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37 posts from February 2010

February 16, 2010

Taylor definitely playing in 2010, but where?

Even as Jason Taylor has so far done everything expected of him to get ready for the 2010 season, the question has curiously persisted whether he'll actually be in the NFL for his 14th season.

I've told you he plans to play, and now his agent Gary Wichard is confirming he plans to play.

"He has every intention in the world to play," Wichard told me moments ago.

Taylor recently had arthroscopic surgery on his shoulder to clean up the area. He played with the shoulder injury the last few weeks of the 2009 season.

"He wouldn't be having surgery if he didn't intend to play," Wichard said.

So that should settle the question whether Taylor, 36 in September, has a desire to continue what is obviously a Hall of Fame caliber career. The question now becomes where Taylor will continue that career.

He is an unrestricted free agent starting on March 5 and neither he nor the Dolphins have committed to one another for 2010 despite the fact both sides obviously value each other.

Taylor would like to continue with the Dolphins assuming he has the ability to compete for a starting job and play every down. The Dolphins, looking for OLB help, will try to get younger at the position in the coming draft but still see Taylor as a solid player that can be part of the solution under the right circumstances.

That obviously doesn't guarantee Taylor will be in Miami. But it's a good start.

The hope here is that good start leads to a continued relationship because if the two sides cannot get together, I definitely would hate to see Taylor in New England or playing for Rex Ryan and the Jets, where the scheme might turn him into a 10-12 sacks guy.

Both the Patriots and Jets showed varying degrees of interest in Taylor last offseason.

That is not what the Dolphins need.

[News update: The Dolphins have re-signed OL SirVincent Rogers, who was in training camp last season.]

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Breaking down Miami's priorities this offseason

Wants. Needs. Must haves.

If you are a Dolphins personnel man or coach, you know what these words are about. If you are reader of this blog, you also know what these words are about. These words define the priorities the Dolphins put on their offseason moves.

A quickie tutorial: The must haves are the priority. The team must add talent at this position to function. The needs is next in line. The team needs to improve in this area, but it suggests there are bodies on the roster that can do the job -- although not at the optimum level -- to field a team. The wants? These are the greedy desires. These are the luxuries that can turn very good into great. Teams can make the playoffs without their wants.

So where are the Dolphins in their priority lists as the new league year looms March 5?

Ask Gary Horton at Scouts Inc. at ESPN.com and he believes Miami's priorities are 1. WR, 2. FS, 3. NT. Then he adds the team also needs help at OLB, ILB and OG.

Ask Salguero at, well, right here on this blog and I happen to disagree with Horton. I say Miami's must have is OLB, then NT, FS, WR, and ILB. 


I believe the OLB spot is key because the Dolphins simply don't have a lot of bodies at the spot and the ones they do have all are dogged by questions. We know Joey Porter will be gone from the team in 2010 as soon as the Dolphins figure out how to add and divide and are able to terminate his contract without screwing up the move as they did once already.

I digress.

Porter will be history and Jason Taylor, 36 in September, is an unrestricted free agent.

The Dolphins need to get younger at OLB, folks. And even if Taylor is re-signed as a stop-gap measure, the Dolphins need to get about the business of finding their future defensive star. In the 3-4 defense, the OLBs need to be stars. They are the guys who cause havoc. They are the ones the offense must plan around. They are the ones that can turn mediocre coverage on the back end into good enough because quarterbacks are either rushing their throws, or missing open receivers because they're on the ground or looking to avoid to the rush.

And so the Dolphins need to find a couple of those guys.

Cameron Wake is one of those guys, you say? Maybe. He showed how promising he is as a pass-rusher in 2009. But Wake has to become a three-down player to be the right answer. And he wasn't that when the season ended.

"I can tell you that's what I'm going to be, that I'm going to be a starter by next year," Wake told me when the Dolphins were packing their belongings after the season-finale. "But none of that matters. I have to do it. It's not about saying it. It's about doing it. I have to prove it to the coaches, to everyone. That's what matters."

Wake is confident he can prove it. But what else do you expect? We have yet to see it. So the Dolphins cannot simply be content in having Wake. Plus, there is a small issue of the strongside outside linebacker.

If Wake is going to man the weak side, the Dolphins need to identify a strongside linebacker. Taylor might or might not be that guy short-term. He definitely is not that guy long-term. Frankly, neither is Charlie Anderson, who is a good role player, but hasn't proven he can be a starter.

So do you understand that Miami must add OLBs just to field a defense? That means OLB rises to the level of a must have like no other spot on the team.

Many fans and pundits believe ILB is a must have but the fact remains the team still has its two starters -- Channing Crowder and Akin Ayodele -- from the past two years. Yes, they both had subpar seasons in 2009. But they're signed. They're on the team. They're experienced. ILB is a need because it can use upgrading. But it isn't necessarily a must have, in my opinion.


Coach Tony Sparano described it as the "quarterback of the 3-4 defense," in that if the scheme's nose tackle stinks, the run defense will stink and the unit won't be able to stop anyone. The Dolphins have Paul Soliai on the roster as their best NT right now. Jason Ferguson, 36 in November, is an unrestricted free agent and he might or might not retire based on his recovery from a quadricep injury that shortened his 2009 season.

The drop from Ferguson to Soliai was precipitous. Horton describes Soliai as, "serviceable but not consistent," which is absolutely accurate. So the Dolphins must have a starting caliber player here. At the very least they must have a player to groom behind Soliai or behind Ferguson and Soliai. Obviously if Ferguson returns, the situation improves.

But if the Dolphins allow themselves to believe they can survive one more season with Ferguson and Soliai and think Ferguson will play all 16 games, they are deceiving only themselves. Nose tackle is a must have.


Gibril Wilson is not the answer. Period. He cannot cover and that matters only every time the other team throws the football -- which in today's NFL is about 60 percent of the time on average.

The Dolphins thankfully have youngster Chris Clemons waiting in the wings. Clemons seems to play fast and is confident. "My job is to come up with interceptions," he told me once last year.

Of course, no one has any idea if he will or not because he was only a rookie and not ready (in the coaching staff's estimation) to replace Wilson, who was terrible. So we have no idea if Clemons is the answer.

If he's not, the Dolphins must have a player ready to take over that is ready because putting Wilson back there again in 2010 is an invitition to more big plays. And in case you're wondering, Miami's defense yielded 40 passes of 25-yards or more in 2009. The free safety wasn't responsible for all of those, but he collected more than his fair share. The free safety spot must be addressed somehow.

Now you guys understand I want the Dolphins to add playmaking wide receivers. I want it badly. Simply, this team will not be a legitimate contender until it is able to throw the football with consistency and you can't do that without quality wide outs.

The Miami braintrust, winners of Super Bowls in the 1980s and 1991, may not agree. Maybe they believe a good running game and solid defense and avoiding mistakes can still bring you a Super Bowl title.

And to that I respond that eight of the NFL's top 10 passing teams made the playoffs in 2009. If you can't pass, you can't win. It ain't 1991 anymore. The rules have changed. The game has changed. You have to throw the ball or die in today's NFL.

But alas, I recognize a WR is a need. It is not a must have. The Dolphins have receivers on the roster. Some are even reliable, if not dynamic. Can the Dolphins win games with their current corps? Yes. Can they win championships? No way.

That makes WR a need. An obvious one. But not necessarily a must have.

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February 15, 2010

Karlos Dansby has an eye on the Dolphins

The linebacker position has been a hub of activity for the Dolphins this offseason.

Joey Porter talked trash about his own team, including coaches and teammates, Channing Crowder went on radio and supported Porter, Bill Parcells declined to commit to Jason Taylor for another year during an online chat, Porter's contract was terminated, Porter's termination was overturned, eventually Porter will get cut again (or traded if the Dolphins get lucky), the Dolphins got a great look at possible new LBs at the Senior Bowl, and now Karlos Dansby speaks out.

Let's handle the Dansby business here.

According to Adam Schein's twitter, Dansby went on Sirius Radio and said he'd like to join the Giants when free agency begins, but added that other teams interest him as well. The Dolphins were among the teams that interest him, along with San Diego and Washington.

Dansby, scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent on March 5 regardless of the cap situation, is perhaps the most well-known inside linebacker possibility about to hit free agency. I suppose he could remain with the Cardinals if they franchise him, but that would be the third time they do that and pundits don't believe it will happen this time for financial reasons.

Dansby is known to Dolphins football czar Bill Parcells. The story goes that when Parcells coached Dallas and the Cowboys played Arizona, Parcells told Dansby he liked how he played following a game. (No, that is not tampering.)

Dansby is a very good player. He's fills holes with explosion and he likes to punish ballcarriers. He's 6-4 and 250 pounds so he has the size to do it. And he's all over the field as his 555 tackles in six seasons suggest.

At 28 years old, he's obviously a solid investment because he can sign a four-year deal and still be a relatively young player of 32 by the deal's end.

The problem is Dansby will want major dollars. He made $9.6 million last year as Arizona's franchise player. He'll probably ask for a hefty bonus and about $10-$12 million a year on average.

Do the Dolphins need him? They definitely can use an upgrade at inside linebacker. Channing Crowder and Akin Ayodele combined for only 12 more tackles than Dansby had by himself all of last season. 

Adding Dansby could also let the Dolphins concentrate their draft picks on improving the OLBs rather than the ILBs.

Keep an eye on this one because the Dolphins have recently proven they like Arizona players -- having signed Eric Green last year and attempted to sign Calvin Pace the year before.

But this won't be an easy move. Remember, Dansby mentioned the Giants as the team he'd most like to play for and added the Dolphins as part of a second tier of teams. And he is likely to draw interest from other teams as well.

So stay tuned.

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February 13, 2010

The failure of Porter's termination a concern

Every NFL team has a salary cap specialist. These people are highly educated, highly specialized sorts that normally have many degrees and many hours of training in all things NFL salary cap.

So how the heck could the Dolphins so royally screw up the termination of Joey Porter on Friday?

I mean, seriously, talk about adding stink to a pile of trash.

The club announced Friday afternoon it had terminated Porter's contract, ending three interesting years with the enigmatic linebacker.

Routine. After all, a handful of teams cut a handful of players last week with zero problems or issues.

But two hours after announcing Porter's termination, the Dolphins had to basically eat their press announcement because the NFL determined the termination to be invalid. Seems the Porter termination would have violated the 2009 salary cap as it would have cost more than Miami has the ability to handle in cap space.


And this one arose out of one of several possibilities:

A. Somebody in Dolphins management messed up when figuring Porter's cap acceleration as it pertains to 2009. This is hard to do because it really is a simple math issue. The responsible party here would have to be the team's capologist.

B. Somebody in Dolphins management didn't know or fully understand the league salary cap rules as they currently stand. The responsible party here would have to be the team's capologist.

C. Somebody wasn't fully up to speed on the Dolphins salary cap situation. Again, the responsible party here would have to be the team's capologist who is supposed to be able to recite the team's cap situation from memory if need be

D. Somebody in Dolphins management took it upon themselves to release Porter without consulting the team's capologist. The responsible party here would be whomever didn't work with the capologist.

Although it is possible, it is hard to fathom D. Somebody doesn't just get a hankerin' to cut Joey Porter one Friday afternoon and simply do it without consulting anyone. The Dolphins pore over decisions such as these (I hope) and plan the steps to carrying them out. One of those steps is typically to check with the capologist to see what salary cap ramifications the move has.

I'm more inclined to think A, B or C betrayed the Dolphins on this matter. And that points directly to new senior vice president of football operations Dawn Aponte.

Aponte is Miami's new capologist. She started only three weeks ago after Matt Thomas, Miami's capologist the past dozen seasons, left to go to Cleveland. Thomas was hired in Cleveland by former Dolphins president Bryan Wiedmeier, who left to go to Cleveland in January.

Aponte, incidently, came from the Browns.

Call it a capologist trade of sorts.

[Quick aside: When Thomas was hired 12 years ago, I quizzed Wiedmeier about the hiring because I had gotten wind of it through league circles. He couldn't understand why I would be curious because, as he put it, "Your readers care about players and coaches, not administrators." I mostly agreed with him and still do today, which is the reason I only reported Aponte's hiring on my twitter page which you should follow. But when the work of administrators drifts into the lane of competitive advantage, I become interested.]

So now I'm interested.

Friday's error -- and don't be fooled, it was an embarrassing one noted around the NFL -- will be glossed over by the fact Porter will eventually be released or traded as I've been reporting for weeks.

But it nonetheless calls into question not only how much Miami will miss Thomas, but also to what degree Aponte is reliable. I don't want to sound harsh here, but if she can't get the routine termination of a veteran right, how can we be confident she can maneuver the coming maze of capped-uncapped-possible lockout issues facing the Dolphins, and every team, the next two years?

The NFL's horizon is littered with uncertainty about labor issues. We don't know what the new rules will look like in 2011, but every team wants people in place that will gain an expertise on the new issues virtually on the fly.

How can the Dolphins have confidence they will successfully navigate and, indeed, master those new issues in the future when they couldn't successfully cut a player under the old system on Friday?   

February 11, 2010

Are the Dolphins close to Saints, Colts? No!

In the aftermath of Super Bowl XLIV, I cannot tell you how many times I've heard this phrase: The Dolphins aren't that far off from winning a Super Bowl. They played both New Orleans and Indianapolis well and should have beaten them. So they're close.

The logic apparently follows that since the Dolphins lost to Indianapolis 27-23 the second week of the season, then lost to New Orleans 46-34 on Oct. 25th, Miami is close to being pretty good because those two teams are obviously championship caliber.

And it's not just fans seeing the Dolphins through this prism.

"I think we're close," Dolphins running back Ronnie Brown said on his Ronnie Brown radio show on 560-WQAM this week. "I think we have a lot of the right pieces to the puzzle. I think we still have a few things we need to tweak and get better at. But as a team, we're pretty close.

"We played both those teams this year and, to our credit, we were in the games and had an opportunity to win both of those games. So that says, as a team, we're close. But there are a few pieces to the puzzle we've got left."

Now, you're not going to like this so if you're not in the mood for an honest dose of reality, simply stop reading now. That way you'll go on about the rest of your day thinking your team is close to being Super Bowl-caliber because it hung tough with the two Super Bowl teams.

The rest of you, read on.

The Dolphins are nowhere near close to the Saints or the Colts.

Some facts:

NFL teams are judged by what they do through an entire season, not by what they do in one game. And during the 2009 regular season, the Colts were 14-2 while the Saints were 13-3. The Dolphins were 7-9. So Indy won twice as many games as Miami while the Saints almost accomplished the feat.

Both the Saints and Colts won their respective divisions and were No. 1 seeds in the playoffs. The Dolphins finished third in the AFC East and didn't make the playoffs

The Dolphins aren't close.

Any logic that suggests one team is comparable to another based on the outcome of one game must be uniform. So anyone saying the Dolphins are close to the Saints because they almost beat the Saints, must then have to keep a straight face as they say the Washington Redskins are close to being as good as the Saints. The Redskins, after all, lost to New Orleans by a 33-30 score on Dec. 6th. And yes, the Saints played everyone in that game and did everything they could to win.

So do you think the Redskins are close to the Saints?

Taking the argument one step further, if you think the Dolphins are close to the Super Bowl champions based on playing them close in one game, you must also believe the Tampa Bay Bucs are better than the champs. Yes, Tampa Bay beat New Orleans 20-17 on Dec. 27th.

And you cannot argue the Saints gave up in that game because Drew Brees completed 32 of 37 passes for 258 yards with 1 TD. He completed 10 more passes against Tampa than he did against Miami. But the Bucs won.

So do you think Tampa Bay fans are foolish enough to believe they're close to being as good or better than New Orleans?

The Dolphins aren't close.

Finally, of course, there's the empirical argument against the Dolphins: The Saints have better players. And more of them. The Colts have better players. And more of them. That cannot be disputed by any right-thinking NFL fan or player.

Tell me ... what player on the Dolphins offense rises to the level of a Drew Brees or Peyton Manning? Let me answer -- none.

What receiver on the Dolphins could start for the Saints or Colts? Let me answer -- none.

What defender on the Dolphins makes as many game-changing plays as either Indy's Dwight Freeney or Who Dat's Darren Sharper? Let me answer -- none.

The Saints had seven Pro Bowl players in 2009. The Colts had seven Pro Bowl players in 2009. The Dolphins had three -- Yeremiah Bell, Dan Carpenter and Jake Long.

Long didn't play because of injury. Bell got on the team because Indy's Antoine Bethea was in the Super Bowl. And Carpenter played because Nate Kaeding injured himself the first day of practice.

So both Super Bowl teams have more than twice as many Pro Bowl players as Miami, even when we all know the reason the Dolphins had three was due to extenuating circumstances.

The Dolphins aren't close.

And it pains me to hear Dolfans saying they are close to the Saints and Colts because it suggests they're not being realistic. Or just don't know what they're talking about.

[I'm off the rest of the week but if anything happens, I'll update you on twitter. So follow me.] 

February 10, 2010

Ronnie Brown: Not interested in leaving Miami

Ronnie Brown will remain with the Dolphins in 2010 if, as widely expected, there is no Collective Bargaining Agreement between the NFL owners and players. In fact, I have reported to you previously that Brown and the Dolphins long ago addressed this possibility by writing in an option year to Brown's rookie deal.

The option, according to NFLPA figures which Brown confirmed for me last year, means Brown is under contract to the Dolphins for 2010 at $5 million if no agreement is reached. If an agreement is reached (highly unlikely), then Brown is unsigned.

So Brown is not even a restricted free agent this offseason. He's under contract if the option year kicks in.

Does it bother Brown, who will be entering his sixth season in 2010, that he's going to have to wait for unrestricted free agency?

"A little bit," he said this week on the final episode of the Ronnie Brown Show on 560-WQAM. "Just to see what may happen and just to see what opportunities I would have out there."

But in the next breath, Brown pivots to the stance he has taken and will continue taking until his contract runs out in Miami: He wants to remain with the Dolphins. He wants a long-term contract with the team.

Shocking, right?

"I want to make sure I'm still in Miami," he told host Orlando Alzugaray. "I don't want to go anywhere else. To be honest, I'm not really interested in leaving Miami so it'll be good if I could go on and get something done and stay here."

The problem for Brown is that the Dolphins have little motivation to get something done right now. They hold his rights for 2010 barring a CBA agreement that isn't likely to happen.

The running back is still recovering from the Nov. 20th surgery on his right foot to repair what was believed to be a lisfranc fracture. Brown is still not running and is being brought along slowly because, well, the Dolphins aren't playing any games for a while.

The problem for Brown and his representatives is that the Dolphins will be eager to see the running back prove he is completely healed from the injury before they commit to a new contract. Moreover, the Dolphins might be patient enough on the matter to wait and see if Brown can play an entire season without suffering another injury before deciding his long-term value.

Brown, you see, is supremely talented and usually effective when he's on the field. But he's sustained significant injuries in two of the past three years, including a knee injury that required reconstructive surgery in 2007. And since entering the NFL in 2005, Brown has never started all 16 games in a season. Even his 2008 Pro Bowl year when he gained 916 yards, Brown started 13 games.

So while Brown may be willing to commit to a long-term deal with the Dolphins -- like, yesterday -- the Dolphins have no logical reason to share that desire right now. 

[NEWS UPDATE: The Dolphins today took eight players off their injured reserve list -- a move required by the NFL for all teams. Taken off IR were Will Allen (left knee), Brown (right foot), Patrick Cobbs (left knee), Channing Crowder (right foot), Lydon Murtha (ankle), Jason Ferguson (quadricep), Chad Pennington (right shoulder), and Brennan Marion (knee). This doesn't mean all the players are healthy. It simply means they are able to take part in offseason OTAs, camps and other activities if they are healthy. Players on IR cannot practice with the team.]

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How did Gibril Wilson feel on Super Sunday?

Your name is Gibril Wilson. You've just had a difficult season in 2009 with the Miami Dolphins.

You missed tackles to the point your pee-wee league coach called you to ask you what's wrong (true story). You didn't have an interception even though no less than four passes hit you in the hands throughout the season.

You temporarily lost your starting job midway through the season (for one game) only to regain the job but then lose it again the final game of the regular season. You had trouble in coverage. You had trouble communicating with the media to the point you seemingly gave up on the idea.

It was by any account a bad season because you know your new team -- the third you've played for in three seasons -- is considering dropping you like a bad habit to absolve itself of your toxic contract.

But, hey, it's Super Bowl Sunday. You're not playing but neither is there any pressure on you. It's a time to forget the worries of a terrible season. So you sit down like 100 million other people to watch the game. Maybe you're hanging with friends.Maybe you're hanging with family. It is a good time for everyone.

And then the game goes to a commercial and the one below comes on the tube. And, hey, midway through the commercial you recognize yourself. And you're not the hero in this commercial, in fact you're the goat. And you suddenly realize that 40 percent of the televisions turned on around the country just showed what your 2009 season was mostly about.

Question: How do you feel?

Is it fair or unfair?

And are you more mad at yourself for putting yourself in the situation you did? Or are you upset that the NFL basically called you out as a goat on the play?

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February 09, 2010

Look to the draft for the biggest talent boon

I talked to two NFL general managers on Monday -- no, not Dolphins GM Jeff Ireland who flees at the mere smell of a tape recorder.

In e-mail exchanges with these two GMs, I came to believe that if a team is going to load up on talent in the 2010 offseason, it's going to happen primarily through the draft. These guys were truly excited about the college talent coming out, have already put in long hours of tape study on college players, and are eagerly looking forward to the Indianapolis Combine later this month.

And, no, they weren't bailing on the idea that free agency will have a few good players in the offing and even some intriguing surprises. But when 140 to 200 players in their mid to late 20s have basically been eliminated from unrestricted free agency lists because of the rules of an uncapped season, you can understand it diminishes the excitement about free agency.

Still, there will be a free agency this offseason, it just won't look like anything we've grown accustomed to in previous years.

Free agency will come in tiers. There will be street free agents hitting the market even before traditional free agency begins March 5. These street free agents are obviously discards, but maybe one or two will help teams in 2010.

One such street free agent hit the market Monday when the Cleveland Browns cut wide receiver Donte' Stallworth ahead of the lifting of his league-imposed suspension. If you remember, Stallworth struck and killed a pedestrian with his Bentley in Miami Beach on March 14, 2009. He pleaded guilty to DUI manslaughter.

That got him suspended by Commissioner Roger Goodell (not to mention it sent him to jail for 24 days, sent him to house arrest and activated other punishment). Well, after a season out of the game, Stallworth is available.

And already I've gotten a dozen e-mails from readers asking if the receiver-starved Dolphins will be interested. I cannot tell you for sure. But I seriously doubt it.

Stallworth is not the answer for a team like Miami that usually avoids such mixtures of mediocre talent and high off-field risks. Plus Stallworth, at age 29 and two years removed from a football game, probably isn't No. 1 receiver material these days.

So I wouldn't bank on him being in a Dolphins uniform despite the fact the guy lives in South Florida and his agent is Drew Rosenhaus of South Florida. But, as I said, that's a guess.

This is not a guess: Throughout free agency, you'll see players come available that typically would not in a capped year. Teams are expected to view the uncapped year as a sort of jubilee, where all their financial mistakes of the past can be erased because no salary cap means no cap hit for getting rid of under-performing players or toxic contracts.

Those players will hit the market. And maybe a handful of them become significant contributors to their new teams. The trick is identifying those few players and pairing them in the right system to bring out the best results.

Another part of free agency is players that have six years or beyond and are out of contract. These players have not been re-signed by their teams for whatever reasons and will be legitimate unrestricted free agents.

But wait, the top players in this category also might not hit free agency. Teams, you see, can slap a franchise tag or one of two transition tags on the best of these players. That could effectively take about 30 players off the market. 

So most of the unrestricted guys on the market will not be game-changers, assuming their original teams do their homework. Some will be aging players. Jason Taylor might be one of those. Some will be younger but not necessarily game-changers. Ben Watson of the New England Patriots might be one of those.

That market, I'm told, will be lean.

And then there is the restricted free agency market. It should not surprise if teams make a play for a handful of these guys. Desperate times call for desperate measures and that is desperation as restricted players rarely get signed away from their teams.

It would not be a cheap venture for any team that tries because draft pick compensation could be due for signing these players.

Why is that such a steep price to pay for proven talent, you ask? Well, because even the most proven free agents can become free agent busts. Because teams will be doubling down on the move -- giving up draft compensation and paying bigtime contracts for the players.

And because in giving up draft picks, teams will not be maximizing their chances in the draft. Yes, the same draft the two GMs told me was full of very good talent.

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February 08, 2010

Done with the old, on to the new

A tidy little game was played in South Florida Sunday evening. The Saints won. The Colts lost. And soon the other shoe will drop in South Florida.

Good-bye Joey Porter.

The Monday after the Super Bowl is the first day NFL teams are able to release players after the season. An NFL source said Sunday the Dolphins will release or trade Porter as early as Monday, depending on the trade market for him.

The Dolphins would prefer to find a suitor for Porter and if that happens, March 5 is the earliest date he can be traded. If the Dolphins have already determined Porter has no trade value, they will release him.

Either way, Porter will not be on the team for the 2010 regular-season opener.

Speculation here: The Dolphins typically act quickly and decisively in such matters. The fact Porter has become such a royal pain embarrassment -- sliming the team at every opportunity -- might also play into Miami's timing.

So it would be no surprise for this move to happen sooner rather than later.

Other Dolphins players should also spend the next month or so reading the scroll on the various sports shows and websites to see if their names are featured among Dolphins cuts or not.

Free safety Gibril Wilson is on chopping block. I'm told the Dolphins would consider keeping him if he takes a significant pay cut. But there is no guarantee he'll take a cut because he declined one in Oakland last year. So the Dolphins have a decision to make on this, one of their signature free agent signings of 2009.

Speculation here: I believe Wilson is not on the team when the 2010 season opens.

Other players that might be on the line unless they take pay cuts include Jason Allen and Reggie Torbor.

February 07, 2010

Super Bowl Sunday live blog right here

Super Sunday!

It is here and one can only imagine a future Sunday such as this iduring which we are watching the Miami Dolphins in the ultimate NFL game. OK, daydream over.

It's about the Colts and the Saints today.

I have picked the Colts. They're the better team. I hope the Saints win. They're the better story. Plus, I love underdogs.

We will be blogging live throughout the day and game. I will be on here around 5 p.m. and we can start then.

Meantime, let me give you a few things to consider:

It is gorgeous here in South Florida, if you happen to be one of my readers from out of the area. And yet, this paradise I call home is under pressure from the NFL to improve Sun Life Stadium to bring it up to the NFL's standards.

That tells me the game might not be returning to Miami for a long time. As it stands, the next game up for bid is 2014. The NFL will award that game in two or three months and I doubt they will give it to Miami only months removed from our last game.

But there are other issues that suggest the game might not be back here in a long time. Seems the NFL wants a roof over Sun Life Stadium because it wants to guard against the possibility of rain here. The Dolphins have already put out designs for such a structure. They've given no price tag on the structure -- that has a hole atop it, by the way -- but it is clear they don't want to pay the hundreds of millions it might cost to make it reality.

As a taxpayer and football fan and someone not insane, I think the roof over Sun Life is a terrible idea and not just because it looks hideous.

Even if you forget that the Dolphins have a weather advantage in early season home games and a cover might negate that, even if you forget we are in a recession, I object to the idea because I refuse to bow to the NFL's hypocrisy on the issue.

The fact is Tampa will continue to bid on Super Bowls but the NFL has not asked that region to put a roof on their stadium.

The fact is the NFL cannot be so concerned about rain here on Super Bowl Sunday here while lifting the weather clause from its Super Bowl bidding rules to allow the new Giants/Jets Stadium (which has no cover) to bid on the 2014 game. 

(Super Bowls are by rule not to be played in areas where the average January/February weather averages below 50 degrees unless the game is to be played indoors. New Jersey fails on both counts, which is why the league conveniently lifted the clause this one time.)

Anyway, you probably don't feel strongly about this unless you're a South Florida resident. I am. I want Super Bowl's to continue coming here. It's a good thing. But we're good for them because this is a great place to be in February.

And that doesn't mean we should have to live up to rules no other region has to abide by. Period.

Anyway, one last thing before the live blog: I will be among the 16 panelists casting a ballot on the Super Bowl MVP tonight. At the right time, I will ask my twitter followers to tweet me their reasoned suggestions for MVP. I will take those suggestions into consideration in making my choice.

So follow me on twitter.

February 06, 2010

Connecting dots on Parcells, Payton, Brees ...

Good column by Randy Galloway of the of the Forth Worth Star-Telegram today in connecting the dots between Bill Parcells, Sean Payton, Drew Brees, and even Wade Phillips.

Payton this week talked to Parcells on a couple of occasions and then showed him respect in the media by talking of his learning process under Parcells when he served as the Big Tuna's offensive coordinator from 2003-2005.

"[Parcells] knows how to win, and I learned an awful lot in a short period of time, three years," Payton said. "...When you think about that opportunity for a young guy to work with a Hall of Fame coach, it's invaluable."

You should recall that Parcells rescued Payton's career in 2003. Payton had lost his play-calling duties with the Giants in 2002 and was hired by Parcells in Dallas the following season. Payton helped Parcells turn the thing around, so to speak, in Dallas, something that Galloway points out Wade Phillips doesn't really appreciate.

Sure enough, last week during Pro Bowl week Phillips said he had a better record in three seasons as the Cowboys coach as Parcells had in four years as the Cowboys coach. (BLOG ASIDE: Next year or the one after when Phillips gets fired, don't expect Parcells to hire him.)

The statistic is true but it forgets the fact Parcells left Phillips a roster stocked with Pro Bowl talent. When Parcells arrived in Dallas, the Cowboys had suffered through consecutive 5-11 seasons.

That raises this possibility: The Dolphins might continue to improve for years after Parcells leaves the organization because that's exactly how it happened in Dallas. His talent continued to improve and mature and, voila, turn in better results.

Anyway, the column recounts how Payton turned down the Oakland Raiders when they wanted to hire him as head coach in 2005. Parcells helped convince Payton to stay and also helped convince Jerry Jones to give Payton a raise.

And this I did not know: According to Galloway, Parcells was mildly interested in Drew Brees when he became available as an unrestricted free agent in 2006, but ultimately decided against chasing the quarterback. The reason? Parcells didn't like the risk of signing a quarterback with an injured shoulder.

The same reason the Dolphins, under Nick Saban, didn't sign Brees.

February 05, 2010

Ten issues facing the Miami Dolphins

The last month or so has been interesting because tons of stuff has happened with the Dolphins that have led to many notions of what is about to happen. Some of those notions are probably well-founded (such as Joey Porter is going to get cut) while others aren't.

I figured today would be a good day to address some of these flights of fancy based on what I know, what experience tells me and, in some cases, what is only an educated guess.

1. Joey Porter. He will get cut. The Dolphins need to get Cameron Wake into games and they can't have Porter being a "progress stopper." Porter cannot stay around as a backup because he'd be a locker room cancer in that role. So Porter has played his final game for the Dolphins. This I know.

2. Gibril Wilson. I was talking to a Dolphins source about Wilson and without prodding, he told me, "All I know is we can get rid of anyone we don't think can do the job without it hurting our ability to get other players." So that tells me the Dolphins are strongly leaning toward getting rid of Wilson if they haven't decided to do so already. A free safety is supposed to be the final line of defense and it seemed like Wilson was instead an open invitation to score touchdowns. Add to that the fact he didn't bring any game-changing plays to the table, and I think you get the idea.

3. Elvis Dumervil. ESPN's Adam Schefter, perhaps the best information man in the business, said during the playoffs that Dumervil would be on "Miami's radar" based on the fact former Denver defensive coordinator Mike Nolan is now Miami's defensive coordinator. Well, Salguero, a relative peon by comparison, is telling you this will not happen. Dumervil will not be a Dolphin in 2010. First, the Broncos aren't going to let him go. Secondly, Dumervil isn't an unrestricted free agent, but rather will be a restricted free agent. Third, the Dolphins will not pay multiple draft picks plus a huge contract for Dumervil when their list of needs is immense and the draft is the most viable way for filling those needs. So we'll see who is right on this one.

4. Brandon Marshall. The Denver wide receiver will be traded. And it will not be to the Dolphins. I'm thinking more likely it will be to a team like Chicago. That part is a guess. The trade of Marshall part of the equation? Book it.

5. Anquan Boldin. This is a totally different situation than Marshall. The price tag has dropped on Boldin and the Cardinals will be looking to get something for him this offseason because he's a free agent after 2010 and they've already identified a replacement for him in Early Doucet. The Dolphins like Boldin. He's tough. He's big. He is not a diva. Did he complain about his contract? Yes. He had a legitimate complaint. Does that make him a bad dude? Absolutely not. The Cards will probably ask a second-round pick for him. Somebody will offer a fourth. Depending on how high the selection, I'd say he could be had for a third rounder. Doesn't mean the Dolphins will do it. But they will absolutely discuss it.

6. Channing Crowder. Many of you on my twitter, which you should be following are asking if Crowder will be cut based on his agreement with Porter on several issues during their radio appearance this week. That is not Crowder's biggest concern. His concern should be having a great offseason so that next year he can start 16 games, which he has not done since arriving in 2005. Crowder finished fifth on the team in tackles last season. Fifth. He had fewer than half the tackles he had in 2008. It was a bad year for him. That's the type of stuff that gets you replaced, not a couple of sentences on one radio show. Bottom line: I think Crowder stays.

7. Ted Ginn Jr. Dan Marino, one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time, recently said Ginn has the makings of a No. 1 receiver, that all he needs is time to develop. Salguero the peon disagrees. Oh, Ginn has the speed. But he doesn't seem to have the temperment or quickness or hands to be a No. 1 receiver. Now, I would never question what's in a man's heart. But I've seen this guy run out of bounds too many times when he could have gained an extra couple of yards. I've seen him drop too many passes in pressure situations. And last year he he regressed rather than progressed. I'm not drinking the Kool-Aid any more. I leave that to Marino.

8. Ronnie Brown. Many of you have asked if the Dolphins are going to re-sign him to a new contract. He is under contract for 2010 if there is no salary cap. And it is a virtual certainty there will be no salary cap. So I ask you, what is Miami's motivation for giving him a new long-term contract now? It seems wiser to let him come to training camp and prove himself (yes, again). It also seems wiser to get a better grasp on what the labor agreement is going to look like. Signing him to a long-term deal now is simply not wise. I assume the Dolphins recognize this.

9. Chad Pennington. He only works for the Dolphins under a strict set of circumstances: That he is healthy, first and foremost. And that he accepts that he is the backup to Chad Henne. Pennington is one of those guys that gets it. He won't be trouble as a backup. He won't step on Henne's toes. And he would bring value as an insurance policy against a Henne injury that neither Pat White nor Tyler Thigpen can offer. He is experienced. He is a great leader. But his return is absolutely, positively not done. I would say his return right now is 50-50 at best.

10. Jason Taylor. He is the antithesis to Joey Porter in that he doesn't go off like a cocked pistol ready to shoot everything in order to hit a small target. Taylor is more calculating. He was every bit as angry in 2010 as Porter because he was, in fact, platooned more than Porter. Taylor lost more snaps than Porter did as the Dolphins used third-down to get Cameron Wake and even Charlie Anderson more snaps. That made Taylor so unhappy he cooled on returning for 2010. Now, he obviously understands that if Porter isn't coming back, his chances of returning on a one-year contract improve. But the Dolphins are making no commitment to Taylor. And he, frankly, is making none to them. He'd like to be back in Miami if he's going to get an opportunity to rush the passer and play significant downs. If that's not the case, life will not end for Taylor. He will play somewhere. But to pretend to know where is crazy at this early stage in the process. 

February 04, 2010

Back to the Senior Bowl scouting report: OG

Before we were inundated with Joey Porter venom, this blog was busy breaking down the talent at the Senior Bowl, courtesy aspiring NFL scout Chris Cordero of Miami.

Cordero was a huge hit in my opinion and I hope you agree.

He scouted and sent abbreviated reports for OLBs, ILBs, WRs-TEs, and FS. And yet something out there continues to suggest the Dolphins may look at filling their RG position.

Donald Thomas faded badly at year's end. Nate Garner was a surprise but he seems better suited as the swing G-T than the fulltime starter. So it is possible the Dolphins look at their interior line to fill the last remaining gap of their $156 million offensive line.

Therefore, today we give you a look at the interior offensive linemen Cordero saw at the Senior Bowl:

1. Mike Iupati - 6-5, 325 lbs - Idaho

Team Numbers: Idaho was 45th (out of 120 in the country) in rushing offense; 12th in passing in NCAA Division 1-A (it will ALWAYS be Divison 1-A to me)



-Massive man with long arms and great natural athleticism that have some thinking he can play Offensive Tackle

-Powerful and Nasty - does not stop until the whistle blows and put more than a few guys on their rear like Michael Neal of Purdue and D'Anthony Smith of Lousisiana Tech

-Has a great work ethic and always give maximum effort

-Locks on to a defender and his long arms and strong hands make it difficult for them to get off his block

-Has a quick first snap and very good lateral quickness - is able to get to the 2nd level on his blocks; and also pulls well



-As a guard - he has few weaknesses; his technique can get inconsistent

-Tried at tackle - and needs work there as it is not natural for him - yet....

-English is 2nd language - but you could see him yukking it up with some of the other OL and communication shouldn't be an issue


Overall Analysis:

It is rare that you find Offensive Guards that you would take in the 1st Round - but this guy is special. Seeing all the money invested in the Offensive Line; I highly doubt that the Dolphins would select him - even in a scenario where they trade down from the #12 pick. He will be dominant, and I find it hard to say about college Offensive Linemen; but with his natural tools and work ethic, don't doubt this guy. With proper coaching could be a very good NFL tackle - but I wouldn't move him out of the Interior.


2. Vladimir Ducasse - 6-5, 326 lbs - Massachussetts

Team Numbers: Massachussetts was 44th (out of 120 in the country) in rushing offense; 29th in passing in NCAA Division 1-AA (again, I'm not down with the FCS title)



-Another massive human being (notice a theme here?) has long arms and a strong base to anchor against defenders.

-Very nimble and agile for his size; shows good footwork.

-Is quick off the snap (someone pointed out that it looks like he is jumping the snap - but don't only defenders jump the snap?).

-Very good, explosive first step when run blocking.

-When he locks on a defender and gets his hands on them - is dominant.

-Aggressive, tough and wants to succeed.



-Played against a lower level of competition and could need time to adjust to speed and power (this showed some in the practices).

-Needs work on his technique due to lack of experience.

-Gets too upright at times at the snap and allows defenders to get into him.

-Played mostly Left Tackle in college; but will still struggle some against speed rushers.


Overall Analysis:

Keeps on moving up draft boards, some have him in the 2nd - but I see him as a 3rd-4th Rounder; but could also see him going earlier than that to a team that needs OLine help. Would be a good value in the 4th for the Dolphins and help solidify the guard position. Most of his weaknesses are technical and can be corrected with good coaching - has answered some questions against how he would handle better competition at these practices. Another player who seeked out coaching and seemed to improve as the practices went along.


3. John Jerry - 6-5, 332 lbs - Mississippi

Team Numbers: Mississippi was 32nd in rushing offense; 57th in passing in NCAA Division 1-A



-Another huge individual with long arms and a wide body; would block out the sun - but Terrence Cody did that in these practices.

-Has terrific strength at the Point of Attack and will knock defenders back at the snap with his initial punch.

-Gets good extension and drive on his blocks.

-Moves decently in space and can get around and pull for the most part.

-Had MANY a pancake block in these practices.

-Did a good job of letting the speed rushers come to him when lined up at Offensive Tackle.



-Has had conditioning issues and tires out occasionally (has improved as he weighed 350lbs at the start of the season).

-Is not as quick or agile as the two above prospects.

-Trouble moving laterally.

-Lunged at some blockers allowing defenders to get by him; leaned into his blocks occasionally.


Overall Analysis:

Another player that will move up draft boards after this week. I see him going about the same as Ducasse; 3rd-4th Round - but again wouldn't be surprised if he went earlier than that as Offensive Line is such a difficult position to fill and guage in the NFL. The Dolphins took a liking to him - as Mando mentioned - and if he is there in the 4th, don't be surprised to hear his name called by them. If he keeps his weight under control he could be very good.


HONORABLE MENTION: The Offensive Tackle position was rather weak in the Senior Bowl with Ciron Black of LSU and Selvish Capers of West Virginia looking good for 3 plays and then terrible the next. Matt Tennant, Center out of Boston College is tough and mean but a little light for the style of offense the Dolphins run. Mike Johnson out of Alabama might have been the next best interior prospect and helped pave the way for Heisman winner Mark Ingram - he also has an intimidating presence. The other linemen were rather non-descript, with a lot of them changing positions from what they played in college.


February 03, 2010

The behind-the-scenes Dolphins soap opera

Like the sands through the hour glass these are the last days of Joey Porter's Dolphins career.

The countdown clock is winding to Porter's certain release from the Miami Dolphins. If that isn't clear to you by now after it's been written on this blog time and again, then you certainly must be getting the drift as Porter continues to slime the team in radio and television interviews the past three weeks.

I must say the best of those interviews came Tuesday and was done by the fine folks over at 560-AM (WQAM in Miami). It was the best because Channing Crowder, paid by the station, convinced Porter to come on for nearly 15 minutes and simply unload.

And by the time the segment was over, Porter had pulled back the curtain on exactly how dysfunctional the Dolphins really were in 2009. As he and Crowder talked you understood players don't really love coach Tony Sparano. You understood how Sparano's penchant for putting a happy face on everything is truly just propaganda. And you recognized how utterly, undeniably delusional Porter really is.

At one point in the interview, Porter actually let these divergent thoughts stream from his mouth as if they could ever belong together: "I got no problem being here," he said. "I think we're headed in the right direction. But I can honestly say I don't want to be back."

Anyway, forget the stuff about Porter being unhappy with being platooned. I've covered that in previous posts. Porter wasn't happy with that at all. But the guy has no grasp on the fact he was authoring a terrible season much of the year when Sparano instilled the platoon system. He doesn't recognize that Cameron Wake was increasingly looking like a sack waiting to happen every time he came in the game.

And Porter apparently doesn't recognize Jason Taylor was simply a more complete player -- defending the run and the pass as well as rushing the passer.

Porter? Regardless of what Sparano wanted you to believe, the next time Porter set the edge of the defense would have been the first time he did that.

And yet Porter apparently sees himself as vastly superior to his teammates.

"If you let us fight for the job, it's not even an argument," he said. "No shots at nobody (really?), but it's not even an argument. All them guys in my room, love them to death, but the outside linebackers, I'm the best one we got. Period. There's nothing to talk about. That's period. Who am I switching with? Why should I be switching with any of them guys."

Later in the interview Porter showed the disdain for which he held the guy about to replace him.

"If you want to play Cameron Wake and them in the game, go ahead," Porter said. "Good luck to you."

I told you yesterday Porter really only had one advocate at Dolphins camp and that was Tony Sparano. And then I told you he had lost Sparano. Apparently the relations went sour well before the end of the season.

"Last seven weeks of the season after missing the Tampa Bay game was no fun for me ...," Porter said. "Going in and being a captain, I went from talking to the coach every day to not talking to the coach no more. Only time I talked to him was on game day. Not talking to nobody. Seeing Jeff Ireland and Bill Parcells and them and nobody saying nothing to you no more. It made me feel like an outcast. The writing's on the wall for me."

Porter was apparently hurt that Sparano lost trust in him and cast him aside like a three-button jacket. And he apparently was somewhat envious that Sparano continued to see Taylor as the team's leader.

"I'm your captain but I'm not in no meetings no more," Porter complained. "Nobody's talking to the captain no more.We lost [Jason] Ferguson. We lost Chad Pennington. We had four. We lost two to injury. So now it's just me and Jason, but Jason't the only one that's meeting with the head coach.

"And he's relaying a message to me: 'Yeah, coach said this because he said you don't want to talk.' Why I don't want to talk? Usually when we call a meeting, you say, 'Joey, Jason come up.' Not just, 'Jason come up.' So everybody don't know everything I went through. That last seven weeks was no fun for me."

BLOG PAUSE HERE. ALTOGETHER FOR JOEY: Aaaahhhh. Joey wasn't having the proper amount of fun as he was making about $5 million last year. Three million people lost their jobs in 2009 but Joey wasn't loving life every second he lived it. Makes me really sad.

Anyway, as I reported to you on January 26th, one of the things that got Porter truly torqued off at Sparano was his suspension for the Tampa Bay game.

And in talking about that episode Porter and Crowder painted the picture of a team on which players don't agree with the head coach and assistants aren't agreeing with the head coach about a player's suspension -- one Sparano was absolutely correct about, by the way.

Team unity was apparently not so united.

"It was an uncomfortable situation amongst the team," Crowder said. "And I know I'm not the only player that thinks that. I know a lot of the guys were too."

Said Porter: "I put it this way, it wasn't a situation to where when [Sparano] sent me home, everybody was on board with that decision. Coaches and players. I got phone calls from coaches telling me, 'Just keep your head up. Fight through it, man. You'll be alright.' Now why you telling me this? 'Cause you know in your heart the deal was just wrong. It was just wrong."

Porter claims he was suspended because after missing two days of practice Wednesday and Thursday, he left his crib Friday night to get dinner. "I went out to get something to eat from 9 to 10:30," he said.

The Dolphins have a different version although they continue to hide behind their veil of silence that frankly has become sort of transparent now. The team believes Porter abused the privilege of being off Wednesday and Thursday by going out Friday night.

"[Sparano] wasn't happy about that, and I've never heard of that before," Porter said. "You know what I mean? Telling a grown man what to do on a Friday. It wasn't Saturday night curfew. I'm talking to him, looking at him and I'm like, "I'm not in here leaking alcohol, getting in the steam room trying to get it out of me. I'm here bright eyed and bushy tailed.' I went to sleep at 10:30. That's good for me. That's great for me."

"Amazing," Crowder chimed in agreement.

Amazing indeed. But not for the reasons these two think.

February 02, 2010

The choice on Porter: Cut him or, well, cut him

The Miami Dolphins have two choices with Joey Porter.

They can cut him the first weeks of March before a $1 million roster bonus he is scheduled to receive comes due. Or they can lose all credibility with the rest of the players in their locker room, the media, and their fans.

It's that simple.

Last week I reported to you exclusively that Porter went on a hometown radio show and said he didn't want to return to the Dolphins. That same report also included details of a meeting Porter had with Tony Sparano in which the enigmatic linebacker told the coach how unhappy he was with the Dolphins.

Despite other media questioning the validity of my report, it was confirmed Monday -- by Porter himself. He went on the Jim Rome show and basically repeated most everything he told his hometown radio station, including the idea that the best thing to happen now is that he's traded.

"I mean, it would just kind of be the smart thing do," Porter said of a trade out of Miami.

Porter also confirmed the meeting with Sparano.

I have also confirmed that Monday's nationally telecast call for a trade didn't take the Dolphins by surprise. Porter, a league source told me, has told the Dolphins he would like to be traded. 

But in going public with his desire in this and the Bakersfield, California radio interview, Porter has all but sealed his fate. Even though the Dolphins last week had not made up their collective minds that Porter had played his last game for Miami, that is changing.

Until only recently, Porter had two advocates at Dolphins camp. While football czar Bill Parcells recognized Porter as a potential trouble-maker and distraction, he accepted his presence because Sparano was a fan and appreciated Porter. Porter's 17.5 sacks in 2008 also played a big role, no doubt.

Other players also liked and even looked up to Porter so that helped the linebacker.

But I am told that while the players remain Porter advocates, Sparano has soured on his weakside linebacker. The coach now sees Porter as a declining role player who is coming off a down year and isn't, at age 33, likely to improve substantially going forward.

In a phrase popular to the Dolphins, Porter is being viewed as a "progress stopper," because the team wants and expects to have younger players coming in that they want to play more than Porter.

The Dolphins, of course, could walk back from all this because they haven't made any public statement about Porter other than to say his future is still not decided. But is that really true?

The last time a Dolphins player requested a trade -- Jason Taylor in 2008 -- it got done.

Does anyone see the Dolphins hearing Porter's now nationally telecast complaints and saying, "OK, Joey, you're right and we're wrong. We're sorry. Please come back, and to make you see we really mean it, here's $1 million?"

That would send the young and impressionable players in the Miami locker room the message that management can be bullied.

And can anyone see Sparano bowing to Porter's demands to play all three downs every game no matter what after Porter basically called him out on national TV?

Where would that leave Sparano's reputation?

And would you, the Dolfan, have a higher or lower level of respect for the organization if it puts up with this kind of bovine manure?

This issue would ordinarily threaten to carry over for quite some time if Porter's delusional thinking was accurate and he actually had trade value. Then, 2010 likely being an uncapped year, the Dolphins might decide to pay Porter $1 million for the sake of salvaging a third- or fourth-round draft pick -- sort of like they did with Jason Taylor in 2008.

But Porter's trade value is zero. Zilch. Nada.

There is no team insane enough to pay a draft pick for a declining, undisciplined, headache. The market for such players is generally small anyway. In a year when the draft is promising lots of good talent even into the late middle rounds, the market for Porter practically disappears.

So, while the choice whether to keep or cut Porter remains a topic in the public realm -- largely because Porter has kept it there. The truth is the Dolphins have very little choice in this matter.

Porter's days with Miami are numbered.

February 01, 2010

Parcells noncommittal on Jason Taylor return

Dolphins football czar Bill Parcells came out from behind the iron curtain of Dolphins silence Monday to do a live chat on NFL.com.

And during that chat he was asked about the Super Bowl, his time with the Cowboys, his relationship with Dan Henning, and other things. There were even a couple of good Dolphins questions that he talk.

The big headline of the entire chat?

Parcells is noncommittal about Jason Taylor's return to the Dolphins in 2010.

"I don't know the answer to the Taylor question at this moment," he said. "He's a free agent as of March 5 and we haven't discussed it yet. We'll see where that goes when the time comes."

Frankly, Taylor is noncommittal with the Dolphins as well. Why does this seem like two people who want to date but neither is willing to make the first move? Too bad because what normally happens in those cases is they wind up with other people.

New England Patriots? New York Jets?

The Big Tuna was asked if he took the call from Rex Ryan during the season when the Jets coach called for advice.

"Rex did call -- but it was for advice on the Breeder's Cup," Parcells answered. "I told him he should consult with someone else on that matter!"

Parcells was asked if the Dolphins are interested in bringing in a No. 1 receiver for quarterback Chad Henne.

"... we'd be interested in the position," he replied. "But they have to be available, we can't invent them."

Parcells was asked if the Dolphins might be interested in Chad Pennington as a coach, which is not a good question because Pennington wants to continue to play. And Parcells said as much.

"I think Chad's intention is to try to continue playing, so I don't think coaching is on the forefront for him right now," Parcells said.

The Senior Bowl recap from our scout

We take a pause from blogging about Rex Ryan's weekend escapades to discuss football again.

As you know, Chris Cordero spent four days last week in Mobile, Alabama scouting players at the Super Bowl for this blog. I'm certain he was trying to hook up a job with an NFL team as well. Anyway, the scouting reports are finished.

This is his post-game recap of the game. Please be sure to thank Chris for his diligence and expertise in the comments section. Also feel free to say if you agree or disagree with our scout's opinions.


A little disclaimer: I have always found practices to be every bit as if not more important than the game. The game had a very "big-time" feel to it as it was sold out and rocking. It was a obviously a Pro-South crowd with Tim Tebow and players from the Alabama National Championship team.
ILB Sean Weatherspoon stood out right from the start and made plays not only on defense (if he can cover McCluster - well who CAN'T he cover?), but special teams as well. Weatherspoon is a player and I would take him on my team anyday. OLB Brandon Graham was also spectacular throughout - using his speed and great leverage to get by on more than one occasion, finishing with 2 sacks and a forced fumble. Another guy I would want on my side. They were so good they were the biggest part of why the North team dominated. 
OLB Cameron Sheffield and Brandon Lang got pressure on the QBs and Koa Misi also was very active. George Selvie was around the ball on some plays - but not overly impressive. ILB Jamar Chaney was all over every running play and had a hand on what liked like every South tackle. Donald Butler was rather quiet.
The Top 3 Nose Tackles (Dan Williams, Cam Thomas, Terrence Cody) all had great success to a varying degree. Williams, the most impressive, consistently holding up blockers, stuffing the run, and even batting down pass. Thomas, who had had a sack, also held up at the POA and displayed great strength. Cody also was quite good - consistently drawing a double team - but he wore down some.
WR Mardy Gilyard was impressive - despite at least one drop that I saw; displaying his great speed, quicks, and playmaking ability receiving and returning. My #1 guy - Andre Roberts - dropped the first pass I saw all week but made a nice catch in the middle of the field and taking a big hit. Jeremy Williams of Tulane, who had a decent week - played well; but also had at least one drop. Taylor Price was rather quiet and his inconsistencies showed up during the game.
FS Nate Allen was always around the ball even though it won't show up on the stat sheet - and did nothing to knock him off my #1 spot. Taylor Mays had an interception on an easy read and weak throw by Sean Canfield - outside of that he wasn't much of a factor. Myron Rolle didn't look as good in game action as in practice, his speed is still a question.
TE Ed Dickson had one nice play on a deep 31-yard pass. Jimmy Graham looked good also - although he did have one drop; but could have had more receptions if the south QBs (cough Tebow cough) would have targeted him more. Colin Peek stepped up and did a great job to hold on to a TD after a big hit. Anthony McCoy was quiet with just one catch.
OL Mike Iupati, who did get caught holding, and Vladimir Ducasse looked dominant - although Geno Atkins of Georgia did get some great rushes in the interior on Iupati - and did as well as you could expect versus the big DTs of the South. John Jerry got pushed a little by Cam Thomas, and looked better at good than tackle.
RB LaGarrette Blount of Oregon had a great day and could be a very good back in the league. The best QBs were Dan LeFevour of Central Michigan and Zac Robinson of Oklahoma St. CB Kyle Wilson of Boise St. also looked good. DE Alex Carrington of Arkansas State followed up a great week of practice with a good showing at the game.