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Five days into free agency is no time to panic

Unrestricted free agency started as a sprint over the weekend when many NFL teams jockeyed for position to immediately land their prize targets or re-sign their best players.

The Dolphins got Karlos Dansby who is an upgrade at inside linebacker. The Dolphins locked up backup quarterback Chad Pennington. And they added by subtracting Joey Porter and Gibril Wilson.

But not all has gone according to plan.

The Dolphins have struggled to land a starting-caliber free safety because fate has not been kind. They put a certain value on Antrel Rolle and the New York Giants placed a higher value on him and got him. Value is defined here by cold, hard cash.)

They placed a higher value on Ryan Clark than his most recent team, the Pittsburgh Steelers, but Clark, a classy, solid dude, had other priorities he had to answer to. So Clark left Dolphins money on the table in order to return to the Steelers.

Some front offices might begin to panic. I trust the Dolphins will not, not with Bill Parcells at the helm.

On the surface, the situation looks uncomfortable if not dire.

A survey of the landscape shows the Dolphins have needs at too many positions to solve all those needs through the draft. 

They need a starting OLB, a NT, a starting FS, and, of course, a playmaker at WR. Always a playmaker at WR.

So what to do?

While Cincinnati is hosting both Antonio Bryant and Terrell Owens this week, while Seattle is studying Brandon Marshall, after Baltimore traded for Anquan Boldin and Kansas City signed Chris Chambers, the Dolphins have done nothing.

I love Boldin -- a lot. But I cannot criticize the Dolphins for not moving on anyone left. It would be a sign of desperation for them to go after domestic batterer Marshall. Even if the move might be popular with fans and sell tickets, it would be a huge risk.

Owens will be 36 years old. He's better than any wide receiver the Dolphins currently have, no question. But did I mention he'll be 36 years old? And he has a history that rubs Parcells the wrong way. So is the Big Tuna going to basically cast off everything he believes in and chase this player? That would be a sign of desperation.

Bryant? He has had issues with his knees. His career byline is one of inconsistency and wearing out his coaches and his welcome. He also apparently would like a nice payday.

So maybe, just maybe, the Dolphins would best be served by sitting this one out if they have a plan. (God, please let them have a plan!)

The safety position is equally troubling because the Dolphins don't have a starter at the position. By their chase of both Rolle and Clark, the Dolphins have told everyone they don't think Chris Clemons is ready to be a starter and might never be. Remember, they offered those guys multi-year deals so the team was comfortable with Clemons not starting at FS for some time.

The problem is that the free agent options are running out. Darren Sharper is very, very, very productive but also older than Miami typically likes. He's also coming off knee surgery and reportedly isn't taking trips. O.J. Atogwe continues to be out there, but as of this writing, no contact from the Dolphins.

The Dolpins obviously didn't want to draft for this position. They might need to unless they can uncover a double-secret starting FS no one is aware of.

And then there are the other issues the Dolphins haven't even attempted to address in free agency: The team needs at least one starting outside linebacker, but DeMarcus Ware isn't available. They need a nose tackle but Vince Wilfork re-signed with New England. The Dolphins are a team in much need. 

So why am I not crying "The Sky is falling" from my house top?

Two years ago, as the Steelers and Cards were preparing for a Super Bowl year, neither team signed a free agent early on. Last year at this team, neither the Colts nor the Saints signed a free agent early on.

Free agency is less than a week old. It is not Labor Day yet. The draft will plug some of these holes. And since this front office doesn't typically show desperation, neither will I. At least not yet. It is way too early for that.

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allen,

I hear ya... I would plug Marshall into our offense in a skinny minute if I thought there was some predictable likelyhood he would not repeat his off field indiscretions... My "hunch" says he will get busted at some point. He has been dancing on the thinest of wires so far and gotten away mostly scott free.

I think certain people have to hit a rock bottom before they change ala Irving Fryar / Chris Carter.

I don't believe Marshall has had that watershed moment as of yet.

The most telling for me is the fact that even after the many, many run ins, fights, beatings whatevers with his old girlfriend you could explain it away as a bad relationship at some level. When he is caught battling the NEW Fiancee` that tells me it's more on him and he hasn't learned any major lessons.

Noone is crazy to want the guy for his skill...simply no denying he can be an x factor WR.

Cheers,

Allen and all Marchall fans,

Marshall's baggage has a lot more to do than just a feud with Mcdanials.

The guy has 5 domestic violence raps against him, dropped footballs in practice on purpose, insoburdnation, a distructive force on and off the field.

He makes Porter look like an angel.

The guy is damaged goods. With his talent, there would be 10-15 teams lined up to trade a #1 pick for this guy. He is a TOOL! "uncoachable" Would be kicked off the team before the end of his first year. (ie. - who was that LB we released half way through last season because he was faking an injury? The trifecta has no tollerance for head cases).

Have you noticed that many elite WR are selected in later rounds and are developed. Some are even FA (i.e Miles Austin)

Better to "double down" in the draft with our 2nd or 3rd round pick and another WR in the 6th/7th and see what happens.

SAVE the first pick for a real player. My guess is Dan Williams, NT, who I have read has an extra step over the rest of the pack. A franchise NT is very hard to come by. WR are much easier to find and cultivate. Otherise, trade down and select an OLB. This is a strong draft for OLB.

No Way McClain gets selected after Dansby. We have way too many holes. OLB, DT, WR, S, etc.

Marshall - no way@!!,

Good post... Dan Williams is a very distinct possibility as a 1st choice.

NT is something we will need to have an Dan is active and bigger than many applicants at that position.

At Soliai's size, I am amazed he can't anchor better than he does. If he had become a Haloti Nygata type we would not need to grab a NT to start in place of Fergie.

Cheers,

Night Fins Fans... gotta shut it down as I am yawning too much.

NJ PHIN... You are a good guy to but heads with and team up with when we are on the same page.

Keep on Truckin!

Derek in WPB (R.I.P.)(As it refers to his bannishment by Mando only)

Thanks for all the quality chats gents and ladies if some were present.

Cheers,

I wish you all would quit with the Marshall BS. It ain't happening. Forget about it. The phins are done with giving away draft picks. They did it through the late 90's and early 2000's and where did it get them? NO WHERE! I love this regime for holding onto it's draft picks because that's how a team is truly built. Through the draft.

Any fin fans awake?

GOOD MORNING DOLPHIN NATION!!!!!

Why is everyone so disappointed about Clark?? Did anyone see the Steeler D at the end of the year. Without their "Boy Troy" in the secondary they were horrible. Couldn't stop anyone. What, he made one play at the end of the Phins game & he's the answer? I think not.

Obviously, we cant address our needs at NT, FS, OLB, WR, TE in one draft (even including FA) .... but we can deal with 2 or 3 of those needs. I think we should trade down from 1-12 to 1-20 and grab another 3rd round pick. Then, here is my draft:

1. DAN WILLIAMS, NT Tenn
2. HUGHES, OLB, TCU
3. THOMAS, WR, Ga Tech
4. ROLLE, S, FSU

and ... in the lower rounds
6. BARNES, WR, Bowling Green
6. STUCKEY, S, Kansas
6. BLOUNT, RB, Oregon
7. UDOFIA, NT, Stanford
7. SCHOFIELD, OLB, Wisconsin

ooops ... I forgot my extra 3rd round pick ....

DEXTER MCCLUSTER, RB/WR/returns .... OLE MISS .... similar to Percy Harvin ....

Rob in OC,

With all due respect… I will never read your posts until you stop saying cheers. Its driving me crazy. I skip over everyone of your posts. It seems like you have good stuff to say but can you change it up, just a little bit? Thanks Dude!!

Cheers,
DD

ps. Ted Danson says hi!!

i love reading ROB IN OC , keep at it .

cheers

Why is everyone wigging out during free agency? Look, we have the advantage of coaching most of the young guys to be drafted when they were in Mobile. That means the big three are familiar with what they're getting in the draft. And, they know what's available in free agency. Remember all the talk about "due diligence?" Trust that they know a lot more about these players/draftees than we do. Now, some of them are gonna be busts (can't forsee that). But, every now and then, you find a diamond in the rough waiting to prove themself. Remember when the 49ers picked Jerry Rice? Everyone went "Who?" It's all gonna work itself out. We're gonna make a decent run at the playoffs this year (barring injuries like 2009). It's like playing poker. There's some skill involved in picking players for your team, but luck and chance have a lot to say about what really happens too. Oh, by the way, stop talking up players just because you'd like to have them play on your Fantasy team. This is reality!on your

I HOPE WE JUST SELECT THE BEST PLAYER IN THE DRAFT.

1.BRYANT or KINDLE or SPILLER or HAYDEN
2.SPIKES or MAYS or GRESHAM
3.MURPHY or BRISCOE or PETTA

TRADE the #1 for JACKSON or MARSHALL

EVERYONE IS BIG ON EARL THOMAS 5'10 185 pounds
OK YOU GUYS REALLY WANT SOMEONE SMALLER THAN TED GINN AS OUR LAST LINE OF DEFENCE.

I PUT HAYDEN IN THERE BECAUSE HE's A COVER CORNER and MAYBE THEY CAN TRY TO PUT SMITH AT FS.

Why is everyone wigging out during free agency? Look, we have the advantage of coaching most of the young guys to be drafted when they were in Mobile. That means the big three are familiar with what they're getting in the draft. And, they know what's available in free agency. Remember all the talk about "due diligence?" Trust that they know a lot more about these players/draftees than we do. Now, some of them are gonna be busts (can't forsee that). But, every now and then, you find a diamond in the rough waiting to prove themself. Remember when the 49ers picked Jerry Rice? Everyone went "Who?" It's all gonna work itself out. We're gonna make a decent run at the playoffs this year (barring injuries like 2009). It's like playing poker. There's some skill involved in picking players for your team, but luck and chance have a lot to say about what really happens too. Oh, by the way, stop talking up players just because you'd like to have them play on your Fantasy team. This is reality!on your

The sky cant be falling becasue it already fell when we did not hire a defensive coorndiator after two days of letting go of coach P right?

Marshall averaged 11.1 yards per catch, and dropped 7 balls. That's a full yard less per catch and only two less drops than Ted Ginn. AND Marshall is a d*uchebag. I'm glad that none of the people who have been somehow hypnotized into thinking this guy is worth jack squat aren't the ones making the actual decisions...

I'm fine with not signing any of these WR's. We need one, but these guys have more problems then answers.
With only 3 decent FS's out there, chances are you're not gonna get the guy you really want.
We got Dansby.... He's good AND we needed him I'll take that and move on.

Guy's who's still on the Fins rooster that needs to be let go???? lets hear who you think....

I have no problem not signing a wr, the talent in draft is tremendous. I don't see the rush to get someone in free agency. Talent like Dez Bryant at the top of the draft all the way to Mike Williams late in the draft, all receivers are obtainable this is the draft to make a pick at receiver.

Stop the Spiller talk!!! He is 5ft 11inches and 195lbs. He is fast and made college ball fun to watch. However, we have that on our team already x 2, they are Ginn and White. They all have the same build and are all fast and looked faster in college. With that said any play we would design for Spiller could be ran by the 2 guys we already have. So, to me it's not a need. Our offense is not set up for a track star to succeed in. The guy said he never lifts weights. They'll be carting him off the field as they did White.

I want my baby back baby back baby baby back, Chile's baby back ribs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ribs for breakfast ??? ;-))

The fans are unbelievable. Comments like "Dolphins are Cheap" or not on top of it. Anyone see the numbers on Dansby? How about what we have given the O-Line the last few years. "Cheap" is not a word I would use. We also signed Pennington again who at $2.5M for one year to continue to help Henne transition into a franchise QB as well as backup insurance is great. So what Clark decided to go back to Steelers, don't start knocking him or saying you didn't like him, the guy actually had some loyality. I am sure most people have had a change of heart at one time or another, look at Taylor for us, realized the grass is not always greener. I am fine with us being patient now instead of overpaying for a WR (either picks or $). Going into the offseason, I identified 6 positions we needed upgrades to have a shot at the superbowl. ILB, OLB, FS, NT, TE, WR. Dansby solved one. You have to figure 2-3 come in the draft (OLB, NT, TE). And the other two either a young guy step up (Clemons, Turner) or get another player in free agency. Remember, there are going to be a ton of cuts come training camp after teams realize they have a young guy in there that can save $ and they can cut a guy with no cap ramifications. Also remember this is not a one year plan, we are building for now AND the future. Maybe we just run with a plug in for a year at a couple of postitions and fill next year when we have another draft and an estimated 500 free agents assuming a new deal gets done with a 4 year UFA rule again.

I was reading Rob in OC mentioning NJ's view on USF WR Carlton Mitchell. Just checked out his highlight reels. Very Dynamic. Very good WR...agreed. But then I compared the highlight tape on Damaryius Thomas, which I had already viewed awhile back. In comparing, the things that stood out were that Thomas is bigger and stronger and probably just as fast. But also that Thomas mostly catches the ball effortlessly with his hands. Thats a huge advantage! As opposed to Mitchell somtimes pulling it into his body. Also...Thomas gets higher in the air to make those great acrobatic catches. So I'm not cutting down Mitchell as he'd be a good alternative. I'm just saying Thomas maybe better and more of that big prototypical stud reciever that Parcels and Henne want. Also...I'm on board with Mando's man crush and adopted son: Brandon Graham.

I'd be ecstatic if the 1st three rounds went something like this:

1st Rd. Brandon Graham (but with a trade down to get the right value for him, getting a possible 2nd or a 3rd (depending) extra pick.
2nd RD. Demaryius Thomas (2A)
If its a 2B. Cam Thomas
If its a 3A. Linval Joseph.

PS: Don't kill me on this one but if Terrence Cody somehow falls to us with "a luxury 2nd rounder" I would pull the trigger. He might be sloppy, and a 2 down DT but the guys is a monstrous space eater and run stuffer.

Cuban,

I don't really think there are any guys I want to see gone. Most will say Ginn or J Allen, but I think both have a role on this team. It is about having a good roster top to bottom. A good example is our WR group. While none of them are great, Cam, Bess, and Hartline do different things very well, but you wouldn't name them in the top 60 WRs in football I don't think. And since ive seen zero of Turner, i cant make an educated comment on him. They have a role for us though.

For OLB the Dolphins should draft Kindle in the first round, and draft another LB in the later rounds.

For NT they should look for value in the 3rd round, and add another NT in the later rounds.

For WR they should trade away next years #1 pick so they can get another #1 this year, and use that pick for Golden Tate or another top WR they like.

For FS they need to decide if Clemons can hold up at the position, if they improve their front 7. If not they use that extra #1 they trade to get this year to trade Taylor Mays. Then use their 2nd round pick for WR.

For TE they should be able to pick up a decent prospect in the 4th round such as Andrew Quarless from Penn State.

Trade away Ginn and Camarillo. Hartline can be a #2, and Bess is a good slot WR. We should be able to get a 4th round for Ginn and a 5th round for Camarillo. Time for Turner to step up as the #4.

They need to also draft a RB at some point, we have no quality youth at the position. Ronnie could start to fade at any point, Ricky is retiring, and the backups have shown no improvement.

Mando or anyone, what is the deal with Turner. Seems like he would be a beast and did well at the beginning of last years camp, but then what happened.

Boot, Agree 100% even Ted(Sideline)Ginn has a use, mainly on how not to play wide rec. in the NFL, or how to find the sideline in the NFL, Or how to fall into a fetal position in the NFL, you get the picture...Right????

1. Trade #12 for WR Brandon Marshall

2. Sign FS OJ Atogwe

3. Sign Maake Kemoeatu to play NT.

4. Resign LB Jason Taylor for 1-year

5. Draft best OLB available (Kindle, Hughes, Sapp) with 2nd round pick.

6. Draft either NT Cam Thomas (if he falls), or best available TE (Dickerson, Pitta, Moeaki) with 3rd round pick.

Lol it's funny because I try to see the positives before the negatives, but it wasn't even close last year with Ginn. It seemed every game I was cursing him, though I thought he really came on towards the end of the season.

You know if I could go back and change 1 play from the entire season last year, you will call me crazy, but this is what I would change. In the ATL game, Pat Whites deep throw for Ginn that he threw 5 yards too far. My thinking is in what that play would have done for both guys confidence, and how it would have effected them the rest of the year. They are two of the guys who can help give us chunk yards and I would have loved to have seen them hit that play and gain confidence. After that, I don't think White tried a pass over 10 yards.

Ginn is only usefull as a kick return man, which takes up roster space. We need to find a player who can do both kick and punt returns, play special teams, and have a minor role as a WR or RB or CB/S.

Brandon Marshall Brandon Marshall Brandon Marshall. LOL why do these people not listen when we tell them and the media tells them and mando tells them. NEVER GOING TO HAPPEN.

Has Pat White found the weight room yet or is he still out of it from the hit he got the last game of the year?

Pat needs to hire one of those special doctors lol

Well said Mondo! I got on you when you bashed Tuna and Co. for not getting a receiver so I owe you kudos for showing more respect this time around. Execellent insight without the hyperbole!

Mike In Denver

How about Frank Sanders for Wil Allen? Both coming off surgery aren't they? Sanders is awsome - like Ed Reed or Palomoa.

you no what it prob wont happen but again the post that we could go after miles austin----brandon marshall ---miles austin isnt even in the same realm---marshall is top 3 wr---that is 25 ---it is a joke----im wit the people that want to stay away from him b/c of his off field baggage---but he has never been convivcted of anything---hes not pacman jones---

If you are going to take a risk on a kid---which someone will---i think he is the unique situation that you do it-----sometimes you have to tke risks----draft a wr in the draft is a risk---for that matter any player b/c you dont know how they will play in NFL--tere is no sure thing----you have to know how to pick and choose where you assign your risk----

I would at least want them to bring him in for a visit and talk to the kid-----personally im a brandon marshall fan and i would love to see the kid stay out of trouble and be the domiant wr that he is.......

But i understand the marshall haters

Guys at some point we need to question Parcells' ability to run a team. We seem to get worse not better. We shouldve signed two of the three Cards (Boldin and Rolle) not Dansby. Parcells has always been a great motivator but never a good talent evaluator. His Giant teams were drafted for him as were his new England teams.

We can only be re-building for so long. In fact I think we have regressed. Spend the money and get a quality team on the field. Just look at the jets - they spent and won this year!

My anti marshall campaign has been based off the fact that i do not want to lose draft picks. I think that is a counterproductive move when building a team. Then you have to pay him a big contract because he is soo talented. Then we dont know when he is going to go and slap a b**** down. Those all have to be reason enough to keep the guy out of Miami unless things drastically change.

talkost with an early bid for the PLUNGIE.

Marshall, Marshall, Marshall should be NEVER, NEVER, NEVER

WE have 3 running backs that basically are all the same as far as size/power. Why don't we trade Ronnie Brown for Shawn Merriman in San Diego.They need a big time back and it seems like a fair swap. We then draft Spiller in the first to handle kickoff, punt, and big plays from offense.
We then package Ginn, and Merling (I think Baker or Dotson is as good) for Marshall if he agrees to performance and behavior clauses. Then you draft Cam Thomas in the 2nd, a Safety in the third, Graham in the 4th (TE), then with the 5 picks in the 6th and 7th you take offensive line, corner, and linebacker.If you can get a 4th or 5th (reasonable for a backup)for Pat White it could be a big benefit.(he has value to teams that run west coast) He is not fast enough at his size to be a receiver. He would be similar to what we have. We do not need more of the same. Also with several of our receivers like Bess and Camarillo being similar they could potentially be trade bait or add ins for a deal. This plan gets explosion on offense, a supreme pass rusher, the NT, Safety, and TE that we need to fill the major voids.Next year you draft BPA.

Its a lost cause Indiana these children will never learn.

Mark that is something im not sure what though... Lets see those trades would never happen. Pat white is fast enough to play WR if you havent seen him run. And oh yeah spiller round one doubt it...

but mark in your defense you didnt mention brandon marshall so that does put you higher on the list of people who might know jack. lol

i think we take kindle with first pick and bring JT to teach the young guy his role,
and we basicly hope cam thomas is there second round,
i have a strange feeling we may go after berry

Berry is a top five pick soo unless God shows mercy to the fins count him out.

i really do not think we are going to take Kindle at the 12 spot. 3 sacks last season????? does that mean nothing.

Ryan Clark brings truth to the statement that you should never trust a man with 2 first names

Earl Thomas

carlito,

DO YOU WORK ?

BOOTANG-you know im with you on Thomas all the way...

"Two years ago, as the Steelers and Cards were preparing for a Super Bowl year, neither team signed a free agent early on. Last year at this team, neither the Colts nor the Saints signed a free agent early on."
----------
Wow....if that's the only reason you're not crying that the sky is falling, you might want to reconsider. Look at the QBs, receivers, and lack of holes on those teams.

The Dolphins still don't know exactly what they have in Henne. They don't have a #1 receiver and they have so many holes in their starting lineup that you could drain pasta through it.

I want Turnovers. And with Mike Nolan and his attacking style, that goes a long way. And Davis and Smith are going to get much better, and then you add a ballhawk S, combined with Dansby and his ability in coverage, we could have many turnovers forced.

strain pasta

Good stuff bootang... btw whats the deal with the name i have a hard time addressing you by it.

If our defense can do what Denver did last season under his first season there, I will be happy and the Fins will be successful! Nolan did game plan a defense to beat the Tom Brady and the Patriots...now he will get to do that twice.

WVA,

Lol my last name starts with Boo. And in high school my friends came up with the nickname bootang, so it's what I've used for email and all things related.

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