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2 posts from April 30, 2013

April 30, 2013

Dolphins wanted Josh Boyce over Jelani Jenkins

Post-draft stories of players expecting to be on one team and winding up with others are interesting to me.

I have two such stories for you involving the Miami Dolphins.

Both involve Florida Gators and, ironically, in the end the Dolphins ended up not picking a Florida player they liked while landing a Florida player they liked less than someone else. This is the story of former Florida tight end Jordan Reed and former Florida linebacker Jelani Jenkins.

The Dolphins, it seems, wanted Reed. According to a source close to Reed, Miami got on the phone with him during the third round and told him they were going to select him with their second of two third-round picks (No. 82 overall).

So Reed was on stand-by waiting for the 82nd pick and hearing his name called to the Dolphins when he saw Miami had traded the pick to New Orleans. He ended up going with the 85th pick to the Washington Redskins.

The Dolphins obviously thought a deal sending the 82nd pick in exchange for two fourth-round picks (106 and 109) was better value than picking Reed. And that was that.

The Dolphins had a high fourth-round grade on TCU receiver Josh Boyce. They got on the phone with Boyce at the top of the fourth round and told him they were going to select him with the seventh pick of the round, No. 104 overall.

But as soon as Boyce got off the phone with Miami, the New England Patriots called and told him they were going to pick him with the fifth overall pick in the round. The Patriots had acquired that pick earlier in a trade with Minnesota.

The Dolphins resorted to Plan B and picked Jenkins with the 104th selection.

"As soon as I got off the phone the Patriots called me,” Boyce told The Fort Worth-Star Telegram. "You never know. I’m just glad God gave me the opportunity to get drafted. I can go forward from there."

Boyce is a rare blend of size (206 pounds) and speed (4.49) who also happened to produce in college. He caught 66 passes for 891 yards with seven touchdowns in 2012. He had 61 catches for 998 yards and nine touchdowns in 2011. He caught a 94-yard pass against West Virginia last season.

The Patriots, obviously trying to add weapons for Tom Brady, must have seen an opportunity. The fact they snatched Boyce from the Dolphins?

File it under post-draft stories that always come out after the fact.

Read more here: http://sportsblogs.star-telegram.com/colleges/2013/04/former-tcu-receiver-josh-boyce-was-thinking-he-was-headed-to-miami-for-about-two-minutes-just-before-the-new-england-pa.html#storylink=cpy

Bryant McKinnie visit could signal legit interest, or not

I was told last week by a Dolphins source the team would have no interest in Bryant McKinnie as a left tackle option because ...

1. There were weight concerns. (He was overweight much of the 2012 season before finally getting in shape just in time for the playoffs with Baltimore).

2. There were culture concerns. (McKinnie is a vet used to doing things his own way. He's had issues with coaches before. Joe Philbin doesn't love that sort of stuff).

3. There were off-field concerns. (McKinnie hasn't been consistently in trouble with the law or anything. In fact, other than an arrest in 2008 in Miami for getting into a fight and then resisting arrest without violence while at a local club during a night of partying, he's been clean lately. The issue is McKinnie's penchant for partying. He has been known to drop $100,000 on liquor in one night. And, as a reminder, the Miami Dolphins are headquartered very near to Miami and South Beach),

3. He's going to be 34 years old. And if the Dolphins want him on a one-year deal, he's going to cost at least $3-$4 million.

So I was pretty confident the Dolphins wouldn't be interested in McKinnie because I was told as much and because of the reasons outlined above.

Well, Bryant McKinnie visited the Dolphins on Monday.

And aside from making me look dumb, the fact the Dolphins are kicking the tires on the veteran left tackle speaks to a handful of possibilities -- not all of them obvious to the average observer.

Possibility 1. The team is simply kicking the tires to see if McKinnie is even a remote option. The visit Monday was said to include a physical. It's called due diligence. It's a date. It's not a marriage.

Possibility 2. The team is trying to gain leverage as it prepares to take another run at Branden Albert. If general manager Jeff Ireland is going to go back to the Chiefs (again) he can't be perceived as having no option other than landing Albert. So getting McKinnie to visit is good for everyone. It gives the perception that McKinnie is an legit option -- even if he really isn't. And that's good for Miami. And it gives the perception that teams are interested in McKinnie -- even if they really aren't. And that's good for McKinnie's market. So feeler visits help everyone.

Possibility 3. The team is trying to gain leverage on Eric Winston. Remember that aside from looking for a left tackle, Miami has a choice of signing a right tackle and putting Jonathan Martin at left tackle. That would mean needing a right tackle. Winston is the most viable right tackle choice out there but the club and he haven't seen eye-to-eye on what it would take to make the idea work. A little leverage doesn't hurt that process.

Possibility 4. The Dolphins are seriously interested in McKinnie. If this is the option, then the Dolphins see McKinnie as a stopgap guy that played well in the playoffs even as he approaches the end of his career. They would be banking they can milk at least a year out of the guy. By the way, if this is the truth, then the Dolphins are seriously down on Martin as a left tackle option.

McKinnie, by the way, texted the Baltimore Sun and told reporter Aaron Wilson that the visit in Miami went well. Yet, no offer was made and McKinnie might take other visits, namely with San Diego.


I still find it hard to believe Bryant McKinnie is a Joe Philbin kind of guy. I find it hard to believe that Jeff Ireland, who doesn't like adding 30-somethings, much less 30-somethings with a checkered history, hasn't learned his lesson that it rarely goes well.

Remember Chad Johnson. How'd that turn out?

And having said that, the Dolphins indeed signed Johnson. So maybe they haven't learned a darn thing from such experiences.