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Marlins ready to make moves; Shockey/Sapp feud; Fins notes

Sixteen notes, mostly from the NFL owners meeting in Palm Beach this week:

### We'll get to lots of NFL stuff shortly, but look for the Marlins to make a couple moves very shortly. We're told Miami will release Aaron Rowand. Also, Austin Kearns has made the team as a backup outfielder. Chris Coghlan is the heavy favorite for the other backup outfield job.

(5 p.m. update: Miami has cut Rowand and optioned Bryan Peterson to Triple A, meaning Kearns and Coghlan are the backup outfielders. Rowand was 6 for 47 this spring. The Marlins still must decide Donnie Murphy and Donovan Solano for a backup infield job.

### Commissioner Roger Goodell made it clear that Warren Sapp was "inaccurate" when he accused another former University of Miami star, Jeremy Shockey, of being the "snitch" who told the league about the Saints' bounty program. 

Shockey has vehemently denied Sapp's claim, adding that a text from Sean Peyton proved he wasn't the person who told the league. Goodell said, "We had several sources. We're not discussing who our sources are.''

Mark Quenzel, an NFL Network executive, has said Sapp will not be fired but has declined to say if he was disciplined. "Sapp has been reminded he's an analyst, not a reporter for NFL Network," Quenzel said.

Shockey can sue, but a public figure must prove "actual malice" to have a chance to win a case of this nature. Shockey is furious, and justifiably so.

"Is the league going to come down on our own people when someone does something so wrong and outrageous?" Shockey told Yahoo's Jason Cole. "There should be a standard for punishment like getting suspended or fined or losing your job. If I say something about the officials, the league fines me.''

Because Sapp works for a network owned by the league, would Goodell discipline him? "If it's something that comes to me, it's something I'll take a position on," he said. "I would say to NFL Network, you better be sure of your information before you report it.'' 

### A fan insists Dolphins owner Steve Ross told him that Brandon Marshall was traded because of the effect he had on team morale. Bears coach Lovie Smith said Wednesday that's of no concern to him. "We did our research," Smith said. "We had a quarterback that played and had success with him [Jay Cutler] and believes in him as a player and a person. We're pumped about him being on our team.''

### The Dolphins inquired, but never aggressively pursued a trade, for the No. 2 pick (likely Robert Griffin III), partly because they were under the incorrect impression that they had a pretty good chance to land Peyton Manning and partly because the price was too steep. Washington coach Mike Shanahan, whose team gave up three No. 1 picks for the No. 2 pick, spoke Wednesday about how such a move can easily be justified.

"When I think back when the Broncos got John Elway, you don't think anyone thinks back and says, 'Hey, did you overpay?' To get a guy like that doesn't happen very often. If you have an opportunity to get what you feel is a franchise quarterback, you really help your organization." (Elway, who didn't want to play for the Colts, was traded in 1984 to Denver for Mark Herrmann, Chris Hinton and a first-round pick.)

### Arizona coach Ken Whisenhunt spoke of being "disappointed to lose" cornerback Richard Marshall to the Dolphins. "He was an outstanding player, one we wanted back. I have a tremendous amount of respect for that your man and what he did for us.'''

### Goodell said the league hasn't discussed going to an 18-game regular season schedule "in a while." The league first wants to see how the offseason goes with fewer practice days (or "organized team activities," as the league calls it). 

### Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland, who is carefully studying the draft-eligible quarterbacks, plans to attend workouts this week for Texas A&M’s Ryan Tannehill and Arizona State’s Brock Osweiler.

Tannehill, a possibility for the Dolphins’ pick at No. 8, will work out for interested teams on Thursday in College Station, Tex. A foot injury prevented him from throwing at last month’s NFL Combine.

“If Cleveland doesn’t take him at 4, I have to believe Miami does at 8,” NFL Network’s Mike Mayock said. “This kid has a big arm. He’s a heck of an athlete. Like Jake Locker, he’s not ready yet. He still has a lot to learn.” Tannehill, who has only 19 college starts at quarterback, threw 29 touchdowns and 15 interceptions last season.

Osweiler, 6-7, will audition for teams on Friday in Tempe, Ariz. He threw 26 touchdowns and 13 interceptions last season.

Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said Wednesday that Osweiler and Arizona’s 6-5 Nick Foles – who are second-round options - “both have big arms, great size in the mold of a lot of guys that have made it. They are Joe Flacco type of quarterbacks, that kind of makeup.”

Foles, Michigan State’s Kirk Cousins and Oklahoma State’s Brandon Weeden are among other quarterbacks on Miami’s radar.

### Carroll believes Seattle’s three-year, $19 million offer (plus incentives) for Matt Flynn – a figure the Dolphins did not match – was justified and expects him to become a good NFL starter, even though he will be asked to compete with Tarvaris Jackson. Dolphins coach Joe Philbin, who coached Flynn for four years, was far from convinced that Flynn would beat out Matt Moore.

Was Carroll surprised the Dolphins did not place a higher value on him? “They may have felt like they had him,” Carroll said. “But before the negotiations got going, he said he wanted to come to us. So we had a leg up.”

### Safety Yeremiah Bell, released by Miami last week, has drawn interest from Philadelphia. The Dolphins and Bell will remain in contact and neither side has ruled out a return.

### The Dolphins want to bid for the 50th Super Bowl, in 2016, but the league said Thursday it will decide which teams will be invited to bid in October, with a winner announced in May 2013. Teams that are interested will be asked to come forward this summer, with that group also expected to include New Orleans, Tampa, Dallas, perhaps Los Angeles and others. “We are working on plans to make it spectacular,” Goodell said.

Asked Wednesday if the Dolphins are unlikely to get another Super Bowl without upgrades to Sun Life Stadium, Goodell did not answer specifically. But he said, “If Miami is one of those cities bidding, we certainly will give it full consideration.” The Dolphins, for now, have put on hold any attempts to secure financing for stadium improvements.

### Asked about season-ticket sales, Dolphins owner Steve Ross said “you have to be concerned, but I think there will be a lot of interest after the draft. A lot of negative press didn’t do us any good.”

### The most notable of several rules passed Wednesday: Overtime rules in the playoffs also will be used in the regular season. The overtime will end with a touchdown or safety. But if the team that gets the ball first in overtime kicks a field goal, the other team will get a possession to tie the game (which would extend overtime further) or to win it.

Several rules suggestions will be discussed further at the May meetings, including pushing the trade deadline back from Week 6 to Week 8; increasing training camp rosters from 80 to 90; and allowing players on injured reserve to come back after eight weeks, instead of being out for the season.

### Though the Dolphins want to address receiver primarily in the draft, they have not ruled out signing a cheap veteran free agent to supplement what they acquire in the draft and what they already have on the roster.

### South Carolina receiver Alshon Jeffery, who some draft analysts believe could slip as far as Miami's second-round range (No. 41), helped himself by running in the 4.4 tange at South Carolina's Pro Day. He also has gotten himself in better shape, which had been a concern. Jeffery and LSU's Rueben Randle could be gone by 41. That would leave Rutgers' Mohamed Sanu among the best potential receiver options at that spot.

### Goodell said the league “will proceed as quickly as possible” in deciding penalties for Saints players in the wake of the team’s bounty scandal. “I hold coaches and executives to a higher standard,” said Goodell, whose disciplinary action included, among other things, a full-season suspension for New Orleans coach Sean Peyton. “It is clear from the information, though, that players enthusiastically embraced this and pushed this. That is troubling to me. We do need players’ cooperation to eliminate this from the game.”

### If the Saints hire Bill Parcells to fill in for Peyton, they first must interview a minority candidate to satisfy the Rooney Rule. Peyton might appeal, but it would be surprising if his suspension is shortened. During the suspension, "I don't expect [him to have] contact with the team," Goodelll said. "You're not going to be coaching from home.''