If you ask Miami Dolphins general manager Dennis Hickey the question, he'll give you the same answer every time.
Are you looking at (fill in available player's name here) to see if he can become part of the Dolphins?
Something akin to "We're always searching for opportunities to add players that will help us improve as a team."
And so with guard Chris Chester available after he was cut by the Washington Redskins two days ago, I am going to assume the Dolphins personnel department has already studied his tape and the proper people have called his agent to find out where the player's mind is at.
(Where his mind is at can better be translated to what's his asking price, is he willing to play for you, what kind of condition and health is he in?)
So why is castoff guard Chris Chester a thing? Well, you read what I wrote Thursday. You know the Dolphins' guard situation is uncertain with hasn't-performed-well Dallas Thomas at left guard and unknown quantity Billy Turner at right guard.
Chester, by most accounts suited to the zone blocking scheme which the Dolphins run, is a right guard. He is a bridge kind of player to get you to maybe next year when you address the guard situation (again) in the draft.
But he is a solid and known quantity.
He's a former second-round pick. He started 16 games for the Redskins last year. He yielded five sacks, three quarterback hits and 16 hurries, according to ProFootballFocus.com. He was the 33rd rated guard in the NFL, per the analytics website. And you know what that made Chester?
Better than anyone who played guard for Miami a year ago.
Better than Mike Pouncey.
Better than Dallas Thomas.
Better than Daryn Colledge.
Better is another way to say upgrade. Isn't that what the Dolphins are trying to do here? Maybe getting Chester lets Miami move Turner over to left guard where he can compete with Thomas and rookie Jamil Douglas and let the best uncertainty win.
By the way, I am not saying the Dolphins should sign Chris Chester. But I believe they should be seriously considering the idea.
That's where we are in the offseason now. It is hole-filling time. The guys who will become available have issues of one stripe or another. They've all been discarded in one place or another.
No Pro Bowl guys are available today.
But upgrades might be out there. Study them. Seriously.
[Update: Adam Caplan of ESPN reports Chester has already set up visits with Atlanta and Philadelphia. Looks like the Dolphins love their guards].
Speaking of studying and monitoring, situations that bear monitoring are that of Evan Mathis and Zane Beadles. Both are, you guessed it, guards.
Mathis isn't showing up for work at OTAs in Philadelphia because he wants a new contract. That's a tough situation because the Dolphins cannot pay what Mathis is making now, much less what he wants to make if he's cut. But his agent, Drew Rosenhaus, is local so perhaps if Mathis is cut, the Dolphins could be interested.
Beadles, who signed for a huge $6 million per year deal with Jacksonville last offseason, is going to be in a training camp battle for his starting job. If he loses that battle, there is a possibility the Jaguars will try to trade Beadles (not an option for Miami because the contract moves, too) or cut him.
Neither Mathis nor Beadles are great. But you know what they are based on their recent history?
Upgrades for Miami.