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Stanton agrees to deal; What Loria is saying; Fins injuries; Lazor addresses report about strained relationship with players; Dolphins, UM, Heat, Marlins

The Marlins have agreed to a 13-year, 325 million contract with Giancarlo Stanton that includes an opt-out after six years and a full no-trade clause. The contract would be the richest in baseball history if Stanton is here for all 13 years.

Speaking by telephone to my colleague Clark Spencer, Loria called it "a landmark day. It means everything to the franchise. We have a face of the franchise for the next 13 years.

"I expect him to be a Marlin for 13 years. We are going to be surrounding him, we have already started to surround him, with all-star caliber players and there will be more."

Regarding the opt out after six years, Loria said: "I tend to be very positive and I would expect he would be as excited then as he is now."

Why did Stanton agree to this? "He obviously saw last year that the franchise was serious about winning and serious about doing great things in the new stadium," Loria said. "I talked to him this afternoon just after all the tests were completed. He passed with flying colors. I'm thrilled. What can I tell you? He's a wonderful young guy and he's a talent."

How can a team like the Marlins afford this? "We can afford it," Loria said. "We are going to surround him with an improved lineup as well. We need another bat in this lineup that can help him out."

In closing, Loria said: "I did this for the city, the fans, for Giancarlo, our team, for myself and for baseball."

The Marlins are planning a Wednesday press conference to announce the deal.


Dolphins offensive coordinator Bill Lazor spoke at length today about assertions in an NFL.com story last week that said he has a “rocky” and “strained” relationship with some players; that his “abrasive tenor has worn thin on some” and that Ryan Tannehill isn’t allowed to audible.

Here’s what he had to say:

### On the story: “ I saw the headline. I fought the temptation to read the story.

"The week before I was approached by someone in the organization about some great articles about our offense. They said do I want them? I said absolutely not. I said please don’t send me any, because the ones that sound good at one point take your focus off what you’re supposed to be doing to do your job the right way. Wouldn’t you know, one week later, somebody is asking me about the negative articles. In this job, you’ve got to stay focused on what you’re doing.”  

### So has there been any discontent between Lazor and the players?

“I think it’s about what a normal NFL offensive team would be. I’ve had players tell me how much they appreciate the standards of expectations we’ve had. I’ve also had some players in a very professional way over time come up and say maybe this other approach might help us at times. The reason I enjoy coaching this level is because I like working in partnership with the players. I’ve coached in college, coached with a number of professional teams. The thing I really enjoy is when you come into work with a bunch of professionals and you’re in it together. It’s about like all the NFL teams I’ve been on.”

The story relied on multiple anonymous sources, and Lazor said: “I probably just don’t put a lot of credence on anonymous reports. I enjoy coming to work every day because of the people I work with. You’ve been at training camp. Nothing is different [with his treatment of players in practice].

I would like to think if the players were asked they would say I’ve been professional. There have been very, very few times that curse words have come out of my mouth but I am demanding of them. The greatest feedback I’ve gotten from our players in one on one settings is when they have told me how much they appreciate the expectations I have for the offense."

### Lazor disputed the part of the story that said Tannehill isn’t allowed to audible.

“One of the things I think is special about Ryan is how he sees the field and can react to things that happen. Because he does that so well,… Ryan has more options than a lot of quarterbacks we’ve coached. We do certain things differently. Some of them are what you would call verbal audibles. Some are right at the snap. Some are built in options.

“It’s how we choose to play. Ryan has the ability to handle those things and does them very well. That’s one of his strengths. He uses all the different options, whether they be audibles or built-in options to get the ball distributed around the field. That’s probably when we’ve played our best offensively, when he’s used all those things."

### So is Ryan more than a game manager?

“I don’t know what that terms means,” he said. “To me, Ryan is a player. You hear that term a lot and it’s almost always used in a negative context it seems.

"We want Ryan to be a winner. One of the things I’ve love about Ryan is he’s willing to do it how ever he has to do it. He enjoys running. I probably want him to run less than he wants to run because I want to keep him healthy. He’ll do it any way he has to do it. One of the great things Ryan did against Buffalo was complete a whole bunch of passes at the beginning of the game. [The Bills] have the [ability] to sting you early, disrupt things and get you out of rhythm. We felt one of the important things for Ryan would be to throw completions. He threw those first eight completions. That took a little bit of an edge off their front, which we think is a fantastic front.” 

### Lazor said Tannehill can still learn from other quarterbacks. “Smetimes it is easier to show a quarterback bad examples of somebody else. Sometimes as a player, it seems like a player all day long you’re getting corrected.... Sometimes it’s easy to take a coaching point when you see somebody else screwing it up.”  

### In several key measurable statistics (yards, points), the Dolphins offense is clearly better since Lazor took over. Same with Tannehill.

The two things that gnaw at Lazor? “Explosive plays in the passing game and finishing off those red zone drives with touchdowns.” 

### New right tackle Dallas Thomas goes from blocking Mario Williams last week (he gave up two of Williams’ 3.5 sacks) to blocking Denver’s Von Miller this week.

“The first thing I would tell Dallas is to have some confidence,” Lazor said. “There are a whole bunch of great clips on video. He wasn’t perfect. But Dallas should have some confidence. I see him especially in the run game blocking more confidently all the time. He’s an improving young player and I take the Buffalo game as a great example. I’m proud of him. I know he’ll get better. Some of the times when maybe he wasn’t at his best, maybe confidence would help him because he has the ability to do it. We’re in for a heck of a challenge with these [Denver] pass rusher.” 

###  On facing Denver: “When you face these kinds of teams that can score a lot of points, you’ve got to put great emphasis on each possession. The number one thing you have to do is score points. When you fall behind, when you play a good offense, you let them play the game exactly the way they want to play it. I would take a little less time of possession if it meant we were getting more explosive plays. We’re trying.” 


Defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle said he's unsure if Cortland Finnegan's ankle will be healthy enough for him to play Sunday... Linebacker Jonathan Freeny could miss a month with a hamstring injury.

If you haven’t seen last night’s post, please check it out for an analysis of Dennis Hickey’s work, a Branden Albert update, musings from Bill Parcells and Heat, UM and Marlins chatter.... Twitter: @flasportsbuzz