Quick 1 p.m. Dolphins update:
### As the Dolphins prepare to bid for Ngamukong Suh (contact with his agent is legally permitted beginning at noon Saturday), they have continued to hold Jared Odrick in limbo.
Despite previously conveying that they planned to make an offer, the team had not made one as of Friday morning. Still, the Dolphins haven't ruled out trying to re-sign him (presumably if they don't get Suh). Mike Tannenbaum said in a radio interview last week that the Dolphins want to keep him.
Odrick would consider a Dolphins offer but he's expected to attract a lot of interest and likely will command a deal in the range of $7 million or more a year. The Colts, Chiefs, Raiders, Bears and Jaguars are among teams expected to have interest.
While Odrick's return to Miami doesn't seem likely at this moment, it cannot be ruled out. Remember: Miami showed zero interest in re-signing Randy Starks for the first two months of the off-season last year, then made him an offer (which he accepted) early in free agency. But it's almost impossible to envision Miami having the cap space for Suh and Odrick.
If the Dolphins sign Suh, the logical next step would be to cut Randy Starks to save $5 million against the cap, and go into next season with Suh, Earl Mitchell, a veteran free agent who's cheaper than Starks and Odrick, with AJ Francis and Anthony Johnson and perhaps a draft pick as depth.
### As Armando Salguero noted, the Dolphins are confident about their chances with Suh. The deal could be worth $17 million a year and $60 million in guarantees. The Dolphins told at least one person they would like to not have to pay as much as the numbers bandied about, but the Dolphins likely will do what it takes to be a serious player and agent Jimmy Sexton is likely going to find a team (Miami or another) who's willing to pay what he wants.
Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio told WQAM's Joe Rose today that "it's the Dolphins or Lions" for Suh. "Other teams are just leverage."
### The Dolphins very much like linebacker David Harris, who re-signed with the Jets Friday. They might turn their attention now to Tampa Bay free agent Mason Foster, who they also like. The 49ers' Dan Skuta also is on their radar, and Nate Irving and Brandon Spikes would seem to warrant consideration.
Miami would like to upgrade over Koa Misi at middle linebacker, according to several people who have spoken to the team. Misi could be moved back to strongside linebacker if the Dolphins are successful in finding a replacement in the middle.
FRIDAY BUZZ COLUMN
The Marlins opened Grapefruit League play on Thursday awash in optimism. Michael Hill, the president of baseball operations, says this team is “unbelievably talented” and has the best outfield in baseball. Owner Jeffrey Loria cites “the incredible combination of players” and “the best chemistry we’ve ever had.” Second baseman Dee Gordon said this roster is comparable in talent to last year’s 94-win Dodgers.
But president David Samson won’t ever forget the last time the Marlins entered a season with such lofty expectations. Those 2012 Marlins flopped, finishing 69-93, and that’s why the team president is speaking more cautiously than most internally.
“I’m very measured in my expectations,” Samson said. “I’m not going to feel the way I did in 2012. Talk is cheap. They’ve got to do it. All our moves don’t mean a thing if we chose the wrong players.
“I’ve had personal experiences winning the offseason. This year is a different approach. Giancarlo [Stanton] and I have talked about that. No talk about how good we are or we’re favorites for this or expected to do this. I want the play to speak for itself.”
So why will this year be different than 2012? General Manager Dan Jennings says the pitching staff is deeper. Loria said the outfield is better. And Mike Dunn, one of only seven holdovers from that 2012 team, said: “On paper, this team blows 2012 out of the water.”
Samson puts it this way: “Going into 2012, everything we did we thought was right and it turns out everything we did was wrong. I think what we’re doing now is right. My hope is that the chemistry and the culture change that have taken place will make this year completely different.”
Don’t underestimate that culture issue. Dunn has told us some former Marlins were more concerned about themselves than the team and it had a negative effect. The Marlins made it a point to add players with good clubhouse reputations.
“Martin Prado is one of the greatest teammates; I can’t say enough good things about him,” Dunn said. “Mike Morse is a great teammate from what I’ve heard.”
Nationally, bettors are responding. MGM Grand and 11 other Nevada casinos have changed the odds of the Marlins winning the World Series from 40 to 1 to 30 to 1 and now 25 to 1 in response to a “lot” of people betting on the Marlins at those higher odds. The Marlins are still middle of the pack in odds; Washington has the shortest odds (5 to 1).
Among those especially high on the Marlins is the television voice of the World Series, Fox announcer Joe Buck.
A couple of months ago, Buck named Marlins’ owner Jeffrey Loria when asked by Sports Illustrated Richard Deitsch who would be the most fascinating person in sports in 2015, calling Loria “a quirky art dealer who really does love the game and his players will emerge with the last laugh after the failed try in 2012.”
I asked Buck to expand on why he picked Loria.
“I got to know him last year when my wife [NFL Network reporter Michelle Beisner] and I ran literally into him in Paris,” Buck e-mailed. “Sat with he and his wife at dinner and got the feel for his passion with his team and the personal connection he has to some of his key players. He told me he had hosted the artist formerly named Mike [Giancarlo Stanton] in Europe when he was just getting started. He loves the guy and proved it with the deal they agreed to.
“They have studs in the rotation (and hopefully health), made shrewd moves around the big contract, and I think they will win the East. He is a guy who has received more than his share of criticism and I think it will come full circle for him this year and in the next few to come.
“He got killed for dismantling that team that didn't fit together, and while he saved money, I still think that took guts after the opening of the new stadium. So I just think his passion and those moves pay off in 2015.”
### According to someone directly involved, the Dolphins remained genuinely uncertain Thursday about whether they will keep Mike Wallace, with one factor being whether Miami can do what it needs in free agency while sustaining Wallace’s cap hit. There is front-office support for keeping him, but the cap hit is an issue.
### Among the receivers the Dolphins have discussed internally: Cecil Shorts, who had 53 receptions for 557 yards for Jacksonville last season. Eddie Royal, Nate Washington and Hakeem Nicks also would make sense among reasonably-priced receivers.
The Dolphins know they need receivers that are better with yards after the catch. Brandon Gibson and Brian Hartline, both released by Miami, ranked 81st and 84th among 109 receivers in average YAC. (Hartline and the Dolphins haven’t ruled out a return.) Mike Wallace tied Hartline with a 3.3 YAC average. Conversely, Royal was 19th, Shorts 37th and Miami’s Jarvis Landry 44th.
### In his latest mock draft, Mel Kiper has Miami picking Louisville receiver Devante Parker at No. 14.
"Wide receiver is a bigger need now than it was a week ago prior to the release of Hartline and Gibson," Kiper wrote on ESPN.com. "The future of No. 1 receiver Mike Wallace, who is on the books for $9.9 million next season, is also in the air, and tight end Charles Clay received the transition tag but will negotiate with other teams starting Saturday. The Dolphins need a big target on the outside for quarterback Ryan Tannehill. Parker is listed at 6-foot-2 and 209 pounds, and he plays physically. I’m not sure Parker falls this far in the first round. But if he's available at No. 14, this would be a solid value pick for Miami."
### As the Dolphins prepare to try to make a splash in free agency, they addressed their need for depth at offensive tackle on Thursday by re-signing Jason Fox to a two-year, $2.5 million contract.
Fox played well filling in as a starter at right tackle the final two games. He is expected to be Miami’s No. 3 tackle, behind starters Branden Albert, who has said he’s progressing well a major knee injury, and Ja’Wuan James. If Albert “is not able to go Week One, I’ll be ready,” Fox said.
“I love the situation there with this team, where it’s headed,” said Fox, who was in Haiti on Thursday volunteering at a friend’s orphanage.
### Fox, on his former teammate, Ndamukong Suh, who (as we've written all week) the Dolphins are prepared to bid for:
“He’s obviously a dominant player, one of the best defensive tackles, if not the best defensive tackle in the NFL. He’s a game-changing type of player. In the locker room, he’s not the ‘rah-rah’ guy and he speaks up when he feels like it’s necessary. He’s one of the guys that leads by example. He’s a hard-worker and that shows.”
Count Pro Football Talk among those calling the Dolphins the favorite for Suh. NFL.com's Mike Silver reports the Raiders expect Suh to visit next week.
### The Dolphins resigned safety Jordan Kovacs, who appeared in eight games last season, his agent, David Canter, said on Twitter.
### More remarkable achievements from Hassan Whiteside: Besides leading the NBA in blocks per 48 minutes, he’s averaging more rebounds per 48 minutes (21.9) than any player this century. (Four-time rebound leader Dennis Rodman averaged 22.2 in his best season)…
He’s averaging 18 points, 16.4 rebounds and four blocks per 36 minutes. No center has done that for a full season since blocks became an official stat in 1973-74… And he has more 20-rebound games in 33 career games for the Heat (four) than Alonzo Mourning had in 593 games for Miami….
When Whiteside wrapped his arms around Phoenix center Alex Len’s legs this week, Mourning told Whiteside to “keep my cool.” Whiteside said he hasn’t seen Zo’s famous leg-wrap of Jeff Van Gundy but would try to find it on the Internet…. Pat Riley told Sun Sports he thinks Whiteside can get 16 points and 12 rebounds “without even going to him.”
### UM is encouraged by the spring work of Stacy Coley, who had two touchdown catches in Thursday’s scrimmage and is responding well to new assistant Kevin Beard’s coaching, which emphasizes creating leverage. Coley, who dipped from 591 yards receiving and eight touchdowns as a freshman to 184 and none last season, said:
“Ever since we played the [bowl] game, I told myself I won’t [allow it] again,” he said. “I blame everything on me. I wasn’t as focused as I am now. [Beard] is elevating our game. I want 14 [touchdowns next season]…. I feel like I’m having fun again.”
Coley has been working tirelessly since the bowl game: “We came back to Ft.Lauderdale and I got back at it. Every Saturday, my high school coach comes down here to work with me.”
He said Beard has taught them that “once you attack the DB’s leverage, there's nothing the DB can do. If they can't jam much, it's over.”
Brad Kaaya said Coley was "killing the DBs" Thursday.
### UM running back Gus Edwards has been terrific this spring, but Trayone Gray --– who could be a real weapon if he gets his act together --– is “not consistent right now which is making him consistently inconsistent,” Al Golden said.