reshad Jones and cornerback Nolan Carroll are also expected to hit the market as free agents after the 2013 campaign.

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