Feb 21, 2013; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Miami Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland speaks at a press conference during the 2013 NFL Combine at Lucas Oil Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports
The start of free agency is a mere 2 days away. The Dolphins have been involved in more rumors than recent memory can recall. And not with names like Orton but with names like Wallace. If there is one thing we know for certain, it’s that Miami Dolphins Jeff Ireland is Miami’ version of the “Great and Powerful Oz”.
He is drawn behind a curtain. An enigma. Easily feared by finds that he will make a mistake and at the same time exciting. Ireland manages to do what few other GM’s successfully do in the NFL. He keeps things quiet and close to the hip. Last year there was nothing close to a rumor of the Brandon Marshall trade at the opening bell of free agency. None.
Ireland isn’t afraid to trade troublesome talented players as we saw again during training camp when he shipped out Vontae’ Davis for a draft pick. So are we to be believe that come Tuesday a trade won’t be announced?
Daniel Thomas has yet to be linked to a trade rumor but the Dolphins are open and rumored to be showing interest in Rashard Mendenhall. Mendenhall is 25 and has a similar skill set as Thomas. While he isn’t dirt cheap he is far from expensive. Thomas is signed through 2015 but that does not prohibit the club from moving him out. The larger question would be who would want him?
It’s unlikely the Dolphins would find a huge market for a running back so young who has struggled to produce and is consistently injured.
Then of course there is Jared Odrick. The Dolphins used the franchise tag on Randy Starks which will keep Odrick outside. Odrick has a low base however and is signed through 2014 making him an open market guy in 2 years. He would likely fetch more on the trade block than Thomas but do the Dolphins really want to part ways with a player who has yet to reach his full potential? Unless they feel he won’t ever reach that plateau.
With Matt Moore signed to a two year deal it’s natural to speculate on the Dolphins finding a trade partner for the QB. The benefit for Miami is that teams will eventually call. Moore was the top free agent on this years market after Alex Smith was traded to K.C. If a team loses their starter Moore will be in high demand which puts him closer to a “trade deadline” trade possibility.
While it’s obvious a trade would work out well for the Dolphins in the case of Moore, it would work out better for Moore himself. If he is traded it would mean that another team desires his services as a starter, not to compete as one.
Regardless of who gets traded, who doesn’t, or if anyone will, Jeff Ireland will work the phones between now and the draft behind that veil of secrecy and pull the strings and blow the smoke, and the loud booming voice you hear will be the rumors, shock and surprise, or maybe even outrage of the Miami fan base.
This time of year sure is exciting isn’t it?