Click on a mainstream media outlet that covers the Miami Dolphins and you won’t find a bit of rumor or innuendo about what the Dolphins may do this year in free agency as it looms closer. But that hasn’t stopped fans from speculation.
Today marked the first day that teams could use the franchise tag on their key players. The New England Patriots have not used it on day one and neither has anyone else yet. They all still have 2 weeks to “tag” their man, Vince Wilfork being that “man”. For fans however, the lack of an immediate tag can sometimes give way to deep rooted speculation that a player may be leaving their current team…and more often times than not, they are coming to Miami.
The latest “squak” seems to surround LB Karlos Dansby of the Arizona Cardinals. A pending free agent who is a physical inside presence is an immediate fix to Miami’s interior LB core and with new DC Mike Nolanat the helm, the Dolphins may break from their “only through the draft” ideology.
But where did that decree that Miami would in fact be in Dansby’s corner? Well, according to, ummmm, well…no one, it’s just a given considering that Dansby is a LB and the Dolphins need a LB. Of course there is also the obligatory comments made by such players as Dansby to some media guy that goes like this, “I would love to play in Miami”. The question however is something like this, “Would you like to play in say, Miami?” The difference between that question and one such as “Karlos where would you want to play next season” are very different.
Another name making his rounds are AZ Cardinal Safety Antrell Rolle. Of course Rolle was asked one of the above questions because his parents are from Miami as is he. It’s a natural fit except for one problem. Rolle isn’t going to be cheap and the Dolphins while not cheap, won’t overpay either. They have done that two years in a row and got burned. Can you say Wilson and Wilford. Maybe it’s because they signed guys who’s last names begin with “W”…as in “whoops”.
Perhaps the biggest name floating around right now is AZ Cardinal WR Anquan Boldin. The Dolphins need a number 1 WR and Boldin can be that guy. A physical WR, Boldin would open the game up for the other WR’s but the other WR’s need to get better to take some of the pressure off Boldin. Let’s face it, there is no one remotely comparable to Larry Fitzgerald on this team and in fact there is no one remotely comparable to Anquan Boldin either.
The problem for the Dolphins and Boldin is that he isn’t free so the Phins will have to pony up a draft pick or two but at what level is the question and would AZ take a pick and player…say Joey Porter or Channing Crowder? Not likely.
The odd thing of all this is that most of the conversations seem to center on the Arizona Cardinals for a place to pluck players. Almost as if they were the only team losing anyone to free agency. That isn’t the case and as the Miami Dolphins learned two seasons ago, nothing is a sure thing. It was 2 years that Calvin Pace had a last minute change of heart and signed with the Jets…oh yeah, Pace played for the Cardinals.
From the mouths of the mysterious comes all kinds of rumors. The problem is that sometimes their only basis is nothing more than a logical supply vs. demand. Take the Buffalo Bills and their need for a veteran QB. Some assume that is the perfect landing spot for a guy like Tyler Thigpen but it’s more likely that Chad Pennington would land there. He is free, and he is that veteran “leader” that Bill HC Chan Gailey…yes that Chan Gailey…was likely referring to.
Then of course there is the whole Joey Porter issue and the talk of him being traded or outright released. Of course that isn’t so much a rumor as it is logical conjecture given his recent posturing. Still, the point is there.
22 days remain between today and the start of free agency and there will be a lot more suggestive responses to innuendo and rumor. In fact, it will likely get more and more intense as the days draw closer. It’s that time of year, it started at the Pro-Bowl, a week earlier than last year.
And honestly, that’s perfectly fine with just about every football fan out there…it’s why the NFL is the new America’s game. It’s also a reason why they need to get their act together. But alas, that’s a whole different story entirely.