Things I know before today's start of the NFL meetings
1. The Dolphins definitely have plans for John Beck. When coach Tony Sparano talks with his coaches and confidants about Miami's need to get leadership from younger players, he mentions the second-year quarterback. Sparano thinks great teams are ones with leaders that are in their third, fourth and fifth seasons -- guys in their prime. Sparano has been mentioning Ronnie Brown, Ted Ginn Jr. and Beck as guys that will be the nucleus of the team in the next couple of years. So don't write the QB off.
2. The Dolphins draft board is set. It was set last week. That means the Dolphins already know who they are going to draft if they cannot trade out of that No. 1 overall pick. They desperately want to trade out of that pick. By the way, don't ask me who they would pick because I've asked and the person I asked laughed at me.
3. New GM Jeff Ireland is a big believer in production. Like everyone else, he appreciates when an athlete runs a great time at the combine or at his pro day, but he appreciates more when a player performs and produces on the field. Given the choice of one or the other, Ireland will lean toward the player.
4. Ireland also isn't inclined to draft for need early in the selection process. He's more likely going to want the player with the best grade on the board. He does believe, however, that you can begin addressing specific needs later in the draft to fill out the roster.
5. The rumored trade that would send the Cowboys' two first-round picks to Miami for the right to pick Darren McFadden is dead, according to Dallas owner Jerry Jones (pictured with wife Gene and daughter Charlotte). Speaking to the Fort Worth Star Telegram, Jones said "I have no intent at all of moving into the top five. A team can get crippled, and I mean seriously crippled, from a financial standpoint by being up there in the top five or six. It's a real negative."
6. Read the last quote and understand two things: Jerry Jones can be saying this as a way to lower the price of getting into the top of the first round. So take it with a proverbial grain of salt. But also understand the rising cost of drafting a player so high -- at least $30 million guaranteed for the first pick -- is becoming something of a negative considering that player has never played in an NFL game. It is the reason there have been no trades involving the top five selections in years.
Anyway, I'm off to the Owners' meetings now. I'll keep you updated if stuff happens so check back here throughout the day.