« Teams asking about Dolphins locker room at Combine | Main | Dolphins respond to Jordan, Wake, Wallace trade rumor »

Mike Pouncey is in the Dolphins future

In the days following the release of the Ted Wells report there were questions what the Dolphins would do with center Mike Pouncey.

Would they trade Pouncey because he was implicated, along with Richie Incognito and John Jerry, as the alleged tormentors of Jonathan Martin?

Would they cut Pouncey?

Would they bring Pouncey back regardless of possible NFL sanctions (read suspension) for his part in the scandal?

Well, we have the answer, beyond the idea that Pouncey is not on the trade block, which I reported Feb. 17 wasn't an immediate issue:

The Dolphins are committed to Mike Pouncey. Dolphins general manager Dennis Hickey told WMEN's Orlando Alzugaray Thursday that he has spoken with Pouncey in the past month and "is excited about the future."

And according to a club source, both Hickey and Dolphins executive vice president of football administration Dawn Aponte met with Pouncey's agent Joel Segal while at the Indianapolis Combine last week and shared a similar sentiment from the club.

That doesn't mean all is settled.

Right now, Pouncey is scheduled to hit the final year (2014) of his fully guaranteed $9.259 million rookie deal. That deal will pay Pouncey $1.63 million in 2014. But the Dolphins are able to pick up an option year on Pouncey in May that would tie him to the team for a fifth year through 2015.

The Dolphins fully intend to pick up that option, according to a club source.

But here's the thing: Pouncey, perhaps the second-best player on the Dolphins offense and the only player left from the offensive line of the past two seasons, doesn't necessarily want to play under his rookie deal for a fifth year.

Pouncey will want an extension.

So what will happen at that point?

Two options: The Dolphins, not needing more holes on the offensive line, will have to entertain the extension idea (very likely). Or the Dolphins might consider trading Pouncey then (not very likely, but it's an option that cannot be dismissed).

All that isn't an issue now but the matter will have to be addressed before the 2014 regular-season begins.

The key short-term issue is waiting on NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to see if he hands down any disciplinary action against Pouncey -- not to mention Jerry and Incognito -- to determine if the only remaining starting offensive lineman on the Dolphins roster will have to serve a suspension.

On that issue, Pouncey has heard unofficially from the NFL Players Association that he is not likely to get suspended, according to a source. But, of course, the NFLPA doesn't determine whether there is or isn't a suspension from the league.

So that remains the most important question on the table. Until it isn't.

Comments