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Miami Dolphins much hyped trade to bolster defense may be off

Cornerback Byron Maxwell, linebacker Kiko Alonso and defensive end Mario Williams were at and around the team's training facility Tuesday to meet coaches, take physicals, sign contracts (in Williams and Maxwell's cases), and later went to dinner with coaches as the newest members of the Miami Dolphins quickly revamping defense.

So it seemed all was well and the rebuilding project for the NFL's No. 19 scoring unit was well underway.

Except it wasn''t. Last night, whispers that one of the physicals was worrisome leaked to Adam Beasley of The Miami Herald. This morning, more details started to emerge that those worries centered around Maxwell and ESPN reported his shoulder was a concern following his physical and, get this, the "trade might be off."

Maxwell did miss two games last year with a shoulder sprain.


I've reached out to the Dolphins and have yet to hear back.

This issue really is in Miami's court. In case you are not aware, physicals are part medical facts and part opinions. The Drew Brees physical raised red flags in Miami in 2006. The Drew Brees physical in New Orleans that same summer raised no such issues.

The Dolphins may accept the findings of the Maxwell physical and deal with the repercussions, which could include surgery for Maxwell. Or they could decide their comfort level is so affected that the trade could be rescinded. It is a concern. But the trade is not dead yet.

If that trade is rescinded, suddenly Miami might keep Brent Grimes -- who was scheduled to be cut today because he didn't take a pay cut and other notable issues, including his vulgar wife.

If that trade is rescinded, suddenly the Dolphins still have linebacker issues.

If that trade is rescinded, suddenly the Dolphins might be shopping for another cornerback in free agency beyond maybe Adam Pacman Jones, who is a nickel cornerback option in free agency.

If that trade is rescinded, suddenly the three new starters on defense becomes one new starter on defense.

And on that subject ...

My colum in today's Miami Herald addresses the issue of what is likely to happen and what it means that Mario Williams and is and Olivier Vernon is possibly -- likely? -- out of Miami's plans going forward.

To put it bluntly, I'm not a fan. Check out the column.