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2 posts from May 2, 2013

May 02, 2013

Bryant McKinnie to the Ravens

He visited the Dolphins. Then he visited the Chargers. He got offers from both. So, of course, it makes sense the Baltimore Ravens landed Bryant McKinnie.

The Super Bowl champions had been hovering over the negotiations for the veteran left tackle the entire time -- in stealth mode, so to speak. And when neither the Dolphins nor the Chargers offered significant deals to the former University of Miami player, he went back to the team with which he spent the last two years.


The Ravens announced the deal is for two years.

McKinnie, 33, did not start any games during the regular season last year. Basically, he was fat and out of shape the entire season. He was also in offensive coordinator Cam Cameron's doghouse. But Cameron was fired late in the season and McKinnie got in shape.

He was then inserted into the starting lineup for the playoffs and neutralized talented pass rushers Dwight Freeney (Colts), Von Miller (Broncos) and Aldon Smith (49ers).

The Dolphins were shopping for McKinnie because they believed they could get him as either a starter or experienced backup to Jonathan Martin. The club is also trying to sign a veteran right tackle.

Despite their apparent need, the Dolphins didn't want to overspend for McKinnie. His camp told The Miami Herald they were never in the same ballpark with the Dolphins. And the offer from San Diego wasn't any more appealing, obviously.

By the way, Jared Gaither, cut by the Chargers earlier this year is still on the market. But The Herald's Barry Jackson is reporting the Dolphins have shown no interest in him as of this afternoon.

How the trades are playing out for the Dolphins

Within the last year the Dolphins have made three intriguing (some would say controversial) trades that exchanged players for draft picks -- the present in exchange for the future.

Well, the future has arrived in the form of actual people. So now we can look at what the Dolphins got in return for trading Brandon Marshall, Vontae Davis and Davone Bess.

In the spring of 2012, the Dolphins traded Marshall to the Chicago Bears for two third-round draft picks, one in 2012 and one in 2013.

The Dolphins used the pick last year in a trade down with San Diego but the outgrowth of that trade was the selection of tight end Michael Egnew with the 78th overall selection and the selection of receiver B.J. Cunningham with a sixth-round pick, the 183rd overall selection.

This year, Chicago's third rounder was the 82 overall pick.

The Dolphins traded that pick to New Orleans for two fourth-round selections, Nos. 106 and 109 overall. The Dolphins then picked TE Dion Sims with the 106th overall selection.

The Dolphins traded 109th overall selection, a fifth-rouner (146 overall), and a seventh-rounder (224 overall to Green Bay for the 93th overall pick, which is a third rounder. With that pick, the Dolphins selected Will Davis, the cornerback out of  Utah State.

Bottom line for the Marshall trade?

The Dolphins traded Marshall, a fifth-rounder, and a seventh-rounder for Michael Egnew, B.J. Cunningham, Dion Sims and Will Davis.

The Dolphins traded Bess, a staple at the slot receiver position since 2008, plus their fourth-rounder (111 overall) and a seventh-rounder (217 overall) to the Cleveland Browns during draft weekend. The Browns sent Miami a fourth-rounder (104 overall) and a fifth-rounder (164 overall).

The Dolphins used the fourth-round pick on linebacker Jelani Jenkins and the fifth-round pick on running back Mike Gillislee. 

Bottom line fof the Bess trade?

The Dolphins traded Bess, a fourth-rounder and a seventh-rounder for Jelani Jenkins and Mike Gillislee.

The Vontae Davis trade is much easier to follow. The Dolphins traded their former first-round pick to the Colts for a a second-round pick. The trade delivered the 54th overall selection in this draft.

The Dolphins used that selection on another cornerback -- Boise State's Jamar Taylor.

Bottom linne for the Davis trade?

The Dolphins traded Vontae Davis for Jamar Taylor.

It's going to be interesting how all this plays out eventually.

Marshall went to the Pro Bowl in Chicago as he had the year before for the Dolphins. Egnew was a tremendous disappointment as a rookie and B.J. Cunningham was cut last year. It's seemingly up to Sims and Davis to redeem this swap.

But you must remember, the Dolphins got rid of Marshall because he didn't fit their culture. They didn't like him arguing with teammates (Chad Henne, Davis, Igor Olshansky) or coaches. They were concerned about his domestic violence issues.

So, I suppose, they would argue trading Marshall helped team chemistry and whatever talent it brings is a plus. I would say if Marshall, who has not had any reported problems with teammates or the law in Chicago, continues to be a solid citizen for the Bears, this deal will be judged solely on talent. So the onus is on Egnew, Sims and Davis to bring some sort of return for Miami's move because Marshall has so far done that for the Bears.

The Bess trade is interesting. He had an injury issue with the team at the end of last season that seemed to cause friction. He wasn't going to get nearly as many targets this year with the addition of Mike Wallace and Brandon Gibson. So the Dolphins were comfortable not having him.

Of course, that assumes no one is injured this year. Having Bess as a No. 4 wide receiver is a solid fall back option. It certainly provides more certainty than Rishard Matthews, or Jeff Fuller or Armon Binns. So there is a bit of a gamble here.

Meanwhile, the Dolphins got a solid special teams performer and perhaps passing-down contributor in Jenkins. Gillislee? He has the feel of a special teams guy at best. It's going to be hard for him to be on the 53-man roster, in my opinion, based on his play at the University of Florida. He is good injury insurance, however.

The trade I'm most encouraged about, believe it or not, is the Davis for Taylor trade.

People I speak with around the league seem to love the Taylor pick. Jeff Ireland really liked that pick, too. There are whispers within the organization that if Taylor is consistently for the Dolphins what he showed at times at Boise State, he can win a starting job in Miami and be better than Davis.

If that's the case, the Dolphins would be getting good value for the trade -- starting cornerback for starting cornerback. If not?

You know the answer.