ESPN ranks Miami Dolphins’ 2017 offseason among top 10 in NFL

ESPN blasted Andre Branch’s deal with the Dolphins. (Getty Images)

There are mixed feelings about the Dolphins’ personnel moves over the past month, even within the same media outlet.

A few weeks after ESPN analyst Bill Barnwell crushed several Miami signings, especially Andre Branch, Kenny Stills and Kiko Alonso, fellow NFL writer Mike Sando gave the Dolphins a B for their offseason and placed them among the top 10 in the league.

“The previously freewheeling Dolphins took a lower-key approach to the market this offseason,” Sando wrote. “That seemed like a good thing.”

All of the Dolphins’ big moves were retaining their own players, starting with Branch ($27 million over three years), Stills ($32 million over four), and Alonso ($28.9 million over four), and continuing with extensions for Reshad Jones ($60 million over five) and Cameron Wake ($16.2 over two).

Miami also brought in Lawrence Timmons for two years, $12 million, got safety Nate Allen on a one-year deal for $3.4 million and essentially traded Branden Albert for tight end Julius Thomas in a swap of contracts both teams were eager to unload.

In Barnwell’s analysis, which doesn’t include trades, his highest grade for the Dolphins was a C for signing Timmons. He gave the Branch deal an F and dealt Miami a D+ on Alonso, Jones and Stills.

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