The NFL will kick off free agency in a matter of hours. As of this posting, the T-Minus clock is less than 3. No more days, no more speculations, it’s here. With the start now in view and teams having made their final tender offers, the only thing left is the official releases of veterans…like Joey Porter…and new additions across the NFL landscape.
So while we finish our countdown to midnight, here are some things you may want to know and consider both with the Miami Dolphins and free agency.
UPDATE: Antrelle Rolle doesn’t have to wait for mid-night as he has been released by the Cardinals. He has publicly stated that he wants to play for the Dolphins and there is now a new rumor that says Miami may have some tepid interest. The Chicago Bears are also a possibility according to a Jeff Darlington post in the Miami Herald.
NFL Spending: The NFL owners have quietly agreed to try and adhere to the 129 million dollar cap number that was in place last year. This means that despite a free spending season, many teams will not overly spend and instead keep it under control.
Ronnie Brown: His low end tender will actually help facilitate a trade should the Phins find a suitable offer. With a lowered salary, Brown is much more enticing when not having to shell out the 5 mill he could have been making. But no worries, I put the chances of Brown playing elsewhere next year at around 30%.
Joey Porter: Time is the only thing keeping him on Miami’s roster. Time is about to expire.
Tyler Thigpen: The Dolphins appear to be in trade mode with Thigpen who will become a one season borrowed QB. The team is reportedly close to re-signing Chad Pennington who will back-up Chad Henne. Henne has maintained that he wants CP back and the Dolphins would do well by having him on the sideline to help groom their youngster. Thigpen will not get much more than a 5th and there are not a lot of teams in the market for a journeyman QB. Don’t be surprised if he doesn’t stay on the roster and get cut later in training camp if the team can’t find a taker.
Chad Pennington: See “Tyler Thigpen”.
Karlos Dansby: Rumors still persist out of the mainstream media that the Phins have Dansby targeted as a major priority. They said the same thing last year with Jason Brown of Baltimore. Dansby will be somewhere by the end of the weekend but look for him to make a couple of stops before settling down.
Anquan Boldin: Boldin is reportedly available for a 3rd round pick. Two years ago that would have been a steal and even today many feel that the Phins should jump on it. I’m more cautious and think the Phins are too. Boldin is a beast of a WR but he has had a fair share of injuries because of his style of play…which is taking on hits. Boldin is wearing down quick but that isn’t the only reason I might pass on the S. Florida local product.
I don’t honestly see Boldin as a legitimate number 1 WR. Go ahead and throw your barbs my way. Boldin has benefited immensely from playing opposite Larry Fitzgerald. At one time, the question was who benefited from who but it’s clear that Fitz can be just as affective without Boldin where the vice-versa has remained to be seen.
As a Dolphins fan it would be hard to not want to see Boldin in Miami but I’m not going to say that if Miami doesn’t get him, that it’s a bad thing. Let’s face it, is he going to make Ted Ginn better? No. Is Ginn going to make Boldin better? Yeah right.
Antrelle Rolle: The Arizona product is counting down his hours to freedom and while he will hit the market running, the Dolphins don’t appear overly moved to make a move on him. Rolle is not a huge upgrade over Wilson despite the fact that Wilson isn’t that good.
00:01 : Teams can start signing and trading and cutting players at the mid-night plus one mark and it is clear that for the first time since 1993 the league will not have a salary cap in place. With the passing of the first deadline, the eyes will turn to this time next season to see if the league and owners have come to a decision. Mark my words, in the week leading up to the start of the 2011 league new year, we will be talking about this again.
Stay tuned: Check back often over the night for updates should the Dolphins make any moves, we will have them here for you as soon as we can!