The off-season is really about to begin. March 11th is the start of the NFL league new year and free agency. From March 8th to the 11th teams can legally begin negotiations with soon to be free agents. In other words, in 15 days the NFL starts rocking once again. With that being said there are still 15 days to go and a slew of rumors that are making their way around. Here are some rumors and some news you may have missed.
Jim Turner: I want to write about this singularly and still might but for now I am grappling with my own personal decision to steer away from any more “bully scandal” garbage. Turner however who was recently fired will not have to seek work any time soon. His salary for the next two seasons will be paid thanks to HC Joe Philbin who lobbied Stephen Ross for a “fired without cause” decision. Without cause means that Turner will receive the final two years of his contract unless he signs somewhere else. According to reports, Ross wanted a “firing with cause” which would have stripped him of his current contract. It is becoming clear that Philbin is acting on his own agenda. Clearly the involvement of Turner was and is a point of embarrassment for the team. It should be noted that the Dolphins are denying that Ross tried to fire Turner “with cause”.
Paul Solia: According to reports out of Indy, teams are very interested in the soon to be FA. The Dolphins have made only small talk with their free agent and it’s not known if the Dolphins will try and re-sign him prior to the start of the new year.
Randy Starks: May as well just read the above line on Solia again.
Brent Grimes: Reported on this earlier but it’s looking like the Dolphins will not use the franchise tag on Grimes.
Nolan Carroll: According to talk coming out of Indy, Carroll was approached by the Dolphins and has told the team that he will test the free agent market and see who is the highest bidder. Carroll played well at times last year but losing him isn’t the end of the world.
Matt Moore: Despite the fact the Dolphins could save about 4 million on the salary cap by releasing Moore, the Dolphins seem content to keep him but make no mistake the rumors about their being a battle between he and Ryan Tannehill are nothing more than over speculation. While the Dolphins themselves have said as much regarding the leash on Tannehill, these types of rumors and statements are only used to motivate not threaten.
RB: There is a lot of talk from Miami that I have heard saying the Dolphins will be looking at RB’s in free agency and the draft.
Oline: While Brandon Albert is the top name being dropped with Miami’s name to it, the Dolphins have plenty of other options they will explore prior to the start of free agency so don’t write this one down as a lock.
Mike Pouncey: There is talk that Pouncey may not get extended next year, his contract year, due to the allegations of the Wells’ report. It’s all BS. The Dolphins are very comfortable with having Pouncey on the team and the only change may be from center to guard. Pouncey is going to be an expensive re-sign but he is one of the top up and coming centers in the league. A year from now no one will care what involvement Pouncey had in the report.
Jim Harbaugh: Just an observation here but multiple reports are saying that the Browns tried to trade for Harbaugh before deciding on Pettine. There is a lot of contention in SF as it relates to Harbaugh and a contract extension/raise that Harbaugh feels he is due after three consecutive NFC Championship appearances. Joe Philbin has one year on his deal and Dennis Hickey is a relatively unknown. Harbaugh worked very well with former 49’er and now Philadelphia Eagle Tom Gamble. Gamble refused the interview this year due to his fathers’ illness. His father has passed away and it’s entirely possible that barring another poor season by the Dolphins that Ross doesn’t step in and try to get the coach that originally tarnished his image. It’s about a 500 to 1 chance but it’s something to keep note of if the 49’ers don’t give Harbaugh what he wants.