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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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Miami Dolphins could have interest in New England Patriots LB Adalius Thomas if the Patriots release him.

Posted by: fishypete

I could have crabs if I slept around w/ unhealthy women, too, but I'd rather not.

GET DANSBY! Ross needs to spend whatever Tuna wants him to!!


If we sign Dansby then as many ppl have said why not give Denver pick 12 for Marshall? If you knew than what you know now about his talent wouldn't anyone take him at #12?? The kid's only 26. Then spend every other pick in the draft on D. No picks on a FS, we spent one last year on Clemons, this isn't QB you don't draft one every year.


Mount Cody sucks in 3rd and long

Oh to be as young and naive as those who think Marshall to Miami.... Those were the days mang....

Infincible you dont use the 12 pick for Marshall, 1st you trade it down and pick up an extra 2nd or 3rd rounder then trade it for Marshall.

Linval Joseph of East Carolina at NT would be a steal if he's still sitting there for us in the 3rd rd. But I think after his great combine the secret's out.

Look, Not trying to be a buzz kill. But please... if you believe... even for a millisecond that Miami is going to give up their Number #1 pick for Marshall's crazy ars... your smokin the kind Buds. It ain't gonna happen... not in this life.... not in the next or not in whatever world your living in. I have seen more well meaning folks wasting more time with "Get Marshall" schemes... it almost hurts me to see. If it were not so 100% "NOT GONNA HAPPEN" that is. MAYBE.....Boldin, perhaps... 30% on Dansby... he wants to be a G-man. But Marshall...No way... NO how... No chance this team gives away what Denver wants for him. Give it a rest... give yourselves a break. Marshall will NOT PLAY IN MIAMI IN 2010.
Of coarse... you are welcome to live in LaLa land until you puke.... but don't get it confused with reality. Sorry, don't hate the messenger... hate the message.

Marshall got his team mate killed. You really want him here? That was in Denver, can you imagine in Miami?

Here's an idea...

Sign Dansby to play OLB (That is where Sparano will play him if he signs apparently)

Trade a 3rd for Boldin (Although i'd rather give Arizona a 4th and Ginn)

Pick McClain in the 1st round

Pick Cam Thomas in the 2nd

So,by the time the Dolphins enter the 4th round of the draft,we've addessed the OLB situation (Dansby,Wake,Anderson,Taylor maybe),the ILB situation (McClain,Crowder), the WR situation and we've got our starting NT in Thomas

Here's an idea...

Sign Dansby to play OLB (That is where Sparano will play him if he signs apparently)

Trade a 3rd for Boldin (Although i'd rather give Arizona a 4th and Ginn)

Pick McClain in the 1st round

Pick Cam Thomas in the 2nd

So,by the time the Dolphins enter the 4th round of the draft,we've addessed the OLB situation (Dansby,Wake,Anderson,Taylor maybe),the ILB situation (McClain,Crowder), the WR situation and we've got our starting NT in Thomas

From what i'm hearing on the local radio shows and Reading in the local papers , The giants aren't going after Dansby or aren't going to throw major bucks at him. Only for a reasonable price. Take it for what it's worth. There are a couple of mystery teams besides the skins and chargers. PATS ???

Derek WPB Marshall isnt nearly the trouble of a TO. I thought exactly like you at first but right now my thinking about him is in the not impossible range or about a .00001% chance they could change thier minds. LOL

I'm gonna go get the papers. Get the papers

Dying Breed you are so wrong. T.O. is like a saint compare to Brandon Marshall who got his team mate murder.

"you dont use the 12 pick for Marshall, 1st you trade it down and pick up an extra 2nd or 3rd rounder then trade it for Marshall."
Sounds like a decent idea to me

cam thomas is a 3rd rounder not a second and id still take lamar houston over him

him and randy starks would be solid

Dansby to the Giants
Marshall to The Ravens
Peppers to Skins or Bears
Rolle will stay with Cards

May as well start talking about the draft.

Philly is really the team that I think will push hard for Dansby. Their LB corps was worse than ours and they typically spend big in free agency. Asante, Kearse, etc.

Grab Dansby and draft Taylor Mayes, who can go at safety or olb!


Are you sure Phillys Linebacker corps was worse than ours? That could be debatable LOL.!!

Well jeremish trotter was their starting middle backer so .... yes.

I would believe if we got of of the three would help our team, I mean i would give up my 3rd pick for Boldin, want Dansby, and why not go after Ryan Clark of the Steelers, we should be able to get him much cheaper than Rolle. Clark would proivide an upgrade.

Then the draft we would need to get a good NT, or hopefully if he falls to us, Jason Pierre Paul!

DyingBreed - No one is going to pick up Brown and we should not trade him IMO. We could trade for someone different than Marshall if we were to give up a first. Marshall comes with to much baggage for a 1st round pick...

If the phins do anything in free agency it won't be what anyone is thinking. They are tight lipped and not much gets out. I would consider BP to head our National Security. :)

Carlito - "got jis teammate murdered"?? That is pretty harsh thing to say...

Dansby will not go to the Giants...they don't pay.

i can see taylor mays dropping late in the first maybe the second

think about it first will go berry then thomas then if a team needs him mays im thinking dallas or saints if sharper doesnt return


The truth is harsh. Marshall testified this himself. If you can't handle the harshness of life go back to your mommas teet.

P.S. I never said "got jis teammate murdered" thats just gross and your words, not mine

they dont pay or wont pay i think the giants wheere one of the temas that spent the most money last year


guys...? GUYS!!!




I don't see the Pats being players in the Dansby sweepstakes. It's not their style. I know they have to improve their pass rush but I think they will go other routes....mostly through the draft. I think they will have interest in Peppers but if it gets too pricey I think they will be out. I think Dansby will between ourselves, the Giants, the 'Skins and possibly the Eagles. I think the favourite in the clubhouse is the Giants, despite the smokescreen they are throwing....

carlito - type...should of been "his"

When did he testify that he got his teammate killed. If that was the case wouldn't he be in jail for murder?

I have been a Phin Fan for 30 years. When Shula left it was the beginning of the end. I (We) suffered through failed adninistations, one after another. It got so bad for me, I removed all of my Dolphin merchandise from my truck, when they named Wanstedt head coach, in protest.

Times have changed, I have redone my truck with Dolphin gear, that I proudly display. I became a season ticket holder for the first time. I drive 3 hours to get to games.

These guys know what they are doing. Whatever it is they do, although I may scratch my head, I have full confidence they will get us to the promise land for years to come.

Indiana I dont think theyre trying to get rid of brown, I believe thy're freeing up extra money for offseason signing bonuses. Another $5 million will be freed up tomorrow when the release Porter. Its the only sense that I can make of all the tenders. Team's perhaps freeing up extra cash for offseason moves in this uncapped season.

The pats won't go after dansby because it's not their style but they might have intrest in peppers ???? HUH !!!LOL !!! It's consensus that the losers from the peppers sweepsatkes will go after dansby. The pats defense was horrible and need help at LB. They have the money and signed LB adaulis thomas as a free agent . So they have done it before.

Good man JB!

OK. Dansby is ONLY 28 years old!!! His best years are NOW!!! Get him! As for Boldin, people on here are bitching between 3rd & 4th round draft choice. PEOPLE realize how many BUSTS there are in the draft no matter what round!! Most Heisman Trophy winners suck in the NFL. If you have a PROVEN player in the NFL...YOU TAKE THEM!! Draft choices are expensive too for UNPROVEN talent. Every NFL team is littered with can't miss draft choices, gettimg more 2nd & 3rd round draft choices that 2 years later are working the slurpee machine at 7 elevens.

GO PHINS...and as always RUN RICKY RUN


Not working the slurpee machines! Good one Fishboy. LOL

I love slurpees

Good write up Mando,

Unless the price drops , I don't see any of those three in a Dolphins uniform next year .

It's like window shopping at Macy's for Christmas , but actually buying at Target , which is what I believe the Finn's will do.

Fish Boy,

IMO Boldin is worth a 3rd. I just don't think he is worth 8 mill a year.

That's a god point NJ PHIN and they are very good at throwing smokescreens. I'm just saying, if I'm reading the tealeaves correctly, they have never been a team to outbid other teams for a players services (see Samuel or Branch as examples. And I know they traded Branch but they were never going to pay him what he wanted). I know they went that route with Thomas but that's one example you are citing and I don't believe this is going to be the same situation, where you have three or four teams clamouring for a type 'A' players services.

You could be right, but I don't think they are players for Dansby.

NFL news is boring today. Where are the leaking rumors prior to the start of free agency???

Fish Boy,

Don't agree with you. For the really successful franchises draft picks are like little pieces of gold. All the successful teams have one thing in common.....they were built through the draft. That's why teams like the Pats get a Brady in the 6th round and Denver (when they knew what they were doing) land a Davis in the 6th. You build your foundation through the draft and compliment the team (filling holes) through trades and free agency. These guys on here that want to throw draft picks at everything that moves are making the same mistakes that we made under guys like Spielman and Wannstedt (AJ Feeley, Gordon.....remember those beauty moves?). It's how we got into this mess in the first place. The trifecta won't make the same type of mistakes going forward.

If we haven't signed Dansby by this time tomorrow I shall seriously consider not ordering a sky box or aquiring extra club-level seats.

i agree with you sir Reginald .cheers

being up here in Jersey, Gmen will def be a player in Dansby sweepstakes but not looking to over pay, but who is???... who knows?? time will tell. they do have a bigger need for ILB than Mia does.

and Philly is a def contender for him too as Mark stated and wont be surpised he lands there

if theyre goin to raise the ticket prices they have to give us something to be really excited about

nevertheless i know this is process and am excited for the future but worried about all the whole we have to fill

but im sure some of you get me


I agree 100%

Although I believe Boldin has value for a 3rd round pick, the phins should and will covet every pick they have. This draft is one of the deepest in years.


It's only money, you can't take it with you.

The excitement will come from winning games, not from high profile players.


I'm not sure I would give up a third for Boldin. I REALLY like this guy, but his age, his habit of getting nagging injuries and the fact he is going to want $7-9 million a year, definitely worries me. He'd be a great add but I think the trifecta need to be and will be cautious about what they give up for him. I also think he would help Ginn (who I know a lot of you have given up on). I think I would look at no more than a conditional third next year.

Sorry....that last part should have read a conditional fourth next year that could become a third.

Personally I dont think Miami has to make the top offer just a competitive offer. Dansby's publically stated he wants to be here so I think that all Miami has to do is not make an insulting offer.

Of course this all could change if Dansby's public love for Miami was just a smokescreen because it means that it was only a negotiating ploy to drive up price and he never had any real intentions of being in a Fin uniform anyway.

If it wasnt a negotiating ploy we make an offer competitive with rest and Danby becomes a Fin. We just cant make an offensive offer. If he's asking $40 million, we probably still get him at $37.5 million.

Even if we got Boldin, I know he has durability issues, but also he doesnt have to be a 90-100 catch guy for us. We just need a #1wr that can put the fear of God into opposing DC's and I think Boldin still has that ability.

DyingBreed - I agree with you on Boldin, but disagree with your Marshall comments!

Signing Boldin's no problem either, you just give him what he's asking and write in the other half as performance and non injury money. Fair is fair, problem solved.

Indiana you dont agree that there's a .0001% chance of signing Marshall? Why that's nearly like a grain of sand on a massive beach, lol.

Well I guess the fact with the bad timing of this Darrent Williams murder trial going on right now could eliminate that .0001% chance too,lol.

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