MVP replacements: Miami Dolphins

Whether it's a marquee QB or an interior defensive lineman, no team can afford to lose its most valuable player.

So, who steps in if the unfathomable happens? Our NFL Nation reporters and Scouts Inc.'s Steve Muench and Kevin Weidl have teamed up to identify each team's most important player and which player in the 2014 draft each team can target to groom as a potential replacement -- MVP insurance. For some teams, their future stars may be slightly younger than others as draft-eligible non-seniors are denoted with an asterisk.

The Miami Dolphins' MVP in 2013 came as a surprise. But it was clear by the end of the season that cornerback Brent Grimes had the strongest, most consistent year of any Miami player.

Grimes was signed on a one-year “show me” contract after tearing his Achilles and missing most of 2012. Grimes stayed 100 percent healthy in 2013 and had, in his words, his best season. Grimes recorded 60 tackles, four interceptions and earned his second Pro Bowl nod. One of his interceptions was returned for a touchdown.

After a stellar season, Grimes now becomes Miami's biggest in-house free agent for first-year general manager Dennis Hickey. Grimes is in position to cash in with a sizable contract extension from the Dolphins or somewhere else. The one-year franchise tag also is a possibility with Miami.

The Dolphins are not well-prepared to handle the potential loss of Grimes. Veteran Dimitri Patterson is under contract for one more year. However, he's had injury issues his entire career. Nolan Carroll is inconsistent and a free agent.

It's possible that 2013 second-round pick Jamar Taylor and/or third-round pick Will Davis could make big jumps in 2014. However, the Dolphins haven't seen enough from either player as rookies to know if they're ready for the starting lineup.