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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.]



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im out for awhile fellas, "lol" if u want to take the bet to back up what u say we can set the account up today with money in it. let me know dude, peace out. hope when i return we have more new fins! go finssssssssss

Bess is on the books for 3.4MIL this year, nothing wrong with that. He is a UFA next year so keep the man around this year. He is a straight up BALLA!

Posted by: DC Dolfan | March 13, 2013 at 09:51 AM

I don't think people are upset over the fact that they dumped Dansby & Burnett. I think it's that everyone thinks LB'er wasn't the main targets & the money isn't being spent wisely.

When you look at the contracts signed & the contracts dumped, it's a wash. I don't think people realize that yet.

LOL @ 10:14am, that I credit Dashi with. He's was screaming switch out the LB from the beginning. Good call Dashi, you were prescient.


The 2 guys signed maybe for more years vested but per year salaries aren't a wash at all the 2 guys coming in are far less cheaper over the duration of their predecessors contracts.

Dansby was who I wanted that year in FA and he was one of my biggest disappointments. I have been watching him since his Auburn days and liked his skills but in Miami those skills never showed up and he wasn't consistent at all. He was going to be the 2nd highest paid MLB in the year over the next 2 years yet his play is good to average most weeks. He never made plays that caused turnovers, etc.

Burnett was brought in to be this coverage LB and he was anything but that. However I think he actually was better then Dansby last year as a whole. Dansby and Burnett will no be missed and they were upgraded.

DC, I was also on board with Dansby. Dashi & I actually had it out with Craig last week over the very same topic. Dansby specifically had to go.

I've always been a proponent of getting rid of them. And as I pointed out last night, we've all have been.

How many times the last few years have we been whining about not being able to cover TE's?

We've all known the problem, not just Dashi. He's just the 1 whose been beating the topic to death LOL. And that's his right!

Andy, I agree. I know we actually saved. I was just trying to not get into specific amounts. We surely saved some money.

And you're 100% right. Dansby & Burnett were getting paid like they were game changers creating turnovers. They've been tacklers, no more.

This is w2hat Dashi & I explained to Craig Last week. Anyone can play LB'er with SOlia & Starks & mop up tackles. Those guys were grossly over paid for production.

I said it last week. Ask Dansby to restructure, if not, say BUH BYE!

Next year we may not see these types of guys released. Ireland did good job with LBs

Read a report that the Pack are offering Jennings 10MIL to come back.

these moves set up our draft beautifully. now with the 5 picks we can reach a little bit if there is a very good player we like that might not be ranked 12th over all but with 2 picks in round 2 and 2 in round 3 we are assured of addressing all our needs.
s, cb, te, ot
I am fired up and can’t wait…..

Great job on the linebackers. every game last year i was saying hit someone already...cause a freaking fumble. the did not make plays...

Ireland & Aonte are on their game.

The guaranteed money in these contracts over the life of the contract is VERY MANAGABLE. Harlines too. All with the exception of Wallace have been 12-15 over 5 years. Easy to move $3 mil around if need be.

Even if a guy gets dumped, the hits won't be as bad! Will make restructring & extending latter years alot easier.


Exactly. Those guys weren't cutting it. I was very surprised by the Ellerbe and Wheeler signings but I was watching the NFL network about a week ago and Ellerbe was on and I was like he would be a great upgrade over Dansby but was like that's stupid talk to think it would happen and what do you know he signs and Dansby is cut. Amazing.

Ellerbe reminds me of another player who went undrafted played his rookie contract out and went on to be a very good player when he was signed as a FA and that player is Antonio Pierce. He became the heart of the Giants defense and captain. He never forgot his beginnings regardless of getting paid.

I think Ellerbe will be a very good player in Miami for years.


According to NFL.com, the Raiders "definitely" want free agent LB Philip Wheeler back.
Touted as one of the potential steals of free agency, Wheeler is gaining more and more buzz. By the time his market settles, he might not be much of a steal at all. Wheeler graded out as Pro Football Focus' No. 6 4-3 outside linebacker last season, one of the few bright spots on a rancid Raiders' defense.


Mike Wallace will go into the Hall of Fame as a Dolphin

Wow Dusty, $10M for Jennings? I thought he looked like an $8M a year WR but a guy at almost 30 being offered $10M, you think he'd have to take it.



I Don't Expect People To Join The Ireland Train Just Yet. But Even His Detractors have To Be Happy With Some Of His Moves So Far. My Final Decision On Ireland Will Come After The 2nd Round. If Free Agency And The First 5 Picks Are Solid!! Ireland Would've Done His Job!! By Anybody's Standard!!

again great reporting, would love to see 2-3 more signings, don't go strong after gibson he would be a luxury with the deep WR class. Get a TE our number 12 is a stretch for the top TE and keller is a proven threat get a short term deal done with him for now. Sign vollmer or winston if possible and draft best tackle available in the 2nd or 3rd round. Get Derek Cox, Cason, Grimes, Keenan Lewis, Houston, who ever at a reasonable price and draft at least 2 CBs. Get a DE in the draft thats the deepest position and we can definitely find a rusher opposite wake in there.

Dansby's agent said 5 teams have contacted him ...

Those saying O line in round 1 - if Lane Johnson somehow mysteriously is still there at 12, you don't even let one second run off on your alloted time ... you make the pick..,.. best player in the draft IMO. Eric Fisher is 2nd.

Hopefully we wrap up TE (Keller) and at least one veteran CB rest of free agency. Also wont cry if we get Gibson and release Bess.

Now it's time to start throwing quality contracts at the wall and see what sticks.

Haters please have patience. I'm sure TE and CB are on the schedule. There's 32 teams out there and we can't have everyone.

Say what you want about Ireland but he's confident in his pricing and sticks to his guns. That's why Hartline and Moore didn't wait. They knew Ireland's offer wasn't going to change. Same should happen today with a couple of guys.

Patience, just remember the draft is still to come.

Draft possibilities are plentiful,

I keep hearing of 2 highly productive players who were considered top 5 players in the draft at one point which are Jarvis Jones and Chance Warmack.

Now I know adding Wheeler and Ellerbe and then Jarvis Jones seems like over kill but imagine the athleticism at LB. I expect Jarvis Jones to get back where he rightfully belongs which is top 10 after all is said and done but a guy can dream can't he.

Warmack I talked about earlier but imagine an interior of Incognito, Pouncey and Warmack.

Strange that Craig M isn't here....

the Dansby move must have ruined his high...

2 top 10 guys that are slipping for my last comment at 10:49 I meant.

Mark in Toronto, agreed. If Jake is not re signed and Lane is there, I don't see the fans upset if we take him. Darlington says the Dolphins draft is "intriguing". Makes me wonder what they have up their sleeves

Kris, I think Craig M was put in the timeout box yesterday by Armando, like I was. Couldn't post off my I Phone app at all. Oh well, can't complain, Aando lets us get away with a lot, sometimes it goes to far. No one to blame but myself

I have always liked Bess, but he is the only wide out I know that actually looses yards after a catch.

think maybe Ireland got a little payback on Jeff Fischer by showing interest in Cook. Maybe he wanted the Rams to overpay.

Strange that Craig M isn't here....

the Dansby move must have ruined his high...

Posted by: Kris | March 13, 2013 at 10:50 AM

I think his ego is in the shop for repair. He'll return.

Bobby D....

Nothing wrong with taking responsibility.....although I didn't know there was such a thing....

is thatwhat happens to Odin when he disappears for long streches..then post non-stop for days (nights)....hmmm

any way...like you said....we all get out of control sometimes...myself included.....good on Armando for trying to keep it clean in here....

Only 3 mil for a disruptive threat like Reggie Bush? If he signs elsewhere for that little, we're idiots once again.

Still not sure these LB moves are an upgrade. Say what you want about Dansby but 134 tackles? That's a ton more than Ellerbe had.

And, until the Dolphins find CBs who can cover and catch, their defense will continue to be one dimensional.


The thought crossed my mind too lol. But I think Miami had genuine interest but I think they wanted to give Cook the money that was used to sign Phillip Wheeler. Just my opinion.

I was thinking about Our running backs situation and was thinking Monte Ball would be a nice 1, 2 punch with miller. 3 rd pick......hmmmm?


Consider that Dansby played in a 4-3 defense and Ellerbe played in a 3-4. So the tackle numbers are going to be different. Also consider that you know who tallies tackles? The teams own stat department. Tackles are basically an unofficial stat so they mean nothing on paper. I look at it like this Dansby could of been credited with 200 tackles but he wasn't a difference maker.

If Miami is exposed and can't stop the run next year then you will see Dansby was more valuable then we thought but I don't see that being the case at all.

bobby, I read the same reports about the draft. I'd like the team to fill their holes with as many vets as possible then just take BPA in the draft.

But the Darlington - intrigue bit has me curious ... couldn't be just as simple as selecting an OT at 12 ...

'Ravens released SS Bernard Pollard.
The purge continues in Baltimore. The hard-hitting Pollard had a $3.25 million cap figure and a $500K roster bonus in 2013, but was a core piece of the defense and is just 28 years old. The Super Bowl Champs have now lost a stunning six starters off their 2012 defense. Perhaps they're preparing to make an offer to retain Ed Reed. Pollard will not hurt for suitors after racking up 98 tackles, two sacks, one interception and six pass breakups in 13 starts a year ago.'

The Ravens are totally f#cked. LOVE this guy!!!

I agree that for level of production Dansby and Burnett never delivered star results but were paid as such. Thankfully they were replaced.

Still not sure these LB moves are an upgrade. Say what you want about Dansby but 134 tackles? That's a ton more than Ellerbe had.

Posted by: Bruce007 | March 13, 2013 at 11:02 AM

Think of it like this, Dansby's 134 tkles may be the most "LACKLUSTER" performance in nfl history. How many of these were "IMPACT" stops?

Had Dansby made "IMPACT PLAYS" his actual number of tackles would be "LOWER". The defense would be on the field less for "DANSBY'S LACKLUSTER LOW I,PACT STAT PADDING TACKLES."

So ask yourself, were Dansby's high tackle productivity of "HIGH IMPACT" play, or the defense just spending "FAR TOO MUCH TIME" on the field?

Kris, I think Craig M was put in the timeout box yesterday by Armando, like I was. Couldn't post off my I Phone app at all. Oh well, can't complain, Aando lets us get away with a lot, sometimes it goes to far. No one to blame but myself

Posted by: bobbyd12 | March 13, 2013 at 10:56 AM

I don't wish that on anyone but, that would be hilarious! He's been riding me or weeks about being YG, took a shot at my kid, etc.

Even openly asked the Herald to ban me & look what happens? He's the one in the penalty box!

See? Maybe Karma does catch up with a person!

Moving on.

We Need Playmakers,

Pollard has a place in the league for sure. He's a great in the box defender and Patriot dismantler just ask Brady (knee) and Ridley (fumble, concussion). He will find a home somewhere that needs a safety who can play the run and lay the wood.

WNP, Pollard, 4 teams, 8 years, red flags??

Let's trade for Revis!!!!!!!!!

WNP, they are totally screwed. However, if you listen to Dusty, the Ravens are "Loaded".

Andy, agreed with Ellerbe v Dansby ... based on last year it wasn't even close.

And throughout the money games Baltimore played, Lewis was getting all the pub and got to dance like a jackazz but the one elevating his old arse was Ellerbe the whole time. The guy runs a 4.6 at MLB which is darn fast for the position (Jon Bostic of FSU posted a 4.61 at this year's combine) and plays that fast. he covers sideline to sideline which is something Dansby couldn't do anymore. he is every bit the classic cover 2 MLB and will man that big spot in the middle of the field on his way to next year's pro bowl.

the te's will think 2ice before going across the mid now.

The fire sale continues in Baltimore....

I guess Ozzie will attempt to rebuild the Ravens once again...

Steelers are down...Ravens are down....its now or never for Cincy to make a run @ the division...it will be a small window imo....maybe 2 years...3 tops....

The FINS need tobe eying that WILD CARD spot for the same reasons....but in 3 years...we should be competing for the divisio year in and year out...Brady can't play forever.....

Mark, a couple weeks back you had Ellerbe as your dream signing. You must be thrilled.

Seems like the Rams not in a hurry to announce signing Long...

basically handcuffs the Fins......

Great work Mando! Keep it up. Nice read.


Ellerbe is a humble, hungry, undrafted player who will always have that chip on his shoulder! He reminds me a lot of Antonio Pierce. He was undrafted and productive and on the verge of becoming a very good player for the Skins and then signed a deal with the Giants and had a very good career there to go along with being team captain and leader.

Great addition!

Trade for Revis?

First of all, name 1 afc east wr other than Wallace(Dolphins:)) demanding double coverage? Didnt think so, so we dont need a giveaway a slew of picks for Darrelle Revis.

It would be different if we were a sb team and only a shutdown cb away.

Andy - I see you mentioned Warmack and while he's as good a OG we'll see in a long time is he a fit in Miami's scheme? As far as athletic guards go wouldn't cooper be a better fit?

With that said, I would prefer a more impact player with that 12th pick. I want someone that is either going to score points or wreak havoc for the opposing offense.

Since FA has started my list of hopefull picks now goes like this:

not in any order -
Tavon Austin
Keenan Allen
Corderelle Patterson
Barkavious Mingo
Dion Jordan
Ziggy Ansah

Looks like the Ravens are in rebuild or is it reload mode. Looks more like rebuild.

Kris, Newsome said after the superbowl he won't make the mistake of trying to resign older players to repeat. He vowed to get younger.

Steelers are also in trouble, that Division is Cincys barring something ridiculous happening.

Mami SHOULD have their eye on the wildcard. It's there for the taking if Ireland can add at least 2 CB's & 1 TE between the rest of free agency & the draft.

Pollard has been released. He's a Patriot injury machine, is he worth a look?


True but maybe this guy wanted WR money too.


Dusty, Ravens lost Boldin, Pollard, Lewis, Kruger, Ellerbe, soon to be Reed & Williams.

Please remind me how they're "loaded" I forgot!


Warmack and Cooper seemed to have flip flopped somehow but yeah either would be great I guess. Naturally I have seen Warmack play a whole lot more. It's a pretty big deal when a OG is getting face time on College Gameday etc. But from I hear Cooper is the real deal as well. I guess from a scheme fit Warmack maybe not a fit but for all that Incognito isn't exactly athletic he's a big mauler type too. So not sure but was just throwing it out there.

I think WR is not something Miami addresses in the draft early or at all. Wallace, Hartline and Bess is a very good trio and perhaps the best in the division even if Welker resigns (debateable). I honestly applaud Ireland for going this route because he clearly doesn't have a supreme eye for talent at WR or TE.

He has found some nice linemen Pouncey, Martin (hopefully gets stronger/better), so O-line is a need but so is pass rusher and all those guys you name are boom/bust but worth it at #12.

First, congrats to Dashi. Sure you're happy Dansby is gone. Actually getting younger at LB was my favorite move they made so far.

They have Keller visiting as well, which would be a good move. I'd like them to take a look at the TE from the Raiders as well (can't think of name atm). Interesting to see what happens at CB, doesn't look like anyone thinks Smith is as good as he thinks he is.

Looks like they are drafting an OT/DBs high. Maybe TE/WR. Still more FA to go...

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