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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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Mark in Toronto....

Whats up with your affinity for garbage players....Fasano sucks man....makes a play 2...maybe 3 times a year tops....

were you a coal worker in a former life....so now you root for the guys that "try hard".....

SKILL beats heart 90% maybe 85 % of the time....I like those odds....

Posted by: Kris | March 13, 2013 at 01:00 PM

Your dead wrong on this, I played the game and I beat guy with far more skill than me, with just a will. Yea you have to be able to play the game but the guy that wants it more usual gets it.

Some guys missing the point on Cook. He isn't a "traditional" TE. He is a hybrid/slot type TE. I can see exactly what kind of offense Philbin wants to run here. Cook would have been a nice addition. That said, I hope we can sign Keller now. 3rd best TE available behind Bennett and Cook.

Omar Kelly is a fool of gigantic proportions and I just like to point it out publicly as much as possible.

His newest idiocy? It's obvious the guy was in good with Burnett and Dansby who were both locker room cancers. Holding meetings in the corner of the locker room , questioning the coach in front of the team every chance they got. "Leaders" do not behave this way. They go to the coach behind closed doors and voice their concerns there. THEY DO NOT, however, talk about the coach behind his back to anyone who will listen and try to undermine his program because THEY don't believe in it.

That's where Omar comes in, he bit into it hook, line ,and sinker. He was all about creating a united front against the coach because Dansby and Burnett drug him into their little circle of trust. He is nothing else if not insecure and needs players to like him for that reason alone so he brown noses the tough guys in order to feel accepted. He feels he's gettng the inside scoop but the problem is he never sees that the pattern and he constantly gets inside info from losers on the out.

He reported that the Dolphins made a mistake because they had Wheeler in last season and chose to go with Guyton. Armando JUST REPORTED that Wheeler himself said he chose Oakland because he thought he would have a better chancer to start.

Keep on keeping on Omar, you're doing a wonderful job.

bobby I don't see it. Are you saying Cook was misused in Tenn? He averaged 2 tds a year and 29.1 yards per game. I don't see how this guy was considered an upgrade over Fasano. And he's not a good blocker? Just not seeing what others were. I guess we would have been paying for potential?

Okay, need to be productive, be back in a bit.

easy 78. omar kelly hates bernett and vis avis. bernett wanted 2 fight him.

and i'd pix oomar.lol

HOW DOES THIS SOUND? IF WE CAN SIGN KELLER AT TIGHTEND THAN GET AUSTIN AT#12(I AGREE WITH TEXAS DOLFAN) WE WILL HAVE THE DEEP THREAT(WALLACE) THE INTER MEDIATE (HARTLINE) THE SEEM (KELLER) AND THE UNDERNEATH (BESS) AND AUSTIN. AUSTIN WOULD ALSO BE THE 3RD SUB 4.4 GUY AMONGST THE RECEIVERS AND HE CAN COME OUT OF THE BACKFIELD AGAINST LB. ALL OF THESE OPTIONS CREATE MISMATCHES FOR EVERY DEFENSE THAT FACES THE DOLPHINS. IN THE DRAFT GET GOOD DEFENSIVE PLAYERS AND ANOTHER TE LATER. NOW IF WE DON'T GET KELLER THAN THE AUSTIN CHOICE CANNOT HAPPEN UNLESS WE GET ANOTHER TE IN FA. BOTTOM LINE THIS ORGANIZATION WANTS TO WIN AND WIN THIS YEAR. BARRING INJURY I SEE 10/11 WINS. GO FINS!! KEEP IT UP JEFFY GOOD JOB SO FAR!

four letter LT / DB. can't stop the pass or protect your passer your not winning anything.

The New York Daily News reports free agent Brandon Gibson is expected to "continue his free agent tour" after meeting with the Jets.
Per ace beat writer Manish Mehta, the Jets' offer "may not be good enough right now." It continues Gang Green's rough early start to free agency, but it's quite possible Gibson is overestimating his value. We wouldn't rule out an eventual deal with the Jets.
Related: Jets
Source: Manish Mehta on Twitter
Mar 13 - 2:32 PM

I'm shocked that a WR wouldn't want to play for the Jets & their Sanchise QB. Nice draft pick Trannybaum...I love that they suck again!!! Now if only the Pats could crumble....Not happening so fast.

WNP - A start would be Wes Welker leaving and I've read that he's in serious talks with the Broncos.

Just read that Brandon Gibson is coming to Miami and that the Jets offer wasn't good enough. Source from Sun Sentinel's Omar Kelly

'Some guys missing the point on Cook. He isn't a "traditional" TE. He is a hybrid/slot type TE. I can see exactly what kind of offense Philbin wants to run here. Cook would have been a nice addition. That said, I hope we can sign Keller now. 3rd best TE available behind Bennett and Cook.'

Bobby,

I get that he's a hybrid TE but in four years where was the all of the production in terms of catches, yardage, & TD's??? The guy just got paid over $7 Million a year to be a 'playmaker' but yet where are all the BIG plays. It's absurd. Bennett had a better year & only got $5 Million a year.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reports the Broncos are in "serious talks" with free agent Wes Welker, and are "trying to hammer out an agreement."
Per Schefter, a resolution is expected Wednesday. It's possible it's a leverage ploy from an increasingly restless Welker camp, but it would be an act of war in the Peyton Manning/Tom Brady rivalry if true. The move would be damaging to both Welker and Eric Decker's fantasy value, but a huge boon for a team with a Super Bowl or bust mentality.
Related: Broncos
Source: Adam Schefter on Twitter
Mar 13 - 2:50 PM

Would LOVE to see Welker leave NE. However, in the end, I think he stays.

If the Dolphins sign Gibson they will most likely cut Bess. I love Bess but would be ok with the move because Gibson is younger, taller and faster.

"If the Dolphins sign Gibson they will most likely cut Bess. I love Bess but would be ok with the move because Gibson is younger, taller and faster."

Brain,

It's definitely a possibility.

"Buccaneers agreed to terms with FS Dashon Goldson on a five-year contract."

Wow. Can't believe the Niners let him go.

If we sign Gibson, why do we need to cut Bess?, who would our 4th WR be, Philbin wants 4 WR Sets and Bess is not that expensive this year

Keller, Gibson and a CB can all be had for about $14M, then drop Patterson and his $4.4M Cap Contract and we are in good shape for the Draft

If that is the way we go then OL, and DE are going to be our picks in the first two rounds of the draft most likely, followed by another TE and some more CB's to compete with our current ones

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