— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 11, 2014
Smokescreens, rumors, speculation, and surprises. It's free agency time in the NFL. As we cross the three hours until the signing period officially begins, rumors are the order of the day. One interesting rumors starting to circulate is mentioned in the tweet from NFL.com's Ian Rapoport embedded above.
Could the Dolphins really be interested in defensive end Tyson Jackson? With the log jam at the position that pushed third overall pick Dion Jordan to the sidelines for much of last year, adding another defensive end (and coincidently, a third overall pick) would be a surprise. However, in a passing league, being able to get after opposing quarterbacks is critical, and defensive ends provide that option.
The Dolphins could also be considering a move inside for Jackson, who has shown he has the ability to stop the run, but struggled as a pass rusher in a 3-4 defensive scheme with the Kansas City Chiefs. Again, it's an interesting rumor.
To get a better idea of what Jackson would bring to the Dolphins, as well as whether or not Jackson would even consider leaving the Chiefs, I turned to Arrowhead Pride's Joel Thorman for a quick insider look.
Tyson Jackson took a big pay cut to remain with the Chiefs last season. I'm honestly not sure if that helps or hurts his situation with Kansas City in 2014. The Chiefs would likely have to find someone to replace him in free agency or the draft so I suspect they're motivated to keep him if the price is right.
He's a big defensive linemen out of LSU. The Chiefs drafted him very high in 2009 (third overall) so expectations were way too high to begin with. The truth is, he's a fine starter but certainly not a star. He can stop the run well, which is what he was asked to do as a defensive end in the Chiefs 3-4 defense, but he doesn't offer much of anything in the pass rush department. He rotated out in the Chiefs sub packages. I've wondered if he might be a better fit in a 4-3 defense but the Chiefs have been in a 3-4 since he's been in Kansas City.
Obviously, this could be the Dolphins simply taking a look. This could be Jackson's representatives using the Dolphins to try to drive up their client's asking price. If you have learned anything over the years of watching free agency, you should know, where there's smoke, there's not always fire.