What's Going On? Well...

I have spent the better part of the last few weeks allowing the Poll questions for our mock draft run their course rather than post the obvious reports that can be found on every web site this side of Taiwan.  From Jason Taylor rumors about closing in on a two year deal with the Phins to visits made by the Miami Dolphins staff to various college campuses to work out some guy who they may or may not be targeting as an undrafted free agent.  There is so much more in between.  So…what is going on?  Well…not much.

Let’s start with the NFL regular season schedule.  The NFL announced that the 2009 regular season schedule will be announced tomorrow at 7:00 PM.  Which means that someone will have it leaked around noon…which means as soon as I find it, you will see it here.  I will be also discussing the schedule live tomorrow night on Finsradio.net as part of my “On The Fin Side” show.  Make sure you listen in and chime in.

My guess is the Phins will open in Atlanta.

The next great enhancement to this site has been completed and while I am not rolling out an official launch until next week, it’s up now so if you read this…your in luck.  Above on the menu tab is a menu titled “chat”.  This tab will take you to our new “Live Chat” that is available 24/7.  You can chat with other readers or even invite someone to talk with to the chat room…but it is open to everyone so beware.

Please remember to use decorum when posting in the chat room.  No vulgarity or personal attacks will be permitted.  This is an unmoderated room…for now.  This will be the new chat room for Sunday’s games and we will be rolling it out for a live draft chat in two weeks.

Moving on to Jason Taylor.  I posted a blog a week or two ago saying that it would not be acceptable for JT to sign with New England.  Apparently, JT is in no rush either.  Taylor says that he will wait until after the draft to sign with a team, which bares mentioning because the Dolphins said they will wait until after the draft to address the Taylor issue.  Taylor may be waiting on Miami to make his final decision but don’t expect him to go to the Jets who have in fact contacted the DE.  Taylor said if his only choice was the Jets, he would seriously have to consider retiring.  Still wish he would say that about the Pats too.

Two weeks from today there will be no polls open as to who will take who in this years draft.  Instead, we will be specifically talking about what the Phins did and didn’t accomplish on that weekend.  Yes, it is that close to draft day.  For me, the most exciting time of the off-season bar-none.  Hell, I enjoy it more than most Sunday’s in regular season to be honest.

So who are the Phins targeting with the draft pick at number 25?  Sorry, I don’t know.  The reason I haven’t made note of the Bill Parcells visit to North Carolina to workout WR Hakeem Nicks is simply because I don’t buy it.  I don’t buy the private workouts, I don’t buy the visits to Hampton, CT to work out some small college for a possible undrafted prospect.  I also don’t buy the phone calls like the one to Michael Johnson about a speeding ticket he got 2 years ago.  Why?  Simply put, it doesn’t mean a thing.

I like to call it wasted writing.  See I wouldn’t be doing my job of keeping you informed if I threw every single visit and possible pick on this site…I would however keep your head spinning and your mind in a whirlwind.  Not really necessary as the draft alone will do that come the 24th…”Draft Eve”.

See here is how it is.  Last year everyone made such a stink about Jake Long, Chris Long, Vernon Gholston, and so on.  In reality, the Phins never had a target on someone other than Jake.  They knew it going in and everything else was nothing more than smoke and mirrors.  Right up until next Tuesday…when the Phins made Long their pick, no one knew what was going on.  So why do it here?  

There is one tidbit that does bare mentioning.  John Beck.  It appears that the Phins are ready and more than willing to part with the QB and since there seems to be no takers, Beck will either be a part of a draft day trade that moves the Phins up a few picks, or he will released come training camp.  Here is why.

”It will be hard to get John work,” coach Tony Sparano said. “But there’s only three quarterbacks right now. That’s all we’re carrying. With John, he knows his job first and foremost is to compete with Henne. He gets his reps in practice. He’ll get some reps in the preseason games, as well.”

The key to that quote from HC Tony Sparano is “right now”.  When I read that on the Herald, I understood this was more than simply making small talk.  The Dolphins it seems plan to address the QB spot in the draft.  Pat White perhaps?  If they target White, they may need to take him in round 2 as it is unlikely that he will fall to them in round 3 without the Phins moving up…and that costs picks and/or players.

Beck is not a Parcells’ guy and therefore he is expendable.  If the Dolphins do in fact draft a QB, Beck is history.  Period.  The Dolphins will not carry more than 3 QB’s and as I have said before, a Pat White offers the team a 3rd QB who actually will see the field during the game as a “wildcard” player.  

Here is the interesting thing though.  The Dolphins may have already received interest from teams regarding John Beck and I suspect the Cleveland Browns may be one of them.  While this is conjecture on my part, after speaking with some friends I know in Cleveland…it’s not unfounded.

Rumors are swirling out of the Lake Erie city that the Browns have deals in place that would allow them to trade both Brady Quinn and Braylon Edwards on draft day.  Presumably for first round picks.  The Browns, if they moved Quinn would need someone to play the back-up roll and Beck would fit that program.  Eric Mangini likes to spread the field and Beck has a solid arm and good vision, but he lacks experience.  The Phins may be able to move Beck to the Browns on draft day for a late pick if the Browns make a move with Quinn.

The Dolphins are in no hurry to send Beck packing.  The reason is simple.  If they move him now, they tip their hand at their intentions on draft day and that means that if in fact they are targeting Pat White…they won’t have the element of secrecy on their side.  If they wait to trade Beck on draft day, the risk two things.  One, not having a QB in place on their draft card if they trade too soon, and if they trade after a QB is picked, Becks value drops more than what it already has because prospective teams know the Phins want to move him.  So, expect the Phins to be on the clock working out a trade with John Beck while on the phone with his rookie replacement.  Don’t be surprised to hear the Dolphins made a trade while they are on the clock.

By now you have heard that Zach Thomas has signed with the Kansas City Chiefs.  Thomas doesn’t know when to call it a career, but the funny thing is, he really doesn’t have to.  Thomas played well if unspectacular last year in Dallas and will provide more veteran leadership on a team that is teetering on a total rebuild under Scott Pioli.

Pioli knows what he is getting in Thomas as the new KC GM courted the undersized LB last year after his release from Miami.  Thomas will play alongside fellow ageing veteran Mike Vrable whom the Chiefs swindled from the Patriots at the start of free agency.  For Thomas it’s likely the last year of his career.  He is reportedly getting paid 2 mill for that one season in KC which means they expect him to start.  This is a good move for the Chiefs…if they think they can compete.  If they go into rebuild then as Jeff Ireland likes to say…”He may impede the progress of a younger guy”.  Or something to that affect.

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Tags: Bill Parcells Cleveland Browns Jason Taylor John Beck Kansas City Chiefs Miami Dolphins New England Patriots NFL 2009 Schedule Scott Pioli Tony Sparano Zach Thomas

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