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Dilemmas connected with signing Jason Brown

As the clock ticks inexorably toward the midnight hour Thursday and free agency gets set to begin, the Dolphins are faced with something of a dilemma on a couple of fronts.

One person close to Brown, the Baltimore Ravens center who is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent at midnight Friday, told me Wednesday evening the player knows he will draw interest from the Dolphins, Redskins, and possibly Jacksonville if he isn't re-signed by the Ravens.

And, the person said, although Brown would like to return to Baltimore, he understands that may not be possible.

So the Dolphins have definitely shown interest in whatever manner teams do it without breaking the NFL mandate against tampering. And they are likely to find themselves in some sort of bidding battle with Washington, possibly Jacksonville, and other teams.

The brings me to Miami's first dilemma. Do the Dolphins go all out to keep from being outbid for perhaps the best young offensive lineman left in free agency or do they follow their unstated policy of doing sound, fair, but unspectacular free agent deals?

If Miami is intent on following policy, it would not surprise if Washington gets Brown because owner Daniel Snyder's deep pockets and aggressive reputation toward getting players is no joke. It doesn't always work for the Redskins, but they typically land players they really want.

So what is Miami's second dilemma? Well it seems Brown, who started at center all 16 games in 2008, wants to be paid like a guard. He started 28 games in 2006 and 2007 at left guard. Why is that Brown's stance?

Because guards make more money than centers for some reason God only knows. Last year, the guard market was set by free agent Alan Faneca who signed a five-year contract worth $40 million with the Jets. The contract included $21 million in guarantees. Do the math. The standard for top NFL guards now is $8 million per season.

The best contract ever signed by an NFL center was signed by Jeff Faine when he put his John Hitchcock (yes, I know) on a six-year deal worth $37.5 million. That deal included $15 million in guarantees and if you do the math that comes out to $6.25 million.

Obviously, Brown's agent wants his client paid closer to $8 million per year and not $6.25 million so he's shooting for a guard contract. But the Dolphins need a center and so that is a point that requires negotiation.

I would assume the teams' stances would be that Brown is not worth $8 million per year because, in fact, he is not a Pro Bowl player as Faneca is and, in fact, is not a guard like Faneca is. So maybe they pay him more than Faine but less than Faneca. Somewhere in the $7 million annual average range, maybe.

But that still creates an issue for the Dolphins because of their salary structure. Remember the Dolphins just signed right tackle Vernon Carey to a deal that has been reported at six years and $42 million. I have not independently confirmed those numbers and, in fact, numbers filed with the NFL Players Association show the deal as a five-year contract. But I digress.

The point is the right tackle is averaging $7 million per season, if the reports are correct. So how can the Dolphins justify spending the same or more than that on a center or guard, particularly when both signings come in the same year?

It is an intriguing situation the Dolphins face. I suspect the situation will have an outcome by the time the weekend is over.  

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Jason Brown is a Pro Bowl caliber player, although he apparently struggled mightley with actual pro bowlers such as Casey Hampton and Shaun Rogers all season long. If im not mistaken, those are two of the best NT in the game. If the Dolphins believe he can be the Center they want, someone who can control these 350 nose tackles, then he is worth the money. However, if he is a player better suited for guard, or one who will struggle against big 3-4 NT (just like Satele did all year) then he should be left alone. Brown is an upgrade over Satele no question, and i love the idea of having Satele as a interior backup behind Brown, Thomas and Smiley, but for the price of having 3 O lineman with over 40 million in total money on their contracts, I want to see dominance!

I swear if MIA misses out on him i will be highly upset i have almost banked on Miami getting him the past few days and to hear Washington wants him to scares me, my only question is would Washington have the money for this deal with them letting almost no one go how could they afford the 7mill for him where as i feel parcells will actually for him. mark him down has the first big time FA signee of the Bill parcells era,

I don't see Miami breaking the bank for Brown. I certainly don't see them getting into a bidding war for him.

Make an offer, if he refuses then let someone else overpay for him. Build through the draft.

"...John Hitchcock (yes, I know)..."

Yes you know what - that most people refer to putting one's "John Hancock" on the dotted line, and not their "John Hitchcock"?

I don't understand. Was there a John Hitchcock that inked his name, really big, on the Declaration of Independance and I missed it?

"Jason Brown is a Pro Bowl caliber player, although he apparently struggled mightley with actual pro bowlers such as Casey Hampton and Shaun Rogers all season long."

Dude watch some football you moron, he shut down every DT they have faced the entire season including Rogers, Hampton, and Haynesworth. All of them TWICE.

Why the hell would the Trifecta overpay for a free agent center when this particular draft is very deep at the same position. With 3 of the first 64 picks we could address WR, C, NT.

if i was the dolphins i would pass on brown, you just signed carey and crowder for big money and there is talent at center in the draft..if they do sign him thats got to be one of they most expensive lines...long, carey,brown, smiley all those guys thats alot of money tied up in the line...should be amongst the top 5-10 for that

No bidding war.

L Coles has been released from the Jests tonight. Is he headed for Miami, Cut Wilford, Pay him his $6 mil to play with buddy chad, teach the young'un to play big boy ball....and sign J Brown and watch the RIcky and ROnnie show begin...

Oh no, the drama ! What will Miami do ? How will it ever win a game again without Brown ?
So much drama, so little sense.

$7 million? -- please, that's 2 mil more than Smiley and equal to Carey -- they'll undoubtedly pass and hopefully draft Alex Mack. The die is cast on Jason - no Pro Bowl - Brown @ these prices.

Watch the tape Mack over Unger or Wood - he's a beast. Ex-Wrestler, highly intelligent, and bigger and stronger than Satele even BEFORE Dolphins get him in the weight room.

Crowder signing, to me, confirms either WR or C @ #25...unless a CLEAR top 15 drops.

Why not a CB?

There are two reason I thinks the Dolphins might overpay a little for Brown.

1. He's at an age they like
2. He's at a position of need.

They've made it clear that they cannot get dominated in the center/nose tackle battle in the AFC EAST. The O-line coach was the only coach that got fired and Sparano basically said that Sampson's job was in trouble. They view center as gaping hole.

I think you should overpay for any of the following: an offensive lineman, a true #1 WR, and a QB. I wouldnt overpay for any other position, b/c I think they are easier to find (not easy, but easier). Brown is a young, durable, elite offensive lineman, so I would offer him a monster contract. Obviously there has to be a cieling, and i would put it at around 8 million per season. I think Brown deserves Faneca type money b/c although you can argue that Faneca is better, Brown is 6 years younger and should be able to play at an elite level for the next 7 years (until he is 33).

Armando,

You justify paying Brown a little more than Vernon Carey b/c while Vernon Carey is a very good RT, the argument is that Brown is one of the top 5 centers in the league. So even though Carey plays a more important position, Brown is a better center than Carey is a RT.

It's Samson not Sampson you jackhole!

I think an important thing to remember is that the Dolphins have a lot more depth now than they did at this time last year, when the roster was a disaster. They signed the fiscally responsible free agents like Torbor, Charlie Anderson, Wilford, Starks, and Cameron Wake. And they traded for Fasano, Ferguson, and Ayodele. So they have a lot of those role player types, as well as 9 draft picks in the next draft. I think they can afford to get that one blue chip player (Jason Brown)and then use the rest of the money for more role players. Having said that, this draft is a great draft for centers, so if they pass on Brown, you cant be upset.

I'll shut up now.

You have to look at the position and the potential FA out there, coupled with the talent in the upcoming draft. I believe we signed Carey, not because the trifecta was all that impressed with his desire to be a football player, but the lack of quality tackles in FA and the lack of quality late round tackles in the draft. That same argument can be used for the center position. I believe with 3 picks in the first two rounds, we can pick up a solid center and move Samson or as some like to call him Sampson to guard or a solid back up lineman.

If we sign Bell, then the fins can actually do something they haven't done in a long time, and that is draft the best available player! This method is the key to any teams long term viability. I am quite certain that if we can draft this way for 1 more draft (not including this one) we will build a consistent winner. Look at New England. They have for the most part, drafted "best player available"!

We overpaid for Crowder under the guide of comfort, we won't over pay for Brown under the guide of need. I know that sounds crazy, but let it settle in!

Long live the demise of the Jets! Long live Mando's diet and exercise plan! Mando has some serious FP (fat potential).

Although all this makes for good conversation and all, the truth is. Parcells knows exactly what he was doing. He is playing us even right now. Yesterday 90% of the people in this blog thought Channing Crowder would be on a different team next year. And pretty much over-night, BOOM, Multi-year contract. That doesn't just happen over night. They have been close to a deal for a while, but sly old Bill has been using the media to manipulate how other teams and people like us would expect, and sometimes plan, to happen. He knows how to use the media to stay ahead while at the same time putting other, less experienced, people behind. All that on top of being one of greatest talent evaluators and football minds of all time. The mans a Genius! And guess what people...He is running our team. What a great time to be a Dolfan.

Pass on Brown, Sign Bell and draft a center with a second round pick (a first pick will probably cost as much as brown)!!

Guys if it get to be a bidding war for brown. We are out big tuna never out bids.
Look back at the tunas F/A it's like if he is shopping at COSTCO. He buys in bulk. using the money on 2-3 players not one.
Look for him to try and fill some of our holes not just one. even if brown would fill a huge hole.

brown is a pro bowl center,and would be a great fit on fin's o-line.however,the draft is filled with talented centers like mack,unger,caldwell,and wood.why not pick one up with the 44th pick, and let sparano show him the way(last i checked tony was o-line specialist).RULE #1 IN PARCELLIAN WAY OF ORDER-u get solid players in free agency and get stars through the draft.

I'm not sure if the Dolphins can afford to pay Brown on a team basis....... Can the Phins really afford to have the Highest paid LT (yes the draft may change that), the highest paid RT and the highest paid center? Right now I suppose the answer may be yes... Carey, Crowder, and Bell are probably the only guys going to come up within the next two years for an extension worth a damn... So I suppose you could assume that the money spent on guys like Brown should have been spent on retaining good young players... but the phins don't have any... so it gets spent on guys like Brown....

Look at it this way... Long, Merling, Langford, Thomas, Henne, Bess, and Camarillo are locked up for a few years. They are the core of the team... The only guys comming up soon are Roth (I doubt they will offer much), Brown (Gone.... RBs are good when they are young and can be found in the first 3 rounds and have an instant impact). Other than those guys I can't think of anyone on the team that they should be concerned about. Oh well Fasano.. he will get resigned but due to poor drafts the Phins just don't have guys they have to worry about losing.

Finally I will say that my respect for Crowder has gone up a lot. I like Crowder as a player.. I think he is a solid but I don't think he is spectacular. He made a lot of tackles but didn't make the big plays. I didn't think he was worth the money he would have asked for. I think if he would have hit the FA market he probably would have made himself a nice chunk of change because there are always teams like Oakland who are ready to overpay for a guy. So for once a guy took a contract that probably paid him what he was really worth and stayed on a team where he will probably be productive instead of being a guy who signs a big deal, produces poorly compared to the deal given, and is cut and labeled a bust. So Kudos for a a guy who picked happiness and success over money and potential failure on a deadbeat franchise...

Whatever you sign Brown for now will still be A LOT CHEAPER than to wait until Al Davis signs his mediocre center for 30 mil per year.

jashalk,

we need to keep ronnie until he shows he can't play anymore he is way to talented to just let go after his contract is up

i don't want to get into a bidding war for brown, but we need to sign him, i say if the price exceeds 7.5 mil then pass

we also could use coles and we might could pay him 6 mil b/c he wants to be with pennington, also BP is a plus then he can mentor our younguns

after them just build through the draft oh ya don't forget to re-sign Bell

Forget brown,satele can add that 25lbs he's young and getting better plus he didn't do bad until he had backups on both sides of him stop that must win now. Ted is going to be nice add bart scott use first pick on that back from utah or hay-bey sign y-bell and badman. as for brown he and satele been in the same amount of probowls but brown had his side kicks satele didn't

Haha..,.John Hitchcock???? Thats pretty bad....

Why do dol-fans hate Ginn great talent he will be the best reciever in fin history

The Redskins have no second round pick, and most draft boards have them with their 13th pick taking an OT and Alabama's Andre Smith falling in their laps. On the flip side this knocks them out of one of the 3 pro bowl centers available in the first two Rounds. They're only option from where I sit is ante up for Brown. At least this keeps them from drafting one 3 elite centers Unger, Mack or Luigs. These 3 are rated 1,2,3, and they switch positions depending on the board your looking at. The word is can't go wrong with either choice. I do question their Bench Press strength Mack DNP, Unger 22 and Luigs 25, remember Jake Long had 37 and Samson Satale 41 so that puts some questions at upgrading through the draft. The Dolphins want to upgrade center to take on larger nose tackles and double teams. These shorter armed players should have more reps. I'm 56 and have an olympic bench press in my garage and can do 8-12 depending on what day.

WHEN DID BROWN MAKE THE PROBOWL???

what Mr.fusdolphins 13 said?BP is a plus then he can mentor our young guns and he spend amost 14 mil on two players who had their best years behind them>you need to learn more about players and contracts and stop what you are talking.

ted gin was part of dolphins team of 1-15 dol-fan dumbest

unlike most people on this blog, I like Ginn...he came on alot stronger at the end of the year, especially in the KC and NYJ games...I think he will have a breakout year in 2009

Ginn was mis-used by Cam Can't coach...he was used more as a return guy in 2007

tim from cornball town so was crowder,roth,porter should i go on dummy

What up Miami? I like reading blogs, but I hate blog jerkoffs? So be straight up. Which blog commenters are the ones I should avoid?

Ginn came out early. this would have been his rookie year had he stayed.he should not been drafeted in that pick but he's nice great catchs last year and i agree with souljahbeats he was't used correctly he's still gettin better

Tim from Cornball Town so was holliday,goodman,y-bell,carey,hill,allen dummy

We wouldn't have been 11-5 without him, thats for sure...Last year was his first real year in a competent system...He was questionable at the beginning of the year, but really came on when Camarillo went out...He made alot of deep catches and scored on a couple reverses as well...

Sign L. Coles pick his brain for jet weakness penny to coles reunion

I don't think we should sign old man coles...he is no better than Ginn, Camarillo, or Bess...he just costs more

The Redskins have a dilemma... they don't have Parcells.

Everyone is right in that Parcells won't get sucked into a bidding war. But he doesn't need to. Are you telling me that Brown is not thinking in his head "I have a chance to play on a Bill Parcells team"?? Sheez, he's a lineman for God's sake. He's probably drooling over the possibility. Now, that's not to say we can pay him peanuts. But I'd say it's worth about $1M/year evaluated against a Redskins bid.

Draft Max Unger. Use the cash for DBs.

Apparently Gibril Wilson has just signed with us!

Another great coup from the trifecta. The Raiders fans didn't want to see him gone and he is intense and hard-hitting against the run.

This is great news coupled with the fact that Crowder is staying.

Bell, Brown and Coles would complete a resplendent turn by the managment team in free agency.

dol-fin dumbest,So What all these names are below or average level at best .please tell me some thing new if not i will.fins will try hard to get best WR ava at next draft.
2-bell will not sign with fins.
3-fins will never go after Coles.

rather have TJ than Coles or boldin

Hey Cornball,

Shows how much you know...the dolphins may draft a wr, but it WILL NOT be with our first pick, its just not how the tuna operates...plus we have much bigger needs at C, NT, LB, and DB

TJ is old and overpriced too

Coming out of Hawaii, some scouts said Satele was much more refined at pass blocking than run blocking. I think that’s proven to be true. With some added strength in the off-season and better technique in his 3rd season Satele can be a fine run blocker and very good overall center. It’s amazing how his stock has fallen and Brown’s has risen in a matter of a few weeks. Who even heard of Jason Brown six weeks ago? A search for a link to his profile and ESPN.com turned up nothing. If Jason Brown was pro bowl player he would have made the pro bowl already and he hasn’t. To pay this guy more than 5 million is a misuse of the cap. If the goal is to have a massive center who can’t run then sign Matt Birk for ½ the price and draft a big center.

Hey Dol-fan dumbest,
so you know how BP the operates Ha Ha,
tell me then how come you were very surprised by crowder signing ?

Cornball,

First of all, that was me, not dol-fan...signing a good linebacker (that calls the plays on d) is not unusual for Parcells...overpaying for one is...the issue was never that we didn't want crowder back, we just didn't want to overpay him...drafting a wr in the first round (especially when there are plenty of good ones to be had in later rounds) would be completely out of character...

Go all out; take the $4Mil just added to salary cap, treat it like found-money, and put it into the Jason Brown pile; a failure to sign Brown will set this franchise back decades. THIS is the acid test, the moment of truth, High-Noon. Brown must be signed.

No dilemma if Snyder has his Napolean-machismo filled ego set on Brown.

Parcells & Ireland set a fair price for Brown. Then Snyder will offer about $115 million more. Brown comes to Miami only if he values a stable organization with a chance for a win more than the extra cash.

I live in Skins land and I've seen the same scenario play out over and over.

I Wonder what nathaniel think of the signing of crowder?
Also i want to know if there's new movie coming with Sophia loren staring? one last question who is your favorite team of football?

Cornball that's the same people who went 11-5 that's my POINT. sometimes it's the system that's wrong for the players.

Yeah souljahbeats TJ is about as old as Coles but more productive but alot of money.I know he's not coming but he's nice and would be great WR leader

souljahbeat +dol-fin dumbest,
BP will draft a WR if a very good one is ava at first pick.
second dolphins need more wr's for penne and henne to get the ball to.
please don;t sign any players that had their best years behind them as brown and bell.

Great point Tony

dol-fin dumbest,you say we need WR leader? i don't think so ,
i think the coach is the real leader not an old player but what we need is for players to go out make interceptions,catch the ball when it counts not only when we face the loins,and have good running game going not all this crap about leadre and leadership.

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