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What might have been with David Martin

Tight end David Martin has undergone surgery to repair "loose cartilage," inside one of his knees and is expected to be healthy in 6 to 8 weeks, according to his agent, Terry Williams.

"He'll be 100 percent soon," Williams said today. "He'll probably be better than what he was."

Martin won't be better for the Dolphins this year and perhaps not ever again. The window during which the Dolphins and Williams might have negotiated an injury settlement waiver has closed. Had such a settlement been reached, Martin would have become a free agent and could have returned to the Dolphins by Week 12.

But the sides could not come together on a settlement.

"I'm not going to have a player sign a settlement for less than what the doctor is saying it will take him to be 100 percent again," Williams said. "I would agree to get paid for the weeks the doctor says it will take to get healthy or just a little longer, in case something happens. But never for less time than the doctor says."

Williams said Dr. James Andrews, who performed the surgery Sept. 9 in Birmingham, Ala., was of the opinion the tight end would be healthy within six to eight weeks.

The Dolphins placed Martin on IR, thus losing him for the season barring the settlement. They thus decided not to hold Martin's roster spot, opting instead to go with Anthony Fasano, Joey Haynos and John Nalbone. Nalbone was inactive for Sunday's game at Atlanta.

Fasano had two catches for 10 yards and fumbled after each reception. Haynos had one reception for 21 yards.

It is possible the team might have held the roster spot open and tried to add Nalbone to the practice squad. That would have made Martin available once he got healthy.

"That's what we would have liked, but we're not upset or anything," Williams said. "If they wanted David, they could have kept him on the roster. But that's a business decision for the Dolphins and we understand that."

Martin could still be waived by the Dolphins once he becomes healthy. That would be a purely economic decision because it would mean the team is no longer paying the player. But that would also make Martin a free agent able to sign with any team except the Dolphins. The team is unlikely to open itself to the chance Martin might end up with a division rival.

As for next year, Martin is an unrestricted free agent. The agent said neither he nor Martin hold any grudge against the Dolphins and would consider re-signing  with the team.

"It'll be an economic decision," Williams said. "David loves the Dolphins and loves playing for them. But he'll go into free agency." 

[PRACTICE UPDATE: Everyone was present this morning when the Dolphins began working. TEs, QBs, WRs, and RBs, getting thumped with pads. Work is designed to help prevent fumbles. Obviously, Dolphins need that preventative work.]