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Dolphins interested in Rashard Mendenhall

The Dolphins will obviously add a running back to compete if Reggie Bush is allowed to walk in free agency as I've reported. Bottom line, they need more bodies because Lamar Miller, Daniel Thomas, Jonas Gray and Marcus Thigpen aren't enough bodies to take to training camp.

And a competition between Miller and Thomas for the starting job seems less that inspiring because Miller seems to clearly be the better back.

But Rashard Mendenhall to the Dolphins?

Well, that's the buzz going around the NFL as voiced most loudly by NFL.com's Daniel Jeremiah on his twitter feed over the weekend. Jeremiah, a former NFL scout, obviously has connections around the league so he's as credible as most.

But Rashard Mendenhall to the Dolphins?

Apparently the Dolphins are eyeing more than one prospective Steelers free agent. Obviously the Dolphins cannot sign Mendenhall until 4 p.m. on Tuesday when unrestricted free agency's signing period begins. So we're talking interest in the abstract right now.

But Mendenhall is an interesting guy.

Yes, he has loads of talent. Yes, he is a load himself at 5-10 and 225 pounds. Yes, he is very fast, having clocked in the 4.4s coming out of college. He was even fast enough to be Pittsburgh's kickoff return man earlier in his career.

Mendenhall, 25, also has two 1,000-yard seasons to his credit, those coming in 2009 and 2010.

But Mendenhall is something of an enigma and 2012 was a disaster for many reasons.

In January 2012 he suffered a torn ACL injury to a knee and had to spend his entire offseason rehabilitating the injury. Unlike Adrian Peterson who recovered from a similar injury like a champion, Mendenhall languished and simply wasn't the same player.

He not only played only six games but languished by gaining 3.6 yards per carry. And when coaches didn't think he was trying very hard, they deactivated him for a game against San Diego. Well, Mendenhall didn't bother to show up for that tilt. And so he was suspended for the next game against Dallas.

Mendenhall also stirred some controversy in May 2011 when he got on twitter and chided Americans for celebrating the killing of Osama bin Laden. One of his tweets seemed to suggest he didn't blame bin Laden for 9-11 by raising the possibility of a conspiracy theory.

Mendenhall tried to walk back his position by first tweeting he was just trying to stir conversation and then apologized outright through the Steelers. But Champion Sporting Goods dropped Mendenhall from an endorsement deal.

Mendenhall's, cough, interesting history, diminished production, and Pittsburgh's difficult salary cap situation are undoubtedly reasons the Steelers haven't re-signed the player. That the Dolphins are reportedly interested in Mendenhall -- something I've not idenpendently confirmed -- might be yet another example of the paradigm shift the team is undergoing in its approach to free agency.

The Denver Broncos are also reportedly interested in Mendenhall.

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