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Jeremy Shockey tweets decision on free agency

Free agent tight end Jeremy Shockey was available to the Dolphins after he took and passed a physical with the team over the weekend. He lives in South Florida -- Miami Beach to be exact -- and I'm told he wanted to play for the Dolphins.

But the Carolina Panthers also were intrigued by the player who was recently cut by the New Orleans Saints.

Today Shockey decided where he will continue his NFL career.

Carolina.

"Looks like I'm signing with Carolina," Shockey tweeted moments ago. "Time for the Next chapter. This is a great opportunity for me, and I am excited to play football. Lets (cq) hope we all have the chance to play this season."

Look, I cannot guarantee Shockey was going to be healthy this year and that's important because to be effective, you have to on the field and he has never started 16 games in any of his 10 NFL seasons.

But I can tell you he would have been an upgrade over what the Dolphins have by way of pass-catching tight ends overall.

Shockey caught 41 passes for 408 yards with three TDs last season. It was arguably the worst season of his career and he played only 13 games. And that was still more catches than Miami starter Anthony Fasano had in 15 games last season. Fasano did account for more yards at 528.

All I'm thinking is this: Perhaps Shockey was not going to beat out Fasano. He obviously is no longer the player that averaged 62 catches per season from 2004-2008. But he would have brought competition to the spot. Isn't that what the Dolphins want?

He would have filled a need that the Dolphins now will probably have to consider filling in the draft -- again. He definitely would have been better than, say, Mickey Shuler.

The details of Shockey's pending deal are not in. Agent Drew Rosenhaus has not returned a text message.

If Carolina paid significant money, I can understand Miami pushing away from this. If Shockey signs, say, a one-year, minimum salary, incentive ladden deal, then I have to wonder what caused the Dolphins to shy away.

I remind you Shockey did pass his physical with Miami. I also remind you signing a player with relatively little signing bonus is a relatively safe thing to do because you can always cut the guy in training camp if things aren't working out.

So I suppose we'll have to reserve judgment on this one until all the facts are in.

But it would have been interesting to have Shockey.

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