Vonta Leach is not a Miami Dolphin but apparently that may be only a matter of time. According to a report by local media, the Dolphins and Leach’s agents will be chatting again this week ahead of the start of Phins camp scheduled to open on the 20th. Both the Dolphins and the Dallas Cowboys get to open camp a week early ahead of the Hall of Fame game scheduled for August 4th in Canton, Oh.
Leach apparently wants a multi-year deal and the Dolphins are only offering a one year deal which seems to be their MO this off-season. The fact that other “suitors” are in play for the Pro-Bowl FB suggests that no other teams are willing to offer the player more than one year. Leach is one of the best protection backs in the NFL and the Dolphins believe that is an area in need of improvement. There is no thoughts yet on what a signing of Leach could mean for the future of last years starting FB Javorskie Lane but there is likely room on the squad for both.
In other news the Dolphins are once again playing the “off-set” language card with their top rookie draft pick. Number three pick Dion Jordan wants nothing to do with it while the Dolphins are insisting that the language be not only part of the contract but if absent, then no contract. Last year the Dolphins kept their 8th overall pick, Ryan Tannehill away from camp over the exact same thing. Tannehill eventually caved and took the contract but the question is will Jordan?
The language is a sore point for NFL teams who view it as possible double dipping. It works like this. Without the language in a contract a player who is released will receive their remaining guaranteed portions of their contracts, like all players do but if they are added by another team they will draw both paycheck. With off-set language once a new team employs that player, he no longer receives the money from the original team as it is off-set by what he gets from his new free agent deal. In reality with the rookie wage scale in place and the fact that the top draft picks have their contracts fully guaranteed it’s the only thing left for them to really have a say in. So far only one top ten pick has signed.
The deadline for signing franchise tagged players has come and gone and Randy Starks did not receive a new deal. The Dolphins will now pay him his 8 mill plus salary and Starks will remain on the tag until the start of next season in March when he will again become a free agent barring the Dolphins signing him to a long term deal.