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A focus on the still lingering free safety question

There are some positions on the Dolphins that beg attention. The areas I'm talking about are unsettled, need adjusting or simply need more talent. One of the most interesting of those has been, and remains, the free safety position.

Free safety is a position that begs our attention because there are so many things going on. First, you should recognize there are "acorns," as general manager Jeff Ireland calls them, still out there that could be picked up and added to the roster.

Free agent safety Darren Sharper is not one of those guys. Sharper has two contract offers that he's considering -- one from New Orleans, one from Jacksonville. The Dolphins were not in the mix as of this morning and you should not expect them to get in the mix. Sharper, as I write this, has not been on Miami's radar all offseason so it would take a significant shift in direction for that to change at this late stage.

Sharper is an excellent player, a playmaker at safety. But Sharper is probably older (35 in November) than the type of player the Dolphins want to add to the roster now.

[UPDATE 4:41 p.m.: Sharper has agreed to a one-year deal with the Saints, according to a source close to him. Several news organization and websites, including profootballtalk.com, are reporting the same thing, citing a league source.]

There is the possibility the Dolphins might be planning to do something with O.J. Atogwe after June 1. The issue can get complicated but, in a nutshell, Atogwe is a restricted free agent who is not signing his tender. After June 1, the St. Louis Rams must extend his tender to keep him from becoming an unrestricted free agent.

But to extend the tender they must pay him 110 percent of his 2009 salary which was $6,342,021. Most observers don't see a way the Rams will extend a new tender of $6,976,223 after June 1. Atogwe simply didn't play up to that level last year after a very good year in 2008. So Atogwe may be hitting the market.

And the Dolphins might/should consider the 28-year-old as an option.

For now, the other options the Dolphins can consider are on the roster. And I would tell you the next month is important to those guys because how they perform in coming OTA sessions could impact whether the Dolphins chase an Atogwe or some other acorn in June and beyond.

That means Chris Clemons, Tyrone Culver, and Reshad Jones are on notice. They either answer the bell in May -- as much as they are allowed in Jones's case -- or the Dolphins will go looking for someone better in June and through training camp.

My feeling? Miami's 2010 starting free safety is not currently on the roster. Everything the Dolphins have done this offseason -- cut Gibril Wilson, chased Antrel Rolle and Ryan Clark, drafted Jones while seriously considering Earl Thomas -- suggests the Dolphins want to upgrade beyond Clemons and Culver.

No knock on either, those are just the facts.

Jones, by the way, is interesting in that he was all the rage during rookie camp. He visited the team priot to the draft and was thought to be a third-to-fourth round talent by many before going to the Dolphins in the fifth round. Although there have been past questions about his instincts, he has prototypical size.

"I felt him in the last couple of days," coach Tony Sparano said of Jones on the final day of the rookie camp. "He’s been around the football a bunch and made a couple of plays [Saturday] in the bubble. I think that he’s got the hardest job out there obviously because he’s got to get things lined up. I think from his standpoint it’s trying to figure things out defensively.

"We really didn’t throw as much at him defensively in this camp as we did maybe thrown at the offensive guys but we did throw a pretty good dose at him. It won’t be like when we get down the road here and he’ll be getting it fast, but, we threw a pretty good dose at him. He digested it pretty well; I thought he moved around great."

We will keep our eyes on Jones. Actually, we'll keep our eyes on all the free safety candidates -- because that's a position that if far from being settled.


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What about trading a QB for a FS?

WAIT! We traded Ted Ginn to the 9er's??? I thought we traded his family for that 5th rounder???

Wow. Maybe we should have drafted Dez Bryant? I hear his mom would have been worth more in trade...

it's just impossible to guess whats going to happen here, how well do jones, clemons and culver look in training and how much easier will it be for the new fs with such a serious upgrade at coverage linbacker. will allen back and the two rookie corners not rookies anymore.
sounds like it's going to be a whole awful lot better for whoever takes over the position.

go fins - i feel the tide a turnin....

Actually, we drafted Nolan Carroll with the pick from the 49ers (145th overall). Jones was taken with the 163rd pick which was acquired in a trade-up.

Atogwe is to old and not elite. Let one of the young guys emerge during practice. We have a solid team now. Time to be patient.

Ted(Feet of clay)Ginn "opening Eyes in San Fran", They (The coaches and players) Better keep there eyes open seeing how there on the side-lines.....

Omar said Jones was very lazy yesterday. I think he's gonna be a bust. We should have drafted earl thomas and kept JT. Sparano and Irland are gonna both be on the hot seat next year. I think we're gonna get a new GM and a new Coach come next January.

Sharper is STILL a very good Safety, to hell with his age (35), we only want him for one year, maybe two ? Wouldnt be as expensive as Otogwe and probably can mentor R. Jones to be a quality safety. What do you say Trifecta ??

Snowman how do you figure that atogwe is too old ?
He is 28 ?

Oh yeah... we have FOUR freakin' QB's on the roster.Are we EVER gonna move one and possibly get something for him ? And what about the reported Smiley trade ? What gives Mando ?

Why this love affair with O.J. Atogwe? I don't recall seeing him make stellar plays in St. Louis when they were getting blown out by every team that played them. Let's groom our own guys.

Ted Ginn's momma will start at FS.

what we need is pass rush, if the front 7 can not get to the QB quickly, even if we had 4 Ronnie Lotts back there would not make a difference... Pass rush is the key!!..... no need to spend $7 million bucks on one player for 1 year..... thats for baseball & basketball leagues lol.

Boulder, Omar followed that up by saying, "I’m absolutely positive I’m making too much out of one practice session (maybe Jones was hurt, or tired, or the wheels in his head were churning too much) but a fifth-round pick needs to be in fifth gear ALL THE TIME.

But Omar watches the o-line and d-line on every down and admits as much so take what he says about any other positions with a grain of salt.

Hopefully Jones will work out but I think he's going to need at least one probably two years until he would be ready. Clemons and Culver have a year under their belts in the league and should beat him out.

Which worries me considering the guys were looking outside the team for upgrades at the position. Mando is right and finding a stop gap for a one or two season contract would be the best idea going forward.

Who the hell is Omar? He doesn't know anything about anything and he certainly doesn't know more than Tony Sparano and Bill Parcells. Give me a break.

People really show their age when they comment on someone who is 28 as being too old. Whomever said that is probably in their late teens and all I have to say to that person is wait until your 28. You're going to love it, prime of your life, strong as hell, world by the ballz. It doesn't start going downhill until around 33 and then it's like a snowball starting off slow down the hill but picking up momentum every year. Have fun now, life is short!

Omar said Jones was very lazy yesterday. I think he's gonna be a bust. We should have drafted earl thomas and kept JT. Sparano and Irland are gonna both be on the hot seat next year. I think we're gonna get a new GM and new Coach come next January."

Posted by: BoulderFinFan | May 03, 2010 at 11:30 AM

Dude, please go back to the Sentinel blog and make your stupid comments there. Omar doesn't know anything about football and for you to draw any conclusions based on one rookie camp practice -- much less think someone is going to be a bust -- shows you and Omar are a total morons.

Omar, The goat herder????

cubaphinfan, YES, they're going to move one of the QBs. Also, we would be lucky if we got a 6th or 7th round for Smiley considering his shoulder's blown out and he will never again have the strength he once had. Teams will not trade for him unless they are desperate for a guard so he will probably be here through the first week of camp. Mando doesn't know anymore on this matter because as you know Parcells and company have zip the lip policy.

Given the teams drive to get youger and more talented I believe that the trifecta have addressed the safety issues in this draft. Rasheed Jones - especially if he had a third round grade - could well start and I suspect That Nolan Carroll could be converted to a safety spot - he has the size & speed & ball skills but may need to gain a few pounds. We will not trade for a safety as a veteran would be a progress blocker. I suspect that we are another draft from becoming a real SuperBowl contender and that the trifecta as a result will continue to let the young guns find their feet in preparation for the push in 2011. (If things all fall into place I'm not ruling out this year but just being realistic!)

FLPD, Omar is actually really good during training camp with info. He's usually pretty dead on with his assesments of players who are going to make the team and what their contributions are going to be. His "thing" is both lines and he knows his stuff about linemen. But three days into a mini camp commenting on a position he doesn't study,,,yeah,,, he's way out of his league there.

NYScott, I respect you as a good fan and poster here but you're kind of talking out of turn when you speak for Mando.

You say he doesn't know anything else about Smiley? How do you know that? Did he tell you?

Mando wrote about Smiley only a few days ago and had great information I hadn't read before. So maybe he's got something else cooking in the next couple of days ...

Now that I think about it, if Parcells has a zip the lip policy how does Mando and ESPN and NFL Network get all this insider information about Smiley and JT and Dez Bryant and trading down (which I read about before it happened)?

Zip the lip this.

NYScott, actually I stopped reading anything the guy said when he said the team was negotiating with Vernon Gholston, which has been proven wrong, then he said Jason Allen was going to be the starting safety, and that was proven wrong, and at one point he said Jake Long was better suited to be a RT which was CRAZY WRONG. Three strikes. He's out in my book.

From what that video showed, he sure hits alot better than gebril did. I think they should sign Sharper for a year to tutor him. Sharper would also help school Vontae and Smith as well.

Omar? pff. Get a grip. Reshad Jones is going to have a great impact on this team. Starting his rookie season. A steal!

with Nolan, wake and the rookies our D just got much faster. WRs will not have the time to get behind the D. Let the best FS in camp get the start.

I wouldn't count Rashad Jones out for that starting slot, just yet....I'm beating that he'll be on the field come game day....with the 1st team D.



Any word on what they are planning on doing with Pat White?

If Culver, Clemons, and Jones aren't ready to start, then you can't start them. This trial by fire; hope he learns as the season progresses mentality is WRONG and has always been wrong. Who knows how many players (especially QBs) wouldve been good, if not great, had they just been shelved for a year or two, and properly eased into the NFL. If who we have isn't ready, then you have to bring someone in who will help (sharper, otogwe). If money or roster space is an issue, then you have to get someone we already have to help. Will Allen has been mentioned in the FS talk. Get Will working with the young FS's now, and run a situational CB/FS rotation between Will, Sean, and Vontae, with Reshad, Chris, and Tyrone getting limited work with that rotation as necessary.

Omar the Tentmaker?

Looks like Rashad plays like he's always in a bad mood. I like that. Getting offensive from the defense!


phinPickSack Clemons started 2 games last year (i think it was 2) and Culver has played the position for a while. It's not like we will fall apart or get blown out every game because of them. Either of them can hold down the position, we would just like them to get better or be replaced by someone better.

HvK I interpret who starts/plays to be the best indicator of who the coaches believe is the best suited, for the most part (sometimes they expirement). I don't see Tyrone or Chris putting forth any better FS production than Gibril did, and if we drafted Reshad, then it seems the coaches feel the same way, too. We need new help, and it would be a shame to downgrade Will Allen to Nickel, with his speed, vision, and veteran presence. Then again, this is all just conjecture. Once camp starts, playmakers can emerge from anywhere if the coaches do their job well, which I have confidence they will. I have faith Clemons or Culver will emerge, if not both. But if they don't, we'll be kicking ourselves for not getting help sooner.

Remember that flpd is Mando's #1 butt kisser. No room left for poor Omar.

Boulderfinfan , I'd rather have Odrick , Misi and jones over Earl thomas , jason taylor and no 2nd round pick anyday of the week. Jones will be a good one. He has size and all the tools. All he needs is to be coached up a little and lay off trying to knock everybody's head off ALL the time. i agree with mando in that miami will pick up a Veteren , somebody will be cut . It won't be sharper or Atogwe.

2010 Depth Chart
Qb Chad Henne, Chad Pennington, Tyler Thingpin
Rb Ronnie Brown, Ricky Williams, Patrick Cobbs
FB Lousaka Polite
Wr 1- Brandon Marshall, Brian Hartline
Wr 2- Davon Bess, Greg Camarillo
TE - Anthony Fasono, Joey Haynos
T- Jake Long
T - Vernon Carey
G - Richie Incognito
G - Donald Thomas
C- Jake Grove

DT/NT - Randy Starks/ Paul Soliai
DE - Philip Merlin
DE - Jared Odrick
MLB - Karlos Dansby
MLB2 - Channing Crowder
OLB - Cameron Wake/Reggie Torbor
OLB - Koa Misi
CB1 - Will Allen
CB2 - Vontae Davis
Nickel- Jason Allen
FS - Sean Smith
SS - Yerimiah Bell
K - Dan Carpenter
P - Brandon Fields
KR - Brain Hartline/ Patrick Cobbs
PR - Patrick Cobbs

Okay FLPD, fair enough. I'm not in love with the guys work or anything, he just gives good info on line play and training camp. He's a guesser, just like the rest of us, on most other matters.

I think someone will be moved to safety as Randy was moved to NT. Maybe W.Allen or Smith.

I agree with what someone said that the Free Safety is much better, just from cutting Gibril.

I have high hopes for Clemons and Jones. Both were considered steals in the 5th round and both have their respective skillsets. Clemons has elite speed and Jones is a big hitter and a bit of a ballhawk... Some people say that Jones is a Strong Safety, but he only played there for one year and the rest of his college career was at FS... Don't count these guys out...

Culver has shown some flashes the last couple years as well, and has more experience than the young guys... I am intrigued by our options that are already on the roster...

Jets Suck, was I addressing you? NO! Go back to the kids' table and play with your crayons while the adults talk.

this Atogwe guy sounds like another gibril. Not living up to expectation at a peak phase in his career. honestly sharper sounds better of the two.

Jones looks great. very active. he looks like the best option if we can get him up to speed. Love those videos Mando, thanks.

I am leery of Reshad Jones. Yes, we traded up to select him, only after he fell a long way. If we were so confident in him, why was he not the 3rd round pick? Or 4th? Or even the first pick we had in the 5th round?

My thinking all along is that he is better suite at SS, and they plan on him being that guy in the next few years. IMO if you asked the Trifecta today, in order, who is the most likely at start at FS, they would say Tyrone Culver, Chris Clemons, and then Reshad Jones.

I think they figure they have time to groom Jones, and if he pleasantly surprises them and gets the FS spot, great. Completely lost in all of this is the FS is the guy in charge of making the secondary calls, lining everyone up. I highly doubt a 5th round pick, in Mike Nolan's diverse scheme, will be that guy. My bet is Tyrone Culver.
And all of this is predicated on us not adding a veteran at the FS spot.

Kick Returner and punt returner will be Pat White or he will be off the team. I watched on youtube his west Virgina days and the only time he did good was in space. In the nfl they will not give him the space he needs to hesitate and run 80 yards. I think you put him at pr or kr and give him a shot to shine. Very elusive and quick in the open field. Lacks ted ginn speed but makes up with ability to make people miss!!

What about the idea Mando had a couple of weeks ago about moving somebody to FS. Maybe Will Allen.

Please stop with the Will Allen-Vontae Davis-Sean Smith move to FS speculation.......it is SO POINTLESS....it ain't gonna happen.

BTW--don't you guys want a FS that actually can CATCH the ball?...i.e., not Will Allen.

LOL @ Seer . Smith is to soft and and is not a good enough tackler to be a Safety. Davis ?? why would you want to ruin a good thing with a guy who will be a pro bowl CB ?? I don't see either happening.

Nyscott , omar does a very good job with dolphins info . Sure he has his moments but so does armando . i can't even count how many times mando 's been off base with something. if we gave everybody 3 strike and their out , there would be nobody to read. :)

Dez Bryant's dad for new DB coach and his mom for S. Go Fins! Just groom the Safties that we have. It all starts with the D-Line and the pass rush. That's the key in this whole equation. Safety position will then take care of itself after that.

I'm calling your bluffs, nJ phinfan. What exactly has Salguero been wrong about. The police dude mentioned specifics.

Now YOU mention specifics. What exactly are you talking about? And give us links too.


I like Mando, but just this blog entry, he was wrong. Lol ironic. He stated Reshad Jones will be linked to Ted Ginn, as he was picked with the spot they got from SF. Wrong. Ted Ginn was traded for the 145th pick, which was Nolan Carroll. I am not bashing you, or attacking you, and I know your question was directed at NJ. I just found it funny that you don't even need a link to a page were Mando made an error; he did right on this page. Funny.

We are reporting Jason Taylor's contract is all done with the Jets ...

Twenty days later ...

You see, he signed with the Jets. We had that story first.

Also, we are reporting the Dolphins will play football in 2010 ... Yeah, gonna have that one first, too.

Nobody is perfect, just ask Dez Bryants Mom.

LMFAO @ BOONTANG25. there you go.

Bootang, thanks for the response. First of all, what you are saying is not on this post.

Secondly, if that was the case, even Tony Sparano made that leap a couple of days ago:

(On his thoughts on trading Ted Ginn) – “I think Jeff answered that question a while ago. I think what went into that was just that we signed Brandon Marshall and both players played the same position. So, to be honest and fairness to Ted at that point, it was better that we move on. Then there was some value out there on top of that which gave us the ability to have a safety (Jones) on the field today, so, I think that those types of things are reasons why we didn’t move with him.”

What else you got big boy?

rashad jones... impressive, 5th rounder? after watching you-tube thought he looked more like 3rd rounder. tough, smart, good size, nice skill set! LOOKS LIKE A PLAYER TO ME!! infact he looks better then most the guys taken before him, why did he fall to 5th round?

"I don't see either happening."

Posted by: NJ PHIN FAN

Neither does the FO....we're on same wavelength on this one,.........I SUPPOSE, just to be fair to the speculators, that if the world were coming to an end they MIGHT (emphasize might) consider moving Sean Smith----but I cannot believe that would or will ever happen.....the other two, NFW!

Amusing side-bar: when we acquired Brandon Marshal I saw in one of his bios that the UCF coach pressed him into emergency safety duty one season when starters were hurt. Maybe we should start speculation that Marshal was actually brought in to solve our FS problem.

You got nothing NJ. Once again, you are provent to be a fraud. You got nothing.

The idea that you equate Omar to any of the other reporters like Darlington or Edgar Thomas or especially Mando is ridiculous.

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