The first thing everyone thought when the Dolphins re-signed Brian Hartline and added receivers Mike Wallace and Brandon Gibson was that Davone Bess was on the outs.
The Dolphins denied it.
When coach Joe Philbin was asked if Bess was in the team's long-term plans he said:
“Absolutely. Yeah," Philbin said. "As you guys know, I envision us bringing 10 or 12 guys to training camp. We’re going to get a lot of reps as we see and we’re going to let guys go out there and compete and earn spots and take it from there."
Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland also said Bess would not be traded.
Well, the Chicago Sun-Times just reported the Dolphins are in talks with various teams, most notably the Cleveland Browns, about trading Davone Bess. The newspaper also reported the compensation being discussed is mid-round compensation at best.
The Herald's Adam Beasley confirmed Bess is being shopped. And he is also reporting a trade is more likely than not.
Bess is under contract for one more year and is scheduled to be a free agent after 2013. A deal would likely include a new contract for Bess.
So what could this mean?
I mean aside from the fact one cannot believe anything an NFL team, it's coach or GM say ...
If the Dolphins deal Bess, they could be planning the acquisition of the playmaking West Virginia slot receiver either with the No. 12 pick in the draft or with a draft trade up.
I was on a national writers' mock draft Tuesday and Austin went to the New York Jets with the No. 9 overall pick.
Texas A&M wide receiver Ryan Swope, a favorite of former coach and Dolphins offensive coordinator Mike Sherman, also becomes a serious possibility. (This makes more sense to me).
Bess, who caught 61 passes for 778 yards in 2012, cannot be pleased by this news. If he isn't dealt, it becomes clear to everyone what we all assumed but the Dolphins denied: Bess is a man on the outs in the Miami offense.
If Bess is not dealt, the Dolphins could easily cut him. He is going to cost $3.433 million against the cap in 2013. The Dolphins can save $2.633 million by simply cutting him. They would take a $750,000 cap hit. Obviously this is not the best option, but it would open the roster spot.
Me? I'd be surprised if Davone Bess remains with the Dolphins past this weekend.