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Making a play for The Three Cards Studs

Less than 24 hours from the start of the NFL's new league year and Dolphins fans have cast their sights primarily on one place: Arizona.

It is in Arizona that linebacker Karlos Dansby is about to become an unrestricted free agent. It is in Arizona where safety Antrel Rolle is about to be released, barring an unlikely last-second agreement on a contract restructure. It is in Arizona that wide receiver Anquan Boldin is on the trade block and apparently can be had relatively reasonably.

For Dolphins fans, and to some accurate degree for the Dolphins themselves, what happens with the trio from Arizona will determine how successful Miami's dip into free agency and trades this new league year will seem once it begins at midnight March 5.

So allow me to address the issues of The Three Cards Studs:

Dansby: The Dolphins are interested. There is no doubt about that. Too many NFL people are saying it for it not to be true. The latest to make the point is Andrew Brandt, the former VP of the Green Bay Packers who now writes the business of football column for National Football Post. He direct messaged me on my twitter Wednesday to stress he keeps hearing from his sources that the Dolphins are onto Dansby.

The NFL Network's Steve Wyche reported that three teams are onto Dansby, although he did not know the teams. I also don't know the other teams. But I can tell you Dansby expects something of an auction for his services and he will go to the highest bidder.

By auction, I'm talking Rembrandt type stuff here. Agent sources tell me Dansby will be "asking" $30 million in guaranteed money on a five-year contract that would expire when he's 33 years old.

He wants to set the market's new ceiling for a linebacker so he's going to start out somewhere in orbit. And understand the $30 mil is not the entire deal. The total cost of the deal Dansby will be asking will average at least $8 million annually. Do the math. The guy wants a deal of approximately $40 million with 75 percent of that guaranteed.

Of course, asking and getting are two different universes. But the fact more than two teams are apparently interested is a good sign for the former Auburn standout.

I would tell you Dansby would be the prize of unrestricted free agency for the Dolphins should they land him. But landing him will be neither easy nor cheap.

Rolle: As you know, The Miami Herald broke the story about Rolle wanting to play for the Dolphins. The former University of Miami standout hasn't changed his mind and he will get a chance to hit free agency because his agent Drew Rosenhaus and the Cardinals have been unable to agree on what Rolle is worth.

It is clear he's not worth the $4 million roster bonus due him March 9 plus the $8 million salary he's scheduled to earn from Arizona in 2010. Thus, the Cardinals will cut Rolle as early as Friday. They will allow him to test the market and see what he can find, while obviously believing they have a good enough sense of his worth that their offer to him will stand up with whatever the market is offering.

I regard this a case of more Rolle wanting to play for the Dolphins than the Dolphins wanting Rolle to play for them. He's a good player. He's a playmaker. But he, too, wants big bucks. (Shocking ain't it?)

The Chicago Tribune is reporting Rolle wants a contract that averages $8 million. The Dolphins will absolutely not come anywhere close to that. You might argue Miami paid an average of $5.5 million to Gibril Wilson to be a resounding bust, and that would be true.

But $8 million per year is more than game-changers Ed Reed or Troy Polamalu make on an annual average.

The interest the Dolphins show in Rolle will be the first test of Jeff Ireland's credibility when he suggested the team was expecting Wilson to play better in 2010. If Rolle is added, there would be no room for Wilson on the roster at all.

I believe Ireland to be honorable. I believe the Dolphins won't be making a strong bid on Rolle. We'll see.

Boldin: As The Miami Herald reported last week, Arizona is ready and willing to trade the former Florida State standout. On Wednesday, the NFL Network's Michael Lombardi reported the Cardinals want "only a third-round pick" for Boldin.

The question is whether that is what they are asking or if that is what it will actually take to move Boldin. I've reported in the past that Dolphins football czar Bill Parcells has a healthy respect for Boldin. Many NFL people do.

Parcells likes Boldin's toughness. Likes his production. Likes his size. Likes his game. Yes, there are questions about Boldin's age. There are also questions about his recent rash of nagging injuries. And then there's the contract -- more on that in a moment.

Given the variables, and deciphering sometimes painful conversations with sometimes reluctant sources, I reported on my twitter that Miami definitely would not give up a second round pick for Boldin but might possibly give up a fourth-rounder under perfect circumstances.

So the question is, again, are the Cardinals absolutely stuck on getting a third for Boldin? Or is the third their initial negotiating stance that they'd be willing to come down from?

Now, about that contract. The contract is the primary reason Boldin is on the market. He's been unhappy with his current deal for two years and would be unhappy again in 2010 in what is the deal's final year. So he wants a new deal that pays north of $7 million per season and probably closer to $9 million per season.

That is a ton of money even in an uncapped year and it could raise eyebrows because teams aren't absolutely certain what the financial realities will be beyond this coming year.

So anyone, including the Dolphins, that considers a trade for Boldin must weigh whether they can find a younger, cheaper receiver in the third or fourth round and accept the risk of that player never panning out. And the teams must also weigh whether adding a proven 29-year-old Boldin is worth a draft pick plus a big contract.

It's all measuring risk versus reward.

That's how it is when you make a play for The Three Cards Studs.




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Land Dansby and Rolle and make a run at Ravens NT Justin Banaan who just missed working w/ Mike Nolan in Baltimore. Nolan left the year Banaan came in so they know common people.


Drink of the night. 3/4 shot Fernet Branca, !/4 shot Campari. Straight up. Forget about Boldin, forget about Rolle, forget about tonight! Hope all is well.

..........oh I forgot, that leaves us open to draft CJ Spiller in round 1 and still get a pass rusher like Jerry Hughes in round 2. WR in round 3 again unfortunately.

NONE of the three are worth their asking price!!!

This draft is loaded with LB talent. There are other viable options at safety and Bolden is getting past his prime in a hurry for those type of numbers....

The only move that makes sense is "addition by subtraction". If you CUT the Girbil (the team saves 5 million dollars per year)!!!!! Torbor (another 3 million) and the savings from dumping Porter (another 4 million?)= 12 Million Dollars is savings!!!!!!!!!!!! Now, add Dansby at 8 Millon per year and you still have a 3 million dollar savings.......with a better player and extra money to sign a good FA safety...

Makes sense to me.

Meant 4 million savings --

BETTER than Rolles is FA Darren Sharper. He lead New Orleans to a SB title on defense. 9 interceptions with 3 returnd for TDs!!!!!

Dolphin fans will remember one against us.

He is much less expensive than Rolles and a true playmaker even for a couple of years...

Sign Dansby $8 millon) and Rolles (S) from NO for $4 millon or less = 12 million


DUMP -the Girbil 5 million
- Porter (obvious) $4 million
- Torbor $3 million
total = 12 million



meant Darren Sharper from NO for 4 million instead of Rolles.

At your finest Armando, well done

Maybe we could work a conditional trade for Boldin. Give a 2011 4th that becomes a 3rd if he meets certain standards like 1000 yards and 8 Tds or something similar. Meeting that, he would easily be worth a 3rd.

We absolutely should break the bank for Dansby and if we can wait out Rolle's suitors, we could probably get Rolle for a good bit cheaper than his asking price. I don't see too many teams dolling out his asking price.

all 3 is key then we can draft by best player available each round not out
of nececessity

make it happen Bill

Get Dansby! I might be a homer with this one but I say lets get Rolle too. That was only his 2nd season at safety and he made the pro bowl. This guy is a ballhawk who creates turnovers and is a threat to score every time he touches the ball.

Cxl Spiller, he's a 12-15 cpg guy, even with his great homerun ability in the nfl that would translate to about 8 td's per year max. No coach in his right mind makes a #12 overall pick a regular return guy.

Spiller reminds us of Chris Johnson but CJ is a 20-25 cpg rb, Spiller isnt. A #12 overall is far to high to pay for a guy coming out of college with so many slashes in his job title and knowone's sure he can be at least a 20 cpg rb.

everyone is talking rolle what about clark from the steelers they havent reached a deal with him either so isnt he hitting the market

Mando,I have read the last blog and it's getting bad between posters.You know who they are and I think it's time to post a list of posers.I'm tired of the same crap of she said she said and who is who!It's getting out of control and time to make a stand.LIST THE POSERS.

I say sign Dansby, give him a 15 million signing bonus. So if the contract is 5yrs 40 million only 15 mill of the remaining 25 million is guaranteed. Front end load the contract problem solved.

But if we could only do one of the two between acquiring Marshall or Rolle after getting Dansby I would rather take Marshall. First we trade down our #12 to someone say for an extra 2nd-3rd rounder then trade that traded down #1 pick to Denver for Marshall.

Now this is a posters blog.Way to goDB,dishpan,formula,miami,miamitoby good point,powerimiami,dd,brad hmmmmm not thinkin it but better thoughts.

If you do not want to hear it... Plug your ears. According to "Stats at football focus" There you’ll find Rolle ranked 67th over the 87 safeties that played in at least 25 percent of their team’s snaps in 2009.Sure, Rolle had those four interceptions and he was third-best in the league when asked to blitz, but he really struggled — according to PFF — against the run and even in coverage.Against the run, Rolle ranked 65th. In coverage he was 70th.

The Dolphins favorite whipping boy was 15th overall, 20th against the run and 26th in coverage.
(This info cut from SS 3-1-2010)

I did not write it... but I did look into it and they are correct. Take away the interceptions... and Rolle was outperformed by Wilson. Its just another case of "The other guys shyt always looks better" Dansby on the other hand is no joke... but... in a draft loaded with Defensive talent who would cost Millions less then Dansby... Is it pulling the trigger too soon on outside talent that we can just as well develop under our our roof? And if not...Why? What is the propensity of some to believe that "Play-makers" only grow on some special tree that is in everyone Else's locker room except our own. Because that is simply not true. Miami has always had good talent at the Linebacker position... and up until recently... that talent was always drafted and developed by Miami themselves..Not Pittsburgh or...For God Sake not Phoenix, Phoenix has only been contenders for three years... before that... they piled on early first round picks like chord wood until fate would have it... they got better. Now its a complete exodus from that team and they will fall like a rock to mid contention for another 10 years.
After we are given our 10th pick sometime in March... Miami will have 10 shots at placing better people on the field... 10 shots... I like the odds... I hate huge contracts when the go BUST!!! We'll see what they do with it... I would bet they stay very close to home.

Rolle - Forget him. Paying a good but not great player the kind of money he wants is silly imho. I'd like Sparano to give Chris Clemons a shot

Dansby - Would be a great signing and a considerable upgrade to our rather pathetic Linebackers BUT only if we can get him at a reasonable price. If a bidding war starts,forget it cus the Dolphins are not going to overspend,regardless of how much they want Dansby

Boldin - I like Boldin,and we obviously need an elite NO1 Receiver but i'm not comfortable giving up a 3rd rounder for him. I'd suggest a 4th and Ginn/4th and Crowder.

Rolle - Forget him. Paying a good but not great player the kind of money he wants is silly imho. I'd like Sparano to give Chris Clemons a shot

Dansby - Would be a great signing and a considerable upgrade to our rather pathetic Linebackers BUT only if we can get him at a reasonable price. If a bidding war starts,forget it cus the Dolphins are not going to overspend,regardless of how much they want Dansby

Boldin - I like Boldin,and we obviously need an elite NO1 Receiver but i'm not comfortable giving up a 3rd rounder for him. I'd suggest a 4th and Ginn/4th and Crowder.


I too would not pay for Rolle, and would give wilson another year to see if he just had a down year; however, I think that if they can sign Dansby that would be ok since he is an upgrade over both our ilb's and playing beside him might make chowder a better player (like when Zach played beside him). His asking price is just that asking price, but a good negotiator should be able to pay him enough to satisfy him or give him what he wants through incentives and bonuses.

Absolutely concur do not give up any draft choices

Don't trade picks!!! If we can sign these guys, great if not - DRAFT!!

When do compensatroy picks come out? Do we get any??

Good post by Derek.

Bolden has the same issues as Brown. Great talent, but can't seem to stay on the field for a full season. He'd obviously be worth a 4th rounder, but $9 mil?? Hey, it's not my coin though.

forget the high priced free agents. they require draft picks and are looking for large paydays! keep our draft picks and our money to spend on guys who are worth the money! we gotta do alot better with our picks this year; no room for error. we have too many holes!



A 3rd round is to high?


Maybe Rolle is asking for a contract that high so no one will bite? Including ARZ. so he can get what he wants, to play in Miami? So if we offer a decent contract he might take it. But if a team pays him that kinda Money then he gets paid! It's a win win for him either way.

I would take a one handed Boldin for a 3rd pick! It's the Contract that worries me a little. I'm thinking 3 years at 17 to 18 million with a good signing bonus? A good signing bonus could be the difference on not having a fat contract for the team and not taking a hit on the cap.

Just was given a link by my Nephew... Concerning Boldin deal.... I would suggest Miami be prepared at 12:01 too give a reply or this will certainly not last long...


Here is the basic content...

Michael Lombardi reported on NFL Network that the Cardinals "only want a third-round pick" for Boldin. That's not too high a price for a starting wide receiver.
Lombardi say Cardinals will take 3rd round pick for Boldin...
But, Lombardi said, the big sticking point is whether a team acquiring Boldin will be willing and able to fork over the money necessary to make Boldin happy. In other words, Boldin won't just cost a third-round pick. He'll cost a third-round pick plus a big new contract.

The third round AND THE contract are very reasonable. This guy is a damn playmaker. He changes our wr core immensely! Let me put it into perspective people: the bengals paid laverneus coles 8 mil in 2009....for just over 500 yards of production. Boldin is there: let's grab him! And antrell rolle and dansby while we are at it.

I think alot of people are setting themselves up to be dissappointed, Dansby would be nice and I would love to have him but there are at least two other teams bidding, Giants and probaly Philly or Wash..I mean, let's put the money issue aside, Dansby SAID he would love to play for the Giants. That's HIS preference. I think that's where he goes if the money is close, and I can't see us blowing away the Giants in a money game. Rolle is a no go, I give Derek in WPB credit coming up with those numbers but also I think with Clemons, Culver and Wilson there will be competition in training camp and someone will be good enough to start. And last Boldin, I like Boldin and believe he is worth a forth rounder, anything higher is too much...I can easily see a 0 for three here, but tommorrow it starts for real...

Get dansby and draft spiller with first pick ( he's like a Leon Washington or Chris Johnson. Type player and we know what they did to us picture him in wild cat with Rickey and Ronnie scary) if so trade a 4th rd pick for boldin

Go after all three:

Dansby is key because of our LB needs and the fact that if we don't sign him, we are locked into drafting the alabama ILB at 12. Since we have no state tax, hope we can get him without having to be the top bidders.

Rolle would allow Wilson to play his natural position of SS, which then would have everyone player to their strength. Again, hoping that no state tax, a shot at playing home, plus the fact that his agent has lost most of his Dolphin clients because of how he handled the TO negotiations with Parcells in Dallas might make this deal happen for less money than expected.

As far as Boldin, I have said from the start that given his age and the fact that he is beginnning to get broken down, that he is not worth more than a fourth round draft choice. I hope we make the deal as this team really needs a veteral leader at the WR spot to help develop the other WR's along with helping Henne develop.

I agree bobbyd12, if anything we get 1 of these guys that's it. While I think we will go after some FA around the league, it won't be all 3. Maybe 1 and I think miami will try to make an offer for Dansby. If Boldin and Rolle find their way to Miami it's because they fell right into are laps and they would play here for any amount of money. Ya right huh! Wishfully thinking on my part if that happens.

I trust the "Tuna" to do what is best to build a winner in Miami! That said, Watch! I'm looking for the Miami Dolphins to be in the Superbowl this year!

Until now, the Trifecta has refused to give big bucks to star FAs...and has ended up overpaying average players.

It is time for this organization to get at least one true star FA (Dansby and/or Boldin).

Get Boldin period. We can draft the rest, there is no rookie that brings the game Boldin does, and having Boldin probobly makes Ginn a leathal deep threat (if he learns to catch)

I am very hesitant to give up draft picks but we need to keep our trade options open. Remember this is Parcells 3rd season and an unusual salary cap year. Major Possibilities! We need to focus on the Wets, Patsies, and Wings. Its time to step up Miami. We need to win the division!

Bill Parcells is the dominant force in Miami, obviously. But do not underestimate Jeff Ireland, Tony Sporano, Mike Nolan and David Lee. They also have something to prove. Do you think Billy was pushing for the Wildcat package? He was letting his boys try something new. Parcells is there to put out the fire and make sure nothing gets to out of control.

The 2009 season was a combination of malice, bad luck, and strategy. Miami was screwed by the zebras. We lost many players to injury. And we started looking to 2010 and noticed a special draft class, different rules for FA, and no salary cap.

Take Rolle and Boldin......Dansby isn't worth the $$$$

we really need to build thru the draft;getting young guys who want to prove themselves. boldin is probably worth a 4th but he'll want a long contract upfront loaded. dan snyder has signed alot of these high priced FA. how did that work out??? skins are still in the cellar. joey porter is an example of getting "nothing" for your money.

I bet if you looked at the Dolphins' 3rd round picks over the last 10 years, you wouldn't see a lot of good players. I think Lankford was taken as the 1st pick of the 3rd round (almost a 2nd round pick). Other than that, I can't think of any other 3rd round pick that's done a whole lot for the Dolphins.

Rather than trying out a new big WR every year (Wilfork 2 years ago, Turner last year), just get one you already know is good with Boldin.

If there was a way to get both Dansby and Boldin, I think the Dolphins instantly become a team with a legimate chance to win the SB.

the 3 rd round is a crap shoot.
Bring Boldin in...
The talent is undeniable.

1). Don't go after Boldin. Mando, I know you like this guy, But, Phins don't need another injury prone player.

2). Don't go after Rolle. He's asking for too much money. I see another Gerbil in the cage.

3). Don't go after Dansbury. He is too expensive. Phins should not burden the payroll with another expensive player.

4). True, Phins need a defensive leader. I think the Phins should sign Jason Taylor to at one year contract with one year option. Now that Porter is gone, Jason will stand up and be a model leader of the Defense. He will definitely help groom Wake and a rookie at OLB.

Hey Mando, what about ILB Foote from Detroit? What are the stats on this guy? True, he is somewhat old at 30. But, he does not seem to be injury prone. And, maybe the Phins will get two full years out of him while they groom two inside rookies at ILB -- one in this year's draft and one in next year's.

Lastly, I hope and pray that someone takes Brown and gives the Phins their first rounder. Phins take Spiller and a LB in the first round plus have the money to pay them.

Dansby was reported in Miami Airport this morning.

Dansby for sure

The other two, I'll pass.

Bolden costs too much and is injured too often. Can't pay 8 million for a guy sitting on the bench.

Browns place second-round tender on Matt Roth

If the fins signed Moses to a one year 1 mill deal, that means NO JT!!!!!!!!!!!!!

jets suck

Armando, is there any truth with regards to the
Safety Position Analysis from Omar Kooky

" 1. the Dolphins can always cut him early into the season and walk away from the contract before it becomes guaranteed. 2. Yeremiah Bell could swap spots with him, becoming the free safety, allowing Wilson to work closer to the line of scrimmage as the strong. Bell showed off his ballskills and range last season. 3. Chris Clemons and Tyrone Culver will be in a better position to replace him. Don’t sleep on Culver. He’s blossoming. 4. Expect the Dolphins to use one of their LATER draft picks on one of the safeties in this deep crop of safety talent."

I like Foote or Kirk Morrison as backup if Dansby signs elsewhere...
Again I feel we will settle for 2nd tier FA...

Fear the fins Defense????

Dear Santa Ireland, all I want for 2010 are:

1) Karlos Dansby- give up the farm... screw it.

2) Brandon Marshall - give up the 12th pick... screw it.

Everything else is gravy.

doesn't exactly mean no JT. miami could just be signing moses for depth so they can use picks elsewhere.

larry foote or morrison would both make fine additions to miami. both are tackle machines which was a huge problem last year. granted they don't make big plays but it gives miami veteran leadership and vastly improves the inside of the defense.

Jason Taylor's Dolphins career is over...Parcells does not bring back the last of the past, clean sweep is complete, tommorrow begins the great Dolphins team of the future, and yes I really believe that we are about to become a very competitive team from this point forward. GO DOLPHINS!!

And how about swap Ginn for Bolding and their 4th round? selling them the idea that they need a pure speed receiver for their noodle arm QB.
(just kidding).

Sign JT a team is nothing without proven veteran leadership... and the guy earns his paycheck to bad he couldn't teach porter how to do that.

sign em all. hey its not my money

I'm excited about this off-season but I think we should realize that we are not going to get all these guys....and nor should we. I want the trifecta to be aggressive but smart with their money. I'll echo most people on here.....Dansby...YES.....Rolle....NO....Boldin....depends....I think we need to be cautious with him. NO way to a second or even third....possibly a fourth....possibly a conditional third. We have SOME options at WR out there and I'm not sure Arizona is in the driver's seat on this one. There are others options available in free agency and trade and other options in draft. Dansby and NT sound like they should be top two priorities...

If someone said on this blog the Dolphins were thinking about signing a 31 year old Linebacker whose coming off shoulder surgery people on this blog would be pissed off and saying same old Dolphins, same old garbage...but all of a sudden say it's Jason Taylor and we need a veteran LB??? LOL Jason Taylor is that 31 yr old who just had arm surgery. NO THANK YOU I want a player not a NAME

lots of good discussion here...
I'm not sold on any of these players...Now, I'd be ok, even happy if we got Dansby, but he is not my biggest target for this offseason...I'm with Mitch (NC)...get Marshall!

There is no other single player available with his combination of size, speed, youth, and YAC ability (toughness + all of the above)...period. he's a game changer. He totally changes this offense if aquired...and not just this year but for the next 5-6 years or more! Same is not true for bouldin...we'd possibly need to get another wr as early as next year if he doesnt get a longterm deal from us...and given his age and recent injury hx...should he?

one man in FA fellas: B. Marshall. IMHO.

Oh yeah, forget rolle...simply repeating the past with him...not a significant enough upgrade for the asking price.

I dont understand everyone who thinks we should draft Spiller in the 1st round?? Yes, he is going to be a good player. Yes he is a homerun hitter.. But our RB position is currently a strength (maybe only for a couple more years, but we can deal with that when it comes).. Have you seen our defense the last 2years? Why would we draft ANYTHING but defense in the 1st round, unless it was Dez Bryant??

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