ESPN's Chris Mortensen has just reported (sort of) that the Dolphins might get rid of Ronnie Brown before this season begins.
I'm saying Mortensen sort of reported it because, frankly, he backed into the whole subject. The Monday Night Countdown show was doing one of its cheesey segments, this one called 'Sink or Swim,' in which the pundits were giving their opinion whether certain players would succeed or fail this year.
Mortensen was asked about Ricky Williams and while talking about how he would "swim," he went on to say that the Dolphins are so pleased with Williams he "would not be surprised if Ronnie Brown sinks," to the point where "he is playing with another team this season."
Mortensen's reason for Brown being out of here is that the player is "struggling" this preseason.
Before I go on, let me tell you that Mortensen was at Miami's preseason game against Jacksonville Saturday evening and he did spend time talking to general manager Jeff Ireland. So one presumes this comes from Ireland as the source and not just out of sheer speculation.
But it is possible for a GM to sometimes think out loud without having any real expectation of following through on an idea. I also doubt Ireland would expect to see the idea unveiled on national TV.
I would think if Mort, an outstanding reporter by any measure one uses, had the story nailed, he would have come stronger than he just did. I think it would have been his lead comment, not following the Williams sink or swim bunk.
Having said all that, it is true that Brown is clearly not Miami's best RB now. That is Williams. It is true Brown has failed to play all 16 games in any of his three previous seasons. Update: Brown is at practice Tuesday morning and is wearing a significant cast on his right hand that goes halfway up his forearm and wraps around the sprained thumb. He was catching passes only one-handed during the open portion of practice that the media is allowed to see.
Anyway, it is true Brown will be in the final year of his contract in 2009 so the idea of getting something for him now might be attractive.
But I have a hard time believing the Dolphins would simply whack a guy that talented. And I also doubt any team would give the Dolphins the first round pick they invested on Brown in 2005 when you have a glut of running backs still on the market -- including Shaun Alexander and Cedric Benson.
So we shall monitor this one to see if Mort just dropped a bomb or simply lit a lame firecracker. My expectation is this isn't going to happen. And it shouldn't.