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Monday, March 31, 2008

The strange continue to be, well, strange

The Miami Dolphins are really an interesting team to cover. It's not so much that they win so much (as they did when I covered them under Don Shula), or that they lose so much (as they have been lately), it's just that they find new and innovative ways of being weird.

The team that brought you the perfect season also brought you the buying out of the coach who engineered the perfect season.

The team hired Jimmy Johnson and before his four seasons were over, he quit twice, cried after loses, and feuded with future Hall of Famer Dan Marino.

Then after Johnson failed in his mission to accomplish what he promised -- to win a Super Bowl -- somebody had the brilliant idea to let him name his successor! Remember that Don Shula didn't get that privilege. And, by the way, that successor was an oaf.

Then that oaf lost the respect of the players after three years and his coaching staff went into mutiny his final year with the team. Then Ricky Williams "retired." Then Ricky Williams was suspended.

Then the team replaced the oaf with Nick Saban, who had a Napoleonic Complex and was something of a social misfit with anyone not wearing a football uniform. Then Saban trusted the doctors over the coaches and scouts and picked Daunte Culpepper over Drew Brees. And yes, he lied about Alabama, too.

Then Ricky was suspended again.

Then the Cam Cameron experience with his million mistake march toward 1-15. And now?

Well, today the team has not one, but two owners. It has a rookie coach. It has a rookie general manager. And the guy running the entire operation is a ghost.

Everyone knows Bill Parcells is calling the shots with the Dolphins, but he and the team feel compelled to put on this facade like he's not really calling the shots. The entire freakin' NFL knows Bill Parcells is in charge, but Parcells thinks by not being out in public on Dolphins business, he can fool everyone into forgetting the truth.

So in a year the team has the No. 1 pick in the universe, Parcells has not attended the Senior Bowl, the Indianapolis Combine, any of the pro day workouts for the top players and definitely not the current NFL annual meeting where, you know, his charisma might move some unsuspecting GM like Rick Spielman to trade the farm for the first pick Miami desperately wants to jettison.

Meanwhile, we have NO EARTHLY IDEA how long Huizenga will remain as the Dolphins owner because even Monday when the sale to Stephen Ross was finalized, the two men would not reveal the outside date by which the transfer of power has to happen -- something that was negotiated among the reams of legalese that is their agreement.

Because we don't know how long Huizenga will remain, we have no certainty how long Parcells will remain. Sure, the Tuna told me he knew of the ownership shift and had no problems with it. But that is easy to say two or three years out. What if Huizenga, 70, decides to get out after next season?

Where will that leave Parcells and Ross?

It all speaks of a strange team that continues to be, well, strange. And notice I didn't even mention that the team's best player is dancing with the stars while his teammates are in their offseason conditioning program.


Miami gets extra picks at NFL meetings, more updates

The Dolphins have been awarded two compensatory draft picks for the upcoming draft.

The NFL just announced 32 compensatory picks to 15 clubs and Miami gets an extra sixth-round pick (204 overall) and a seventh-round pick (245 overall).

Under the NFL collective bargaining agreement, a team losing more or better compensatory free agents than it acquires in a year is eligible to receive compensatory draft picks.

Last year the Dolphins lost David Bowens, Damion McIntosh, Sammy Morris and Jeff Zgonina and signed only Jay Feely and David Martin.

Other stuff:

*Speaking of draft picks, the Dolphins have come to the realization they're pretty much stuck with the first overall pick. We've known that for a while, but the organization is pretty much operating under the assumption no other team will step up to trade for Miami's first overall pick.

"People aren't moving up," Dolphins managing general partner Wayne Huizenga said. "The top four or five picks -- a lot of teams aren't willing to spend the money to move up. In some years they would move up in other years they won't. This is one of those off years where no team really wants to move up.

"There's two things: What's available in the first four or five picks and what do teams need. So you get those things working for you or against you and that makes the decision whether teams are going to step or not."

*By the way, as you can read elsewhere on The Herald website since around noon, Huizenga's sale of the team to real estate mogul Stephen Ross was approved today. Huizenga called it, "bittersweet."

*Finally, I just talked to agent Leigh Steinberg, who represents Ricky Williams. He tells me Williams is still recovering from his torn pectoral muscle he suffered in his only game of last season.

Steinberg says Williams is not 100 percent yet and was told it would take "six to nine months," for the recovery to be complete. He suffered the injury in November so that means May at the earliest and possibly as late as August.

Things I know before today's start of the NFL meetings

Clearing out the notebook before I refill at the NFL's Annual Meeting starting today in Palm Beach:

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.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Live blog Thursday 1-2 p.m.

Hey, I got nothing to do between 1 and 2 p.m. Thursday so why not spend it with Dolphins fans?

I will be on here for those 60 minutes so come aboard -- ask questions, make comments, insult my writing -- and we'll see if we can't have some fun.

By the way, if you leave your questions or comments early because your boss will be looking over your shoulder between 1-2 p.m., I'll answer those also.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Jaguars interested in Jason Taylor?

This is a post about Jason Taylor but, sorry dance fans, it will not delve into his mambo.

I will delve into his future. And that possibly could lead him to Jacksonville.

I have been told by one NFL scout and one NFL assistant coach that Jacksonville coach Jack Del Rio (pictured) likes the idea of trading for Taylor. I am not sure exactly how far Del Rio has gone with this -- be it considering it and discarding the idea or actually pursuing the issue.

But I do know the scenario of adding Taylor has been on the coach's mind. I will continue snooping around with some league sources and ask Del Rio about it directly at the NFL's annual meeting in Palm Beach next week. We'll soon find out if there is fire associated with this smoke.

Anyway, the whispers have not risen to the level of actually writing about it in The Herald yet. But they are credible enough to be on this blog.

Here is the scenario: The Jaguars are a pretty good team, good enough that they won 11 games last season and gave the Patriots a tough game in the playoffs. But the Jaguars realize there is a gap between good and great and they need more explosive players to be great.

They tried to address that on offense this year by acquiring deep-threat receiver Jerry Porter in free agency. They need to address that on defense by either adding a game-changing defensive end or a safety that can collect turnovers.

The bottom line is the Jacksonville defense will beat up an opponent but won't win a game. It needs a safety that can return an interception for a TD or an end that can sack the QB, cause a fumble, scoop it up, and run for the score.

Taylor is the latter.

Here's the issue: The Jaguars have the No. 26 pick in the draft and they definitely don't want to give that to Miami for Taylor. Their second rounder is No. 58 and while they might think this is still too much to give away, the Dolphins will probably think it too low a pick for Taylor.

So if this is to happen, Del Rio and the Jags would have to convince themselves No. 58 is doable and perhaps give up a second day pick as well.

This while the Dolphins would, first of all, have to decide trading Taylor is right -- remember that Bill Parcells said it wouldn't happen -- and then accept the fact a low second-rounder is the best they could do for the soon-to-be 34-year-old player.

This is not imminent. But are the Jaguars one of the teams interested in Taylor?

You bet.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Ryan's wonderlic score suggests he's really bright

Bill Parcells wants to trade out of the first overall pick. That is not a secret because, as general manager Jeff Ireland said at the Senior Bowl when asked about trading the pick, "We're open for business."

But if the Dolphins must pick, one of the critical factors they will weigh is intelligence. Parcells wants tough guys, intelligent guys, guys that aren't a concern off the field.

In that regard several of the top overall pick candidates helped themselves in the Wonderlic test which teams use to measure smarts.

According to Dan Pompei of the Chicago Tribune, Boston College quarterback Matt Ryan added to his long list of intangibles when he scored a 32 on the test. A person of average intelligence is supposed to score around 20.

But Ryan wasn't alone in showing the Dolphins and other teams he's got brains. Michigan offensive tackle Jake Long scored a 26. No word on what Chris Long and other potential first overall picks scored.

Among the other top quarterbacks, Pompei writes that Brian Brohm also scored a 32, Joe Flacco had a 27 and Chad Henne had a 22.

Of course, a high Wonderlic doesn't guarantee NFL success as as low one doesn't promise NFL failure. Remember that Vince Young allegedly scored a six in 2006. It hasn't exactly ruined his career.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Trade the Dolphins 53 for Tom Brady?

Quickie here to go along with the loooong post I put up earlier: As one of my faithful blog readers gave me a heads up, Jason Taylor did make an interesting comment on the Dan Patrick radio show earlier this week.

While talking about what he would do if he were making the picks on draft day, Taylor went in an interesting direction when he said he would trade the Dolphins for Tom Brady.

That's not trade playing for the Dolphins for playing with Brady. That's a heads-up trade.

"I would trade our 53 for Tom Brady," Taylor said. "I would trade our entire roster for Tom Brady."


1. Do you take that as an insult when the team's star player says publicly he would trade all of his other teammates for one player, particularly a player on a division rival?

2. If you had the option, would you make that trade?

Have at it....

Miami's 2005 draft unlucky, or simply inefficient?

A couple of years ago, during a one-on-one interview with Dolphins owner Wayne Huizenga, the billionaire expressed frustration about his team based on a fact he said no one could overcome.

He said his team was "unlucky."

Specifically he was talking about the 2005 draft when, according to Huizenga, the Dolphins had a great chance to stock the team with talent because it was picking second overall but couldn't do so because, the owner lamented, "Talent was down. That draft didn't have the same caliber of talent as other years."

This sentiment was echoed by then-coach Nick Saban, who in the days leading up to the draft, said: "There's no Julius Peppers out there to pick at No. 2."

Sure enough, the Dolphins picked Ronnie Brown in the first round and he was the first of 26 running backs taken that day. Although he showed flashes of stardom last year, questions linger about his consistency and health as he's never finished a season he started and is now recovering from reconstructive knee surgery.

In the second round the Dolphins took defensive end Matt Roth, who failed as a starter last season.

In the third round they took linebacker Channing Crowder who had a stellar rookie season but whose production has not continued to climb off that hopeful rookie showing.

In the fourth round the Dolphins got cornerback Travis Daniels, who fell out of favor last season when he lost his starting job.

In the fifth they took offensive tackle Anthony Alabi who was waived this offseason. In the seventh round Miami took defensive tackle Kevin Vickerson, who could not stick with the team despite his size.

So what is the point? That the Dolphins, seemingly unlucky to have high picks in a year talent was down, were not the victims of bad luck at all. They were simply victims of bad drafting.

Compare Miami's haul to the New York Giants, who were drafting in the middle of every round except the first because they had given up that pick in the Eli Manning deal the year before.

In the second round the Giants got cornerback Corey Webster, who is a starter now. In the third round, four picks after Miami got Crowder, the Giants picked defensive tackle Justin Tuck. Tuck was unspectacular his first season and was injured in 2006, but he simply burst onto the scene last year, collecting 10 sacks and two forced fumbles. He also had two sacks and a forced fumble against New England in the Super Bowl. The Giants would like Michael Strahan to return for 2008, but if he doesn't, the team is confident Tuck will be an excellent replacement.

In round four the Giants drafted running back Brandon Jacobs. He's the 6-4, 265-pound plow horse who can also run like a thoroughbred, doing the 40 in 4.54. Jacobs was sparingly used his first two seasons because Tiki Barber was the starter. But when he was finally pressed into action last year he averaged 5 yards per carry while gaining 1,009 yards. Not bad considering his signing bonus as a fourth-round pick was about $300,000. Brown's guaranteed money was $19 million.

By the way, Pro Bowl running back Marion Barber was also picked in the fourth round and Pro Bowl running back Frank Gore was picked in the third round. But I digress.]

Anyway, the Giants didn't have a pick in Round 5 or 7. But their haul on a day they lacked a first, fifth and seventh rounder included a starting cornerback, a starting running back and a starting-caliber defensive end -- all outstanding players who played key roles New York's Super Bowl run.

The Dolphins plucked two starters whose careers are at a crossroads and each one came at a much higher price.

As we draw closer to this draft, I am hearing the same sort of complaints as the Dolphins made about the 2005 draft. I hear people complaining there is no clear-cut top pick, I hear people saying there is no Peyton Manning or Julius Peppers. Nonsense.

I ask you keep these facts in mind:

The Dolphins are NOT unlucky to have the first pick. They can pick the draft's best player if they identify the right guy.

The Dolphins would nonetheless LOVE to trade that first pick because there will be good players available later at a much lower cost and risk.

And, finally, the pressure is on Miami to finally stop making excuses.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Matt Ryan 'pressed' at his pro day

Both Chris Long at Virginia and Matt Ryan at Boston College had their pro days Tuesday.

There were 39 NFL representatives in attendance with Director of college scouting Chris Grier and quarterback coach David Lee representing the Dolphins at Ryan's pro day. There were 42 NFL reps present for the Long pro day at Virginia. For more info on Long's day go to colleague Barry Jackson's Buzz column in The Herald Wednesday.

Anyway, back to Boston College. Ryan threw 52 passes and completed 48, as three were reported dropped and one was simply overthrown. But despite this high completion percentage several coach and GM types came away with mixed reviews.

Kansas City coach Herm Edwards, whose club has the fifth pick in the draft said Ryan, "pressed a couple of times, trying to throw the ball a little too hard. That's generally what happens with quarterbacks, when you get the media there. Again, he pressed some throws, but the thing this guy has is his ability to win."

Vikings personnel man Rick Spielman ('memba him?) also agreed Ryan was pressing.

Question: So some quarterbacks, including Ryan, throw too hard when the media is watching? I have news for the kid and that is the media watches practices, scrimmages and games. So he better get over it.

Bottom line is I would not draw too many conclusions from what happened Tuesday because Ryan, along with the Longs and possibly others will be scrutinized some more by the Dolphins. And as to what the Dolphins will do, nobody knows.

That's because even if you know Bill Parcells won't tell you. I refer to this item by Peter King at

"I'll never forget the 1986 draft, when I was covering the Giants for Newsday. I'd heard Parcells had sent a coach to Columbus to work out Ohio State linebacker Pepper Johnson a few days before the draft. On the eve of the draft I called Parcells. "Sounds like you're interested in Pepper Johnson,'' I said. The noise that came out of his mouth was something beyond, Are you kidding me? "Pepper Johnson? Pssssshhhhhhawwwww.''

For those of you not familiar with NFL history, the Giants drafted Johnson the next day.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Do you suspend reality or believe the truth?

To celebrate Jason Taylor's debut tonight on Dancing with the Stars we're going to suspend reality now.

Why? Well, because that's exactly what we have to do to believe everything that is being said by Taylor and Bill Parcells relative to the defensive end's future with the Dolphins.

To recap: Parcells told me for print in this blog and The Miami Herald that Taylor is not going to be traded or released. He said the only way Taylor doesn't play for the Dolphins in 2008 is if he retires. Fine.

Taylor, in an interview with Sirius Satellite radio, said over the weekend he intends to play in 2008, is under contract with the Dolphins and, "That's where I want to be."

OK, so if we accept everything these two men are saying we have to accept the following:

1. That Bill Parcells is rebuilding the Dolphins in every area, cutting players younger than Taylor, showing no interest in star free agents that are younger than Taylor, bringing in a potential free agent signee (Calvin Pace) who plays the same position as Taylor, but that he intends to keep Taylor.

2. That even if the Dolphins get calls inquiring about a Taylor trade, which a source tells me has already happened from at least two teams, the Dolphins will ignore those calls and the chance to add more high draft picks so they can keep Taylor, as Parcells said. This even though Taylor has maybe two more years left with the Miami.

3. You would have to accept from Taylor that even though he hates losing and has been extremely hurt by the steady decline of the team, he is fine with simply going along with the current plan even as vets are getting cut and no stars are being signed in free agency.

4. That Taylor, contrary to human nature, would not welcome a chance to jump off Miami's sinking ship and get on one apparently sailing toward playoff contention.

Can all of you believe these four things are all true? Do they make sense?

Absolutely not.

Taylor, as I wrote in a column that I sourced for seven days, would love a chance to play for another team that has a chance to compete. In fact, he prefers that.

And Parcells, a master of building a winner, cannot truly believe he's going to gut a team but do it in an incomplete manner.

You cannot rebuild halfway as Nick Saban and the CamRandy regimes proved. You either go with young players or you don't. You either acquire as many draft picks as you can or you don't. And you don't turn down the opportunity to add early picks on a team going nowhere just so you keep a soon-to-be 34-year-old player whose market value will decline rather than increase as years pass.

I don't believe Parcells is making that error. I believe he will trade Taylor once he gets an offer he's comfortable with -- a low first-rounder or high second rounder. And as for Taylor, I believe he will be excited to death about that trade if it involves a team with playoff possibilities.

If you don't believe those things, then you have to continue suspending reality.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Deck the (DeAngelo) Hall for the Raiders

If you guys participated in last Monday's live blog, you got the idea this was coming down the pike but ESPN's Chris Mortensen is reporting DeAngelo Hall is apparently bound for Oakland.

The Raiders reportedly will give up a second-round pick for Hall and then sign him to a lucrative contract that could equal or surpass the deal Asante Samuel signed with Philadelphia.

The Dolphins? They're going with Will Allen and a re-signed Michael Lehan. Happy about that considering Miami could have gotten Hall because their (own) No. 2 is higher than anyone else's including Oakland's? Remember Miami has two No. 2s.

Anyway, it's just a question. And I don't want to hear how Hall is a bad character guy because he is not.

Finally, since I know it torques some folks when I tell you I told you so, I'm going to tell you I told you so because getting a rise out of you delights me.

This is what I said on here March 10 when someone asked for a Hall trade update in the live blogging session: "Mr. Anonymous, I am told the teams most interested in DeAngelo Hall now are Washington and Oakland. I wish the Dolphins were more involved but they apparently are not."

Almost forgot: Since I have noticed it also bugs some of you when I pimp my radio show on here, here goes: I'll be on the air today from noon to 2 p.m. on 790 The Ticket and Join me there.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Dolphins don't attend Long pro day in droves

Just got off the phone with a source who was at Jake Long's pro day today in Michigan.

For those of you excited about him being the possible first overall pick to the Dolphins ... I would chill on that idea for the moment.

The Dolphins had one representative at the workout today. The St. Louis Rams, who pick second in the draft and believe they have to find someone to replace Orlando Pace, had about a dozen pairs of eyes on Long's work.

[SATURDAY UPDATE: As has been the talk on this thread, Long will work for the Dolphins in a private screening, so to speak. So will Matt Ryan, so will Chris Long and perhaps others. That of itself is not an indication Miami will pick him.]

Long did not run Friday. He simply did position-related drills. If you're a Dolphins fan, it shouldn't matter what he did. He is not the pick.

Look, this is a good draft for offensive tackles. The Dolphins have a huge need in that they don't have a right tackle. If you believe they're moving Vernon Carey back to right tackle, something the Dolphins have not confirmed, they don't have a left tackle.

But the fact is even if they don't pick Long, they can still draft a tackle with the first pick of the second round and fill the position. The fact is they can live with Carey at LT and let the rookie play RT. The fact is this deep tackle class might offer a LT in the second round. The fact is Bill Parcells has not traditionally spent high picks on offensive linemen.

The fact is if Tony Sparano is as good a line coach as everyone says, they can find a diamond in the rough after the first pick and turn him into a diamond on the line. The fact is Jake Long, for all his gifts, is not a No. 1 overall pick type of talent.

By the way, Long is still an outstanding player. He was penalized for a holding once as a redshirt freshman and had one false start as a senior. But that didn't mean he didn't cheat a little.

“Absolutely. I’ll admit that I hold,” Long said with a laugh at the first day of the NFL scouting combine last month. “I’ll get my hands inside and hide it that I’m holding.”

The Rams will be thrilled. Your thoughts?

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Mark these dates on your Dolphins calendar

You know the Dolphins cheerleader calendar you bought when your wife or girlfriend wasn't looking? The one you keep hidden in the drawer underneath copies of your old tax returns?

Get that out and bring a Sharpie with you.

These dates are important to the Dolphins, and to you also, because you are a big Dolphins head fan: March 14 and March 18.

On March 14, which is Friday, Michigan will hold its pro day. And the Dolphins will have a full contingent of scouts and coaches and likely even general manager Jeff Ireland on hand to watch Jake Long do his thing in front of EVERYONE for the final time.

Long is expected to lift and go through pass blocking drills at the Wolverines' pro day in hopes of improving his draft stock.

Four days later on March 18, both Boston College and Virginia will conduct their pro days. And a split squad (baseball term) of Miami folks will be at both places to focus on BC quarterback Matt Ryan and Virginia defensive lineman Chris Long.

The pro day event will be particularly important for Ryan because, well, he hasn't really shown much so far in leading up to the draft. He passed on playing in the Senior Bowl and didn't provide a complete workout at the scouting combine. So he'll have to go through all the paces at BC to show scouts he's worthy of being mentioned as a top 5 selection and possibly THE top pick.

Now I don't think he'll be the top pick because, call it instincts, I don't see the Dolphins making that investment on a quarterback with so many question marks about him -- such as decision-making and mobility for starters. But again, Ryan is being thoroughly scrutinized by Miami.

At Virginia, Long is considered the most likely No. 1 overall pick. He's good, he's got a great motor, he comes from Pro Football Hall of Fame stock being Howie Long's kid, and his college coach is Al Groh, who is very, very, very tight with Bill Parcells.

So every sign is pointing to Long as the guy if Miami keeps its No. 1 overall pick. But ...

Long has to show he's getting better physically as the draft draws closer because many of the other guys certainly are. Ohio State's Vernon Gholston, for example, improved his combine 40-yard dash time from 4.67 to 4.6 and even 4.59 on some stopwatches. His vertical jump at his workout was a winged 42 inches.

Considering Gholston and Long had pretty much the same production and project to play the same position in the NFL, Long has to show he is in the same physical league even though at the combine he was not as fast (4.75) and not quite as impressive on the bench press. Long seemed more fluid in coverage drills, but that's more objective.

So there is a lot at stake in the next few days.

Of course, if you ask me, the Dolphins should also be marking March 25 on their calendar. That's when Darren McFadden will have his pro day in Fayetteville. We'll see then if he stands pat on his unofficial combine timing of 4.33 in the 40 or if he's a competitor and tries to do better.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Dolphins agree with Davis, reach $100 million in salaries

The Dolphins have agreed to a two-year contract with former Dallas special teams player Keith Davis.

Davis, the special teams captain for Dallas last season, comes to Miami primarily to help turn around what was a putrid special teams corps last season. If you remember, the special teams was so awful early on, the Dolphins had to bench several players and replace them with offensive and defensive starters.

Even then the improvement was marginal.

Anyway, the Davis signing will put the Dolphins over the $100 million mark in salary cap expenditures. As of the latest figures I had before the Davis contract, the Dolphins were $21 million under their adjusted cap.

Miami's adjusted cap, by the way, is $120 million because it got a $4 million cap credit from last year. Miami had accounted for $99.6 million of that $120 million prior to getting Davis on board. That contract, by the way, has not yet been signed as of this writing.

I would estimate the Dolphins will be about $20 million under the cap once the Davis contract is reported.

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Live blog Monday from 1-3 p.m.

In the interest of remaining interactive with you I will be here from 1 to 3 p.m. Monday to talk with you and answer any of your questions.

We can discuss free agency, the draft or my Jason Taylor column which will be posting to the Miami Herald website in the coming hours.

Just post your question or comment in the comment section and that's where I'll answer it. Depending on the demand, we might start doing this more often.

Hope to hear from you then.

Pacman Jones IS NOT on the Dolphins radar

Pacman Jones, the suspended strip club enthusiast, is apparently on the radar of several teams interested in trading for him.

Want to hear something really funny? According to the Tennesseean newspaper in Nashville, the Dolphins are among the teams interested.

With all due respect to the fine work that newspaper does, the Dolphins ARE NOT interested in Jones for a myriad reasons.

First, Jones is suspended and there is no certainty his lawyer will be able to convince the NFL to allow Jones back on the field for 2008 after he missed all of 2007 when six arrests and various legal issues caused commissioner Roger Goodell to take punitive action against him.

Secondly, Bill Parcells, who is running the Dolphins, has stated he doesn't want "thugs or hoodlums," on his team. He said this at his introductory press conference:

"I’m interested in good character people. I don’t want thugs and hoodlums on the team. I really don’t. I don’t want bad character guys. I don’t want problem children. I’m more willing to let someone else try to address those things with other people. I want to get a good base of good character people that are dependable, reliable employees and come to work with the idea of trying to win football games for the Miami Dolphins.”

I know for a fact that Parcells told Miami players the exact same thing in private during a team meeting. If the Dolphins add Jones, who at the time of his suspension was the personification of, shall we say, a soul run afoul of laws, Parcells will not only lose face publicly (which is important) but also within the Dolphins locker room (which is more important).

Finally, how much sense would it make for the Dolphins to show no interest in DeAngelo Hall, who is not a character problem, but make a play for Jones, who isn't as good, has an uncertain future, and does raise red flags with his character?

As a Dolphins person told me, "Don't believe everything you read."

Friday, March 07, 2008

Salguero on the radio tonight 10-midnight

Not a ton going on right now with the Fins other than they continue preparing for the most important draft perhaps of their history.

Still think it'll be either Chris Long or Jake Long with the Matt Ryan rumors simply a smoke screen. On the free agency front I am puzzled why receiver D.J. Hackett hasn't been on Miami's radar.

I doubt Hackett would be a high-priced acquisition. More like a $3 million guaranteed money type of guy. And even at 6-2 and 208 pounds he has deep threat ability, having turned 10 percent of his catches the past three years into plays averaging 31.5 yards. I know the guy had some injury issues, but didn't Justin Smiley and Jason Ferguson miss most of parts of last season on injured reserve? And the Dolphins went after them.

Anyway, we can talk about all of that and more on my radio show this evening.

I will be on 790 The Ticket from 10 to midnight and will be happy to talk with you if you call in. If you're not in South Florida you can listen via the computer by going to and listening live there.

If you want to call and discuss something, it's a toll-free call at 1-888-790-3776.

Wow, the world is indeed shrinking isn't it?

Thursday, March 06, 2008

How does free agency look to you now that it is over?

Excited about Tab Perry? Maybe the addition of special teams ace Boomer "Don't call me Otis" Grigsby has you aflutter.

If not, too bad. That because free agency has pretty much come and gone for much of the NFL, including the Dolphins.

Sure there was that initial, hopeful surge that first weekend when the Dolphins signed eight players in two days and traded for Jason Ferguson. But if you thought that was going to be the start of something big, you were a little off.

It was pretty much the start ... and the finish.

The Dolphins may add a player or two more before June 1 and might even look at a guy cut after June 1 (assuming he's young). But if you're waiting for guys that will significantly improve the team, you had better look toward the draft.

Because those guys aren't coming in what remains of free agency. Fact is, it could be argued, those guys may not have come in what the Dolphins got at the start of free agency.

Yes, Justin Smiley should be a starter -- if he's healthy, which he wasn't last year. Yes, Josh McCown looks the part of a starting quarterback and will get a chance to compete for the job, but he's failed with three other teams.

And Randy Starks shows a lot of promise for the future ... but we were told the same thing about Manny Wright and Fred Evans and Matt Roth once upon a time.

The point is free agency for the Dolphins has, at best, filled in around the margins of the roster. For the impressive narrative, you will have to wait until the 2008 draft. And the 2009 draft. And the 2010 draft.

It's going to be a while, folks. It's going to be a while.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Where does Brett Favre rank relative to Marino?

As you might have heard Brett Favre is retiring.

So why is that news on a Dolphins blog? Well, because Favre belongs on the Mount Rushmore of NFL quarterbacks and he's got to share that space with guys like Johnny Unitas and Joe Montana, Dan Marino, and eventually Peyton Manning when he's done playing.

The question that remains is Favre leaving the game ahead of Marino in the minds of NFL fans? I know asking that question here is like asking the hen house to vote for either the rooster or the fox. But I am, just this once, going to trust you guys can bring objective insight into the matter.

Before we do that let me throw some records with the next closest mark behind it:

Career TD passes -- Favre 442. Marino 420.
Career passing yards -- Favre 61,655. Marino 61,361.
Career passing attempts -- Favre 8,758. Marino 8,358
Career completions -- Favre 5,377. Marino 4,967.
Most 3,000 yard seasons -- Favre 16. Marino 13.
Most win by a QB -- Favre 160. John Elway 148.
Consecutive starts by any player: Jim Marshall 270. Favre 253.

OK, your thoughts?

Monday, March 03, 2008

Calvin Pace going with the J-E-T-S

The Dolphins have lost out on linebacker Calvin Pace who minutes ago agreed to a contract with the New York Jets.

The Jets stepped up this afternoon, increasing the amount of guaranteed money they were prepared to give Pace from about $19.5 million to $22 million. I am told the Dolphins also reached the $20 million mark but were unwilling to go as high as New York.

Pace's total contract is believed to be a six-year deal with the total worth between $42-$45 million depending on wether he reaches some incentives. Pace is going to make $26 million his first three years which merely means he's picking up an extra $4 million in base salary during that time.

This for a player who only has had one good year -- that in 2007 when he had 6.5 sacks.

The fact Pace is not coming now causes the Dolphins pause. Joey Porter, whose future would be uncertain had Pace signed, may have to remain in Miami's plans.

Quickie update on free agent Calvin Pace

OK people this is what I've come up with so far this morning on Calvin Pace.

He is still searching, hoping, waiting for that magic $20 million guaranteed money figure from either the Jets or Dolphins and apparently NEITHER team is there yet.

Amazing that a guy who's had one good year can expect, and perhaps get, that kind of money. But I digress.

Because the money isn't quite where Pace hoped yet, his agent is trying to play one team against the other and including the possibility of adding another team in the mix: The Cincinnati Bengals. But don't worry about the Bengals because they don't traditionally overpay.

Pace is also said to be mulling lifestyle issues. He loved South Florida's weather and was impressed when he met Bill Parcells. He's a Detroit native but lives in Atlanta so he also likes the idea of being closer to home.

On the other hand, I'm told Pace doesn't shy away from attention so playing in the spotlight otherwise known as New York is attractive. But that is all secondary.

It's about the money, people. When either the Jets or Dolphins reach that $20 million guaranteed figure, or surpass it, then that's when Pace will jump. That has not happened yet.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Parcells: Taylor will have to retire to leave Dolphins

The Miami Dolphins are not going to trade Jason Taylor. The only way he does not play for the Dolphins in 2008 is if he retires.

This from Dolphins football czar Bill Parcells.

"There is nothing to it," Parcells said of the report that said the Dolphins and Taylor are parting ways. "That is journalistic irresponsibility. There's a lot of that going around these days."

Parcells is concerned such a story could hurt the Dolphins.

"Free agency is going on and we are trying to put a team together and this kind of thing is very harmful," he said. "And it is not true. The only way Jason Taylor doesn't play for the Dolphins is if he retires. The team is not going to trade him."

Of course, it is entirely possible Taylor might retire. He has spoken about retirement in the past, specifically after the 2005 season. And it's not like the guy needs the money or work. He has made over $100 million in salary and endorsements throughout his 11-year career.

But Hollywood beckons and, according to one of Taylor's confidants, he could easily make $4-$10 million a year making movies and doing other projects.

So now apparently the ball is in Taylor's court. He might not play for the Dolphins in 2008, as reported. But he's not playing for anyone else if he doesn't.