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Free agency has arrived! Bye-bye Brandon Marshall

The Dolphins have traded wide receiver Brandon Marshall to the Chicago Bears for two third-round selections, according to Jay Glazer of Foxsports.com.

[Update: The Herald has confirmed this move.]

The move clears salary cap room and could signal a precursor to the Dolphins landing Peyton Manning as well as several of his former Indianapolis Colts teammates, including Reggie Wayne. That is my hope.

The more likely scenario?

This move does not show intent to get Manning and is instead a move to protect the next quarterback the Dolphins bring to town -- anyone that is, including a lesser player such as Matt Flynn -- because Marshall has had a history of feuding with his QBs in Miami. This move is a way for the Dolphins to begin what will be a total revamp of the offense under new coach Joe Philbin.

[Update: Club source says this trade is independent of Manning chase. Manning didn't request it or anything such as being speculated. Been in the works since the NFL Combine in Feb. But, I'm told, if Manning comes it would mean other moves would be necessary.]

The trade reunites Marshall with former quarterback Jay Cutler which is great for the Bears. But does this make the Dolphins better?

Only if Manning and another player is coming or the Dolphins are somehow adding a bigtime playmaking wide receiver in free agency or the draftis this a net plus. This much is certain: If the Dolphins are not working on or ready to pull the trigger on a follow-up move, this shows the Marshall move two years ago to have been a bad move.

The Dolphins yielded two second-round picks to Denver for Marshall. They are not getting the same value in return. Yes, Marshall was a Pro Bowl player in 2011, but he was also often a problem in that he feuded with Chad Henne and made no bones of the fact he wanted a franchise quarterback.

Oh, by the way, NFL free agency arrives ... now!

It is 4:01 p.m. on March 13, 2012 and so bracketology schmacketology. The news at this hour?

Say good-bye to nose tackle Paul Soliai. The Dolphins do not expect to re-sign their 2011 Franchise player. Not only have the two sides failed to come to an agreement on a long-term contract the past two years but the Dolphins, apparently intent on making a quarterback splash in free agency and knowing Soliai won't come cheaply, haven't made the nose tackle any contract offers in recent weeks.

There has been no movement on this front whatever. Barring a major MAJOR change, Soliai is gone. So where is he going? Soliai will have suitors. The teams expected to show the most interest in Soliai include Kansas City, Denver, Atlanta, Indianiapolis and perhaps San Francisco.

[Update: The Dolphins have in the last hour reached out to Soliai and are talking. So there's still a chance he stays.]

The Dolphins have another starter on the open market in defensive end Kendall Langford. The sides have been in relatively frequent contact the past week or so. The Dolphins want Langford back. Langford wants to return. But Langford wants the most amount of money possible. The Dolphins want to re-sign Langford at a number that shows they like him very much but don't necessarily love him.

What a shocker: It's a money thing.

On the chase front, the Dolphins are obviously still hoping to land Peyton Manning. But, as I reported earlier today, they will move on to Matt Flynn if the Manning chase fails. A source tells The Herald's Barry Jackson that Flynn will be patient in free agency unless someone throws a huge offer on the table for him immediately.

Yes, Seattle and Cleveland could have interest. But the Flynn camp understands the Dolphins being in the chase would drive up interest and potentially drive up Flynn's price. And since money is the thing, patience will be something Flynn shows.

He's looking to go deep on this contract rather than get a check-down deal.

I am not certain the Dolphins will be major players in free agency -- at least not early on. The club is approximately $11-$12 million under the NFL's $120.6 million salary cap before the Marshall trade. Obviously that is more now, but I have to figure out the ramifications.

Miami's needs include pass-rusher, right tackle, and cornerback. Of all those, the cornerback market seems expecially rich this free agency period. Yes, right tackle Eric Winston and outside linebacker/defensive end Mario Williams are the prizes on the market, but they will be so expensive I cannot see Miami chasing or landing either. (Wrote about it anyway because I'm a dreamer and anything is possible.)

[Update: I have confirmed that Eric Winston will visit with the Dolphins. This doesn't mean he's signing. A lot of teams are interested -- up to a dozen -- and he is not going to sign a bargain contract. But he is scheduled to visit at this time.]

[Update: Eric Winston said on Sirius radio that he will fly to South Florida tonight and visit the Dolphins Wednesday.]

The Dolphins today did some minor contract laundry with their restricted and exclusive rights players. The club tendered RT Lydon Murtha with a second-round tender. The club tendered defensive end Phillip Merling to an original round tender. Both have signed their tenders, costing the Dolphins a total of $3.1 million.

The club did not tender either running back Lex Hilliard or defensive lineman Ryan Baker.


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I'm hearing Henne is scheduled to meet with Seahawks too!!,.., hope they sign him cause that would mean no teams in our way of Tannehill on draft day in case Flynn goes to Cleveland....

I think Marshall is very good, and really not much locker room headache, but the dolphins are more in the need to have more cap space than other teams to have an elite WR, but still I think that we can have the Pittsburg 2nd, or even Giants 1st, than Chicago 3rd this season and 3rd next year, by the way fbd2707748 are you serious?, because other sources (Omar Kelly) are reporting that Cleveland and Dolphins are negotiating now with Flynn.

Not a word of print about Flynn. LOL. High demand?

He would br standing on the sidelines in seattle too. He will not be a starter again!

Craig M..I have always said that I thought that Henne could be serviceable on a team that was a run first style of offense. Not a throw it 35 plus times a game outfit. This was the mistake this team made. Going away from the run in favor of putiing in the hands of Henne before he proved he could play at this level of pressure(putting the game on his houlders, or arm) Teams knew if Henne dropped back enough. Eventually he would make a crucial mistake..Because he was horrible in pressure situations it became very easy to prepare for..Any time we were on script..Henne was very good..When the game was in crisis, or when the field shrank and accuracy-decision making more critical..Well we all know the story.. We could never run it consistant enough inside the red zone to be a threat..Hopefully for Henne. He finds an offense that he is not the main focus...An offense where they hand it off 35 plus times a game, and he throws it 20-25 times..He may be alright in this sort of scenraio..Good luck Chad..

Clyde - check Omar Kelly witter

Omar K is reporting that Miami and the Browns are in negotiations with Flynn.


Where is this proof that PHINS are meeting with manning? Says who?

Its about time they dumped this over paid brick handed can't make a play in the red zone phoney, the only beastly thing about Marshall was his contract.

Its about time they dumped this over paid brick handed can't make a play in the red zone phoney, the only beastly thing about Marshall was his contract.

It's just a shame how we have no faith in Ireland or Ross. He needs to prove himself now, more than ever.

2nd season and draft without the fat tuna!!

He better answer the call!!

who cares if bears win the superbowl, that was their piece, we were not winning with BM

Omar is a clown. I don't read him or believe in his reporting. Henne is getting calls, Campbell too. Not a word on the national sites about Flynn.

Craig M....

With an ARM like Henne has...he will have a market until he is 33....there is always a QB coach that thinks they can "tweak" him....

Wait until they find out the real problem is between his ears....

So effectively we have given up one of the VERY FEW playmakers on the team for the equivalent of John Jerry and Patrick Turner (Our last two 3rd rounders by Ireland). Great. I see the value in that.


I don't know why you guys are trying to bag on flynn....

Its a foregone conclusion that he is the 2nd RATED QB...behind manning...

Sure hope we have a WR plan if we dumped Marshall to sign Flynn and Winston.

The thought process by some leaves much to be desired....

2nd rated by who though? Media folks, not NFL folks.

Guys see my previous post from 30 minutes ago PHINS MEETING WITH MANNING RIGHT NOW!!!!

Posted by: fbd2707748 | March 13, 2012 at 06:49 PM


Interesting......because nobody is reporting that except you.

And many more good players don't want to play with the dolphins because Marshall,

Bears interviewing Campbell, why not Flynn?


Totally agree with you on your Henne point. I also agree that you have to rate the Marshall trade but by what else Ireland is able to do. If he does something along the lines of Manning, Wayne and Winston and we still have two number threes then you have to love that. It might also bring a guy like Floyd into play in the first round. Who knows? But I like the flexibility that the Marshall trade brings us and as you've said, it can only be evaluated when all is said and done.

Hawks and Jags checking out Henne, why not Flynn? NFL Folks think differently than the media hype folks.

Clyde, Flynn will want to start not backup Cutler. He could stay put and stay a backup.

I have not seen enough of Flynn to be a supporter of signing him but will say Philbin would know. So if they sign him I will believe they think he will be our starter. Therefore, I will support the signing.

IMO - I would bet the Dolphins feel or know they are out with Manning for whatever the reasons so they are moving on and they should.

If you clear cap space and are able to sign say Eric Winston, Keep Soli, draft Blackmon and get Manning that to me would be a pretty fair year. And probably would make us better.

Or maybe you finish the line with Winston, sign Wayne and draft the DE stud or get the LB from Alabama.

Seems this year is deep for WR in free agency. Could not figure out how you paid for Manning this sort of changes that. Think you still would have to restructure Bells and Longs contracts to get Manning.

Go Dolphins!! Probably not as bad as face value would say. Holding my breath on this one.

Plus the Bear would not want to pay that much for a backup.

NFL.com Reporting:


Guys see my previous post from 30 minutes ago PHINS MEETING WITH MANNING RIGHT NOW!!!!

Posted by: fbd2707748


That may well be an understatement shula71!

Bears interviewing Campbell, why not Flynn?

Posted by: Clyde | March 13, 2012 at 07:12 PM


Why would the Bears go after Flynn? I see what you're getting at in RE to Flynn not getting a lot of action as of yet, but the Bears are a bad example. They have a very good starter in Cutler....they're looking for a backup in Campbell.

Clyde and Texas....point taken....

Omar Kelly knows next to nothing!!

Please stop putting false made up info on blogs!! It is really dumb. We have tru diehard fans that want factual info.

We are a freaking joke.

I hate that I was born to cheer for this shithole of a team.

Some moron said we signed caleb hainey.....huh?

In the words of former Indians manager Lou Brown upon hearing of Jack Parkman being traded to the White Sox, "How can you trade away my best player without even asking me!?"

We are a freaking joke.

I hate that I was born to cheer for this shithole of a team.



Even if we bring in Flynn, I would be surprised if they anoint him starter without having to compete with Moore for it. I hope Philbin knows what he is doing.

If the Dolphins had Manning in the bag, they wouldn't be negotiating for Flynn as Omar has reported. Also, it means Philbin has given his recommendation for the move.

We are a freaking joke.

I hate that I was born to cheer for this shithole of a team.



Posted by: Jeff Row | March 13, 2012 at 07:23 PM

Uhhhhh.....do you lack reading comprehension skills?

I called my team (the Dolphins) a joke.

And I said that I hate that I was born to cheer for us.

We are doomed to be below average forever.

Rick S....


Craig M...There are tons of options as far as free-agents, draft picks that the team can explore af far as a replacemnt for Marshall. He was on the hook for 9 mil this year. We could get 2 free agents for the price of that. Sure individualy they may not put up the same numbers as Marshall alone. IMO the idea of the West Coast offense is to spread the ball around anyway..Yes we lost an elite reciever. But it wasn't like he was the top end of the elite, and cannot be replaced..

Also..some are crying foul as far as the compensation we recieved for BM..Hooey. 2 years ago we traded 2 second rounders for him. There is no way on planet Earth that Marshall has improved over the last 2 years that any GM was going to pay anything near that..You would have to be a crazy man to think that we would recieve anything close to that...Marshall for all of his qualities, has also been a nuisance, a sea viper, a fly in the ointment...We were lucky to get 2 3rd round picks from a team that REALLY WANTED HIM....

Not fair trade value for Miami if you ask me.

Philbin may know far more than me, but I will not be remotely excited if we bring Flynn aboard.

Some moron said we signed caleb hainey.....huh?

Posted by: Finnatic | March 13, 2012 at 07:23 PM


He (I assume, guess it could be a she) has been posting that for a couple weeks now. Nothing to see there, just keep moving.

Michael Irvin...on NFLN...looks and sounds high....

Hope he hasn't fallen off the wagon.....

Hope I am wrong...maybe he is just tired...

Philbin may know far more than me, but I will not be remotely excited if we bring Flynn aboard.

Posted by: Clyde | March 13, 2012 at 07:31 PM


I will be excited if Philbin brings an offensive approach that works.....I will be excited if Philbin can bring a winning culture to this team. I could care less what the name on the back of the jersey is.

Truthfully, at 20 mill. bucks a year, Manning is just to expensive for us. Shame.
Even Flynn at 10 mill. it's unproven as a franchise QB and I am going in only on Philbin's recommendation.

Not to change topics too much here, but interesting......Randy Moss worked out for the 49ers.....guess who was throwing the football to Moss during the work out? Not Alex Smith! Jim Harbaugh was throwing to Moss during the work out.....that's just weird, IMO.

And the new 5 year rebuilding plan has started...

All of you in Miami who think that every sport is like the NBA, and you can make a franchise move like that in the NFL. I feel sorry for all of you who only want the names, and not the team. Marshall was a cancer. Luckily, I do not live in the South Florida area so I do not get caught up in all the big name hype you are seeing. Marshall never lived up to his talent at Miami. He cost the Phins more games than won for them. Good Ridence.

The problem re Marshall

1st we over pay

2nd we give him away for less than his worth.

Ouch and Ouch.

Clyde...great point you made. Even we get Flynn its almost guaranteed there will be no competition for the starting job. Its his job if he's the best QB or not.

Also a great point made by Daryl Dunphry [sic]. We gave away two 2nd rounds for marshall. Then trade him for 2 3rd round picks. Does that mean Ireland didn't know what he was doing the first time around?

I keep hearing about a plan. I'm guessing this plan involves replacing Marshall with a WR that can contribute 1000 yards of offense per year. Who is he and how do you plan to get him?

..You guys think this is such a bad trade?? The guy that replaced Marshall in Denver, the same guy that led the league in recieving in 2010 Brandon Lloyd was trade for a freekin' 6th round pick...6th Round!!!
He has been as good as BM or better over the last 2 years..And the Broncos got a 6th rounder. Now to be fair, Marshall is IMO the better reciever..But not by much..Seriously. He isn't much more of an upgrade if at all..And we recieved 2 3rd round picks..Marshall isn't Megatron, or Fitzgerald, or Andre Johnson..he isn't going to command a first round pick, and obviously he wasn't worth a second...If the team thought it was time to part ways..2 3rd rounders is more then fair compensation..Oh yeah Anquan Boldin was traded for a 6th rounder..

I'm sure they have big plans to use our #2 and two #3's to get another 1st rder and draft someone with baggage like Janoris Jenkins.

LOL Something has to give i'm falling into the black hole of negativity.

Darryl Boldin was much older than Marshall when he was traded.

Sun Sentinel reporting that Fins and Browns are tossing contract offers at Flynn right now.

Only two mentioned, btw.

Wrong. It was a 3rd and 4th round and they had Fitzgerald so it didn't hurt them.

Jeff Ireland is an idiot. Dumb move. No more words. Canceling my season tickets. Will support my fins, but can't spend the money on this organization. Consistently under performs. It is clear we lose out on opportunities because of bad organization and leadership- including owner.

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