Miami Dolphins Pro Bowl center Mike Pouncey underwent hip surgery on Monday, repairing a labrum torn during the team's Organized Team Activities. The procedure is expected to keep Pouncey out of action for at least three months, and possibly longer, meaning the Pro Bowl center will be unavailable for the team at the start of the 2014 season. A report from Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald indicates Miami has started reaching out to free agent centers in an effort to find a stop-gap player until Pouncey returns.
According to Jackson, not only are the Dolphins reaching out to free agets, but in at least one case, the free agent reached out to the team. Former All-Pro center Andre Gurode called the team, leaving a voicemail message to see if the club had any interest. The Dolphins responded to him, saying they are not planning to bring him in right now, but did not completely rule out the idea.
Gurode spent the first nine years of his career with the Dallas Cowboys, recording five straight Pro Bowl selections from 2006 to 2010, along with the two All-Pro selections. After leaving Dallas, Gurode has spent time in the Baltimore Ravens, Chicago Bears, and Oakland Raiders organizations, starting five games at least guard for the Ravens in 2011 and four games for the Raiders in 2013. He made no appearances in a brief two week stint with the Bears in 2012.
While the Dolphins have not yet asked any of the free agent centers to visit the team, there are several possibilities on the market, along with Gurode.
- David Bass - Spent the last three seasons with the New York Giants after six years with the San Francisco 49ers. Has experience at all three interior lion positions. Multiple injuries could keep him from receiving clearance to play, however.
- Kyle Cook - A 2007 undrafted free agent with the Minnesota Vikings, Cook made his NFL debut in 2008 with the Cincinnati Bengals. After making five special teams appearances that season, he locked down the starting center position for the Bengals in 2009, starting every game of every season, save for most of the 2012 season when he was on injured reserve for the first 12 games of the year.
- Ryan Cook - The first of the former Dolphins on this list, Cook was in Miami for the 2011 season after five years with the Minnesota Vikings. After a year in South Florida, Cook was traded to the Dallas Cowboys, starting most games for the team in 2012. He was forced to sit out all of last season with a back injury.
- Dan Koppen - The former fifth round draft pick of the New England Patriots joined the Denver Broncos in 2012 after nine seasons in Foxboro, including one Pro Bowl selection. He started 12 of 15 games in which he appeared for the Broncos in 2012, before a torn ACL ended his 2013 season before it even began.
- Samson Satele - The Dolphins' 2007 second round pick only stayed in Miami for two seasons, starting all 32 games at center. He was traded to the Oakland Raiders in 2009 when the Dolphins signed Jake Grove. After three years in Oakland, Satele moved to the Indianapolis Colts in March 2012, starting 11 games that season, and 13 games last year. He was released by Indianapolis in March of this year, in an apparently salary cap move for the franchise.
- Fernando Velasco - Signed as an undrafted free ageny by the Tennessee Titans in 2008, Velasco appeared in 49 games over four years (not counting his first season on the practice squad), for Tennesee. He was released by the Titans in 2013, then joined the Pittsburgh Steelers when they were looking to replace their Pouncey, center Maurkice Pouncey who was lost to a torn ACL in Week 1 last year.