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A speculative but interesting trade scenario

The following is not based on sourcing or reporting and is not likely to happen, alright? The following is merely fanciful speculation so let's get that out of the way before anyone spits up breakfast or the folks at rotoworld report this as fact. (By the way, rotoworld guys, I'm not the Dolphins beat writer. I'm a columnist at The Miami Herald so please get that correct from now on.)

This much is certain and true: Oklahoma State wide receiver Dez Bryant was in New England visiting the Patriots Thursday, according to the Boston Globe, Boston Herald, National Football Post, NESN.com, and probably even the dudes at rotoworld.

The Patriots have a situation at wide receiver because they lack a legitimate No. 3 even as their No. 2, Wes Welker, is recovering from a shredded knee and torn rotator cuff. The knee injury happened the final game of the 2009 regular season so the chances Welker will be his usual 100-catch self by the start of the 2010 season seems unlikely.

So the Pats have receiver issues.

And that's big because Tom Brady requires weapons and right now Randy Moss is the only healthy receiver on the roster that gives opposing defenses pause. Now, it says right here that perhaps the Patriots were working the Bryant visit as one of their evil empire devices. But maybe, just maybe, they have a serious interest in Bryant.

If that interest is serious, is it so far-fetched that New England might be willing to trade up to pick Dez Bryant? And what better place to trade up to than perhaps the No. 12 spot in the draft which is currently owned by ... the Miami Dolphins.

It is possible the Dolphins fancy Bryant because he is the best receiver in the draft and they need an upgrade at wide receiver. But it is also possible the Dolphins have no intention of picking Bryant because, regardless of his talent on the field, his stock has been in free-fall mode because he was late to something or other a couple of times.

Seriously, Bryant is the draft's best receiver. Anyone that doesn't see that is blind. And yet, despite never being arrested, he is reportedly falling because of maturity issues and a nightmarish background.

So perhaps the receiver-hungry Dolphins get a chance to pick Bryant. But perhaps the ever-conservative Dolphins don't really want to exercise that opportunity.


If the Patriots want Bryant, well then, come and get him!

Back up a second ... even if the Dolphins like Bryant and would pick him, they should still consider trading the pick if Bryant is there at No. 12 because, let's face it, Bryant isn't going to resolve all their problems. But perhaps the Dolphins can use a chance to pick Bryant as a chip to dangle before the Patriots for one of their three second-round picks.

The Dolphins could give New England the No. 12 overall selection in exchange for moving to New England's No. 22 overall selection and picking up a second rounder -- the Pats own Nos. 44 overall, 47 overall, and 53 overall.

That would give the Dolphins three picks in the first two rounds, which means three possible starters on a team that needs starters at wide receiver, free safety, nose tackle and outside linebacker.

Works for me.

This trade value chart, which assigns a point value for every slot in the draft, says an even trade of this magnitude would require the Patriots to give up their 47th overall selection or the second-highest of their three second-rounders.

That would give the Dolphins Nos. 22, 43 and 47 overall.

Is that a superior or inferior standing than having No. 12 and No. 43 overall?

Granted, this scenario would give the Patriots the best wide receiver in the draft. But it would give the Dolphins the ability to pick up three starters.

Yes haters, I recognize the two clubs are in the same division.

The Washington Redskins and Philadelphia Eagles are also in the same division and they just completed a trade. The Pats and Fins were in the same division in 2007 and completed a trade for Welker.

The question here, in this speculative scenario, is would you give up the opportunity to draft Dez Bryant in exchange for New England's pick toward the bottom of the first round and an additional second rounder?

I believe after mulling it a good 10 or 15 seconds, yes, I'd do it.