Three thoughts going into the second day of free agency:
1. You guys know I'm kinda sorta obssessed with the Dolphins landing some top-caliber wide receivers, right? You know that I am convinced a team cannot win an NFL championship with second-tier wide receivers and the only reason I believe that is because it's true.
So I'm kind of distressed about Miami's wide receiver problem. And I'm distressed about the Dolphins weren't signficant players in the derby to trade for Cardinals star WR Anquan Boldin.
The fact is three teams with very solid personnel departments chased a Boldin trade on Friday. At one point in the day the New England Patriots were in the talks and when I heard that, I felt a bit vomititious. You see, the idea of facing Randy Moss and Wes Welker is bad enough. The thought of Randy Moss, Wes Welker and Anquan Boldin?
Luckily, Boldin ends up in Baltimore.
But I have serious concerns that Miami isn't pressing enough on the WR issue. And the unrestricted free agent receiver pool is practically dry. Terrell Owens is out there but Bill Parcells won't go for that. Antonio Bryant is out there but the Dolphins haven't made any serious overtures of interest as of this writing. There was a report the Dolphins might be interested in Derrick Mason but I believe he wants to return to Baltimore.
So where does that leave us? Restricted free agency?
Restricted free agent Brandon Marshall is visiting Seattle today. That's their problem.
Philadelphia's Jason Avant can be signed for a second-round pick but he is primarily a slot receiver. New Orleans's Lance Moore can be signed for a second round pick but he's often injured and smallish. Arizona's Steve Breaston is available for a first-round pick but it's a first round pick! Dallas's unproven Sam Hurd can be had for a second rounder but he's unproven.
I don't believe the Dolphins would invest a 1st and a 3rd on San Diego's Vincent Jackson or Malcom Floyd.
Face it, Owens for one year might be the best investment. Is he a pain? Not usually the first year.
Is he no longer capable of playing? I think he proved to Vontae Davis (below) that he's still got it. Owens caught 55 passes for 829 yards and 5 TDs last year. He did it on a team that fired its offensive coordinator one week before the season. He did it on a team that had no quarterback. He did it on a team that fired its head coach during the season.
And his 829 yards and five scores still would have led the Dolphins.
Does Parcells hate the idea? Of course, but desperate times call for desperate measures and it's not like one year would constitute a long-term commitment.
I know, I'm dreaming. But I think it could work as well as, say, chasing Antonio Bryant.
2. I'm happy for Chad Pennington. He has been offered and is expected to sign a one-year contract with the Dolphins. According to ESPN's Chris Mortensen, Pennington will not receive the no-trade clause he was seeking for the Dolphins. Instead the team got over the obstacle with, what else, money.
The $2.5 million offer I reported to you yesterday is still the deal but it now also includes, according to Mortensen, a $1.515 million trade bonus. So if the Dolphins decide they aren't keeping Pennington and can get him traded, they must pay him the bonus.
A couple of things:
First, the Dolphins could not give Pennington the no-trade on philosophical grounds as much as anything. If they do it for him, they might have to do it for others. And they don't want to do it for anyone else.
Second, Pennington wants to stay in Miami next year. The Dolphins might trade him anyway.
3. Nate Jones agreed to terms with the Denver Broncos Friday for what was reported as a four-year deal worth up to $13.6 million if he reaches all his incentives. Jones clearly is a free agency winner but I'm certain the Dolphins could have gotten him for less if they'd offered him a contract in the weeks prior to free agency. They didn't.
And that makes me wonder how the Dolphins could let Jones, their nickel cornerback and a good special teams player, go without an offer, but they keep Jason Allen, who couldn't beat out Jones the last two years?
Things that make me go, hmmmmmm.