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Clearing out the notebook [Updated]

Happy Labor Day everyone! I will be celebrating by doing what comes natural: Laboring.

I'll be at Dolphins camp for the first day of practice and prepartion for the regular-season opener vs. Atlanta on Sunday. Today marks the first day the media will be allowed in the Dolphins locker room this season. All previous interviews were done on the field as players came off after practice.

After practice, I'll be doing a three-hour radio show on 790-AM in South Florida from 4-7 p.m. You can listen live or on the Internet by clicking right here. You are welcome to call into the show or text me at 74965.

Now to clearing out the notebook:

The Dolphins might get around to announcing their practice squad and other roster moves they made on Sunday sometime on Monday. Some of those moves were somewhat curious.

[Update] First they completed their 8-man practice squad. DE Ryan Baker, CB Will Billingsley, LB J.D. Folsom, T Nate Garner, LB Danny Lansanah, OL Mark Lewis, WR Julius Pruitt and WR James Robinson.

The big news of the day is that Miami has lost tight end David Martin for the season. It has been reported Martin was cut. But the NFL.com website has Martin as being placed on Injured Reserve. I trust the website. Just saying. [Update]: The reports are indeed wrong. The Dolphins say Martin is on IR.

Martin was apparently told by team doctors he needed surgery on his right knee, causing him to miss at least eight weeks, and perhaps more, depending on how much damage doctors found during the surgery.

Martin, who has not missed any significant time this preseason and was at practice Saturday, doesn't agree he needs surgery. He will seek a second opinion.

With Martin in the final year of his contract and the Dolphins depending extensively on the double tight end formation, the team could not afford to wait on more doctors' opinions. So it moved on.

The team claimed rookie TE Davon Drew off waivers from the Ravens. The team still has four tight ends on the roster.

But only Anthony Fasano has any extensive NFL experience, as he's in his fourth season. Fasano has caught 62 passes in his career. Joey Haynos, John Nalbone and Drew have a combined two career NFL catches -- with rookies Drew and Nalbone having none and Drew not even knowing the offense.

Moreover, none of the tight ends on the roster have proven they can be the deep down the seam threat that Martin was in 2008. Martin averaged 14.5 yards per catch last season, including a 61-yard touchdown.

The Dolphins tight end corps is now be younger, and cheaper, and signed with the team for a longer period of time. But it is not better. It is weaker than it was Saturday.

[Update] Haynos, by the way, will be the second TE this week when Miami goes with a double TE package, which is like, a lot.


You might have seen my column about Jason Taylor Sunday. You might have also missed it, as many of you take the weekend off from reading, since you're not at work stealing money from your bosses by surfing the net on company time.

Anyway, take a look at the column, especially if you're at work right now. And let me tell you something I couldn't fit in the piece. Taylor, who for years played at 242-244 pounds, told me he's up around 255 now.

He eventually wants to be at around 252ish.

"I think it'll help in the long run once I find that perfect number," Taylor said. "It's good that I can maneuver my body around right now."

That's important. Remember the chief concern with Taylor is not whether he is quick enough to rush the  passer. We know he can do that. The concern as he plays the strong side linebacker spot is if he's bulky enough to hold the edge of the defense on run plays.

The extra bulk should help.


Thought you should know that Miami is now among the teams that other teams pluck at for talent. Remember last year when the Dolphins were constantly stirring the bottom of the roster with other team's discards?

Now some of Miami's discards are making other teams.

OL Brandon Frye was claimed off waivers Sunday by Seattle and is on their roster. Ernest Wilford made the Jacksonville 53-man roster.

Of course, not all Miami discards are worth keeping. Eric Green was cut by San Francisco. Joe Cohen was cut by the Raiders. Tearrius George was cut by the Cowboys. 


As you might have heard, the evil empire that is the New England Patriots traded Richard Seymour to the Oakland Raiders on Sunday for a 2011 first round pick. And while we don't even know if the NFL will be around in 2011, the national media immediately took to buzzing about what a great deal it is ... for the Patriots.

"Belichick strikes again," ESPN's Chris Mortensen tweeted on his twitter. "Richard Seymour dealt to Raiders for 1st rounder - top 5, top 10 pick? Seymour last yr contract & declining."

"Seymour turns 30 later this season," ESPN's Adam Schefter tweeted on his twitter after breaking the story. "New England gets back a first-rounder that could turn out to be a high first. Wow."

Look, I get that a first-round pick for a player that might or might not be on your team next year or even in the league in three years is a ransom for New England to gain. But has anyone stopped to think that while the Patriots might have helped themselves for 2011, they hurt themselves for 2009?

That's right. The Patriots defensive line is better with Richard Seymour than it is without him. Anyone think of that? The Pats are immediately lessened by this trade. Period. And while it might be taking one step back to take two steps forward, that step back is happening now -- as the Patriots are hoping for a Super Bowl run.

Let me put it another way: You think the Dolphins, Bills, and Jets are all sitting around saying, "Wow, the Pats really helped themselves for 2011." Or do you think their reaction is, "Glad we don't have to see Richard Seymour two times this year."

I think the latter.

One more thing: Everyone in the national media is assuming this is a good deal because Seymour wasn't going to be on the Pats next year. He and the team have not come to any kind of like mindedness on a deal so it was a lost cause.

Has anyone heard of franchise tags? Has anyone heard that if 2010 is an uncapped year, teams also get transition tags they can employ and those can bring back multiple draft pick compensation if another teams signs your player? And there is no salary cap, so don't tell me a franchise tag eats cap space.

So even if the Pats and Seymour weren't going to sign a new deal beyond 2009, the Pats pretty much could have kept him tied for at least one more year at age 31. Oh, and about that age thing ... weren't the Patriots rolling out the red carpet, hoping to sign 35-year-old Jason Taylor last spring?

Didn't they sign 37-year-old Joey Galloway?

Give me a break. Belichick is good. But he ain't that good.

Agree or disagree?


[Update] As I reported on my twitter moments ago, Vontae Davis (knee) is at practice today. He missed practice Saturday with the injury he suffered in the final preseason game at New Orleans. So all appears good on that front at the moment.

Follow me on twitter. And check back Monday afternoon for an update on the latest.


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Mando - you nailed it on Seymour! The Patsies are already thin in their front seven aside from Wilfork and losing Seymour will make it even easier to run on that unit. The other interesting development is that the Patsies traded for a blocking TE and claimed OG Kendall Simmons from the Steelers. Tells me Belicheat is worried about the OL. Bottom line is the Patsies seem to be more than a little overrated considering the many weaknesses on the team.

Jason Taylor at SLB really worries me. Roth is THE run stopper at OLB on our team and here's hoping that his groin gets better (not likely).

I agree with you Armando. I do they think they have weakened themselves a bit by losing Seymour. I hope the Raiders do really well next year, really well.

I agree, 'Mando.
The Pats aren't the class of the NFL anymore, although they seem to be the 'Darlings' in the eyes of many reporters, as well as the NFL network...They STILL haven't shown the game where the Fish kicked New England's butts, unleashing the Wilcat.
PS. maybe to fill the gap created by Roth, they should bring back Zach, who was cut by the Chiefs?

Props to workin the holiday Mando....and while I'm glad to see Seymour go I'd rather not see the Pats receive a near destined to be high pick in a year and a half.

Although the situation at TE worries me unless Sparano and Henning realize we're more dangerous in a 3 WR set then 2 TE. With some of the young receiver talent we're looking to utilize it wouldn't be the worst thing...

And personally I wouldn't hate to see a 4 wide set from time to time;
Ginn Bess Hartline Camarillo

The Cheatriots signed QB/WR Isiah Stanback from the Dallas Cowboys. He has been injured for most of the past two years with the Cowboys and hasn't done much. The suggestion is that New England signed Stanback for practice against the Wildcat, as Stanback was rumored to have been practicing that this preseason.

Go fins I see us going 12-4 this year

they lost a lot with the gm living for Kansas City

Martin was "just another guy"

Armando, respectfully, you're nuts. You are not a strategic thinker, and clearly Belechick and Co, are. 3 years ago they did the same with D.Branch, traded to the Seahawks for a #1..did the passing game all of a sudden fizzle? Wasn't he MVP or near that in one of their super bowls? They get GREAT value on players and sucker teams who only see some stats. Your logic suggests the Dolphins would have been stupid to trade J.Taylor to the Redskins last year cuz it would have weakend them so much for 2008. Uh, it didn't. And we needed that second rounder (though Pat White seems like a foolish selection thus far.) Point is, the Pats get it. They know how to game the system. They have either 3 or 4 SECOND ROUNDERS next year. They have two #1s in 2011. It provides incredible flexibility and leverage. With extra picks each year, you are not stuck selecting whoever falls to you..you can move up, down, whatever..to get exactly the player you know will fit your system best. I hate the Pats, but they are brilliant and I can't believe more teams don't do this. The Pats won't miss some aging, broken down player. They will enjoy drafting Matt Barkley from USC 2 years from now, because they can move up to #1 if they choose.

Also, you mentioned how Parcells "picks the right guys". Um, check yourself somewhat on that holmes. I give credit: They do a decent job of finding talent later in the draft that seems to be good value: L.Hilliard, D.Thomas., Dotson, Hartline, Bess. However, they seem to struggle as much as previous regimes in selecting talent high in the draft that, you know, actually lives up to the draft slot. Yes, Long went to the Pro Bowl. But one could argue that Ryan Clady, Jeff Otah and Sam Baker played nearly as well and were drafted significantly lower. Same year, we selected P.Merling (essentially a 1st round pick based on slot selected). He's nearly being passed on the depth chart by two 7th round value's (Dotson and McDaniel). He's lucky he wasn't picked one slot before and actually a "1st round pick" or the public pressure on him would be huge and the "bust" label would be loud. Henne? Too soon to tell, but are you sold? Pat White...yikes. Even 3rd rounder Patrick Turner...inactive maybe all year?? There is a reason this regime backs up their guesses on positions...cuz they know they will usually screw up the first pick.

Of course everyone will argue "too soon to tell" on all of my arguments, but i dunno. Certainly not too soon to say Wilford was a huge miss. Vontae should be good, but just after one pre-seaons, wouldn't you have rather we picked (as i had hoped) Hakeem Nicks?

Parcells and Co are good, better than we had, but not perfect. Go back to their days in Dallas and they missed on more than they hit on. I hope in 3 years I can say I was wrong, off-base, and they are as smart as the Ravens, Pats, Steelers, etc when it comes to drafting.

We'll see.

I am more worried about those 2 tightend sets being able to block for the run game. Mando out of the 3 TE who is gonna be the better run blocker?

Bring Zach Back
Bring Zach back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It would lead to a wave of spirit that would propel Miami to a super bowl. I feel it in my bones. Do it!!!!!!!!!

Mando, this is my first time writing
and I'm using the dolphins app provided by the herald. I have been reading your blogs for awhile and I don't always agree with you, but this time I think you are right on target. The pats are definately weaker on the D-line and itmakes me feel better about our O-lines chances against the pats. You can mark Seymour off your list of tough ends Long has to block. P.S. That was an awesome
article on long a week or so ago.

I agree it weakens the Pats & Belicheat this year, but more portantly, WTF with the Raiders??? I mean, are they one player away to be trading their future? I wonder if they've hired Wanstedt, Spielman, Nicolette Saban, Mueller & Cameron as consultants!!

Dolphins are the sleepers of the NFL... We have to break 500. With the first 6 games since I believe they are the hardest...

Mando, here's the truth:

Belichick was/is beside himeslf when JT resigned with Miami. Not only because it made us stronger, but because essentially we got a 2nd rounder for loaning JT to the Skins.

He's looking to resign Seymour next year and be able to one-up the Dolphins and say "Nyah, Nyah, I got a first rounder for MY loan"

Seymour leaving may make their d-line a little weaker, but didn't they sign that Pro Bowl speed rusher from Oakland? Burroughs? Burris? That should take some sting off the bite.

Great job Belicek! Next you can trade Wilfork to Detroit for a 2012 first rounder. Maybe Pioli was the brains behind the dynasty after all. Im just sayin...

The Patriots' Defense is not going to be any good this yr, I did a little dance when i heard the news about Seymour. Their defense is mediocre and they know it, thats why they will be relying on the offense scoring a lot to make up for their weakness on D.

casey, u seriously can't be that stupid.

hakeem nicks sucks.

hakeem nicks sucks

patriots wanted pat white and called him and were going to select him, dolphins beat them to it, u haven't even seen him in a reg. season with first team yet u tard.

Having a top five pick in the draft used to be a privelige, now its a problem. Most teams would rather pick at 20 than at 5, when the drop off in guaranteed money far surpasses the dropoff in talent. Also, the Patriots are in win now mode, Moss & Brady are both over 32, so unless Seymour has some unknown issue, trading him for a 2011 draft pick makes no sense tactically nor strategically.

Patriots much smarter than Dolphins.

Patriots can now TRADE a top 5 pick to a team that is QB starved like Seatle did this year to the JETS in turn for practically the JETS entire draft. This will only give the Patriots even MORE picks to play with!!!!

AND, who is to say Seymore won't come back to the patriots in a year anyway as a FA. (ie. Talyor with Redskins and a No#2 pick).

Conclusion: AL DAVIS is a complete moron for giving up a likely high #1 pick for an aging player with an expiring contract.

Mando, your point on the trade is well taken. You said it all.

I think they will be a weaker team without Seymour. But what we believe and what is reality are too different beasts altogether. Bellicheck knows his players. Seymour became expendable when the money he was asking might affect other positions and when an up and coming player was seriosly pushing Seymour for his spot.
The immediate future might be affected. Bellicheck is playing the odds game.
It doesn't really matter to the Dolphins. They still have to play very hard against a really good football club.

Davis will franchise Seymour next year and Seymour will retire.

I agree with all of Mando's assessments. Right on.

I am very puzzled at what is happening at Tight End.

The Patsies are retooling their defense but everyone just continues writing how the Patsies will be SB champs this year!
Long term, it was a great move for the Patsies to get a 1st for Seymour.
Short term, the arrogant Belicheat feels he can win without the big DE because he has some bodies to work with and he has a great offense.
For the Phins, who cares what they do??
Look just because they have the draft picks, doesn't guarantee they will use them correctly?
Belicheat's 2006 draft has only Maroney and Gostkowski remaining from it and his 2007 draft yielded Brandon Merriweather. Those are Wannestedt-Saban-RanCamesque results don't you think?
As a Phins fan, I'm glad Seymour is gone is all I know!!

I agree with everything you said, except for the Seymour piece. Any time you can deal an aging player to another team for a 1st round draft pick, you win. Especially when the deal is to a very bad team. The Patriots run a system that doesn't emphasize any one player, so they should be able to take the hit short term. Especially when the offense will score 30+ pts per game. Parcells and Ireland would have made the same move.

And Tom Brady will be 2 years older and closer to retirement in 2011. How old will Belichic be then??? Will he still want to coach???

Exactly why they are collecting 1st round picks. Your choices are you either watch the player leave, pay him a lot of money (done to the young and good ones), or get something in return. Parcells and Ireland understand that and that's why we shipped two OLs for draft picks this year. In the end, everyone has a price. It's the business side of the NFL. It just seems the Pats seem to always make these great moves (remember they got Randy Moss for a 4th round pick from the Raiders - the Dolphins needed a WR at the time as well).

Yes right, the got Mos for a fourth, it seems the Raiders are their practice team

THE new england building the in silence .they know it takes 3-4 years to do that not waiting until they have a team of aging players to do it .
GREEN LLIS and HOYER are the beginning and comes 2011 we will have another young and exp team again .

PS....HOYER the new QB already starting to play .

Mando, I respectfully disagree with you. Great teams like the Patriots and Steelers always seem to know when to let go of aging players who are on the downslide and making too much cash. To get rid of this player at this stage and get a first round pick back that potentialy can be a top 5 to 10 pick is a steal. Given the fact that Brady is not getting any younger, I do not believe that they would have done this deal if they thought that they could not replace this player with something comparable in the short term.

First---I read your Jason Taylor column & enjoyed it immensely. Well Done---the crew should read it. And, Mando, I even bought hard copy that day--so I have helped save the Herald for another day.

Second--Disagree stringly with your Seymour/Bellichek assessment. Any weakness this year is offset by the brilliance of the move strategically.
I am so livid at Al Davis' senility, and the undeserved windfall that he has bestowed on NE for next year ($$ to sign Wilfork; bargaining chip for more draft picks) & 2011 that I honestly cannot feel good about our chances against NE right now. Maybe later I'll agree with you but this trade is so lopsided that any reasonable commissioner would nullify it. A No. 1 -- and a likely VERY high No.1, for an ageing star on the downslope and with an expiring contract?!? Puh-leaze---Does Al Davis have a board of directors he has to answer to?? This is ridiculous.

I disagree also. They don't necessarily need him, the difference in him an the backup is negligible, and could u imagine if the dolphins got another first round pick in 2011?! Wow. I will say this, one caveat u forgot, they will have to pay another untested player a lot more money on a year that there will be a cap. Oakland won't. So that reallys sucks if ur a pat fan! Lol

Also, and can anyone back me, are more and more teams getting rid of their first round picks? The price for these untested players is getting so high that a team in a couple years will be very smart to trade away their first round pick (another reason we shouldve picked up Brandon marshall). And I completely agree with mando, we shouldve picked up sinorice moss. He's a small but good talent. Like davonebess with speed. EXACTLY

Whether we like him or not, Bellicek is a smart man. He makes good moves. His thinking here is, his team will outscore the opposition. Now, lets look at what Miami is doing. Drafted 2 corners, signed Wake and Taylor for the pass rush. Keep an eye on Solai in the middle this year. New England was exposed by the Giants with a good pass rush and good pass coverage. Their o-line is beatable. How will it play out? Consider what Miami was 2 years ago and what they are now. New England has had a good team for a long time. Miami hadn't had one sice Shula. No one ever hits on all their free agents or draft picks. The Miami Dolphins are competitive again. And it was done in such a short period of time we tend to forget. Football is fun again.

the 1st pick from raiders could be the future QB after BRADY and back up for HOYER .as we know if you don't have a good QB your team will be a SALSA team trying to sign aging QB after another until you get lucky and that could take 10 years as the case w/ dolphins .

as for pats rolling the carpet for JT , that never happened .we didn't even rolled a mat to get him .

Damn I hate the patriots but they are the best at this kind of thing(yes even better than us). The pats are making moves now that will keep them strong for years to come(they have about 4 second rounders for next years draft). Sorry guys Belicheat knows what he is doing.Damn I sound like such a patsie lover, ah well Ricky and Ronnie will hopefully have them regretting they made the trade when we run all over them again this year!

Who going to start in Seymour place? Maybe they just put tackling dummy there in place, he can do same job of whoever supose replace him.

The football press and most notably ESPN sucking the teet of the Pats has been beyond all arse kissing i've seen untill the National press did the same for Obama. Like it or not NO ONE is as good or bad as the press would have you believe

Hard to say how this move will pan out, but I also feel that the Pats get wayyyyy too much credit, as if everything they do is genius. But here's the deal, they are in a win now mode. Brady is either on the downside of his career or getting there very shortly -- as he is the straw that stirs the Pats cool aid -- no denying that. Anyone remember Marino after his achilles issue? It was that way for him too. Let's see how Brady does when he has real defenses flying at him this year, no preseson vanillas. I personally believe that Belicheat believes all of his own press clippings, and that he can do no wrong. With Pioli now gone, we shall see. And by the way, who the heck annointed Hoyer as the next Brady? LOL. He moves the Pats against the NYG 2nd and 3rd units and he's now the Answer. It really is laughable. Go Fins!

AS, The reason I think Seymour was traded was now the Pats can use the franchise tag on Vince Wilfork and keep him away from the Dolphins next year.

Im not gonna bash any move made by the fins. Our coaching staff has been more than great the past 2 years. Parcells knows what he's doing. The players love playing for tony sparano. We upgraded every weekness we had. Sean Smith is gonna be a monster, Vontae Davis will only get better with exp. I love how everyone bashes the Jake Long draft pick. He was the best Tackle in the draft and that position was our biggest need. I've seen nothing but good things from him since we picked him. So come on dol-fans....stop complaining about who we cut, or who we didnt draft and stick behind our team and all the moves we make. If we stay healthy, we will be one of the better teams in the league. All I can ask is that each year we get better and thats what ive seen so far. So no complaints here. WE GOT EM......trust me

People are choosing the Patriots as if everything was fine with them, it's not they have allot of questions on both "O" and "D" lines. I see them taking the division if Brady stays healthy, but they are not going to win the Superball any time soon. For this reason is why I believe they made this trade, they know these weaknesses and are retooling for the future. Everybody believes that they will trade this pick to a quarterback starved team; that team will be them in a couple of years. Brady is not getting younger, he is coming of major surgery and will definitely get banged around again with the line they have now. The Dolphins are on the right track, but I agree with many here that they make better choices later in the draft then early.

If you look at what Patriots are doing, is the same as the Dolphin's are doing; trading present stars, for picks. This is what teams do when they are rebuilding.

BTW, do you think Matt Jones would be a good fit with Miami ?

This guy can have a second chance and he has talented.

It's a good move for the Patriots but short term it definitely weakens them. I agree that their line is a little thinner than we're used to seeing from them. I also think their team isn't quite as deep as we're used to seeing. they have also lost some great leadership in Seymour, Vrabel, Bruschi and Harrison. I'm thnking Belichik might be missing the guidance of Scott Pioli. I'm also thinking he doesn't think the division is that strong this year and the team without Seymour is still better than anyone else (considering the Dolphins tough schedule). Time will tell....but no question it weakes the Dolphins right now.

Matt Jones is no better than receivers we have right now. Also, you do not wants to bring some one with cocaine powders problem to Miami. Also, I hear he mustache illegal in 11 states.

new england fin fan,

HOYERr was just drafted and already in the mix of things and that's what matters .not putting him on the side line for 3 years to learn crap as the case w/ Henne .

if Henne won a game like Hoyer did against the NTG this blog would be in wedding mode .Wilfork will be signed .all these moves coming are together .

I thought the Seymour trade was bad for both teams. For Oakland...why the hell are you trading a first round draft pick for a guy with one year left on his contract? If they had the patience to wait 6 months, they could have just signed him because they Cheatriots have to many players who's contracts are expiring. They likely weren't going to re-sign Seymour anyways. The Raiders were going to be miserably bad with or without Seymour.

This is a bad move for the Cheatriots because they're built to win now. Brady and Moss will either be retired or deteriorating by the time this draft pick can contribute. You have to take advantage of that window of opportunity. Maybe Belicheat forgot what's it's like to try to run a team without a Hall of Fame QB. Last year's 11-5 season with Cassell was a result of the easiest schedule in NFL HISTORY. The Cheatriots of 2012 will look more like Belicheat's Browns teams.


what time is your show today??

"after practice" does not inform me of this.

Of course the Pats would be better off with Seymour this year but they went for the long term value. They are one of the -- if not the only -- teams that have been able to rebuild and contend at the same time in the salary cap era. The string of Superbowl and AFC East trophies prove that. Moves like the Seymour trade are part of the reason why.

The team is aging and they got a lot of players hitting free agency, who they won't be able to all keep if the cap is in place. I was looking for them to be on the serious decline when we are ready for the real push, but the Pats keep making more and more moves that have been bringing in more and more quality draft picks. What they have, 5 in the first two rounds this year?

Gotta hate them, but also have to admire their smarts.

Looks to me to just be the Patriots cashing in on their overratedness. They've got the fans buying in bigtime, now cut costs and you've got a three million dollar profit. This year will be their best shot for probably the next five, and they chose to cash in on the hype instead of doing their best to justify it.

"What they have, 5 in the first two rounds this year?"

Got myself curious with that and checked.

The Pats actually had four picks in the 2nd but none in the first this year.

They already have two extra picks (plus their own) in the 2nd round of next year's draft.

And in 2011, they have that extra first for Seymour.

What time is the radio show??

gopats, Henne won more meaningless preseason games this year than you honey Hoyer and won meaningless preseason game last year.

By your standard to make Hoyer good player, Henne belong in pro bowl compare to him


how you do today good sir? when season official start on thursday i can no longer be cordial with fan of pats, sorry.

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