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Unrestricted free agency: Day two activities to watch

The second day of free agency is likely to bring another flurry of activity with Dolphins connections.

To start, the club is trying to upgrade at tight end after failing to land their prime target Jared Cook on Tuesday. Today, Jets tight end Dustin Keller is scheduled to visit with the team. If Keller doesn't work out, the club may look into Oakland's Brandon Myers.

Keller, 29 in September, has been a steady performer for the Jets but last season was hurt much of the time and only played eight games. He was known as one of quarterback Mark Sanchez's favorite targets when healthy.

Keller is not necessarily an all-purpose tight end as his blocking has been oft questioned in the past.

The Dolphins need a tight end after letting Anthony Fasano move on to Kansas City.

Offensive tackle Jake Long is in St. Louis to undergo a thorough physical. The Rams want to get their bearings on Long's injury status -- particularly with his left triceps, right biceps and both knees -- before they commit to paying him any sort of significant money as a free agent.

This should play out pretty simply:

If Long checks out medically to the team, the Rams will try to close Long. With Jermon Bushrod (Chicago) and Sam Baker (Atlanta) off the market, Long is considered the next best availableleft  tackle -- assuming he's in one piece.

The Dolphins would like to have Long back. But they don't want to overpay for a player they know has been medically, what's the word, predisposed to injuries the last couple of years.

They have what they believe is a good value placed on Long but if the Rams, who need desperately to protect quarterback Sam Bradford, place a higher value on Long, he's gone. If it's a tie, my guess is Long leaves.

This has been an emotional time for Long (who knew he had emotions) and he's been somewhat frustrated by the Dolphins not entirely trusting his health. By the way, I applaud the Dolphins for not trusting.

So really the only way the Dolphins keep him is by outbidding St. Louis. I suppose there is a chance Long takes other visits, but my guess is today will be a big day for him.

Today will probably also be a big day for Reggie Bush.

He is in Detroit to visit with the Lions. They are already on record as offering Bush a deal worth "well north of $3 million per season" and they want him as their lead running back.

So really, all that needs to work here is a fit and comfort level for Bush and the team. Yes, Bush has other suitors, most notably the Arizona Cardinals. But the Cards don't have much of an offensive line or proven answers at quarterback.

Bush is getting to that time in his career where he wants to be on a winner. The Lions offer that potential much more than the Cardinals do. Look for Bush to sign today as well if his questions are answered.

Bush isn't coming back to the Dolphins.

On yet another front, Sean Smith is a curious case. His agent was expecting a big market for his client but that big market didn't show up on the first day of free agency.

Indeed, the first day was something of a disappointment for the flooded cornerback market.

Darrelle Revis wasn't traded -- yet. Namdi Asomugha was cut by the Eagles, and the most notable signees were DeAngelo Hall in Detroit, Darius Butler in Indianapolis and Bradley Fletcher in Philadelphia.

Not exactly earth-shattering stuff.

Smith was originally supposed to visit Kansas City. But the Chiefs made other moves and are not bouyant in salary cap space. Agent David Canter also said Smith would be taking other trips but declined to name the teams.

Whenver an agent says that, he's trying to gain leverage for his client. Smith may indeed have multiple clubs wanting him to visit. But it's clear none at this point are willing to meet his demands of a contract that pays $8 million or so per year.

That kind of deal gets done quickly by a team with cap space and a strong conviction on a player. If Smith isn't done by the end of the day, it will strongly suggest no team is willing to do that kind of deal for him.

And with each passing hour, the chances of Smith returning to the Dolphins increase because, well, his market shrinks and looks closer to what Miami valued the player at. So today is huge for Sean Smith.

As to the players the Dolphins are still hoping to land, I keep hearing the name Brandon Gibson.

The Rams free agent wide receiver is visiting the Jets today. But he has other suitors. A league source said Gibson might take as many as four other trips -- with the Dolphins being one of them.

But ...

It's clear that in the preliminary talks Gibson's agent had with teams, the Jets stepped up the most and thus get the first visit. If the Jets don't close, the market for this receiver drops somewhat.

The Miami vision for Gibson is interesting. Yes, he's a wide receiver but he's very, very much a possession guy. He'd be a third wide receiver on the Dolphins behind Mike Wallace and Brian Hartline. He might be a bigger Davone Bess.

And so if the Dolphins add Gibson, what are they going to do with Bess?

If the Dolphins do not re-sign Sean Smith, the club has free agent options but those will be of the cheap variety. Miami showed interest over the weekend in Detroit's Chris Houston and San Diego's Antoine Cason.

Houston, however,  was reportedly negotiating a three-year deal with the Lions on Tuesday. We'll follow how that plays out.

Cason is a player the Chargers would like back but at a reasonable price. He made $1.2 million in 2012. He's a big corner at 6-1 and he has 12 interceptions in his five-year career. I like him more than Smith, to be honest.

The Lions and Browns also have shown interest in Cason.

Brent Grimes is a player the Dolphins had some interest in but that seemed to cool somewhat even as other teams seemed more enthusiastic.

Derek Cox, formerly of Jacksonville, is also on the Miami radar. He fits Miami's desire for a big cornerback more than Grimes. He's 6-1. He's aggressive. He makes plays as his four interceptions in 12 games during 2012 attests. He has an injury history the past two years, but he finished strong last year. He's another one I like more than Smith.

[BLOG NOTE: Tuesday was the greatest single day for unique visitors and total page views in the seven-year history of my blog. I had as many visitors yesterday as I normally get in a week. But don't stop now. There will be lots of stuff going on today, so check back regularly for updates.]

 

Comments

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First!

We need cornerback help. I'd like to see a veteran corner signed. This will bring that veteran leadership aspect to the secondary to inject into the youth movement.

IMO: Now that Cook is gone, i see us going TE in the draft now.

Nice to be excited about a new season for once. Ireland ain't messing around.Carpenter should get cut. Draft a guy late an save some cash.If miami signs gibson should they shop bess?Rams need wr 's.Should be an interesting day.

You know ....all I ever read everywhere is fire Ireland how bad he is.....and now that he made bold moves signing Wallace and completely revamping linebackers ....now I readthis is a sign of a ddesperate man in contract year....between the press and the way less than knowledgible fan base bloggers .....he never gets a break.....do people not realize this money these pics were part of a plan a process......I was very shocked about linebackers but if you look back it makes total sense ....Kevin was supposed to cover tight ends well we still go totally exploited by them all the time ....apparently this guy from raiders major strength is just that covering tight ends.....n well dansby whom I liked had plenty. O praise fer him self ....but name one game where he dominated er made several great Zach thomish plays that saved game .....one way to evaluate talent is watching provin GM n teams with a provenwinning history and their players wWelp Ellerbe was that guy and the ravens seemed totally content with him replacing ray ......nice move Mr Jeff.........totally unscene n well played .....as for Wallace ....that's alotta $$ ....but one way to gain confidence in a young QB is give him weapons that can score .....wallace did so 32 times n 4 yrs muff said.....listen for alll u haters please if you can't see the optimism going on in Miami ...as I've said before n will keep sayin .....the jets need a new fireman ...go try out shouldn't b to hard ......but if u gon stay STFU bout Ireland already nuff is nuff

hey guys check out my updated Miami Dolphins 7 round mock draft on my new blog. I could definitely use the support!

www.finhead.blogspot.com

[BLOG NOTE: Tuesday was the greatest single day for unique visitors and total page views in the seven-year history of my blog. I had as many visitors yesterday as I normally get in a week. But don't stop now. There will be lots of stuff going on today, so check back regularly for updates.]
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But 82% of it were 3 different trolls.

Why does Darlington get to break the news ?

Very good so far. Ireland is spending like a drunken sailor. Need a CB. don't really like Smith very much. Maybe Cary Williams? Then draft Xavier Rhodes? Alot of CB's in the mix right now. But missing on Cook does that mean TE is the drafts first pick? Is it possible Ireland will package multiple picks to move up for someone? Watcha know Armando?

Great day for Miami yesterday after years of inaction and bad choices...amazing what money can do on a variety of fronts.....

Mando you should take a moment and apologize to all the other Dolhin beat writers (Volin, Perk) you slagged over past couple of days and who ended up completely correct. It's the decent and Christian thing to do. Then take slagging other reporters out of your play book.

Good point on covering tight ends because new england has e good ones certainly a major upgrade at lb.I still believe the team needs to resign long, martin is not good enough to be a starting left tackle why buy cheap insurance for your franchise qb. Now see if egnew can get it together. I am going to miss Fasano he made plays.still need help in the secondary corners. Time to have a great draft and take over the divison really sick of the patriots winning it every year

I LOVE THE LINE BACKER UPGRADES BUT THE WIDE RECEIVER UPGRADE DIDN'T MAKE ANY SENSE TO ME. STILL A DOLFAN NO MATTER WHAT. I HOPE THAT MIKE WALLACE SIGNING WAS THE RIGHT MOVE.

The signing of Dannell Ellerbe and Phillip Wheeler at first glance appears to be a youth move, heading off the inevitable replacement of Dansby and Burnett next year. After all, the current Dolphin linebackers are rated slightly higher overall than their incoming counterparts.

However, in reviewing the stats of all 4, one thing stands out: Ellerbe and Wheeler each were MUCH better at putting pressure on opposing QBs.

Philbin zeroed in on the lack of big plays and turnovers for last year's defense.

Odrick has said recently that he would lose 20 lbs if he returns to his spot as DE. The franchising of Starks keeps the front 4 run defense intact and it looks like Ireland has zeroed in on creating pass rushing havoc.

Dolphins need to keep Sean Smith, offer him a fair deal and get one of the cb positions locked down for years. This is a passing league and you need three solid cb, right now the Dolphins have zero.

Mando, any word on wether or not the Dolphins are looking at Fred Davis as a TE replacement. At 6-4, he's got good size, and he's a terror in the passing game when he's healthy. If they don't at least consider him, they're making. Big mistake. I like him more than Cook, and we can probably get him cheaper

Reality checks...
No market for S. Smith? Maybe it is because they looked at his game tapes. I think his value just bottomed out to play for the Phins. I wouldn't offer him more than 5 mil per season.

Long has to pass a physical to even get an offer? Can't see how he gets a clean bill of health and even if he does what about his declining play? Do they have a test for that before the Rams give him major dollars?

and Reggie is in the 3 mil per season range? What about the 5 mil being the floor to start negotiating?

One of the things that I came away with after the twitter FA explosion was something NFL Network reporter Darlington said. Not the exact quote but he mentioned that he'd heard some plans about the Fins draft that were intriguing. Some folks followed that up by saying what they thought that meant because Jeff Darlington sure didn't tell what that meant.

Most were saying that meant we're planning on trading up in the first. While possible I do not think that is likely. BUT what I am thinking is that we are strongly considering Tavon Austin at 12. I know I know, it is a little early for Austin but if we want to get him, it would have to be at 12.

Talk about having a dynamic offense. We'd have Wallace blowing the top off the D and Austin running free underneath. I do realize we're a long way from complete but I get a little excited thinking about the possibilities.

Well, I might be in the minority but I'll take a wait and see approach before getting carried away like most people here...I love the fact we got Wallace, he was a MUST...We were the slowest offense in the NFL and we needed him BADLY...Kudos for that...BUT...I have to admit I'm a little perplexed with Ellerbe and Wheeler...I understand the "we got younger" and "they didn't produce many big plays" and all of that stuff but the fact is Dansby was rated 4th in the league against the pass while Ellerby was 25th...Wheeler had a great season with the Raiders, ranked 6th overall in the NFL in a 4-3 defense...But guess what, Burnett was 4th...I'm not saying those were bad moves, but I really thought we had more pressing needs...Like corners, tight ends, OL and another RB...Another pass rusher also comes to mind...Anyway, we'll see how it playsout...Antoine Winfield and Dustin Keller would really be nice right now...

If they axe Bess, he will be in NE in a heartbeat. I don't why they are souring on him. Not a speed threat but very good route runner and good 3rd down receiver that has put up numbers despite being asked to play outside where, let's be honest, he doesn't have speed to separate yet still would have been a 1,000 yard receiver if he hadn't gotten hurt. With Wallace and Hartline he can now play the slot where he should be. he has his haters but if he goes, he will torture us with NE as Welker did.

Mando, do we know yet what uniform number the Dolphins have given Wallace since his old # 17 is not available?

For the love of God, don't bring back Sean Smith...No!!!!

If putting pressure on opposing QBs was one of Ireland's goals in FA- and he may have achieved that with Ellerbe and Wheeler- CBs that can catch should be the next target. A pair of these would be game changers for the Dolphins.

PaPhinPhan is right about Fred Davis, how has he not been talked up this free agency! Davis has potential to be just as good as Cook and alot cheaper. I am glad I am not the only one, who has had that thought

Cd

agree Paul

Nnamdi!

My plan. First round select the best wide receiver and trade down to get the best or second best TE in the draft. That is the future for our team.

My TE: Tyler Eifert 6-6, 250, Notre Dame and Zach Ertz
6-5, 249, Stanford.


Congrats on your blog success...
You are the only outlet (that I know of) that had accurate and up to date info throughout the day and into the evening.

miami must use it's remaining freeagent resources to aquire proven big play offensive targets, did we somehow forget how abismal the offense was last year??? welker, jennings, finely??? got to get at least one of those guys... come on miami...

If Fred Davis's legal issues aren't too much of an issue, I would take a flyer on him. Only problem is he's more of an H-back. We need at least 1 true TE to help the running game.

Scottie C.

I just hope that the Fins don't give M. Williams #19. Please don't let that happen.

Oops, I meant Wallace.


I like Irelands work with the LBs yesterday. Tells us a lot about how he wants to go about improving the football team.

Not interested in Long. He will get injured next year. Or take plays off to stay healthy. not interested in Bush, he isn't a reliable between the tackles RB and doesn't offer a lot more than Miller. greater needs elsewhere.

I'd welcome Gibson but only on half of Hartlines money. Besides Bess is a good receiver.

I would love to see, RT (Winston?) DB (2rd pick for Sam Shields?) and RB addressed in FA allowing us to pick best player available (up to a point) in the draft - when have the Dolphins ever done that?!!

please let smith walk, just because he played for miami they shouldn't feel any loyalty to resign him. fact is when compared to all of ther CBs in the league, more big plays went against him than most.

Day ONE Ireland gets an "A"...

looks like Bess and Carpenter might be history ....


......look for three more signings today....

...WR, TE, CB....

Not getting totally excited yet....but things are looking better..

......If Long signs today.....Eric Winston might be a Dolphin, if he's still available,,

.....that will save more cap space....maybe enough to sign Mendenhall RB.....

...could be an explosive day for Fin Fans

Go JEFFY !! GO FINS!!!!!

Great day for Fins yesterday and 5 stars to Ireland. Keller coming in to visit today and maybe the guy to sign for TE.

I would seriously consider trading a second round pick for Sam Shield...Man, we have zero corners...

ok guys instead of all this chatter give us 2/3 names of players realistically you want to see on this team in FA:-
I'll start off with..................

Long and Smith

lol Just kidding :-)

Winston, Keller , Rodgers cromartie.

thoughts guys?

'please let smith walk, just because he played for miami they shouldn't feel any loyalty to resign him. fact is when compared to all of ther CBs in the league, more big plays went against him than most.'

Kevin,

I couldn't agree more. Regardless of what we pay him he's going to remain an inconsistent player.

The same is true for Long. If the Rams aren't comfortable with his health then why the hell should we be??? He didn't play well last year & that's the reason there's no longer 'value.'

our biggest needs coming in were wr,te,coner. so far we have fixed one. today big day to try and upgrade those other 2 pos

LOL..It doesn't bode well for Keller that he's not known as a good blocker in Mike Sherman's offense.

I love the fact it hurts the Jests though. Nothing is better than taking away talent from your rivals.

'Great day for Fins yesterday and 5 stars to Ireland. Keller coming in to visit today and maybe the guy to sign for TE.'

Agreed. Would love to have also gotten Bennett or Cook but you can't get everyone. If we can sign either a starting TE, a starting RT, or a starting CB in FA I believe we'll be in VERY good shape with ten picks going into the draft.

We don't have to address all three positions in FA, we just need to find ONE very good starter at one of these positions.

jets are horrible. much rather have fred davis than keller. corners going quickly now. this could end up a disaster if we dont find any corners. we have zero currently on roster capable of doing anything

The most frustrating thing about last season was if the team was so bad for so long, why didn't we have any cap room? Last year's free agency class was a bust.

Ireland Free Agency Grades:
Jeff Ireland 2012 F
Jeff Ireland 2013 A+

Good job not signing Cook at the money he wanted...not worth it! And upgrading the LB corps while actually saving cap $$ on the LBs (especially in 2014 where we would have been in big trouble) a huge win. Ireland isn't in it just for this year. He is planning for the future.

Give up a 2nd for Shields and sign up Antoine Winfield...

"LOL..It doesn't bode well for Keller that he's not known as a good blocker in Mike Sherman's offense.

I love the fact it hurts the Jests though. Nothing is better than taking away talent from your rivals."

Dadsmith,

With Clay tearing a muscle in his knee & Eggnog being a retard--finding a TE that can make plays down the field critical to this offense taking the next step. I don't know if Jared Cook ever made a block in his life. You can always find blocking TE's later on.

winfield has been done for a couple years. dont want to give up picks for guys. after they waste this money on keller they better be finding some corners to come for visits. so far missing out on cook is what really sucks. we overpayed big time for the guys we got but oh well not our money

"Free agent WR Brandon Gibson is scheduled to visit the Dolphins following Wednesday's meeting with the Jets."


Bush and Fasano got 11 of our 28 TDs last year, which is 39%.

Where are these TDs going to come from? Wallace averages 8 TD/person. Even if he manages that with the Dolphins we're still currently shorter on offense than we were last season. Perhaps Miller steps up.

We've got cheaper on defense, hopefully without making it worse, Ireland must surely be planning more additions to the offense if not in FA then with the first two picks in the draft.

We need to bare in mind that Ireland can make these moves because he's traded, dropped or not resigned Davis, Marshall, Fasano, Smith, Bush, Dansby, Burnett, Long.

Are Wallace, Ellerbe, Wheeler, Miller and TBA better than these guys?

Bring in Dustin Hopkins to challenge Carpenter. Get Werner at #12 to help Wake, or Rhodes if he's not available. Trade some picks to get back up and get Ertz late in the first. The draft is deep with corners and wide receivers. Plenty of time to get a couple of quality players. I like Fred Davis or Keller, plus a couple of quality CB's in free agency.

I don't get the infatuation with TE Cook. What has he done? Less than Fasano, that's what. I get that the position needs an upgrade, but Cook is hardly an upgrade. Draft a TE! Lots of good ones available. Glad to see the LB's replaced. Maybe Bess will be replaced next. Hooray for the moves so far!!!

So far so good....Wallace was, in my mind, a must get. Glad he's aboard. He will make the other receivers better. He will make our TE's better (whoever they are).

I like the youth movement with LB's. Tells us a lot about Ireland's defensive strategy. He places huge importance on ILB. First paid big bucks for Dandsby and now Ellerbe. I like his commitment to the center ILB position...it makes good sense.

At this point he has approx. $9m for FA's and he can create more room by cutting his two veteran CB's who haven't done much to date. I like the idea of starting over with the CB's. Cut the two vets and sign two new ones who show promise. But also use two picks in the top 5 on CB's to bring in youth for grooming and to push the vets you sign in FA.

TE is a must obviously and I think Keller is an upgrade for us. He can sign for decent money and still be our #2 if we go with a top TE in round #1 in the draft. I also think Clay needs to be used more and differently. I am not sold that Egnew is a bust just yet either. I think we will be OK if they sign Keller or one other TE in FA.

Tackle is something I'd like to see added in FA. Even Garner as a backup or fallback strategy. I think they can land a solid T in round #1 if the other positions are taken care of in FA.

Still so many options being only day two of free agency...good times ahead for the Fins!

man cooks speed was unreal for a te. still pissed about it. f u fisher. looks like we will sign mediocre keller, so we need another te and myers would look good here.

Winfield done for a couple of years...LOL!!! You're such an ignorant dusty bottoms...

I don't get the infatuation with TE Cook. What has he done? Less than Fasano, that's what. I get that the position needs an upgrade, but Cook is hardly an upgrade. Draft a TE! Lots of good ones available. Glad to see the LB's replaced. Maybe Bess will be replaced next. Hooray for the moves so far!!!

JJ,

Agreed. Not that much. Extremely overrated IMO. The Rams SERIOUSLY overpaid for a very good athlete but his production has not been all that impressive. I wanted Bennett from the beginning.

Hey, ck out my 14 round Dolfin mock....I really need the looks!!

www.mydouchebagdraft

cook was 3 years younger than fatso and ran like a deer not a turtle like fatso. fatso career long of 31 yards was weak compared to cooks 80 yard catch, go back and watch that and u will see all the potential he has

The SF 49ers have 14 picks...14!!! And they got Boldin...No doubt they will be SB favorites...They're going to have some team...Good rivalry with the Seahawks...

montreal wake up man, vikes have ton of cap room and still cut him. actually watch a player before calling others names just cause they disagree with u. winfield is a shell of what he once was

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