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37 posts from February 2010

February 28, 2010

Combine Sunday: The day of the wide receiver

Today is wide receiver day at the Indianapolis Combine. They are running, jumping, and doing the gauntlet and other drills.

And because we love wide receivers and the Dolphins need wide receivers, Chris Cordero is on the job with the pass-catchers. Here are his thoughts and updates:

The skinny:

With Dez Bryant and Demaryious Thomas, my top 2 receivers, out of the work, here are four guys to keep an eye on: Arrelious Benn of Illinois; Brandon LaFell of LSU; Carlton Mitchell of South Florida; and Mike Williams of Syracuse.

Look for their explosiveness out of the gate in the 40-yard dash as well as in the broad jump; and keep an eye on their vertical jump as well. In the guantlet see if the player snags the ball away from their body, and 
lastly, watch them in their routes whether they are decisive in their cuts and don't waste any motion. Don't worry so much if they aren't around the ball so much in these drills as the QBs arent exactly on the same 

Some other guys to keep an eye on that are a little smaller: Mardy Gilyard, Taylor Price, Andre Roberts, Jordan Shipley, Damian Williams (I like this guy), and of course Golden Tate.

Bigger guys that need good workouts include: Dezmon Briscoe, Shay Hodge, Verran Tucker, Seyi Ajirotutu, Eric Decker, Riley Cooper, Nyan Boateng, Blair White, David Gettis, Alric Arnett, Chris Bell, Stephen Williams, Marcus Easley, and Danario Alexander.

Dorrin Dickerson - who ran a 4.4 at almost 230 pounds - seems built more like a WR; don't be surprised if that is what he is drafted at as since he is built similar to some of the top WRs here.

The work:

Clemson's Jacoby Ford just ran a 4.28 - at 5-8 he is small and doesn't have the best hands but could be a terror in the return game if Ted Ginn is on the outs. The time is the second-fastest time for a player (behind Chris Johnson of the Titans) at the combine and fastest for a WR.

Arrelious "Rejus" Benn ran a sub 4.5 (4.48 unofficially). I had him in the 1st round before if his time holds up and he performs well in the other drills. There is almost no chance he slips to the Dolphins in the 2nd round. He had a couple of mishaps on the gauntlet - could hurt; but let's see how he runs routes.

His routes are not looking so good - good thing he ran a decent 40.

Brandon LaFell ran a 4.6, which is not a very good time. That could keep him out of the 1st round and for all intents and purposes moves him late 2nd. Could be good value in 3rd if he falls that far.

South Florida's WR Carlton Mitchell, after measuring in shorter than expected and now running a 4.6 - he seems to be holding steady in the 4th-5th round range. However he was a playmaker in college and at that range he is worth a look.

Mitchell later improved his time to 4.49 - much better and probably moves him up a round 3rd-4th area.

Notre Dame's Golden Tate ran a 4.36. So much for him slipping to the second round.

Mike Williams from Syracuse ran sub 4.5 - a good time for a big receiver. However his character issues keep him in the 3rd round area.

Taylor Price out of Ohio looked pretty good in the guantlet after running a 4.3 so he could be solidly in the 3rd round range now.


Mardy Gilyard also had a rough today -not running as fast as he would have liked and dropping a few in the guantlet. I wouldn't take him before the 3rd round due to his inconsistency and slight build.

Damian Williams of USC had a few drops and ran in the 4.5 range. I still feel he presents good value in the 2nd round due to his returning abilities.

Price officially ran a 4.41. Tate's official time is a 4.42. 

The breakdown:

I was impressed with WR Donald Jones of Youngstown St.'s athleticism. He was a late addition to the Senior Bowl and looked impressive in the one practice I saw him in. Could be a late round (5-6) steal.

Andre Roberts of the Citadel continues to impress me. I felt he was the best WR at the Senior Bowl and he looks like a great slot receiver with some explosiveness. He would also help in the return game. However, the Dolphins have similar players already. Expect him off the board 3rd to 4th round.

Dezmon Briscoe of Kansas also showed well. He wasn't as fast as expected but showed solid hands in the drills. He's another guy I see going in the 3rd round.

Mike Williams had a decent showing for someone who had been out of football for most of the last year. I do not know the situation in Syracuse but I worry about someone who quit on their team (Ricky 
Williams being an exception since he has proven to be a player at the highest level). I wouldn't take him before the 4th.

Marcus Easley of Conneticut showed a good time and explosiveness for a big man. However, he really only played one year at UConn. Could be worth a look in the 6th round range.

Riley Cooper of Florida ran surprisingly well for a big man and continued to show strong consistent hands. I don't see him as a #1 receiver, but his size is an asset. Expect him off the board in the 3rd round.

Shay Hodge out of Ole Miss was a player I liked at the Senior Bowl before he got injured. He posted a time in the 4.5 range and was very productive in a tough conference. He could be a solid value in the 
4th-5th round.

Some of the other receivers, such as David Gettis, Nyan Boateng, Blair White, Seyi Ajirotutu, Alric Arnett, Stephen Williams and Chris Bell (both showed good speed), were unremarkable and I give them all 
late day 3 grades - although Williams at 6-4 with good speed and very good production could climb into round 4. Chris Bell of Norfolk State could be a late round, small school sleeper.

Remember the process:

The Combine is mainly to see what type of athlete the players are. Charley Casserly mentioned that 90% 
of the scouting work is done before this point. The teams look as much or more into the interviews than the workouts - as the workouts are used to verify the scouts and execs' thoughts on the players. The game 
film is what matters.

I thought that Jimmy Graham had moved into the 2nd round with his workouts - I already had him in the 3rd. Carlton Mitchell's low 40 kept him in the 4-5 round range the faster time moved him into the 3rd-4th range. No player should make any drastic moves (more than a round) up and down the draft board here (unless it's the Oakland Raiders because the love speed so much). Don't be suprised to see them take 
Bruce Campbell, the OT from Maryland who tore it up yesterday. Most teams, however, have Campbell as a later 1st rounder.

February 27, 2010

Dolphins interview McCluster; Boldin on the market

The Combine is in full workout mode with offensive linemen running and jumping and pushing and pulling today. And of course, there is news.

Arizona Cardinals Rod Graves just made it official: Anquan Boldin in on the trade market.

"We're receptive to taking any calls," Graves said today. "I don't want to get into specifics but we're going to look at all the possibilities."

Alrightie then ...Let the Boldin to Dolphins speculation heat up.

I do not believe the Dolphins would give up a second round pick for Boldin. They probably wouldn't give up a third, either, because it's such a high pick in the round. A fourth-rounder?

Yes. That's the ticket.

The tight ends ran today. Pittsburgh's Dorin Dickerson ran a 4.40. He's a 230-pound tight end, but has wide receiver speed. The guy also has 34-inch arms and benched 225 pounds 28 times.

Miami tight end Jimmy Graham ran a 4.60. Jermaine Gresham ran a 4.76.

Something you should know is the latest report from aspiring scout Chris Cordero, who has been doing outstanding work checking out the talent in Indianapolis and reporting back to you.

According to Cordero, Mississippi running back Dexter McCluster spoke to the media today. McCluster said he had already interviewed with the Dolphins.

That's significant because the Dolphins loved McCluster at the Senior Bowl, spent a lot of time with him there, and clearly found nothing that eliminated the Mississippi WR-RB-Specialist from more scrutiny.

From Cordero:

McCluster measured in at [5081] and expects to run in the 4.3s. He will work at both RB and WR Sunday. He loves returning - especially punts - and says he is willing and able to cover punts as well.  

You have to love any kid that says he's willing to get down field on special teams coverage. but when that player has been a star in the SEC that says something special. He doesn't feel entitled. He believes he has something to prove.

By the way, Rex Ryan talked to the media and took his usual swipe at the Dolphins. In talking about the the division he mentioned New England, Miami, and Buffalo. Then Ryan said, "I know Miami will be ticked because I never mention them first or put them on top, but I don't care."

On his infamous fingergate episode in South Florida during Pro Bowl week:

"Regardless of the circumstances I made a mistake," Ryan said. "I have to take responsibility for my own actions. I will learn from it."

Follow me on twitter,

February 26, 2010

Indianapolis Combine update: Golden Tate interviewing with Dolphins Friday evening

More in the latest-breaking updates from the Indianapolis Combine:

Aspiring scout Chris Cordero reports Notre Dame wide receiver Golden Tate will be interviewing with the Dolphins Friday night. He also has other nuggets.

From Cordero:

Tate mentioned that he will be speaking with the Dolphins tonight. Looks small but with a solid build -- reminds of Steve Smith and if he runs well will go in 1st round. Tate expects to run sub-4.5. If he were to fall to 2nd round would be a steal there.

He doesn't fit the mold of the big physical receiver the Dolphins supposedly want but is a playmaker as 
evidenced by outstanding stats in a pro-style offense.

Another receiver, underclassmen wideout Dezmon Briscoe from Kansas measured 6-2 and change and 
weighed in at 207. He expects to run in the 4.5 range. He says he has spoken to "many" of the WR-needy teams but wouldn't name them. He could be a nice 3rd-round pick for the Dolphins - but if he runs well he could go in the 2nd round.

Briscoe says he is friends and looks up to Dez Bryant and tries to take as much from him as possible since he is a great player.

Arrelious "Rejus" Benn of Illinois is meeting with Ravens. He is possibily their No. 1 pick. He says he's a good blocker.  If the Ravens take him, it knocks one possible Dolphins 2nd-rounder off the board. If he runs well, though, he's a 1st round lock.

Benn said he talks a lot to former teammate Vontae Davis.

Update 2:30:

Dez Bryant, who has 9 3/4 inch hands, talked the media and apologized for misleading the NCAA about going to Deion Sanders house during offseason training. The visit itself was not a violation, but the lie was and he was suspended for the entire season.

"I'm back on track and ready to go," he said.

Bryant said he didn't think the suspension would affect his draft status but added, "That's not my call. My biggest regret during that situation? My biggest regret is just not telling the truth."

Obviously, Bryant has been "coached" to say these things. But at least he followed the game plan.

Update 4:30:

Bryant has a hamstring injury and will not work out at the Combine.

Check back often for the latest news and rumors relating to the Dolphins.

Dolphins In Depth Scout digs up Combine info

Well, I promised some surprises during the Combine so let's get to it.

As you know Chris Cordero has been traveling to events such as the Combine and Senior Bowl as he tries to connect with an NFL job as a scout. He studied under some pretty impressive people and I trust his insight and eye for talent. Many of you appreciated his insight based on his Senior Bowl reports.

Cordero is at the Combine now and will be sending along tidbits he hears and sees from his growing number of connections. He'll do this throughout the Combine and I'll post them here.

This is his first report:

"Hearing from one of my buddies that's in the know (he is legit and called the Pat White pick last year as well Terrell Owens signing with Bills) that the rumors of the Dolphins going hard after Karlos Dansby are true.

And while the Dolphins seem to be willing to pay the price - no one thinks the Dolphins will go as far as making him the highest-paid linebacker (whereas another team - the Giants most likely - might go that far).

It also looks like Anquan Boldin will most likely get traded this offseason. The Cardinals and him are going to give a contract extension one more shot and if that doesn't work out look for him to be moved. The asking price will likely start at a 2nd rounder and the likeliest suitor is Baltimore and then the Dolphins. 

Also hearing that it looks very likely, provided his shoulder is not damaged to the point say Chad Pennington's was, that Sam Bradford will be the #1 pick. How this affects the Dolphins would be that the #2 and 3 picks become Suh and McCoy with the Redskins likely to go either offensive tackle or Jimmy Clausen at # 4.

That means that top S Eric Berry could fall some as might top WR Dez Bryant. The teams in front of the Dolphins don't have great needs at those positions and if the Broncos don't move Marshall then the other main landing spot for Bryant is the Browns.

So there is a chance -- albeit slim, and things always change between know and the draft as we know, that the Dolphins could have their choice of WR Bryant, S Berry, and ILB McClain.

Finally, McClain appears to be slipping and might need a great combine and pro day to stay in the Top 15, and among any of the top rush LB prospects.

--Chris Cordero 

Check back throughout the day as Cordero has already sent more updates and I will post them soon.

Are Ayodele and Crowder also back in 2010?

Dolphins fans have spent over a month thinking change was coming to the inside linebacker position -- be it because everyone saw Rolando McClain trading his Alabama Crimson for Dolphins aqua, or because Karlos Dansby rumors are flying everywhere, or because no one really liked the play of Akin Ayodele or Channing Crowder.

But on the same day Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland suggested Gibril Wilson will return as the free safety in 2010, he also seemed to confirm Ayodele and Crowder also will be back in 2010.

"Well, you know, I think we have to get more production from the inside linebacker position," Ireland said when asked his comfort level with Crowder and Ayodele.

"They know that. We know that. You guys know that. So that's something I think those two guys are going to bring to us next year, too."

Read that last sentence again. It predicts higher production from Crowder and Ayodele for next year.

Well, to make that prediction, one has to believe they will be on the team to play up to the prediction. And if that be the case, then the Dolphins might not necessarily be thinking McClain.

I still believe the Dolphins will do their homework with Dansby. I still believe they will be in the derby to a degree. But it is an expensive chase and there is no way Ireland could or would predict the Dolphins will absolutely get him.

So the GM cannot talk as if Dansby is definitely coming. He can, however, speak to Miami's intention to keep Crowder and Ayodele. And I think that is what he did.

Frankly, in conversations I had Thursday with two folks somewhat familiar with what Dolphins people are saying, it seems the team is focusing on addressing three positions as their "must haves" this offseason.

Outside linebacker. Wide receiver. Nose tackle.

Those seem to be surfacing as the priorities.

Outside linebacker is important because, as Ireland stated, Miami has "age" at the position. And no, Joey Porter is not returning to Miami under any circumstance despite this report that raises the possibility that the rift can be patched.

U.S. Special Forces troops will patch things up with coward Usama Bin Laden before Porter and the Dolphins reconcile.

Nose tackle is "a priority," Ireland said because there are only so many men on the planet that fill the size requirement for the position and you get those guys when you can.

And wide receiver is important because the Dolphins could not throw the football very well last season -- No. 20 in the NFL -- and have to provide quarterback Chad Henne more weapons to change that fact.

"Every offense needs big playmakers, Ireland said. "Every offense does. This offense is no different. We need big playamkers. We need players that make chunk yardage.We need players that score touchdowns. This offense is no different. We need chunk players."

"We do need a big-play playmaker in my mind .. We need to get more production out of the wide receiver position."

So that's important.

Well, as I've stated before, the Dolphins cannot also include ILB as a need. Perhaps the Dansby gambit works. Perhaps not.

But at least the Dolphins have to be thinking they have guys already on the roster capable of playing the position as starters. And those guys -- Crowder and Ayodele -- seem likely to be back in 2010.


February 25, 2010

Ireland defends Wilson, suggests he's staying

Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland just finished speaking with the media and the most interesting thing from the talk, in my opinion, was his whole-hearted defense of Gibril Wilson and suggestion the free safety will remain with the Dolphins in 2010.

Ireland was asked if Wilson took too much of the blame for the troubles of the defense in 2009.

"He's playing a position with two young corners," Ireland said. "A lot of things you would try to blame on him ... those weren't always his fault. We have our evaluation of Gibril Wilson. We know what kind of player he's capable of being. I think he's going to be a very good player for the future. He was disappointed in his play last year.He will tell you that. I think he can play better. We'll just have to see. I think he will."

In talking to several reporters who attended the presser, including The Herald's Jeff Darlington, the clear indication they got is that the Dolphins intend to keep Wilson.

That even as the NFL is headed toward an uncapped year and cutting Wilson after March 5 would not cause any salary cap issues. Wilson signed a five-year, $27.5 million deal in 2009 that included a $5 million signing bonus and a total of $8 million in guarantees. 

So what do you think?

By the way, the live blog of the NFL Combine continues in the comments section. See you there. 

Combine opens and that calls for a live blog

The NFL Scouting Combine begins today in Indianapolis and the Dolphins will kick it off by making general manager Jeff Ireland available to the media sometime between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m.

I am not in Indianapolis (been there, done that) but will be monitoring the action throughout the day on this blog. I will be here throughout the day to interact with you, to tell you of the latest happenings, to answer questions, to basically blog live for hours on end.

I cannot wait!

I will provide you with the most up-to-the-minute news and analysis delivered through the vast worldwide resources of The Miami Herald -- beat writer Jeff Darlington is in Indy covering the event and I have a television, a computer and a fully charged iPhone. Brain overload!

There will be other features on here throughout the six-day Combine as well that I will tell you about at the appropriate time.

So what's my point? Be here throughout the day for the event. It's a great way to pass the day away at work.

Now, I would warn you that the Combine is a time when approximately 400 team personnel people, 400 media, 300 athletes and 200 or so agents come together in the same place. Not surprisingly, rumors fly.

Some of the rumors are worth repeating -- for example Greg Bedard of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel tweeted Wednesday evening that word on the street is the Dolphins will "pay" Karlos Dansby.

Of course, that doesn't preclude other teams from wanting to "pay" Dansby, too. So I would not say it's 100 percent the Dolphins are going to land the Arizona inside linebacker when free agency begins March 5. I would tell you they have studied Dansby and like Dansby a lot.

But that's a looong way from absolutely resolving to sign the guy no matter the price. Miami is not going to do that. So be wary.

Another rumor yesterday that I only repeat so that I can mock it is this one saying the Dolphins and Lions have a trade brewing that will send running back Ronnie Brown, a first-round pick and perhaps a third round pick to Detroit for wide receiver Calvin Johnson.

And now that I told you what the rumor is, I tell you there is no truth to it. The Lions are indeed looking to trade, but mostly it is to trade down in the draft. The Dolphins are willing to trade just about anyone on the roster, including Brown, but him, the first pick, and a third pick is a ransom for anyone not named Manning or Rivers or Brady or Brees.

I'm just relaying rumor to you as an example of how anyone without sources or attribution can simply piece a paragraph together (poorly) and pass it off as reporting.

Anyway, if you can't get to the blog throughout the day, you can follow me on twitter, as I'll be sending out messages there as well. Yes, you can get the tweets to your phone.

I'll be here starting around 10ish.   

February 24, 2010

Kindle: A look beyond stats and 40 times

So now you know that Mike Mayock believes the Dolphins will draft outside linebacker candidate Sergio Kindle because he is rated No. 7 among the draft analyst's best players, and Miami needs a defensive playmaker, and all those great football reasons.

And that is dandy for an analyst looking purely at a player's skill set and matching them to a team's needs. But drafting for an NFL team is more than purely projecting whether a player can play a position or adjust to a scheme or has the physical prowess to perform.

NFL drafting is also about knowing the person, his habits, his character. And Mayock doesn't measure any of that which the Dolphins must absolutely measure before taking a gamble on anyone such as Kindle.

You see, Kindle, by all accounts a fine athlete, has had some off-field issues during his 22 years on the planet. And the Dolphins must and will collect data on those issues and include them in their evaluation of Kindle.

This isn't new. Every team does this. But for some reason, unless the issues are obvious, guys such as Mayock and Mel Kiper rarely account for them. They loved Rey Maualuga last year, but didn't say anything about the drinking problem that most teams were aware of. Not surprisingly, Maualuga, supremely talented, had a drunk driving incident in January and then reportedly checked himself into a alcohol rebabilitation center.

Now you understand why he didn't go higher in the 2009 draft?

Kindle's current state of mind and character is for NFL teams to judge now. But I can tell you he's had trouble before that Mayock didnt mention in speaking about him Tuesday on a national conference call.

In July of 2007, when Kindle was a sophomore, he was arrested for DWI. He was suspended for the first three games of the season and had to perform community service.

In June of 2009, just prior to Kindle's final season at Texas, he was involved in a car accident in which he drove his car into an apartment building at 2:50 in the morning on a Wednesday. Kindle then got the help of some friends, pulled the car out of the wrecked apartment, and put it on the street.

Then Kindle fled the scene. Having suffered a concussion, his story is he was very tired and simply went home to sleep. Kindle claims there was no alcohol involved in this accident and that he was simply texting a coach when it happened.

(Um, show of hands in the comments section for anyone who totally buys this story.)

Kindle's car, by the way, was registered to his father: Johnny Walker.

I kid you not.

Anyway, even if you are a believer, you must wonder how Kindle would handle playing in a town like mine because we got a couple of places to party down here. Fact is, even people close to Kindle wonder if he should be playing in a town like Miami.

Kindle's high school coach Bobby Estes told the New York Times in January that he and his wife "cringe" at the idea of Kindle ending up in a city like Miami and are hopeful, instead, he ends up "in a cold-weather city so he would stay inside more."

“Is he Colt McCoy and Tim Tebow citing Scripture? No,” Estes said. “But I do know that he knows right from wrong. I hope he’s making mature choices."

Kindle told the newspaper stories about his reputation as a drinker and a partier don't worry him. He told the newspaper he's "not the Sergio of '06-'07," and is now "walking a straight line."

Well, it's up to NFL teams to find out if that "straight line" is one drawn by a cop during a field sobriety test.

February 23, 2010

Mike Mayock: Dolphins should pick Kindle

NFL Network draft analyst Mike Mayock is a big fan of Sergio Kindle -- so much so, he rates the Texas outside linebacker prospect ahead of Alabama inside linebacker Rolando McClain and believes the Dolphins should pick him with the No. 12 overall pick of the draft.

"I think if you're trying to look, and I hear a lot of people talking about McClain versus an outside linebacker, to me in that 3-4 the outside linebacker is more important," Mayock said, thus agreeing with what Dolphins In Depth wrote about three weeks ago. "If Sergio Kindle is there at No. 12, I'd pull the trigger. I think he's an explosive edge rusher and I think he would instantly upgrade that team.

"They probably need a nose tackle. I think you can get one a little bit later in the draft and obviously the same thing at wide receiver. I really believe that depending on who's sitting there at 12, that's what they're also looking at: 'Kindle is an explosive playmaker on defense. Is there anybody at 12 that can help us on offense?' I don't think there's any way in the world [Oklahoma State wide receiver] Dez Bryant gets there. So if he's gone, does another wide receiver warrant consideration at 12? And I think that's some of the discussion that's going on right now."

Mayock says he has Mclain rated as the No. 17-best player in the country. He has Kindle at No. 7.

"I think Kindle's a better player," Mayock said. "And I think he's a fit for that team."

Kindle is 6-4 and 255 pounds. He obviously has prototype size, or rather, size Bill Parcells likes for his OLBs. Brandon Graham, whom I believe will be a better player? Not so much.

Graham is 6-1 and 263 and Mayock said his 30 1/2-inch arms were, "really short," and "teams would knock him down for that."

Mayock said he believes Graham will go in the 23ish range of the first round. Salguero says if the New England Patriots get him at No. 22, the Dolphins will rue the day. He will haunt Miami for years, in my opinion.

Kindle wears No. 2 in the video below.

This is what Scouts Inc.'s Todd McShay and Kevin Weidl wrote on ESPN.com's site today about Graham:

"A productive player who led the nation in tackles for loss (26) last season, Graham has developed into an impressive overall player. Although his lack of ideal height (6-foot-1) is an issue for some, Graham is technically sound, and he is explosive and shows good bend as a pass-rusher.

He is also an instinctive run-defender who uses strength and leverage to hold the edge, and Graham uses his hands well to control and disengage from blockers both against the run and the pass. He played with his hand in the dirt in college, but we feel he is best-suited as a pass-rushing 3-4 outside linebacker, similar to fellow former Wolverine LaMarr Woodley."

Mayock agrees that Graham reminds him of Woodley and added Graham has "one of the best motors in the draft," meaning he's relentless.

Let the debate continue ...

Tell me why Rolando McClain is special

I am not a scout and do not pretend to play one on the Internet. I'm not a personnel guy. I don't know squat about grading players or projecting players. My gig is to tell you what the scouts I speak with tell me.

But I know a good football player when I see one. And I know a great one when I see one.

I haven't watched Rolando McClain enough to give a fair judgment on whether he's good or great. But in watching the videos below I kept waiting for the monster raves about to show up. And I waited. And I waited.

And that guy never showed.

I expected Ray Lewis. I expected Mike Singletary.

I got Rolando McClain. Just Rolando McClain.

I saw a guy that made routine plays. I saw a guy that didn't seem faster or more explosive than everyone else on his defense. I saw a guy that tackled high. I saw a guy that usually took the right path to the ball carrier, but not always. I saw a lot of tackles in which he cleaned up, rather than was the first guy on the scene. I saw a good, not great, blitzer.

I was impressed by McClain's ability in pass coverage. That stood out for me.

But dominant as a run-stopper? A man to be game-planned for? A game-changer?

I failed to see that.

What am I not seeing? What am I missing here?

All the draft pundits claim McClain is special, that he's the second coming of Dick Butkus. Well, McClain won the Dick Butkus Award last year, but I failed to see him as Dick Butkus.

I saw a player that played well on an outstanding defense. I saw a guy that obviously understood his assignments and carried them out. But this guy isn't even Patrick Willis, in my humble opinion.

So watch the videos and you tell me. What am I missing?

I'm two people from the magic 3k on twitter. Get me there and I'll stop whining about it already. 

February 22, 2010

Ricky Williams rolling as LT declines

LaDainian Tomlinson was released by the San Diego Chargers a little while ago.

And that got me to thinking. Tomlinson, 30, will be looking for a new team in his 10th NFL season. His statistics the past two seasons suggest he is a diminished player, a running back whose explosion and speed have apparently left him.

I guess 2,880 career carries takes a toll.

And that suggests that it is carries, not years, that diminish a running back.

I present as exhibit A, Ricky Williams. He is two years older than Tomlinson. And yet in 2009, while Tomlinson slowed to a crawl, Williams had a renaissance year with 1,121 yards on 241 carries. That's a 4.7 average at age 32 compared to Tomlinson's 3.3 yard per carry average at age 30.

So how does Ricky do it? Is it the veggie diet? The yoga? Or is it simply fewer career carries?

Williams has only 2,164 career rushes, thanks in large part to having played only one game in 2006-2007 and having missed 2004 altogether.

Clearly, the older player in this comparison is not nearly as physically worn as the younger.

But my concern is not the last 2,164 carries by Williams but rather the next 300-500.

You see, if Williams has indeed benefitted from his limited use since 2003 and thus has maintained a rushing average of 4.4 yards per carry in his last 575 carries spanning four seasons, the question arises, "How much longer can he keep it up?"

Tomlinson began his decline at around 2,300 carries. In fact, after his 2,365th carry he had only eight games out of a possible 30 in which he averaged 4.0 yards per carry or more.

Williams is about one season from reaching his 2,300th carry -- assuming he continues sharing caries with Ronnie Brown. Would his declined begin then, at age 33?

No one knows. But it is a fair question to consider.

Also consider this: Williams is signed through 2010 but not beyond. He is on record stating this will be his final season. But we all know Williams is more than capable of changing his mind.

The question is would the Dolphins be wise to start planning for life after Ricky Williams now, knowing he's still running like he did in his prime? Or can this wait another year and maybe another 200 carries?

Follow me on twitter so that I can feel like what I say in cyberspace actually matters when we all know it does not. 

Report: Wilfork franchised (bad for Dolphins)

Patriots nose tackle Vince Wilfork is apparently off the free agent market.

According to Tom Curren's twitter page, the former University of Miami standout has been franchised today. ESPN.com is reporting Wilfork received the non-exclusive tender, which means a team can still host Wilfork on a free agent visit, but would then have to pay two No. 1 picks for the right to sign the Pro Bowl player.

The Dolphins are not paying two No. 1 picks for Vince Wilfork -- or practically anyone else.

All this was an expected move. It was a move that I wrote would likely happen over the weekend.

But it still hurts.

Not only will the Dolphins not be adding an outstanding player, but they'll likely be playing that same outstanding player twice a year for the near future.

By the way, you better believe Wilfork will not be happy.

Bianca Wilfork, of Miami, has responded to the tag on her husband on her twitter page.

"The franchise tag has been applied. After six years of dedicated service, I do understand this is a business," Wilfork's wife wrote. "With that being said it is my hope that the tag is applied for its true purpose: For the purpose of alotting more time for us to continue our talks and be able to reach a long-term agreement. Only time will tell what the final result will be."  

The Dolphins search for a nose tackle, meanwhile, will have to turn elsewhere.


2010 draft needs to be a boon for the Dolphins

My Sunday column explained why the upcoming 2010 might be the most important for the Dolphins in a very long time.

Simply, in year No. 3 of the Parcells-Sparano-Ireland dynasty, the Dolphins need to turn the corner on one playoff season and one losing season. But unlike most other NFL offseasons, free agency will be an unpredictable exercise based on the likely uncapped year.

Free agency also might not offer the many opportunities to add young, prime-of-their-career talent it has been in the past.

So if the Dolphins are to make the significant jump from inconsistent and mediocre to good or very good, the draft must deliver the talent to do that with.

Well, the Dolphins will have plenty of arrows in their quiver to do damage in the draft.

They have nine picks assigned so far:

First round - #12 overall.

Second round - #11 in the round.

Third round - #9 in the round.

Fourth round - #12 in the round.

Fifth round -- None. Consideration to Kansas City for Tyler Thigpen.

Sixth round - #4 in the round (from Kansas City), # 5 in the round (from Washington) and #10 in the round (own).

Seventh round - #5 in the round (from Kansas City) and #12 in the round (own).

But I'm here to tell you the Dolphins should have at least one more pick. The compensatory picks will be awarded in March and the Dolphins are likely to score at least one pick based on their 2009 offseason losses.

You'll recall that last offseason the team lost three unrestricted free agents -- cornerback Andre' Goodman to the Denver Broncos, safety Renaldo Hill to the Denver Broncos and center Al Johnson to the New England Patriots.

The Dolphins signed three unrestricted free agents -- guard Joe Berger, center Jake Grove, and cornerback Eric Green.

I cannot recite the exact NFL net gain-loss formula for unrestricted free agency, because I'm not that much of a dweeb, but suffice to say the Dolphins will be judged to have a net loss. And while they are not likely to gain anything as high as a third- or fourth-round pick via the compensatory process, they might pick up a fifth-rounder. We'll see.

(Before you go all nutty in the comments section saying I messed up because the Dolphins also signed Gibril Wilson and Jason Taylor, I remind you neither were unrestricted free agents. Both were released by their teams. Both were street free agents. Cameron Wake was also a street free agent as he wasn't even in the league the season before. The NFL does not weigh them in the gain-loss formula.)

Now, as to what the Dolphins do with their nine and perhaps 10 draft picks, I can tell you this:

Miami needs to do better, and certainly no worse, than last year as far as production from their rookies.

In 2009, the Dolphins got two starters out of the first two rounds. That's good despite the fact the first two rounds offered Miami three picks.

The Dolphins need to find starters in the first two rounds of 2010. And then they have to do better beyond that than they did in 2009.

You see, in 2009 only fourth-rounder Brian Hartline contributed to any substantial degree.

Third rounder Patrick Turner was a non-factor. Fifth-rounder John Nalbone was a non-factor. Fifth-rounder Chris Clemons was mostly a special teams player. Sixth-rounder Andrew Gardner was a non-factor. And seventh-rounder J.D. Folsom was a non-factor.

If the Dolphins can find three starters from the 2010 draft, coupled with perhaps one or two starters from free agency and some other avenue (trade?), we could be talking a significant improvement from 2009.

And that's what the Dolphins need.

Follow me on twitter as I failed miserably in my attempt to reach 3,000 followers by the end of the weekend. I gained some 160 followers last week but fell 20-some followers shy of my goal. So help me to stop sucking. 

February 20, 2010

Cut troubled Will Allen immediately? [Updated]

Will Allen was arrested early Saturday morning for DUI, according to ProFootballTalk.com. Assuming there isn't another Will Allen roaming South Florida in a Ferrari that is registered to the Dolphins cornerback and the guy in this booking photo isn't just a dead ringer for Allen, this will mark the second incident in which a Dolphins player is arrested this offseason.

Defensive lineman Tony McDaniel was arrested for alleged domestic violence battery on Super Bowl Sunday after an episode with his live-in girlfriend.

[Updated 4:45: The Miami Herald is reporting in this story that Allen had his blood alocohol level tested twice, as per Florida law. He had a level twice the Florida legal limit of .08 on one test and a .152 (just under twice the legal limit) on another test. Allen was booked at 10:14 Saturday morning and held at the Pre-Trial Detention Center. He is still there as of this update.]

And so when I tweeted the news earlier today on my twitter, the reaction I got is that Allen is surely on his way to being cut or terminated by the Dolphins.

My follow-up question to that is, "Why do you think that?"

The fact of the matter is that after Bill Parcells came to Miami and said in his opening and only press conference that he didn't want any "thugs and hoodlums," on the team, the Dolphins have had several players arrested.

And the arrests have never led to those players being immediately cut.

I remind you fullback Reagan Mauia was arrested in 2008 and wasn't immediately cut. He was waived when the team determined his wasn't the best fullback on the roster.

Last year, defensive end Randy Starks was arrested for aggravated assault on a police officer. He was not waived and the issue was later resolved.

Then practice squad cornerback Will Billingsley was arrested in connection with another domestic violence dispute in October. He was not waived immediately. Billingsley remained on the practice squad for several weeks, until the club decided he no longer served a football purpose.

McDaniel, a part-time player who came to Miami from Jacksonville, is still on the roster.

The point?

The Dolphins, under Parcells, do not cut ties with a player based on his legal troubles -- at least not immediately.

Maybe Will Allen eventually outlives his usefulness with the Dolphins based on no longer being a starter and being a player trying to return from a serious knee injury at a position that requires two healthy knees. But will he be cut in the next few hours or days based simply on his recent legal issues?

That hasn't been Miami's history under Bill Parcells, Jeff Ireland and Tony Sparano.

The situation surrounding WR Antonio Bryant

The story dates back to 2004. During a heated exchange in a Dallas Cowboys practice, tempers flare and WR Antonio Bryant flings a towel at coach Bill Parcells' face. Days later the player is traded to the Cleveland Browns.

That was over five years ago and there are reports Bryant and Parcells have patched things up. There are whispers the two exchange text messages.

And so, naturally, there are questions whether the Dolphins might consider Bryant as a free agent addition once free agency begins March 5. I don't know if the Dolphins will chase Bryant or not. But my gut tells me no.

But, but, but, but, Mando, Bryant is only 28 years old. And he's from Miami, having attended Northwestern High. And he's 6-1 and 205 pounds. And, and, and ...

... And he's an enigma, folks.

And I have yet to see the Dolphins reach for an enigma under Parcells.

Bryant has a couple of things going for him, to be sure. He is talented his career statistics speak for themselves. He's eclipsed 1,000 receiving yards twice in his career and has a career 15.3 yard per catch average. Even last season when Bryant was lessened by various factors, he averaged 15.4 yards per catch.

But ...

Did I mention the guy is an enigma?

I don't know the guy so I cannot tell you of his personality or character. But his history is not without blemish. After the incident in Dallas, he played two seasons in Cleveland and eventually landed a nice free agent contract in San Francisco.

The four-year, $14 million contract Bryant signed was less than one year old when the 49'ers cut him loose. Coach Mike Nolan and Bryant had issues with one another. Bad news for Bryant: Nolan is Miami's newly minted defensive coordinator.

Then Bryant was suspended by the NFL in 2007 and didn't play at all. The suspension was for violating the league's substance abuse policy.

Bryant was eventually reinstated and landed in Tampa Bay in 2008. And he was dominant! He caught 83 passes for 1,248 yards and was, by most accounts, a solid citizen. It was such a good fit the Bucs put a $9 million franchise tag on Bryant for 2009.

And then the Bryant career roller coaster took a nose dive. Bryant had surgery to repair torn meniscus in a knee but was never really right during the season. He started only 11 games and caught only 39 passes for 600 yards. Obviously, Tampa Bay's problems at quarterback affected Bryant's productivity, but the team believes the problem extended beyond that.

Reports are the Bucs will not place a franchise or transition tag on Bryant, meaning he will become a free agent March 5th unless a deal is reached at the 11th hour.

So here we are. The Dolphins have an obvious need at wide receiver. The unrestricted free agent pool of wide receiver (check the list on previous posts) is shallow.

Do the Dolphins make a play for Bryant?

I say, no thanks. You say what?

Follow me on twitter. I'm only 48 followers short of reaching my goal of 3,000 by the end of the weekend.   

February 19, 2010

A quickie chat with Brandon Graham

Maybe the Dolphins draft Rolando McClain because everyone loves the guy and everyone says he's going to be a star. Maybe they take Eric Berry (if he's there) because they need a playmaking free safety. Maybe they reach for a nose tackle or a wide receiver.

I still love Michigan's Brandon Graham.

Have I made that point to you guys enough this week? Even as the adoption papers are being drawn up, I wanted to share with you yet more reasons I think this star DE-OLB from Michigan is the real deal and should be considered at No. 12 overall -- contrary opinions from Mel Kiper and Todd McShay and all the other draft pundits notwithstanding.

I direct you to this interview Graham did with Scout.com during Senior Bowl week -- before he went off and won the game MVP award with five tackles and two sacks.

In the interview Graham says a couple of things that caught my attention:

He expects to run in the 4.5s at the Indianapolis Combine next week. And he loves the idea of playing 3-4 outside linebacker.

"Oh yeah, I feel real good," Graham says about dropping in coverage. "I've been working on my hips, working on my drops every day in practice for Michigan ... With a little coaching from the NFL guys, I believe I can get it done."

Graham has no shortage of confidence. And he couples that with something of a chip that dares naysayers to disbelieve he can do whatever he sets out to do. That's why he says he wants to run in the 4.5s at the Combine.

"I'm excited because I like it when people doubt me," he says. "That's just a challenge and I like challenges and I'm going to try to fulfill it. And if I don't, then I gave it my all and that's all I can say."

One thing Graham has shown in all his games and all the practices at the Senior Bowl was a seemingly infinite desire. He wants to be good. He wants to improve. He wants to get to the quarterback. He wants to be an NFL star.

"[I'm] just trying to show that my motor's always going," he says, "I love football and I want to make plays and sack the quarterback."

You combine want-to and talent and you know what you have?

A very good NFL player.

Follow me on twitter as I'm only 74 followers from my weekend goal of 3,000! 

February 18, 2010

The NFL's list of restricted free agents

Well, you saw the long and unimpressive list of unrestricted free agents that could hit the market once free agency begins March 5. That list is unimpressive because it lacks the younger, in-their-prime group of players that typically become free agents every spring -- the guys with four or five years of experience with expiring contracts.

If there is no new collective bargaining agreement by March 5 and the NFL goes to an uncapped year, players must have at least six credited NFL seasons to be considered unrestricted free agents. Fewer than six credited seasons and a player is restricted.

What follows are the more than 200 players with four or five credited season who will be restricted, rather than unrestricted, if 2010 is uncapped.

(Note: Any player with three accrued seasons whose contract is due to expire will also be a restricted free agent in 2010.)


Accrued        2009    
Seasons Club Player Pos Starts Current Agent*
4 ARZ Lutui, Deuce G 16 Hannemann, Max
5 ARZ Abdullah, Hamza SS 0 LaBoy, Cliff
4 ARZ Green, Justin FB 0 Baker, Andrew M.
5 ARZ Urban, Jerheme WR 0 Drana, John E.
4 ARZ Watson, Gabe NT 0 Rosenhaus, Drew
4 ATL Clabo, Tyson T 16 Speck, Chad
4 ATL Dahl, Harvey G 11 Condon, Thomas J.
4 ATL Ojinnaka, Quinn G 5 Linta, Joseph Michael
4 ATL Norwood, Jerious RB 4 Weatherell, Donald Arthur
4 ATL Fudge, Jamaal SS 0 Wyatt, David S.
5 ATL Koenen, Michael P 0 McCartney, Michael S.
4 ATL Peprah, Charlie FS 0 Crain, Graylan S.
4 BLT Landry, Dawan SS 16 France, Todd E.
4 BLT Chester, Chris G 13 Domann, Craig E.
5 BLT Clayton, Mark WR 12 Steiner, Jim
5 BLT Washington, Fabian CB 10 Mackler, Brian
5 BLT Cundiff, Billy K 0 Sheehy, Paul R.
4 BLT Koch, Sam P 0 Mudder, Steven J.
4 BLT Moll, Tony T 0 Grogan, James C.
5 BLT Terry, Adam T 0 Landphere, Kenneth C.
4 BLT Williams, Demetrius WR 0 Bauer, Frank
4 BUF Incognito, Richie G 12 Dunn, David L.
4 BUF Wilson, George SS 12 France, Todd E.
4 BUF Ellison, Keith OLB 8 Ellison, Christopher
4 BUF Youboty, Ashton CB 1 Segal, Joel G.
4 BUF Hamdan, Gibran QB 0 Baker, Andrew M.
4 CAR Marshall, Richard CB 16 Rosenhaus, Drew
4 CAR King, Jeff TE 15 Smith, Rick E.
4 CAR Anderson, James OLB 7 Ivler, James J.
5 CAR Davis, Thomas OLB 7 France, Todd E.
5 CAR Petitti, Rob T 0 Cindrich, Ralph E.
4 CHI Manning, Danieal FS 10 Hicks, Russel V.
5 CHI Bullocks, Josh FS 4 Nalley, Jeffrey S.
4 CHI Anderson, Mark DE 2 Ivler, James J.
4 CHI Williams, Jamar OLB 2 Ivler, James J.
4 CHI Dvoracek, Dusty NT 0 Johnson, William L.
5 CIN Mathis, Evan G 7 Rosenhaus, Drew
4 CIN Johnson, Brandon OLB 3 Chayut, Jason T.
4 CIN Jeanty, Rashad OLB 1 Canter, David E.
4 CIN Rucker, Frostee DE 1 Gould, James M.
4 CIN Hodge, Abdul MLB 0 Baratz, Blake Aaron
5 CIN Smith, Shaun NT 0 Schwartz, Neil S.
4 CLV Elam, Abram SS 16 Rosenhaus, Drew
5 CLV Pool, Brodney FS 10 Dogra, R.K. Ben
4 CLV Vickers, Lawrence FB 9 Rosenhaus, Drew
4 CLV Harrison, Jerome RB 7 Unknown,
4 CLV Jackson, D’Qwell ILB 6 Mackler, Brian
5 CLV Roth, Matt OLB 6 Rosenhaus, Drew
5 DAL Sensabaugh, Gerald SS 15 Conner, Kevin T.
5 DAL Spears, Marcus DE 14 Feldman, Steven C.
4 DAL Austin, Miles WR 9 Dunn, David L.
4 DAL Bowen, Stephen DE 2 Woy, Jordan
4 DAL Hurd, Sam WR 1 Greengross, Ian
4 DAL Watkins, Pat SS 1 Colton, Jerrold D.
4 DAL Gordon, Cletis CB 0 Edwards, Rodney Lamar
4 DAL Hatcher, Jason DE 0 Cook, James A.
4 DAL McQuistan, Pat T 0 Staninger, Ken
5 DAL Preston, Duke C 0 Domann, Craig E.
4 DAL Procter, Cory G 0 Dubin, Stephen L.
4 DAL Suisham, Shaun K 0 Scott, Gil
4 DEN Kuper, Chris G 15 Goeas, Leo
5 DEN Orton, Kyle QB 15 Humenik, Mark
4 DEN Dumervil, Elvis OLB 14 Wichard, Gary
4 DEN Marshall, Brandon WR 13 McGuire, Kennard
4 DEN Scheffler, Tony TE 9 Cook, James A.
4 DEN Smith, Le Kevin DE 2 Bakari, Adisa P.
4 DET Hunter, Jason DE 9 Walker, Robert B.
4 DET Gandy, Dylan C 5 Smith, Scott J.
5 DET Loper, Daniel G 5 Roth, Leonard S.
4 DET Simpson, Ko FS 5 Chayut, Jason T.
4 DET Bullocks, Daniel SS 0 Nalley, Jeffrey S.
5 DET Spencer, Cody ILB 0 Woy, Jordan
4 GB Colledge, Daryn G 16 Sperbeck, Jeffrey M.
5 GB Collins, Nick FS 16 Butz, David R.
4 GB Jolly, Johnny DE 16 Overstreet, Brian E.
4 GB Bigby, Atari SS 11 Rosenhaus, Drew
4 GB Kuhn, John FB 6 Gold, Kevin
4 GB Spitz, Jason C 4 Ayrault, Brian P.
4 GB Martin, Derrick FS 1 Cicala, Bradley Joseph
4 GB Blackmon, Will CB 0 Lawrence, Paul O.
4 HST Ryans, DeMeco MLB 16 Dogra, R.K. Ben
4 HST Pollard, Bernard SS 13 Parker, Eugene E.
4 HST Daniels, Owen TE 8 Butz, David R.
5 HST White, Chris C 8 Weatherell, Donald Arthur
4 HST Busing, John FS 4 Canter, David E.
5 HST Moats, Ryan RB 2 Woy, Jordan
4 HST Butler, Rashad T 0 Sarnoff, Kenneth R.
4 IND Bethea, Antoine FS 16 Bakari, Adisa P.
4 IND Johnson, Charlie T 12 Williams, Rodney N.
5 IND Hagler, Tyjuan OLB 7 Frankel, Mitchell
4 IND Jennings, Tim CB 5 Chayut, Jason T.
5 IND Francisco, Aaron FS 2 Hannemann, Max
4 IND Keiaho, Freddy MLB 2 Dunn, David L.
4 IND Baskett, Hank WR 0 Ivler, James J.
5 IND Jackson, Marlin CB 0 Sullivan, Michael F.
4 IND Rushing, T.J. CB 0 Bakari, Adisa P.
4 JAX Ingram, Clint OLB 12 Condon, Thomas J.
5 JAX Williamson, Troy WR 1 Canter, David E.
4 JAX Stanley, Montavious DT 0 Cindrich, Ralph E.
4 KC Niswanger, Rudy C 16 Elias, Albert G.
4 KC Mays, Corey ILB 13 Greengross, Ian
4 KC O’Callaghan, Ryan T 12 Sullivan, Michael F.
4 KC Page, Jarrad FS 5 Parker, Eugene E.
5 KC Johnson, Derrick ILB 3 Nalley, Jeffrey S.
4 KC Croyle, Brodie QB 1 Sexton, James E.
4 MIA Fasano, Anthony TE 14 Dunn, David L.
4 MIN Edwards, Ray DE 16 Hendrickson, Douglas J.
5 MIN Paymah, Karl CB 2 Hoffman, Michael R.
4 MIN Tahi, Naufahu FB 2 Lee, David
4 MIN Cook, Ryan T 0 Johnson, William L.
4 MIN Evans, Fred NT 0 Rosenhaus, Drew
4 MIN Jackson, Tarvaris QB 0 Segal, Joel G.
5 NE Mankins, Logan G 16 Bauer, Frank
4 NE Woods, Pierre OLB 5 Kiernan, Sean E.
4 NE Gostkowski, Stephen K 0 Sexton, James E.
4 NO Evans, Jahri G 16 Colton, Jerrold D.
4 NO Harper, Roman SS 16 Johnson, William L.
4 NO Thomas, David TE 8 Woy, Jordan
5 NO Hargrove, Tony DT 6 Williams, Philip C.
4 NO Bell, Mike RB 3 Feldman, Steven C.
4 NO Strief, Zach T 2 Cindrich, Ralph E.
5 NO Brown, Jammal T 0 Dogra, R.K. Ben
4 NO Moore, Lance WR 0 Butz, David R.
4 NO Roby, Courtney WR 0 Schaffer, Peter J.
4 NO Torrence, Leigh CB 0 Paige, Anthony
4 NYG Cofield, Barry NT 16 McCartney, Michael S.
5 NYG Brown, C.C. FS 7 Wiestling, Chad E.
4 NYG Dockery, Kevin CB 3 Rosenhaus, Drew
4 NYG Boothe, Kevin G 2 Segal, Joel G.
4 NYG Hagan, Derek WR 0 Kremer, Kendall
4 NYG Moss, Sinorice WR 0 Rosenhaus, Drew
4 NYG Whimper, Guy T 0 Diulus, Gregory P.
4 NYG Wilkinson, Gerris OLB 0 Zuckerman, Kenneth I.
5 NYJ Edwards, Braylon WR 15 Condon, Thomas J.
4 NYJ Smith, Eric SS 4 Baker, Andrew M.
4 NYJ Smith, Brad WR 2 Bartelstein, Mark
4 NYJ Clemens, Kellen QB 1 Dunn, David L.
4 NYJ Coleman, Drew CB 1 Herman, Alan
5 NYJ Hunter, Wayne T 1 Zuckerman, Kenneth I.
5 NYJ Green, Howard NT 0 Elias, Albert G.
4 NYJ Washington, Leon RB 0 Keels, Alvin
5 OAK Morrison, Kirk MLB 16 Tollner, Bruce A.
4 OAK Howard, Thomas OLB 15 Dunn, David L.
4 OAK Brown, Ricky OLB 5 LaMontagne, Noel
4 OAK Alston, Jon OLB 4 Baker, Steve
5 OAK Frye, Charlie QB 3 Metz, Eric
5 OAK Barnes, Khalif T 2 Zuckerman, Kenneth I.
5 OAK Routt, Stanford CB 1 McElroy, William Vann
5 OAK Losman, J.P. QB 0 Wichard, Gary
4 PHI Cole, Nick C 16 Lyles, Frederick T.
4 PHI Gocong, Chris OLB 11 Hoffman, Michael R.
4 PHI Avant, Jason WR 9 Sullivan, Michael F.
5 PHI Weaver, Leonard FB 8 Lewis, Harold C.
4 PHI Jean-Gilles, Max G 5 Rosenhaus, Drew
5 PHI Smith, Alex TE 5 Rosenhaus, Drew
4 PHI Gaither, Omar MLB 3 France, Todd E.
5 PHI Hobbs, Ellis CB 0 Omell, Kevin J.
4 PIT Colon, Willie T 16 Linta, Joseph Michael
4 SD McNeill, Marcus T 16 Keels, Alvin
5 SD Jackson, Vincent WR 15 Schwartz, Neil S.
5 SD Merriman, Shawne OLB 14 Condon, Thomas J.
4 SD Floyd, Malcom WR 9 Baker, Andrew M.
4 SD Dobbins, Tim ILB 2 Omell, Kevin J.
5 SD Sproles, Darren RB 2 Wichard, Gary
5 SD Garay, Antonio DT 0 Weiss, Arthur B.
5 SD Ghiaciuc, Eric C 0 Domann, Craig E.
5 SD Harris, Marques OLB 0 Hoffman, Michael R.
5 SD Johnson, Travis DE 0 Wichard, Gary
4 SD Whitehurst, Charlie QB 0 Dye, Patrick F.
4 SEA Sims, Rob G 14 Segal, Joel G.
5 SEA Spencer, Chris C 14 Condon, Thomas J.
4 SEA Tapp, Darryl DE 5 Smith, Fletcher N.
4 SEA Laury, Lance OLB 0 Canter, David E.
5 SF Baas, David G 16 Lock, Ethan
4 SF Brooks, Ahmad OLB 0 Self,
4 SF Hudson, Marcus CB 0 Rosenhaus, Drew
5 SL Barron, Alex T 16 Barnes, Roosevelt
5 SL Atogwe, Oshiomogho FS 12 Landphere, Kenneth C.
4 SL Gibson, Gary DT 5 Fisher, Jay M.
4 SL Setterstrom, Mark G 3 Landphere, Kenneth C.
4 SL Adeyanju, Victor DE 1 Domann, Craig E.
4 SL Gado, Sam RB 0 Tollner, Bruce A.
4 SL Martin, Ruvell WR 0 Baratz, Blake Aaron
4 TB Penn, Donald T 16 Arceneaux, Rocky
5 TB Ruud, Barrett MLB 16 Lock, Ethan
4 TB Trueblood, Jeremy T 16 Condon, Thomas J.
5 TB Williams, Carnell RB 15 Dogra, R.K. Ben
4 TB Stovall, Maurice WR 7 Smith, Lamont
5 TB Bradley, Mark WR 6 Bradley, Danny L.
5 TB McCoy, Matt OLB 2 Castano, Orlando J.
4 TB Clark, Brian WR 0 Wood, Edward Kirk
5 TB Wilson, Rod MLB 0 Canter, David E.
5 TEN Brown, Tony DT 15 Magid, Martin R.
4 TEN Tulloch, Stephen MLB 13 Rosenhaus, Drew
5 TEN Scaife, Bo TE 10 Rosenhaus, Drew
4 TEN Vickerson, Kevin DT 2 Rosenhaus, Drew
5 TEN Ball, Dave DE 1 Tollner, Bruce A.
4 TEN White, LenDale RB 0 Rosenhaus, Drew
5 WAS Campbell, Jason QB 16 Segal, Joel G.
4 WAS McIntosh, Rocky OLB 15 Rosenhaus, Drew
5 WAS Rogers, Carlos CB 15 France, Todd E.
4 WAS Doughty, Reed SS 7 Butz, David R.
4 WAS Golston, Kedric DT 5 Courtney, Lance
4 WAS Montgomery, Will C 3 Lattinville, Robert H.
4 WAS Montgomery, Anthony DT 0 Rosenhaus, Drew

*subject to change

Free agency on the way -- one way or another

Well, salary cap or no, there will be some sort of free agency starting on March 5. On Wednesday the NFL released the list of veterans with at least six credited seasons and an expiring contract that would constitute the sadly diminished class of 2010 unrestricted free agents should there be no new collective bargaining agreement and thus no salary cap.

Check out the list. There are 236 players on it along with the agents that represent them.

There are a couple of interesting names -- Karlos Dansby, Julius Peppers, Chad Pennington. And some of these guys will contribute to teams in 2010, no doubt about that.

So you tell me which ones you would target for the Dolphins.

One more thing: I included the names of the agents that represent these guys so note Jason Ferguson's agent. Jimmy Sexton represents the soon-to-be free agent nose tackle. Sexton also represents Bill Parcells and Tony Sparano.

Translation: If Ferguson is going to play in 2010, the Dolphins will get first dibs on him. No doubt about that.

By the way, you following me on twitter yet? I'm 108 followers short of 3K. Want to get there by this weekend. Follow me.


Seasons Club Player Pos Starts Current Agent*
10 ARZ Becht, Anthony TE 10 Rosenhaus, Drew
9 ARZ Beisel, Monty ILB 0 Price, Charles A.
12 ARZ Berry, Bert OLB 5 Flanagan, Anthony Emerson
7 ARZ Bridges, Jeremy G 4 Cook, James A.
10 ARZ Brown, Ralph CB 1 Capra, Patrick
6 ARZ Dansby, Karlos ILB 16 France, Todd E.
9 ARZ Gandy, Mike T 12 Dogra, R.K. Ben
10 ARZ Kreider, Dan FB 3 Bauer, Frank
7 ARZ Morey, Sean WR 0 Clohisy, Michael B.
11 ARZ Okeafor, Chike OLB 13 Simms, Andrew E.
10 ARZ Rackers, Neil K 0 Roche, Robert S.
13 ARZ Robinson, Bryan NT 15 Bartelstein, Mark
6 ARZ St. Pierre, Brian QB 0 Smith, Rick E.
6 ARZ Ware, Matt SS 1 Unknown
11 ATL Booker, Marty WR 1 Brothers, Raymond
7 ATL Gilbert, Tony MLB 0 France, Todd E.
6 ATL Haynes, Verron RB 2 Bolar, Robert Terry
7 ATL Redman, Chris QB 2 Branion, Joby
11 ATL Schneck, Mike LS 0 Sheehy, Paul R.
10 ATL Stecker, Aaron RB 0 Slavin, Ronald Benson
8 ATL Williams, Brian CB 5 Feagan, Jordan
10 ATL Zelenka, Joe LS 0 Sharbaugh, Vern G.
8 BLT Bannan, Justin DT 2 Mills, Thomas H.
6 BLT Edwards, Dwan DE 9 Bauer, Frank
7 BLT Ivy, Corey CB 0 Rosenhaus, Drew
13 BLT Mason, Derrick WR 16 Smith, Lamont
7 BLT Smith, L.J. TE 0 Mackler, Brian
7 BLT Tyree, David WR 0 Clouser, Mark
7 BLT Walker, Frank CB 1 Murtha, Frank J.
7 BLT Washington, Kelley WR 2 Speck, Chad
8 BUF Denney, Ryan DE 0 Lock, Ethan
11 BUF Draft, Chris OLB 3 Strickland, Vernon M.
7 BUF Johnson, Todd SS 0 Schaffer, Peter J.
8 BUF McKinney, Seth C 1 Cindrich, Ralph E.
14 BUF Owens, Terrell WR 16 Rosenhaus, Drew
8 BUF Reed, Josh WR 4 Dogra, R.K. Ben
7 BUF Scott, Bryan SS 9 Johnson, Edward G.
8 BUF Simmons, Kendall G 3 Metz, Eric
6 BUF Stamer, Josh OLB 0 Lattinville, Robert H.
7 CAR Brayton, Tyler DE 15 Mills, Thomas H.
9 CAR Feeley, A.J. QB 0 Dunn, David L.
8 CAR McCown, Josh QB 0 McCartney, Michael S.
14 CAR Muhammad, Muhsin WR 13 Segal, Joel G.
8 CAR Peppers, Julius DE 14 Carey, Carl Edward
14 CAR Thomas, Hollis DT 13 Bauer, Michael R.
9 CAR Vincent, Keydrick G 16 Branion, Joby
8 CAR Wesley, Dante CB 0 Hicks, Russel V.
6 CHI McClover, Darrell OLB 0 Rosenhaus, Drew
9 CHI Ogunleye, Adewale DE 14 Rosenhaus, Drew
8 CHI Peterson, Adrian RB 0 Kremer, Kendall
7 CHI Tinoisamoa, Pisa OLB 2 Sullivan, Michael F.
9 CIN Graham, Shayne K 0 Dunn, David L.
7 CIN Johnson, Jeremi FB 8 Schaffer, Peter J.
6 CIN Johnson, Larry RB 7 Schaffer, Peter J.
6 CIN Johnson, Tank DT 13 Unknown
11 CIN Kelly, Reggie TE 0 Sexton, James E.
10 CIN Williams, Bobbie G 16 Agnone, Anthony J.
8 CIN Williams, Roy SS 4 Woy, Jordan
7 CLV Furrey, Mike WR 4 Unknown
6 CLV Gaines, Michael TE 7 Agnone, Anthony J.
6 CLV Hadnot, Rex G 6 Rickert, John W.
8 CLV Poteat, Hank CB 2 Levy, Brian M.
13 CLV Tucker, Ryan G 0 Coletta, Joseph M.
6 CLV Yates, Billy G 0 Bass, George A.
7 DAL Holland, Montrae G 0 Feinsod, Jonathan
13 DEN Berger, Mitch P 0 Dunn, David L.
7 DEN Fox, Vernon SS 0 Self
8 DEN Gorin, Brandon T 1 Linta, Joseph Michael
8 DEN Greisen, Nick OLB 0 Leshnock, Brad
9 DEN Hamilton, Ben G 8 Schaffer, Peter J.
9 DEN Hochstein, Russ G 10 Linta, Joseph Michael
12 DEN Holliday, Vonnie DE 3 Fabrikant, Cary Mark
15 DEN Law, Ty CB 2 Poston, Kevin D.
7 DEN Lloyd, Brandon WR 1 Humenik, Mark
7 DET Ciurciu, Vinny OLB 0 Schaffer, Peter J.
6 DET Cook, Damion G 0 Unknown
11 DET Culpepper, Daunte QB 5 Self
7 DET Fitzsimmons, Casey TE 1 Hoven, J. Daniel
8 DET Foote, Larry MLB 14 Levy, Brian M.
7 DET Heller, Will TE 9 Williams, Philip C.
9 DET Henry, Anthony CB 6 Colton, Jerrold D.
9 DET James, William CB 14 Slavin, Ronald Benson
11 DET Jansen, Jon T 2 Smith, Rick E.
8 DET Manuel, Marquand SS 6 Slavin, Ronald Benson
7 DET Ramsey, Patrick QB 0 Sexton, James E.
10 GB Clifton, Chad T 12 Sexton, James E.
12 GB Green, Ahman RB 0 Branion, Joby
8 GB Kampman, Aaron OLB 9 Hurst, Jonathan R
9 GB Pickett, Ryan NT 9 McGuire, Kennard
10 GB Tauscher, Mark T 8 Cornrich, Neil
7 HOU Brown, Chris RB 4 Morgan, Ryan W.
8 HOU Campbell, Khary OLB 0 Flanagan, Joseph M.
10 HOU Ferguson, Nick SS 1 Reale, John P.
7 HOU Grossman, Rex QB 0 Rosenhaus, Drew
7 HOU Pittman, Bryan LS 0 Gold, Kevin
8 HOU Pitts, Chester G 2 Kessler, Andrew
10 HOU Reyes, Tutan G 0 Kremer, Kendall
6 HOU Robinson, Dunta CB 16 Chayut, Jason T.
8 HOU Russell, Brian FS 1 Frankel, Mitchell
12 HOU Salaam, Ephraim T 0 Branion, Joby
7 HOU Thompson, Chaun OLB 0 Mackler, Brian
15 HOU Turk, Matt P 0 Canter, David E.
7 HOU Walter, Kevin WR 14 Dunn, David L.
16 HOU Zgonina, Jeff NT 2 Self
7 IND Brackett, Gary MLB 14 Mackler, Brian
20 IND Stover, Matt K 0 Steiner, Jim
9 JAX Forney, Kynan G 0 Kiernan, Sean E.
9 JAX Hayward, Reggie DE 1 Smith, Fletcher N.
6 JAX Wilford, Ernest WR 7 Rosenhaus, Drew
10 KC Brown, Mike SS 16 Lock, Ethan
9 KC Chambers, Chris WR 14 Dogra, R.K. Ben
6 KC Copper, Terrance WR 2 Del Duca, Ronald M.
6 KC Ryan, Sean TE 8 Feinsod, Jonathan
7 KC Smith, Wade C 9 Parker, Brian D.
13 KC Vrabel, Mike OLB 14 Cornrich, Neil
7 KC Wade, Bobby WR 6 Stanley, W. Jerome
13 MIA Ferguson, Jason NT 9 Sexton, James E.
6 MIA Jones, Nathan CB 5 Scott, Everette L.
10 MIA Pennington, Chad QB 3 Condon, Thomas J.
13 MIA Taylor, Jason OLB 15 Wichard, Gary
8 MIN Hicks, Artis T 3 Rickert, John W.
6 MIN Kennedy, Jimmy NT 1 Condon, Thomas J.
7 MIN Lewis, Greg WR 1 Sarnoff, Kenneth R.
6 MIN Sapp, Benny CB 7 Shavers, Alonzo L.
8 MIN Taylor, Chester RB 0 Sarnoff, Kenneth R.
7 NE Banta-Cain, Tully OLB 10 Unknown
7 NE Bodden, Leigh CB 14 Unknown
9 NE Burgess, Derrick OLB 6 Sexton, James E.
11 NE Faulk, Kevin RB 7 Brothers, Raymond
8 NE Green, Jarvis DE 12 Elias, Albert G.
9 NE Hanson, Chris P 0 Rosenhaus, Drew
8 NE Neal, Steve G 12 Hurst, Jonathan R
19 NE Seau, Junior ILB 0 Demoff, Marvin
6 NE Watson, Benjamin TE 7 Rosenhaus, Drew
6 NE Wilfork, Vince NT 13 McGuire, Kennard
17 NO Brunell, Mark QB 1 Tollner, Bruce A.
11 NO Campbell, Dan TE 0 Roth, Leonard S.
10 NO Clancy, Kendrick NT 0 Del Duca, Ronald M.
8 NO Dinkins, Darnell TE 3 Benedict, Andrew Read
8 NO Fujita, Scott OLB 10 Yee, Donald H.
15 NO Kyle, Jason LS 0 Bauer, Frank
6 NO Leckey, Nick C 0 Harris, Ken
10 NO Miller, Billy TE 0 Poston, Kevin D.
11 NO Prioleau, Pierson SS 1 Mackler, Brian
13 NO Sharper, Darren FS 14 Segal, Joel G.
9 NO Spicer, Paul DE 0 Self
8 NYG Carr, David QB 0 Sullivan, Michael F.
10 NYG Clark, Danny OLB 12 Branion, Joby
22 NYG Feagles, Jeff P 0 Self
10 NYG Robbins, Fred DT 12 Mackler, Brian
9 NYJ Dearth, James LS 0 Mackler, Brian
9 NYJ Douglas, Marques DT 12 Feinsod, Jonathan
9 NYJ Feely, Jay K 0 Schwartzman, Glenn A.
6 NYJ Fowler, Ryan ILB 0 Herman, Alan
6 NYJ Hartsock, Ben TE 7 McCartney, Michael S.
14 NYJ Izzo, Larry ILB 0 Rosenhaus, Drew
15 NYJ Richardson, Tony FB 10 Dye, Patrick F.
10 OAK Green, Cornell T 12 Williams, Philip C.
7 OAK Joseph, William NT 0 Rosenhaus, Drew
9 OAK Seymour, Richard DE 16 Parker, Eugene E.
12 OAK Wade, John C 0 Cook, James A.
8 OAK Walker, Langston T 2 Dubin, Stephen L.
7 OAK Williams, Sam OLB 2 Hoffman, Michael R.
6 PHI Babin, Jason DE 0 Rosa, Richard M.
6 PHI Jones, Sean SS 9 Mackler, Brian
11 PHI Trotter, Jeremiah MLB 7 Woy, Jordan
7 PHI White, Tracy OLB 0 Fisher, Jay M.
12 PIT Batch, Charlie QB 0 Kremer, Kendall
8 PIT Boiman, Rocky OLB 0 Herman, Alan
10 PIT Carter, Tyrone SS 12 Bechta, Jack D.
8 PIT Clark, Ryan FS 15 Turner, Joel E.
7 PIT Eason, Nick DE 5 Wyatt, David S.
14 PIT Galloway, Joey WR 2 Trell, Shawn A.
9 PIT Hampton, Casey NT 16 Overstreet, Brian E.
13 PIT Kirschke, Travis DE 7 Bauer, Frank
6 PIT Parker, Willie RB 3 Hendrickson, Douglas J.
8 PIT Reed, Jeff K 0 Henderson, Donal A.
12 PIT Townsend, Deshea CB 2 Schaffer, Peter J.
9 SD Boone, Alfonso DE 4 Domann, Craig E.
9 SD Manumaleuna, Brandon FB 4 Sheehy, Paul R.
9 SD Norman, Dennis C 0 Blank, Bradley K.
7 SD Osgood, Kassim WR 1 Rosenhaus, Drew
14 SD Runyan, Jon T 0 Dogra, R.K. Ben
7 SD Scott, Ian DT 7 Metz, Eric
6 SD Wilson, Kris TE 0 Smith, Lamont
7 SEA Burleson, Nate WR 12 Sarnoff, Kenneth R.
7 SEA Griffith, Justin FB 11 McCartney, Michael S.
10 SEA Houser, Kevin LS 0 Sharbaugh, Vern G.
7 SEA Lewis, D.D. OLB 0 Uberstine, Gary A.
9 SEA Lucas, Ken CB 6 Cook, James A.
13 SEA Mare, Olindo K 0 Rosenhaus, Drew
10 SEA McIntosh, Damion T 2 Tessler, Brett J.
14 SEA Milloy, Lawyer FS 1 France, Todd E.
7 SEA Redding, Cory DE 3 McGuire, Kennard
14 SEA Robinson, Jeff LS 0 Bauer, Frank
7 SF Battle, Arnaz WR 0 Leshnock, Brad
11 SF Bly, Dre’ CB 6 McGuire, Kennard
7 SF Franklin, Aubrayo NT 16 France, Todd E.
14 SF Harris, Walt CB 0 Capra, Patrick
7 SF Pashos, Tony T 1 Smith, Rick E.
10 SF Roman, Mark FS 1 Elias, Albert G.
11 SF Sims, Barry T 7 Vierra, Kenneth F.
10 SF Ulbrich, Jeff ILB 0 Flanagan, Joseph M.
7 SF Wilhelm, Matt ILB 1 Feldman, Steven C.
7 STL Boller, Kyle QB 4 Dunn, David L.
10 STL Hall, James DE 14 Condon, Thomas J.
7 STL Hart, Clinton SS 3 Self
8 STL Lenon, Paris MLB 10 Persch, Jonathan M.
12 STL Little, Leonard DE 13 Speck, Chad
8 STL Massey, Chris LS 0 DiPiero, Joseph Timothy
8 STL McMichael, Randy TE 16 Rosenhaus, Drew
6 TB Allen, Will FS 2 Baratz, Blake Aaron
7 TB Bryant, Antonio WR 11 Smith, Lamont
7 TB Crowell, Angelo OLB 0 France, Todd E.
7 TB Faine, Jeff C 12 Dogra, R.K. Ben
8 TB Phillips, Jermaine FS 2 Dye, Patrick F.
7 TB Wilkerson, Jimmy DE 15 Lewis, Harold C.
7 TEN Amato, Ken LS 0 Huebner, Robert E.
10 TEN Bulluck, Keith OLB 14 Wichard, Gary
9 TEN Crumpler, Alge TE 14 Williams, James D.
9 TEN Harper, Nicholas CB 11 Greengross, Ian
16 TEN Hentrich, Craig P 0 Demoff, Marvin
7 TEN Hood, Roderick CB 4 Segal, Joel G.
9 TEN Kaesviharn, Kevin FS 0 Tollner, Bruce A.
11 TEN Kearse, Jevon DE 4 Rosenhaus, Drew
16 TEN Mawae, Kevin C 16 Bartelstein, Mark
7 TEN Nickey, Donnie SS 1 Chilcoat, Jeffrey R.
9 TEN Vanden Bosch, Kyle DE 16 Agnone, Anthony J.
15 WAS Albright, Ethan LS 0 Conaty, Billy
14 WAS Daniels, Phillip DE 15 Unknown
8 WAS Jones, Levi T 8 Zuckerman, Kenneth I.
9 WAS Rabach, Casey C 16 Agnone, Anthony J.
11 WAS Smith, Hunter P 0 Mills, Thomas H.
6 WAS Williams, Mike T 8 Branion, Joby
13 WAS Wynn, Renaldo DE 0 Schaffer, Peter J.
10 WAS Yoder, Todd TE 1 Irwin, Tim E.

*subject to change

February 17, 2010

Kiper: Dolphins will debate McClain and Bryant

ESPN draft guru Mel Kiper has the Dolphins picking Alabama inside linebacker Rolando McClain with their No. 12 overall pick of the first round in the upcoming draft.

But Kiper believes the Dolphins will have a healthy and perhaps heated discussion whether to go with McClain or Oklahoma State's Dez Bryant if the wide receiver is on the board when Miami selects.

"Dez Bryant, I think he'll be in the discussion, but you look at him and he could go higher," Kiper said today on a nationwide conference call. "I have him going at No. 10 to Denver still ... [The Dolphins] certainly need wide receiver help and you got to get it at some point and I think they will try get in this draft.

"But at that point, I think McClain would be the best option if Bryant's gone. And even if Bryant's there it's going to be a heck of a discussion, I would think, even if Bryant is still on the board."

Yeah, I could see that discussion going something like this:

Jeff Ireland: Bill, we've got a wide receiver and a linebacker on the board and ...

Bill Parcells: I'm Bill freakin' Parcells and I love linebackers.

Ireland: Linebacker it is.

Seriously, the Parcells penchant for drafting linebackers is well-known. And picking McClain, whom Kiper says has "a Ray Lewis-type enthusiasm and Bill Parcells will see that in McClain," seems logical.

"You look at Parcells when he was with the Giants and at other places, he loves linebackers that have that type of ability, especially guys with his kind of size too, with LT and Carl Banks and those type of guys," Kiper said. "This is an inside linebacker that looks like an outside linebacker."

And that is where Kiper and I disagree. I believe the Dolphins have a greater need at OLB than ILB. But Kiper doesn't see any OLB as worthy of the No. 12 selection.

I believe Michigan's Brandon Graham is more than worthy of that pick, talk of his short arms be damned. I love Graham! I have put in adoption papers for Graham because I want that guy in my family if he's not going to be on the Dolphins!

And here's the kicker, despite saying Graham rates around No. 20-32, Kiper also seems to love Graham.

"I've liked him all along, that's the one guy I've been consistent with all the way through," Kiper said. "He's got that great work ethic, he comes hard every play. He took advantage of some offensive tackles that were very suspect, obviously, and in the NFL that's not the case."

Kiper believes Graham will somehow wind up chasing Dolphins quarterbacks someday, either for a Miami division foe, or a team the Dolphins must eventually beat to become great.

"I actually have him going to New England in the latest projection I did from the standpoint of being a 3-4 outside backer," Kiper said. "As a 4-3 defensive end situational guy if Indianapolis looks at him in that rotation with [Dwight] Freeney and Robert Mathis it makes sense. I think his character and every game bringing it, the way he did production-wise is the reason why he's a pick to go now between 20 and 32."

I think that's precisely the reason the Dolphins should take him at No. 12. The kid brings it every play. Every single play. And he brings it with speed and explosion and good instinct and discipline.

Why isn't he rated higher?

Anyway, if the Dolphins decide to address their 3-4 OLB need later in the draft, Kiper has a handful of guys rated after the first round. They are:

Jerry Hughes of TCU, Ricky Sapp from Clemson, Antonio Coleman at Auburn, Cameron Sheffield at Troy, Eric Norwood at South Carolina. Kiper had Wisconsin's O'Brian Schofield rated as a first-rounder until he blew out his knee at the Senior Bowl in January.

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Why wouldn't the Dolphins trade Joey Porter?

I am still answering questions on radio shows and via e-mails about Miami's aborted effort to terminate Joey Porter's contract last week. And the on-going curiousity about that episode got me to thinking -- which is always dangerous.

After pondering this situation I've come to this conclusion: The reputation of the Dolphins front office is going to be tested here.

Follow me on this. We all know Porter will not be with the Dolphins in 2010, barring a natural disaster that somehow sucks every weakside linebacker except Porter off the planet. The entire NFL knows the Dolphins and Porter are done.

So Miami will cut Porter sometime between March 5 and March 10, when his $1 million roster bonus is due. And it will not raise eyebrows if Porter struggles to land with a new team for a bit, or signs with a new team for a contract that is significantly lower than the one he's currently under.

That is what's supposed to happen to a player with zero trade value.

But ...

If we have a figurative repeat of a Matt Roth incident, where Porter gets picked up almost instantly and signs for money that is as big if not bigger than what he's currently due, I'm going think something went awry in Miami's attempt to get something in return for him.

The fact is if there is a team out there willing to pay Porter what he's currently earning, the Dolphins should be able to extort cajole from that team a late-round pick, maybe a sixth or seventh-rounder, in return for Porter. If such a team exists, surely that team would be willing to part with what is uthought to be by some teams to be a meaningless pick to insure itself adding Porter rather than competing for him on the open market.

And talk about payback for the disrespect Porter's shown Miami the past five weeks? It would be perfect to send him somewhere of Miami's choosing instead of allowing him the ability to pick his new employer.

What I'm suggesting is that if interest in Porter is high enough for someone to pay him as handsomely as he's currently scheduled to earn, the Dolphins should be able to get something for Porter.

They failed to get anything for Roth by the October trade deadline last year and simply cut the player a couple of weeks later anyway. The Cleveland Browns scooped Roth up immediately and he started for them the remainder of the season.

I find it hard to understand why the Dolphins couldn't have gotten something for Roth before the deadline if they knew he wasn't in their long-term plans -- which he was not. I'm not saying they should have gotten a first-day pick for Roth. That wouldn't be fair. But a seventh-rounder or perhaps a seventh-rounder in two years is better than absolutely nothing.

And yet, Miami got nothing.

Those seventh-round picks, contrary to some philosophical beliefs, are valuable. Mark Clayton was an eighth-round selection once upon a time. Jeff Cross was once a ninth-round selection.

So sit back and watch the Porter drama unfold in a couple of weeks.

The hope is the Dolphins find a team such as San Diego, Arizona, Clevelend, or Buffalo -- where former Miami linebacker coach George Edwards is now the defensive coordinator -- that would be willing to part with a "throw-away" pick for Porter at the last second. That would be great work by the Dolphins!

But if the Dolphins get nothing and simply terminate Porter, watch the timing and reporting of the player's new deal. If the demand for Porter is good or if his new deal resembles the deal he currently has with Miami, the Dolphins got rid of a player at least one other team valued. And they will have gotten nothing in return.



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