As the Combine comes to a finish and the beginning of free agency approaches, let's see what's people are talking about.
MORE ON POTENTIAL COWBOYS/DOLPHINS SWAP
If seems like these two teams just love stealing from each other. First, the Dolphins stole almost their entire coaching staff. Then the Cowboys signed Zach Thomas. And now we can't seem to get away from the trade rumors regarding the Cowboys and Miami's #1 pick.
So what's the latest? I was listening to Gil Brandt on Sirius NFL Radio, which by the way is a great investment, and he shared some thoughts on the topic. He said that he spent a lot of time with Jerry Jones at the Combine and that Jones wouldn't stop talking about Darren McFadden. However, Jones also feels that there are some other good running backs to be had in this year's draft class. Brandt also said that Jones all but guaranteed him that the Cowboys wouldn't be trading both of their first rounders.
Brandt then went on to talk about how he thinks it would be nearly impossible for the Dolphins to trade out of the #1 pick. This is because of, what else, money. He believes that there isn't really a team out there that would want to trade up to #1 in order to give the player, whoever it may be (Ryan, McFadden, Long, Long, or Dorsey), the kind of guaranteed money that the top pick will demand this year.
Then Brandt threw out an idea that the consistent rumors about the Cowboys potentially including Marion Barber in this trade with Miami is a ploy Dallas which they hope will bring down Barber's asking price. Remember, Barber is a restricted free agent and the Cowboys are believed to be trying to sign him to a long term deal rather than just a one year tender. Again, though, this is just speculation on Brandt's part.
What all this tells me is what I've been saying all along, and that is that I'd be shocked if the Dolphins and Cowboys reach a deal for the #1 pick.
LOSMAN NOT COMING TO MIAMI; WHOSE NEXT?
Edgar Thompson wrote a good blog post about Miami's potential veteran QB options. Good news: the Losman idea seems to have gone by the wayside:
Thompson says that the Dolphins will likely draft a QB at some point in the draft. But we all know that Bill Parcells likes to also have a veteran quarterback on the roster. Apparently, so does new offensive coordinator Dan Henning:
"It's important to him," said Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt, who worked with Henning in 2000 with the Jets.
There aren't many options in free agency, which begins Friday.
"If you're going to try to find one in free agency, it's really a hard task," Titans GM Mike Reinfeldt said.
So what are the options? Thompson points out guys like Josh McCown, Billy Volek, and Todd Collins as free agents that would meet the criteria of a "veteran QBs."
Then there are guys Miami could trade for. Guys like Kurt Warner. But should the Dolphins even think about giving up a draft pick for a guy like this? I don't think so.
What's this all mean? It probably means that there's a very good chance that John Beck will be the starter on opening day. And that's what I'm hoping for. Why? First of all, we need to let John play, hopefully behind an improved line and with a legitimate running game, to see if he is going to be the long-term solution. But more importantly, I still believe in him and I think he will be the franchise quarterback that this team needs. After all, he's very smart, has a strong arm, and can make all the throws. Now he just needs a team around him to support him.
ODDS & ENDS
Some quick hits from around the league:
-As originally pointed out in this diary posted by JMFlyer1454, the 49ers have reportedly signed Isaac Sopoaga to a 5 year deal. So there goes another guy who could have potentially filled the HUGE void as Miami's nose tackle. Eh.
-ProFootballTalk is reporting that there may be a "done deal" in New Orleans regarding Asante Samuel. The post by PFT points out that this would be tampering, but that's not a big deal. The big deal is that the top cornerback might already be off the market.
-The Denver Post is reporting that the Dolphins may be one of the teams showing interest in soon to be free agent RB/FB Cecil Sapp. Sapp can be a tailback but spent most of last season focusing on playing the fullback position.
-According to East Coast Sports News, Cardinals free agent DE/OLB Calvin Pace has said that he "will sign" with either the Dolphins, Jets, or 49ers once free agency begins. Pace is only 27 and at 6'4, 272, would be a great fit for the Dolphins as an OLB in a 3-4 defense, if that is what they plan to run. Of course, what you have to wonder about is what signing Pace might mean for Jason Taylor. If the Dolphins are to run a 3-4 defense, they already have their 2 outside linebackers in Taylor and Joey Porter. Unless, of course, the Dolphins plan on trading JT. Or, maybe, the Dolphins will run a 4-3 defense, moving Channing Crowder to MLB and having Pace and Porter on the outside.