We're just a few more days away from the beginning of the free agency signing period. And there's a lot going on right now in the NFL world.
so here's some of this weekend's Dolphins news:
CROWDER: DOLPHINS 'DROPPED THE BALL"
Let me preface this by saying that I really like Channing Crowder - both as a player and as a person. He's a solid (unspectacular, but solid) linebacker and seems like an entertaining guy off the field. But, seriously, he clearly has a rather high opinion of himself - and isn't afraid to let you know it.
On Friday night at a charity softball game, Channing had this to say about his impending free agency:
"They said, 'Well, we want to see what your market value is, and see where it goes from there.' So hopefully it does get real, real high and they have to match something high, but we'll see when free agency comes around."
"I want to play football next year, and I'm confident I can play in the NFL, so I'll play football next year and hopefully it's with the Dolphins. But if it's with somebody else, I know I can play football. They had the first crack at it and they dropped the ball, so we'll see what other teams do. It's their loss."
Our loss? It's one thing to have confidence in your play. It's another thing to make a public comment like this. It's been known for some time that Channing is just looking for the highest payday (not that I blame him or anything). This is just proof.
Let's look at it like this - who do you trust more? Jeff Ireland and Bill Parcells or Crowder himself? One clearly thinks he's a very good to great linebacker. The others, who have a rather spectacular track record, feel that paying a lot for Crowder's services isn't a smart investment. Hmmm...I'll stick with the guy with the Super Bowl rings and a sparkling resume as a team builder.
Thanks for the memories, Channing - especially this past season. But you're just not right for this front office or this team.
PARCELLS ALREADY SET ON 1ST ROUND PICK?
Buried in an article about Vernon Carey this weekend was this little nugget that Omar Kelly is reporting:
I'm told by someone in the know Bill Parcells knows exactly how he's going to use that No. 25 pick. He's got a certain player targeted, and is willing to move up for him if the Dolphins have to.
Considering I'm told Parcells is the ultimate poker player when it comes to the NFL draft, if you hear or read someone say they know exactly who it is it's probably NOT that player.
Yeah - I'm calling B.S. on this. Kelly writes directly in this article that Parcells is the "ultimate poker player." So why on earth would he let it leak out that he knows exactly who he is targeting in the 1st round even before the Scouting Combine and Pro Day workouts? Let's be serious for a moment. Even if Bill did know exactly who he wanted, do you think he would tell anybody except Jeff Ireland and Tony Sparano? Does Kelly really think that we're going to believe Bill would trust that piece of information to "someone in the know" who would then turn around and inform a reporter of it? This just doesn't make sense to me.
But let's humor this report for a second. Who might this targeted player be? Omar writes that he thinks it's USC LB Rey Maualuga. Truth be told, I wish it was. But the Dolphins would probably have to move up quite a bit to land Maualuga. And I'm not getting my hopes up.
If I had to take a guess, I'd say the player Parcells is targeting is Brian Cushing - versatile linebacker who could play both inside and outside linebacker in Miami's 3-4. And he's a "Jersey kid" - something Parcells is known to like.
So who's your guess?
VERNON CAREY'S CONTRACT
AS you all know, the Dolphins signed Vernon Carey on Friday to a 6 year, $42 million deal - a deal that includes $15 million in guaranteed money. But now we have a little better idea of the contract breakdown.
Carey got a $12 million signing bonus, which will be prorated throughout the life of the contract I'm sure. He'll get a $2 million roster bonus in March. His '09 base salary is just $800,000 and will earn another $200,000 from a workout bonus. So all told, it looks like Vernon's 2009 cap hit will be $5 million.
-Ravens' free agent center Jason Brown - a potential target of the Dolphins - is looking for big money. And while reports indicate that the Ravens might not be willing to make the offer Brown is looking for before he hits free agency, he could very well be too rich for Miami's blood. Brown is reportedly seeking an Alan Faneca type deal (5 year, $40 million). That's a little much for a center, isn't it?
-The Dolphins are reportedly looking to address the nose tackle position this offseason. And while I'd love to see Ron Brace drafted by the Dolphins, another possibility, on day 2 of the draft, is Michigan defensive tackle Terrance Taylor.