The Miami Dolphins entered the offseason fray on Wednesday, agreeing to terms with two free agents, and closing in on the trade deal we are all holding our breath for.
The Dolphins resigned defensive end Tony McDaniel to a two-year, $6 million deal, adding even more depth to the Dolphins front seven.
Miami also added linebacker Jason Trusnik, agreeing to a two year deal. Trusnik, a special teams standout, had 24 tackles for the Cleveland Browns last year, and had a career high 56 tackles and 2.5 sacks for the Browns in 2009. The three years before that, Trusnik played for the Jets.
But the big news was on the trade front. Miami closed in on a deal for the Denver Broncos quarterback, Kyle Orton. At about 3:30 pm EDT, it was even reported that the trade was close, and could be completed within six hours. As we all know, that timeline has been exceeded. But, that doesn't mean the trade is dead.
The asking price has also changed. Originally, it was thought that the Broncos were looking for a third round draft choice, possibly with the ability for that pick to become a second rounder depending on Orton's play. However, during the day, it was rumored that the Broncos were coveting Dolphins' defensive linemen Kendall Langford or Randy Starks. It's believed that Langford is the preferred option, as the Broncos look to shed salary.
Meanwhile, Miami was also worrying about salary. Specifically, Orton's. Kyle's scheduled to earn $8.8 million in 2011. If the Dolphins take on that salary, they hamper themselves in the free agent market, eating a large chunk of their available space under the $120 million salary cap. But, if the Dolphins rework the quarterback's contract to lower his salary, they will be adding multiple years to the deal. The question becomes, do they want to do that, and for how many years.
But, Orton wasn't the only fish the Dolphins were after on Friday. The running back position was a focus as well. Deangelo Williams cashed in in Carolina, agreeing to a 5-year, $42 million deal. Then, the immediate report became that the Dolphins were near a deal with Ahmad Bradshaw. However, the reports then backed away from that, with Bradshaw looking more likely to resign in New York with the Giants.
Whether it's Bradshaw wanting to go back to New York, or Miami deciding he does not fit with the franchise, it quickly became clear that the Dolphins were backing out of the Bradshaw sweepstakes. ESPN's John Clayton (who, by the way joined Twitter Wednesday, and went from 0 to 90,000+ followers - @ClaytonESPN) began reporting that the Dolphins new running back target is none other than Ronnie Brown.
Whatever happens today, look for the Dolphins to work to finalize the running back free agent and the Orton deal before the start of training camp, as well as get the rookies all signed. With the Dolphins reporting to camp tomorrow, and the first practice taking place Friday, it's key for Miami to get all these deals done as quickly as possible and get everyone into camp.