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What will Dolphins do as trade deadline nears?

The NFL trade deadline is next Tuesday at 4 p.m. and most NFL teams can now be grouped in one of three categories: Buyers, sellers, and the Dolphins.

The sellers aren't hard to spot. The Oakland Raiders are willing to trade practically anyone on their roster that isn't a core young player. The Cleveland Browns are willing to part with whatever talent they have left -- as long as it's not Joe Thomas -- for the right price. The Kansas City Chiefs are selling. Same holds true for the St. Louis Rams -- literally and figuratively.

There are also a handful of other teams currently struggling that aren't selling wholesale, but they are willing to part with certain players.

And then there are the buyers. The Cowboys are looking around to help their defense. The Patriots are snooping around for help on both sides of the ball. Chicago still would like receiver help. Green Bay wants to shore up its offensive line, despite knowing few teams are willing to give up a good offensive lineman. The Chargers are also always willing to talk at the deadline if the deal is right.

And then we have the Dolphins.

The Dolphins are a tough team to figure out because, well, everyone is always on the market and available in trade for the right price -- except for a handful of players such as Jake Long, Chad Henne and, and, well that's it.

The Dolphins also are always looking to add talent any way they can do it, as long as the price is relatively cheap. They are, however, a very cautious trade team because they value draft picks and understand as well or better than most that the 2010 draft is loaded with talent.

So, as the deadline draws closer, I would not be surprised if the Dolphins bought, if the Dolphins sold, or if the Dolphins did nothing.

Understand that the odds are Miami will not pull the trigger on any mega-deal in the coming week. Trades are hard to make in the NFL and big in-season trades are even more rare.

But allow me to speculate for a second. And I caution you this is only speculation because it has nothing to do with anything anyone has said or whispered or screamed at me. It is only speculation.

If they are of a mind to do so, the Dolphins could go out and try to improve their receiver corps, or special teams, or the tight end corps, or their secondary. The fact is the Dolphins could use a boost in each and every one of those areas.

Players that could be available in those areas include WR Dwayne Bowe, TE Zach Miller, WR Javon Walker, KR-PR Johnnie Lee Higgins, WR Chansi Stuckey, and WR Antonio Bryant. Yes, I know Stuckey was just traded to the Browns. So?

And Bryant is making bigtime money from the Bucs this year but, frankly, is not producing. He got called out by coach Raheem Morris after dropping two passes in a 33-14 loss to Philadelphia. It is no coincidence the Bucs worked out five receivers on Tuesday.

If you'll notice, one of my adopted sons Anquan Boldin, is not on this list. The reason is the Cardinals are simply not going to give him away for anything lower than a second-round pick plus other considerations and, although he's been slowed by injuries and isn't producing to his usual lofty standards.

Not producing to his usual lofty standards for Boldin means he only has 23 catches for 252 yards and an 11-yard per catch average. Those stats are still better than any Miami receiver.

If I had to make a guess, if the Dolphins are going to add a player in trade, it will happen with a returner of some sort. The team just lost Patrick Cobbs to a torn ACL in his left knee. He's out of the remainder of the season.

That means the team could use a kick returner because until now, the team has been reluctant to give that job to Ted Ginn Jr. And he hasn't exactly earned it, either. So perhaps a trade for a special teamer could help matters.

Boy, getting Josh Cribbs would be great, wouldn't it?

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