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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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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.

Jpao,

Agreed. I'd like to see Garner back. He's played well for us & he can play a number of positions.

BTW--I keep reading that people want Winston. Well, the guy has been cut by two different teams in two years. Id you're that good of a player that doesn't happen.

Has Ireland been fired yet?

seahawks win west. that offense will be unreal, auto 8-0 at home again and boom

Really they gave Fasano a 2 yr deal for 15 mil? What would Ireland offer Keller?

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.

Dusty,

Not for $8 Million a year. That's absurd.

'Jared Cook's five-year contract with the Rams has a maximum value of $38.5M and includes $19M guaranteed.'

This signing has BUST written all over it.

Love the approach to upgrading our LB corps. Not sure about rushing on Wheeler but Fins definitely needed younger playmakers there. Not sure why we haven't heard more about Connor Barwin or Maualuga though. If Ireland would have landed one of them, our LB corp would have been sick. Maybe the price tag was simply too high.

Really they gave Fasano a 2 yr deal for 15 mil? What would Ireland offer Keller?

Jpao,

No. 4yr/$16 Million.

IMO--That's still too much for him

agree playmakers, winston here in kc last year was awful on passing downs. solid for run but not a guy we should really want

"Love the approach to upgrading our LB corps. Not sure about rushing on Wheeler but Fins definitely needed younger playmakers there. Not sure why we haven't heard more about Connor Barwin or Maualuga though. If Ireland would have landed one of them, our LB corp would have been sick. Maybe the price tag was simply too high.'

Ellerbe & Wheeler can both ball. Dansby & Burnett were too soft.

agree playmakers, winston here in kc last year was awful on passing downs. solid for run but not a guy we should really want

Dusty,

I don't see it happening. It appears Ireland is all about addressing the TE position right now but who the hell knows...

Dont get the Wheeler hate. 109 tkles, 3 sacks, 2 ff's, 6 passes defensed. That's playing for the stinking Raiders.

Playing for the stinking Raiders its easier to just sit back, relax, and collect an easy paycheck. But he didnt. The guy must be a real baller.

sounds like what everyone in here said couple years ago. burnett and dansby can ball, crowder, etc are soft lol changes so quickly

dusty, the Vikings cutting him doesn't mean jack...You had such a hard on for Cook and the Titans chose not to re-sign him...Duuh...And you never answered me from our last conversation...Why did you go from bill connors back to dusty bottoms??? Someone who changes his name on a blog tells me everything I need to know...Really...

wheeler decent player. prob play just like burnett did here. people got fired up when burnett came in though

IMO, allowing Fasano to walk could signal going high in the draft for a TE. Just doesnt make sense, after 5yrs of lacluster TE play, Ireland rolls the dice at TE again.

Im watching the first 3 picks of the draft to adequately fill the void.

FA wish list to finish things off

Fins MUST add at least one solid corner. Our corners suck- plenty of talent out there, especially with the recent cuts. Sean Smith can, and should, walk
Get a pass rush specialist. Love to land Freeney or Avril.
Add Winston if Long walks- At least two OL would be nice- our OL depth is terrible

And, I know this won't happen, but re-sign Bush. With the speed that we just paid big money for in Wallace, you could line Bush up anywhere- don't understand why we wouldn't utilize his speed.That's something we couldn't take advantage of before we added speed. And for 3 mil? The guy is a bargain. Sad to see the current regime undervaue the best offense player on the team... Very sad

montreal disagree all u want, sorry bro i dont want a 36 year old corner knock yourself out

Enjoy the day all. Got bills to pay.

dusty,

Even if Wheeler's a cheaper version of Burnett, it's an upgrade money wise and very solid decision.

vegas get over it, bush is a lion. its over. its miller time. agree on needing pass rusher and corners, cut those 2 garbage ones we have now to save cash and go get some legit guys before they are all gone

According to Shefter this morning on Mike & Mike, Phins are negotiating with Keller. He's not the best guy due to age but can be a good stop gap player til we finally find a worth TE. Probably in the draft. But, signing him would minimize the need.

Armando, Mark toronto & I were discussing cason a few weeks ago. Hes young, fast & can catch. All the things S. Smith isn't. Smith can't catch, tackle, find a ball in the air or change direction. It's not surprising S. Smith's bubble is bursting. Other teams notice what we fans have seen for years.

Notice how Miami signed 2 LB'ers & cut 2? Expect the same approach in FA. Expect Miami to sign at least 1 CB & cut Marshall or Patterson. I'd expect Patterson to go first. Don't be shocked to see Miami try to sign RFA's. They have the draft capitol to do it.

Ellerbe & Wheeler are cheaper than Dansby & Burnett. Everyone knows we haven't covered a te in half a decade. We got younger, cheaper & lost no cap space in the process.

A great 1st day as far as I'm concerned!

dusty, I don't look at the age...I look at productivity...He had 101 tackles and 3 picks last year...Had a SOLID season...That's what I look at...

agree yesteday, same player but cheaper and younger

Great job, Mando! As always, the best in town.

lol

LOL, apparently that Cox dude from Jax is on our radar...

Even if nothing else is done in fa, looks like the draft would be narrowed down a little to CB,TE, OT.

That still leaves room to add a wr with one of the 1st 5 picks.

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.

JJ

The voice of reason. That's what I'm saying. Is Cook worlds better than Fred Davis, Keller, or Brandon Myers?

I would say arguably worse, given what he has produced on the field. Rams can have him... Fins can spend less and still grab a good player, then look towards the draft.

ive heard reports going both ways, did grimes resign with atl?


Keller has been more productive than Myers. However Myers 'broke out' in 2012 and his best season is similar in terms of production to Kellers. He's also a bit younger.

I'd go with whomever is cheaper and give Clay and Egnew a year to prove us wrong. Ireland can still draft a TE in the 2nd or 3rd round if he see's someone he's sure of.

I would LOVE Dustin Keller. He is a playmaker.

IRELAND...IRELAND...IRELAND!!!!

vegas u fail to mention hes 3 years younger than all of those guys. dont like the fact that gibson is coming for a visit if it means bess is gone. if they signed gibson and kept bess also then that shows us a glimpse into the offense they are gonna throw at people this year.

kris u back on board?

I would rather give up a 2nd rounder for Pitta or a 4th rounder for Dixon ahead of Keller. Dixon would obviously come cheaper!

We have greatly improved our wildcard chances because we have significantly degraded the Ravens & the Steelers. Neither team wil liley make the playoffs opening up a spot for us. Cincy should breeze through their division.

#1, Cox would be OK but, I'd rather give up a #2 to get Sheilds from GB & draft the other starter. Keep Marshall around to play the slot.

Ireland shall from this day forth be know by the title....

GM FOR LIFE!!

cincy breeze,lol pitt and balt will still be loaded. with no avtivity on oline for fins im betting they go that way in round one

getting there Dusty....

who can be md @ Ireland after yesterday....

marshall cant play the slot or anywhere else cause his back is broke

good day for sure kris, now has to address corner issue. we have zero of them and would be awful currently with this roster of corners

Would have rather had Cook or Bennett but Keller is not a bad TE. Guy got injured last year, first time in his career. Davis might also be an option but Keller can get it done, even though he was a JET

LOL, I hear you...I said the same thing about Shields earlier...I would love Winfield though...

We're down to aprxmtly 9-10 million left to spend in fa. I really dont expect another significant moves until Ireland sees what happens with Long and Smith.

I feel Winston maybe the fallback option on Long and one of the other cb's a fallback option on Smith.

If Keller is signed, I expect Marshall or Patterson to fall creating more cap room. The can be replace more cheaply drafting a cb in the draft.

I would still expect a TE in the draft. Because I wouldnt expect to go into the season relying soley on Keller and Egnew.

Perhaps Cliff Avril or Michael Bennett to help wake ?

Also, there are enough free agent corners to stock the whole backfield... ( Asomough (sp), Grimes, Winfield, Cox , etc...)

disagree yesterday, long and smith arent wanted here. we already they arent good. he will sign keller and start to task of fixing our corners

Darlington said something about the Fins trading up in the draft...Could it be moving up for Milliner??? Certainly a possibility...Anyway, time for work. I'm out.

As much as I LOVED the Wallace signing....

I still think the best move of the day was FASANO signing with KC....

talk about adition by subtraction....LOVE IT!!!!

yeah and here in kc they are excited about him. i tried telling them he sucks but they think im just mad cause he left. hilarious

I posted a couple days ago, when looking at Cook's career numbers(4yrs), he didnt look like an upgrade over Fasano. Their numbers were pretty damn similar over the same period of time.

Cook has all of this athletic upside on paper, but, it has yet to pan out in play.

Why isnt Asomaugh on our radar? It was only a couple of years ago he was considered the best CB in the NFL, give him a respectable contract and I'll sign him. Maybe a change of scenary will do him good

that is hilarious....lol....

cincy breeze,lol pitt and balt will still be loaded. with no avtivity on oline for fins im betting they go that way in round one

Posted by: dusty bottoms | March 13, 2013 at 09:25 AM

Loaded? YEA OK LOLOLOL

This is the most uninformed post on this blog.

Half the Steelers roster is old, the other half is old & never healthy. That includes their QB.

Baltimore lost 3 LB'ers, their top WR & potentially their HOF caliber safety.

YEA LOADED! Get a clue!

Keep Doing Work Ireland!!

Another Day Like Yesterday, Today.. And The Fans Will Turn To Your Side.

We CUT Dansby!! Yes!!

Where's Craig?

Craig, Please Explain Why This Wasn't Going To Happen!!

Start Watching The Whole Game Craig!! Maybe You Will Learn Something!!

Dansby Quit Every 4th Qtr!! Dashi Knew That!! And Philbin Definitely Knew That!!

The Way It Is Looking The Fins Will Be Going OT In The First!! And From The Look Of It The Fins Can Get A Top 3 LT Prospect At #12. The Rams Are Actually Helping The Fins.

If someone had told me before free agency that we could sign Mike Wallace, Dannell Ellerbe, Brian Hartline, and possibly Dustin keller, I would've told them to stop living in fantasy world ...

I'm not dreaming, am I? Please tell me I'm not ..

Not crazy about the Clemons, Wheeler, or Starks signings but whatever - the others more than balance this off.

If Keller signs then our first pick is between Xavier Rhodes or one of the three OTs if they get down that far.

By the way, Damontre Moore had a decent pro day. Not saying he's a must have but he's back in the convo at 12. How does a guy go from 12 to 19 reps on the bench? Must've not tried at the combine I guess

Dusty,

I believe Ireland would bring both Long and Smith back if he could do it on the cheap. Great move by Ireland.

"My way or the highway"!

yesterday cook much younger and just last year they caught same amount of balls except cook had 200 more yards. speed is huge now at te pos. he would of made this offense so much better

Bottoms- get over your mancrush with Cook and I will (reluctantly) let Bush go. Here's the difference- if the Fins were smart they could have kept Bush as a reasonable price and utitlized his speed the right way for a change. Miller is still completely unproven and Bush was a leader in the lockerroom. Chemistry is important.

Cook, on the other hand, was GROSSLY overpaid by the Rams and has been inconsistent since he entered the NFL. Give me a Fred Davis anyday at a much lower price. Looks the the Fins will go hard at Keller, and he's still an upgrade at a much lower price.

I do agree with you on Bess though. No reason to move your most consistent possession receiver. If the add Gibson, they should still find a way to keep Bess and let the chips fall where they may in camp. More is always better going into camp and there's still room for both of them cuz Gibson is a nice red zone target

if u mean like half there value then yeah i agree. but long will be a ram today and im sure smith will find some team to panick and pay him


We're down to aprxmtly 9-10 million left to spend in fa. I really dont expect another significant moves until Ireland sees what happens with Long and Smith.

Posted by: Yesterday's Gone 4Ever! | March 13, 2013 at 09:27 AM

If you noticed w/the LB'er signings, they cut 1 and signed 1 to pay for them. they actually saved cap space!

The same thing will occur with CB. Miami will abolsutely, I'm convinced they will sign a CB & cut Patterson & use his money to pay the new guy.

This is a smart tactic Ireland has deployed. Sign big contracts but dump bigger ones to pay for them.

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