Dolphins want to keep Brian Hartline, Chris Clemons, according to report

USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Dolphins are reportedly trying to re-sign starters Brian Hartline and Chris Clemons before they hit free agency in March.

The Miami Dolphins haven't made any movement in regards to their pool of free agents, despite the fact that the team has more than $45 million in salary cap space this offseason. That doesn't mean they're not going to, though, as the Miami Herald reports the Dolphins are interested in bringing back two of their starters in particular: wide receiver Brian Hartline and safety Chris Clemons.

For more on the Dolphins, visit The Phinsider

According to the report, the Dolphins have had "extensive discussions" with both Hartline and Clemons about a new contract, at least for the 2013 season. The Dolphins are reportedly trying to get both players under contract for 2013 before the new year -- and accordingly, free agency -- begin on March 12.

They certainly have the money to bring back both players at the number that the players both want, but of course, blindly throwing money at the two could hurt the Dolphins in the long run. Yes, they have a lot of cap room, but they need to spend it intelligently.

Hartline is reportedly looking for a deal in which he averages $5 million to $6 million per year. That's not top receiver money, but it's still a significant pay increase. Fortunately for him, he's coming off his best season yet, with 1,084 yards off 74 receptions.

With quarterback Ryan Tannehill hoping to progress in his sophomore season, bringing back a guy like Hartline would certainly seem a smart move for the young quarterback's development.

As far as Clemons is concerned, he is coming off his first full season as a starter, and he played pretty well. He wasn't one of the top safeties in the league, but he recorded a carer-high 99 tackles and wasn't a liability in any aspect. He's very solid in man-to-man coverage for a safety, and he can only strengthen the Dolphins defense if he remains with the team.

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