Early 2009 Off-Season Rumors

Jeff Ireland appeared on the Dolphins Tonight show on WQAM last night and talked about the upcoming free agency period, the NFL Combine, and what they look for when they go.  He also said that it is very unlikely that the team trades away any of their 9 draft picks for players off other teams.  These executives believe that trading away picks limits the ability of your team to get younger.

 It sounds like a buy now pay later scenario where in 3 to 5 years that traded for player is on his way out and that rookie is just coming into his own.  Don’t let the talk fool you though, in this NFL everything is smoke and mirrors.  There are early rumors of trades and potential signings already in this young 2009 off-season and last year, we say these same guys make a few trades that involved draft picks…it just won’t be on the front end.

By now, most NFL fans are aware of Anquan Boldin‘s desire to leave Arizona VIA trade.  Boldin has two years left on his contract and wants a better one which means that the team that trades for him, will do so with the knowledge that Boldin wants a new deal.  Draft picks and money.  You can pretty much count out the Phins unless they can package players to get him.

The real rumors start when you look across the Gulf of Mexico north through Texas.  Dallas is where many rumors begin when it involves these Dolphins.  But do they have any merit?  Only time will be the answer to that question.  Will the Dolphins make a run during free agency at those players they are targeting who belong to another team or will they make their moves on or during the NFL Draft in April?  Again, only time will answer that question.  So what rumors are they?  

Bobby Carpenter was drafted in the first round by Bill Parcells while he was the Dallas HC.  Rumor is that BP still thinks that Carpenter, given the right situation and team, can be productive and maybe more so than soon to be free agent Channing Crowder.  Last year the Dolphins tried to get Carpenter in the Fasano trade instead of Akin Ayodele.  Jerry Jones refused and Ayodele came to Miami instead.  This year after another unproductive season, Carpenter may in fact find his way to Miami VIA trade this off-season.

Chris Canty is an unrestricted free agent defensive end.  He was drafted in 2005 by Bill Parcells and it has been highly speculated that the Dolphins will make a run at him.  Canty started all 16 games the last 3 years for the Cowboys and is 26 years old.  While his numbers have not been great, his 6′-7″ frame offers the Dolphins an option to replace aging Vonnie Holliday.

Miles Austin is this writers pick as the newest addition to the WR corp.  It comes with only one caveat…Terrell Owens.  If Owens is released, Austin will stay in Dallas.  If he is not, Austin will be traded.  Miles is an RFA who was undrafted 3 seasons ago.  He is fast and has good hands while running crisp routes.  The situation in Dallas bears watching.  The Cowboys traded for Detroit’s Roy Williams and last year signed Patrick Crayton to a decent contract.  Austin will likely be tendered by the team but with Austin being undrafted…by Bill Parcells, the Dolphins may be able to get him with little or no draft pick compensation.

In the “Can’t confirm” file, I have learned that the Cowboys may be shopping one of their RB’s, presumably Tashard Choice.  Choice was a wonderful surprise late in the season for the Cowboys who saw both Marion Barber injured and Felix Jones added to the IR list.  Choice impressed a lot of teams and there is some who think that the Cowboys may try and capitalize on his late season success by getting a decent draft pick in return.  While no word has specifically pointed to the Dolphins, I have heard that the Buffalo Bills may be interested, especially after the latest arrest of Marshawn Lynch for felony gun possession.

The Rumors have died on some of the free agent fronts.  The talk prior to and immediately after the Super Bowl seemed to hover over names like Karlos Dansby and Bart Scott in Baltimore.  Those have quited down a bit as free agency nears and teams begin to completely clam up.  

One name that hasn’t gone away is that of Jason Brown.  Brown the veteran center in Baltimore is expected to be one of the first targets of a lot of teams, including the Dolphins.  The Dolphins were rumored to be shopping Samson Satele and it’s possible that those trade talks begin to deepen during the NFL Combine which starts this week.  Traditionally, a lot of backroom negotiations begin.  In fact, notes have been passed from agent to waitress to bartender to another waitress to GM sitting on the other side of the room.  All in an effort to get ahead of the game.

The Phins also have their own list of free agents who need to have decisions about their future made.  Vernon Carey, Yeremiah Bell, Andre’ Goodman, and Channing Crowder top that list.  With two weeks to go, Jeff Ireland expects his side to sit down with their sides and hammer out deals on the guys they want to keep and see where they are at on the guys who they may not want to keep.  While they say they want to keep all of them, it is becoming more and more unrealistic.  We will have more on these and the rest of the Phins FA’s later this week.

The Dolphins have approximately 24 million in cap space as of today but that could change with signings that would decrease that number or with cuts that could increase that number.

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Tags: 2009 NFL Free Agency Andre Goodman Anquan Boldin Bart Scott Bill Parcells Bobby Carpenter Channing Crowder Chris Canty Dallas Cowboys Jason Brown Jeff Ireland Karlos Dansby Miami Dolphins Miles Austin NFL NFL Combine NFL Draft Tashard Choice Terrell Owens Terrell Suggs Vernon Carey

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