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Highlights: Dolphins GM, CEO talk to fans

The Dolphins put general manager Jeff Ireland and CEO Mike Dee on the phone with season ticket holders this evening. They talked for 30 minutes and for me the three most interesting things are covered below:

Ireland was asked if he could share his draft plans for the upcoming NFL draft. He gave the name of the player the team is drafting and that player is ...

Yeah, just kidding.  

"I've got a lot of ideas and I have a strong idea of what I'm going after, but I just can't tell you," he said. "Certainly as I've said before, I believe in drafting core positions ..."

That means QBs, WRs, LTs, CBs, and pass-rushers.

"I like drafting when the core position meets a need and it meets the grade," Ireland continued. "And I try not to reach for a need position if I don't have to. We don't draft vertically, we draft horizontally and that's a whole different story to explain that. But we definitely have a plan. We definitely have guys we've targetted. We definitely have a certain number of players we've targetted. But we don't put, there's 255 draft picks that will selected, but we don't put that many players on the board. We grind through this. We eliminate it down to a specific number that we feel like is the number we want to go into and then we even cut that down even further to guys we're targetting.

"So we certainly have a plan."

Ireland said the Dolphins start draft meetings Tuesday and will go 21 consecutive days in those meetings leading up to the draft that begins April 25.

"There's a lot of work being done these next 21 days," he said. "Stand by and see what we do."

Ireland was also asked about the perpetual Dolphins problem -- the offensive line. He was asked his thoughts on it, including today's addition of free agent guard Lance Louis:

"Where I'm at with the offensive line right now is we don't play until August," Ireland said. "We don't go to camp until the middle of July so it's going to look differently in July and August than it does right now. So we're still tinkering in free agency with a couple of offensive line positions. Tinkering means we may or may not [do something] for the media that is listening. And certainly we have the draft. We have five picks in the top 82."

If the Dolphins want to sign more free agent OLinemen such as Eric Winston, they can use their $15.7 million worth of space (as of March 26) which profootballtalk.com reported this afternoon they have remaining. (The team will pick up an extra $7 million of space after June 1).

"And a third idea you can trade for one ... So it's something I'm still looking at. You don't lose a player like Jake Long to free agency and not feel that so we're going to address the offensive line as a whole as we go forward and we just have to stand by and see what we do."

Dee was asked about my Tuesday story that mentioned the Dolphins are willing to sign a relocation waiver for 30 years with Miami-Dade County as part of the complex package for getting public funds to upgrade Sun Life.

The question was whether the Dolphins might consider leaving South Florida if the deal with Miami-Dade County and the Florida legislature and, yes, voters fails to finance the upgrades as the Dolphins hope.

"Steve Ross has made it clear he will never think of relocating the Dolphins on his watch," Dee said. "And win, lose or draw on this stadium effort, Steve spent a lot of his formative years in the Miami area. He loves it here, that's why he bought this team. We're not going anywhere while Steve's the owner."

Yes. And ...

"Now Steve's 73 years old and he thinks and Jeff knows this, he thinks he's going to live to be 110. But at some point in the next 30 years he'll probably not be the majority owner of the team. So we believe the right time to address the stadium issue is now while the owner is willing to significantly invest in private funds to make it happen. He's a guy that wants to lock in the franchise here for the next 30 years so that any successor that buys the team from him or at some point takes over would be unable to relocate the team. The alternative to that is if we're not able to move forward on the stadium front, Steve is at some point not the owner, you're going to be looking at the possibility of a whole new stadium for three times the cost of what we can modernize this facility for and have a facility that would serve the community for 50 years. That's unheard of.

"This isn't a situation where we're saying if this doesn't happen we're out of here. We're going to be here but we'll be hard-pressed to figure out what we do best as a long-term solution."

Comments

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go away wait and watch him run fine, then watch his price and team list go up

I like the Lance Louis signing. 6-3, 320 and 27 years old. Pro for past 4 years with Chicago. 30 games played, 17 starts, 11 at RT and 6 at RG. Versatile player.

Hurt his knee last season after a blindsided hit from Jared Allen on a broken play. He is reportedly jogging now and looks promising to be ready for the seaason start.

One year contract limits the downside if he doesn't regain his form. But he is young, versatile, strong.

He will push Jerry....Like it!!

I missed that Lance Louis signed with the team. I just noticed that when reading another Website. He was rated as the 47th best guard in the league. I hope John Jerry comes into camp in shape ready to compete.

agree jpao guy was much better than most of what we have, lets hope he returns to form

With Garner, Jerry and Louis we have three versatile players who can play G or T. I like that flexibility alot. I like the idea of adding Winston if the price is right but at this point I don't think we HAVE TO sign a Tackle before the draft.

I would rather see us use the FA money on:

CB - Veteran who can start and push/develop young talent that will be drafted this year for sure.

DE - I still like the idea of Freeney or Abraham as a veteran pass rush specialist - similar to JT's role in Miami his last year.

RB - We have a young squad and I like the idea of A. Bradshaw being signed for 1-2 years. Gives THILL a proven pass blocker and someone reliable on short yardage downs who won't fumble.

How Much I Wish For You Guys To Put Your Real Names On This T.Austin Kid.

The Guy Is Smaller Than Dante Hall, and Less Dynamic.

He Is going To Flop!! And Flop Hard!!

Did Anybody See Syracuse Vs. WVU?

Those 2 Midgets WVU Had Couldn't Get Off The Line All Day!!

G.Smith Would've Been The Surefire #1 Pick!! If He Played With Real Wr's(Like Barkley)!! But NFL Teams Can't Truly Judge G.Smith Playing With 2 Wr's That Run Zero Wr Routes.

Seriously How Good Is T.Austin's Route Running? He Runs Drag And Screens All Day!! Nothing over 10 Yards!!

And OK!! He Is 5'8". But That Isn't The Only Problem!! He Is 174lbs!! That Is The Real Problem!! He Is Small!! Wes Welker, D.Bess, S.Smith, Are All Short Wr's!! But They Are All Over 185lbs!! They Are Not Small For Their Size.

good luck to the U tonight. Don't really have a dog in this fight but I will support the U. Marquette .. Dwayne Wade's alma matter. Very interesting indeed.

And go Florida Gulf Coast or whatever they're called. Any school with a beach in the middle of it is ok in my book.

Louis' injury is an ACl... mundane and boring in today's world. Some guys even come back stronger now.

By the way, Louis ran a 4.7 40 in his pro day in 2009. Another athletic guard ...

Agreed Dashi, Austin doesn't have crazy athleticism that precludes his size. he's a decent athlete and very small ...

agree on austin, but no worries miami isnt gonna draft him by any means

Actually went back and looked at all of Louis' measurables from his pro day and he's extremely atheltic. How athletic? his measurables are similar to the top guards in this draft. If this is the type of guy the Dolphins want then watch out for the following if they want to add any more ...

Brian Schwenke
J.C. Tretter
Garrett Gilkey
Jonathan Cooper
*Justin Pugh
Hugh Thornton
Jeff Baca
Brian Winters
*Alvin Bailey
Eric Herman


All these guys scored extremely well ...

Mark,

All I'm Saying Is People Tend To Forget What They Are Watching Because They Like A Certain Player.(Tebow Effect)

Big Difference Between Pro And College. You Can Be A Great College Player And Suck In The NFL!!

Look At Tebow!! Look At A USC Player, Look At A Oklahoma Qb!! Look at Previous WVU Alum. N.Devine, P.White, And Many More.

People Forget More College Football Teams Than Picks In The Draft!! About Half The Games WVU Played Was Against Real Weak Opponents!! Reason Wr's Were Running Open Most Games. They Played Guys Who Would Never Even Play Division 1!!

Combine numbers close to meaningless

We dont need a wr. Ireland knows our secondary is comical rt now. Get some ball hawking tough corners

Mark,

Good To See The Fins Addressing A Need. The Fins Need A OG That Can Pull. Between Not Signing Jake, and Signing L.Louis. Ireland Is Letting Philbin Put His Mark On The Line. Drafting Martin And Finding Samunda. The Fins Are Turning Into A More Athletic Line. Smart Fast Linemen, Philbin Player. Fat Slow Injury Prone Linemen, Spo' Players!!

Dashi, I had a similar discussion with Craig to a certain extent regarding combine and pro day results. He told me they are overrated while I argued they are extremely important. You want the guys who jump higher, lift more, run faster, change direction faster, explode faster. Aside from the qb position all these things are extremely important in all positions. So if both guys have a first round grade, give me the guy with better measurables all day long as long as his head is screwed on straight. Like you said, you can dominate in college but unless you have th physical makeup - it won't happen in the NFL.

Yes Dashi, I think Louis is a starter if healthy. And this is not good news for one of our current guards. jerry better be ready to rumble out of the gate or his career is over. Although I think he still makes a better tackle.

Dashi, just take a stroll through the Internet to see the many "real names"- football people- that have mocked Austin in the upper half of the first round. No need to chastise anyone here for liking him for the Dolphins pick.

While it's true that he has fallen some since the combine, he may move back up also, as we get closer to the draft. While I would be happy to see him go with the Dolphins @12, I favor the trade down more and the bigger WRs.

Lance Louis,

It's a 1 year deal and I don't even know if he ends up making the roster. He's a guy with some upside, versatility and at this point on a 1 year deal face it he's just a body and a body coming back from major injury.

However, I doubt you see Winston signed unless he decides to come in for pennies on the dollar. Miami may sign a CB if they decide but there's no player out there who is going to make a major difference. Any CB who hypothetically would make a difference would be a surprise not a given.

Draft, draft, draft! That's where our starting CB (2), will come from, where another OT who pushes for starting time comes from and where the guy to push Lamar Miller even if it's a 5th or 6th rounder comes from.

WEEKS AGO EVERYONE WAS PREACHING DRAFTING SWOPE FROM TX A&M AND I LIKE HIM ALSO BUT HE IS NOT AUSTIN AND NOT THE PLAYMAKER AUSTIN IS. IRELAND SEEMS TO HAVE A THEME OF GETTING YOUNGER AND FASTER WHICH TELLS ME DO NOT RULE OUT AUSTIN! I'M WITH ORLANDO DOLPHIN WATCH THE TAPE ON THIS GUY. FORGET THE SIZE(174) HE IS ONLY A FEW STEAKS AWAY FROM HAVING THE SAME WEIGHT AS WELKER,AND WOODHEAD! SMALLER RECEIVERS ARE THE HARDEST TO COVER ON 3RD DOWN WHEN YOU HAVE OTHER RECEIVING THREATS. WATCH BESS THIS YEAR WITH WALLACE AND HARTLINE. AUSTIN WOULD ALSO GIVE THE DOLPINS THE OPTION OF TRADING BESS (HOPE NOT) OR ALREADY HAVE HIS REPLACEMENT NEXT YEAR JUST AS MILLER WILL DO FOR BUSH THIS YEAR. PHILBIN HAS ALWAYS LOADED UP ON WR AND WANTS TO HAVE GOOD ONES FROM 1-7! IF ONE GETS HURT HE LIKES TO NOT MISS A BEAT WITH THE REPLACEMENT. IF DOLPHIN SIGN GRIMES THAN THERE IS A GREATER CHANCE THE TEAM WILL GO BAP AND THAT WILL INCLUDE AUSTIN IF HE IS STILL AVAILABLE. NE WON WITH A DEFENSE NOT AS GOOD AS THE DOLPHINS (OVERALL) THE ONLY WAY TO DETHRONE THEM IS TO OUT SCORE THEM!!

The 2nd tier of CBs seem to be just as promising as the first group the more I think about it.

I'm officially OFF the DESMOND TRUFANT bandwagon. I just was on it Tuesday with a few of you and yesterday but Trufant is he that much better then Blidi Wreh-Wilson, Amerson, Jamar Taylor, Logan Ryan, etc.

With that said I don't know where I am flip-flopping today with Miami's draft pick. So far I was all in on Vacarro who's 40 time in the end made me think he's obviously not the athlete and Earl Thomas clone I pegged him as. If Miami does take Vaccarro I'm still fine with it just not overly sold. Trufant just like Vaccarro if he's the pick I get it and on board with it but not overly sold or claiming him as my guy.

Andy, no matter who they pick ... except for OT ... there is a similar talent available in the 2nd round.

Tavon Austin ... Justin Hunter
Desmond Trufant ... Jamar taylor
Johnathan Cooper ... Brian Schwenke
Sheldon Richardson ... Jesse Williams
Tyler Eifert .. Zach Ertz

Maybe they shoudl just trade up to make sure they get Lane Johnson???

Here's the deal on Tavon Austin. You would be hard pressed to find anyone, anyone that says he's not going in the first rd. The popular trend has him going to the Rams at 16 on alot of mocks.

Thats 1st rd, not 2nd, not 3rd, not 4th. That should say something.

I don't think we're gonna draft him and you don't see many mocks with him in the top 15 in the 1st but to say he's gonna be a flop is just flat out guessing.

Everyone thats been around him talks about how tough he is. He has never missed considerble time in high or college and never missed a practice at UWV. He's been extremely productive whereever he's been.

Again I personally think we have bigger needs in the first but it just amazes how peoples opinions on this kid goes from one extreme to the other.

Andy NJ, article on PFT this morning about Winston saying no deal is imminent with Fins, or anybody. Guy has overpriced himself out of the market. If he doesn't come down he may be sitting this season out.

Rick, Austin is a tough call for this team because well another offensive weapon is always welcome. However, does he translate as effectively to the NFl. I don't think it's a slam dunk and considering the bounty of WRs in the next round and the quality of players on the board with some in obvious areas of need ... does that pick really make sense?

That's the tough call.

Bobby, perhaps it would be in Winston's and Grimes' best interests to wat until after the first day of the draft to sign with someone now. Someone is going to be scrambling after not filling a need and that's when they'll probably get their best deal.

Agree with Billcale...

No reason to chastize somebody for hving a differing opinion....

just state your case...

BobbyD12,

Yeah same for Nnamdi from what I hear. Teams won't even work the guy out. He supposedly wants 7-9 M a season. He must've forgot how bad he's been for 2 years.

I guess with some of the money these guys already have banked, it's nto worth getting up in the morning for a couple mill ...

Guys, a lot of good points this morning. Good discussion.

I'll be SHOCKED if Austin is out pick at 12, not because he's not a good player but because he's all of a sudden not the biggest need on the team. With the resigning of Hartline and the adding of Wallace and Gibson I think we're in pretty good shape at WR. I'd love to see a guy like Justin Hunter added in the second round but if not there are good players out there.

Interested to here that the Dolphins are very much involved in talks for Grimes. If they sign him, I'd say that opens up a whole bunch of options at 12. I've said it before and I'll say it again, if it's Eiffert at 12 I won't be disappointed.

Mark any other year and I'd agree with you but this year is loaded with tackles and corners. Unless their contract demands are outrageous they might be better served to get on a team before the draft.

I could see Austin being the pick at 12. Philbin could see him as Randall Cobb or Percy Harvin. Bess could be traded for a pick and replaced in the slot by Austin. He could lineup in the backfield for swing passes and a couple carries as well.

Not saying I love the pick, but I could see it happening.

Tavon Austin,

He seems like a luxury for Miami and if he was the pick I would be shocked. The idea of Wallace's elite speed along with Austin in the slot and Lamar Miller in the backfield would be very tough to defend if all came together for Tannehill.

But this isn't Madden lol so I doubt Ireland makes that move. It's a team sport and Miami is lacking a complete team at crucial spots CB and possibly LT or RT depending where J. Martin plays.

Darkoak... maybe but I'm just not fully grasping this from our perspective. If the draft was today, we would need to finad a cb and an OT in our first three picks. However the idea has been to round out a capable NFL starting lineup before draft day 1 so we don't feel any pressure to favour a certain position and just grab the top prospect regardless of position.

Right now I don't think we can do that, two capable guys are out there, we are sitting on $20M in cap space and nothing is being done. Well, we signed a guard .. one I think will surprise a lot of people ... but we only have one NFL starting OT on out roster.

Mark in Toronto, Jason LaCanfora tweeted last night that a deal between the Fins and Grimes will probably be announced in the next few days. LaCanfora is usually pretty good but things can change. Maybe Winston will get a better deal after the draft but he is taking a big chance I think.

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