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3 posts from April 23, 2013

April 23, 2013

Dolphins uniforms leaked right here

The Dolphins new uniforms will be unveiled Thursday, along with the helmet.

But as the Jacksonville Jaguars unveiled their new unis today, they accidently leaked the Miami uniforms as well. And the pictures, sent to me courtesy Dolphins in Depth contributor Joe Alvarez, are below.

The other day when I spent some time with Dolphins owner Stephen Ross and CEO Mike Dee, they joked with me about the new orange pants and aqua jersey combination. Yes, they were kidding. When they turned serious they said that the new Dolphins look will be "clean."

That's the only thing they'd say to me about it.

Well, there's more to say. But I'll let the pictures tell the story. These are the Dolphins new uniforms below. There will only be two combinations this year. There will be NO aqua on aqua like in the past and there will be NO orange jersey this year.

Enjoy ...

Or rip away ...

Unileak1

Unileak2

 

Dolphins seriously exploring trade-down market

The Miami Dolphins have spent the past couple of days phoning various other NFL teams trying to gauge interest in the No. 12 overall selection as they try to prepare themselves for an attempt to trade down from their first round selection, multiple NFL sources are telling me.

Although the Dolphins have perhaps a handful of players they would be satisfied taking in the first round of the draft, which begins Thursday at 8 p.m., they clearly believe some of those players will be available and thus be a better value later in the first round.

It's impossible to know what players exactly the Dolphins have eyes on, so to speak, particularly for later in the round. But these are some of the possibilities:

Cornerback D.J. Hayden of Houston.

Safety Kenny Vaccaro of Texas.

Tight end Tyler Eifert of Notre Dame.

Defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson of Missouri.

Defensive tackle Sylvester Williams of North Carolina.

Guard Jonathan Cooper of North Carolina.

And yes, Manti Te'o of Notre Dame.

The fact the Dolphins are clearly doing much more work on trade down scenarios and not trade up scenarios suggests two things:

One: The club is likely exploring ways of retrieving a possible second-round pick in the exchange because it may give up one of its current second round picks to Kansas City for LT Branden Albert between now and Friday. Trading down, getting a late first-rounder and getting back a second-rounder in the mix could mitigate the sting of giving up a second-rounder for Albert. It would leave the Dolphins with multiple second-round selections, which is what the team has today anyway.

Two: The Dolphins don't love their options at No. 12 and believe there is more value in players lower in the draft.

A caveat, however, is that the Dolphins aren't the only team wanting to trade down. Because this draft's strength and greatest value are expected in picks 15-17 to around 35ish, there may be several teams looking to trade down.

The more teams looking to trade down ... the harder it will be to trade down.

 

Contradictory reports on Albert, Dolphins contract

I do not understand the media. And I'm in the media.

Last week's heinous and cowardly terrorist attack at the Boston Marathon showed that the media can often go after the same story and come away with contradictory facts.

Remember the New York Post reporting there were 12 deaths when there were three? Remember CNN reporting there had been an arrest and the Boston police having to tweet there had been no arrests because, well, there hadn't been any? Remember the reports of the bomber being dark-skinned? A right winger? A lone wolf?

Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

Are you getting the drift?

We in the media often miss it. I am no exception.

Most of us are doing the best we can with the information others are willing to share. Some of us have good sources. Some of us ... not so much.

And that brings me to Branden Albert.

Remember him?

It's all we've been talking about for several days, it seems. And as the possibility of a trade happening is floating out there, the national media has caught wind and is also working the story.

But, lest you forget, sometimes excellent and well intentioned reporters get contradictory information from their sources. So I present to you the Monday night tweets from NFL Network's Ian Rapoport and ESPN's Chris Mortensen.

Rapoport tweeted that the Dolphins have agreed to pay Albert's contract demands, which are basically similar to those Houston LT Duane Brown got from the Texans last season. He added that the deal is thus merely waiting on KC -- obviously meaning the Dolphins and Chiefs have to agree to the trade compensation necessary to complete the deal.

Fine.

Mortensen, among the best in the business, reported quite the opposite several hours later. He said the Dolphins have been "turned off" by Albert's contract demands. And he said there has been little or no communication for two weeks. 

 Well now, that presents something of a contradiction in my mind. They both cannot be correct if they're saying polar opposite things -- that contract parameters are agreed to and that the contract parameters turned the Dolphins off.

I don't know who is correct. I don't have any tiebreaking information. 

I do know Brown got a seven-year $56.2 million deal in August of 2012 that included a six-year extension worth $53.4 million. Do the math: The extension averages out to $8.9 million per year. And the $22 million in guaranteed money is an armored truck load.

And the Dolphins are going to pay that and give up a draft pick, too?

If that is true, I smell desperation.

Look, Brown was the best left tackle in the AFC and perhaps the NFL last year. He's been elite for a couple of years now. He finally got recognized for his play with a Pro Bowl berth last year -- not that that is the truest measure of his worth. Bottom line, he's worth the money.

Albert, meanwhile, is a good player. There is no arguing that. Scouts say that. The metrics people at ProFootballFocus rated him the 11th best pass blocking left tackle last year. And from what I've seen, my eyes tell me he's solid.

But he's not $8.9 million a year plus a draft pick good. 

Aside from his play when he's healthy, I'd be worried about the guy's durability. Look, the primary reason the Dolphins didn't grease up Jake Long with the love and respect (read big-money contract that didn't question his durability) he wanted is because he had durability issues.

Well, in Albert's five NFL seasons he's played 16 games once -- that in 2011. Last year he missed five starts and three full games because of a back issue. Albert missed more starts than Long last year. 

And the Dolphins are going to give Albert nearly $9 million per year?

Let me put it this way: I hope Mort is right.