Archive for: February 2012

Dolphins weigh QB options as rumors swirl

Have patience Dolphins fans, the time for talk and speculation is about to come to an end.  For almost 2 months we’ve heard ‘expert’ after ‘expert’ give their opinion on which quarterback the Dolphins will chase this offseason.   First, when Joe Philbin was named Dolphins head coach, the immediate reaction was that the Dolphins would target Matt Flynn, the Green Bay backup.  Then, the Manning to Miami movement started and fans started to warm up to the thought of Peyton Manning wearing aqua and orange.  Most recently, Dolphins fans have fallen in love with Robert Griffin III.  These are certainly not the only 3 QB options for the Dolphins, but they are the 3 that are most likely.

Each of the 3 quarterbacks mentioned above come at a cost and with a risk.  Matt Flynn could cost his next team a sizeable contract and possibly draft pick compensation (2nd rounder?) if the Packers apply the Franchise Tag to him.  Flynn has started only 2 NFL games and has looked good, but the sample size is small and he is inexperienced.  Peyton Manning will only cost money, but he’s not 100% healthy and may never be again.  Reports indicate that he’s further along in his recovery than some have let on, but if the Dolphins want to sign him, they’ll have to do it before they know for sure that he’ll be the Peyton of old.  RG3 would cost the Dolphins as much as 2 first round picks, a second round pick, and possibly more.   RG3 has amazing talents, but is unproven and inexperienced at the NFL level.

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Dolphins win the toss, elect to receive 8th pick

Earlier this morning, the Miami Dolphins anxiously awaited the result of their coin flip with the Panthers to determine the #8 overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft.  The flip was originally scheduled to take place at 7am…then the flip time was rescheduled to 730am EST…Fans became nervous, the anticipation built.  Would the Dolphins luck begin to change with one flip of a coin?  Or would they lose the coin toss and the 2012 would be lost before it began…..

Yes, I’m mocking the idea that the #8 or #9 pick is THAT big of a deal.  In truth though, it could mean the difference between the Dolphins getting the player they want or the Panthers stealing him 1 spot before.  It could also mean the difference in compensation for the Dolphins.  The Dolphins now sit at #8 and according to the Draft Value Chart, that pick is worth 1400 ‘points’.  The #9 pick is worth 1350 points.   That 50 point difference is the equivalent of a 4th round draft pick.  That value only comes into play if the Dolphins are looking to trade up or trade back from the #8 position.

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Dolphins pursuit of Matt Flynn may be harder than we thought

The Miami Dolphins have been linked to Matt Flynn since Joe Philbin was named the new Dolphins head coach.  Flynn was linked to the Dolphins because Philbin is familiar with him, having spent the last 4 seasons with Flynn in Green Bay.  Flynn is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent on March 13th, meaning he is free to sign with any team that he chooses.  Well, that was the plan…..until Wednesday…..

Wednesday evening, the Green Bay Packers re-signed their Pro Bowl tight end, Jermichael Finley to a 2 year contract worth $15 mil.  Great, but how does that effect the Dolphins pursuit of Matt Flynn?  Well, Finley and the Packers were thought to be too far apart on terms of a deal.  If they were unable to agree on a deal, many experts believed that Finley would be given the Franchise Tag by the Packers.  But, since Finley is now signed, the Packers could use their Franchise Tag on Matt Flynn.

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Manning to Miami takes to the streets as Dolphins fans post billboard ad

Give Miami Dolphins fans credit….we’re passionate fans!  Remember the banner that flew above Sun Life Stadium before the season finale against the Jets?  The one that called for Stephen Ross to fire Jeff Ireland?  You remember!  The latest public display comes in the form of a billboard on 595.  The website ManningToMiami sponsored the below billboard to show how much they want Peyton Manning to come to Dolphins:

From what we can gather, more Dolphins fans would prefer that the Dolphins sign Matt Flynn and forego the injury risk that Peyton Manning would bring.  Especially considering Peyton hasn’t been throwing the ball more than 25 yards, it’s hard to argue.  But still, there is a portion of the fan base that is holding out hope that the Dolphins will sign Peyton Manning and he will regain his Hall of Fame form.  I think every Dolphins fan out there would sign for Peyton Manning today if he was going to be 100% healthy.

As we’ve said before, if you are going to get Peyton Manning, you need an insurance policy beyond Matt Moore.  We think that the Dolphins should select a young QB in the draft (say, the 2nd round, like Tannehill if he lasts that long) to develop behind Manning.  Best Case Scenario, Manning will play another 3 years, maybe 4 if you’re lucky.  Then, you have a QB that is ready to step in and has learned from a Hall of Fame QB.

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Assessing the Dolphins salary cap situation

Although February is a quite time for Miami Dolphins related news, it doesn’t mean that the Dolphins front office is sitting around doing nothing.  In reality, February- April are crucial months when it comes to building your team.  This is the time of year that Jeff Ireland and his associates really earn their money (or so we hope!).  The Dolphins must clear out as much cap room as possible by March 13th at 4pm, when the NFL League Year official begins (so does free agency!)

With a new coaching staff, the Dolphins will use February to assess what they have on the roster….and what they need to get better.  February is a number crunching time, when the Dolphins will look at their current salary cap situation for 2012 and develop a plan to move forward with.  The Dolphins currently have about $116 mil on the books for 2012.  The NFL salary cap is expected to be between $120-$123 mil.  Considering the Dolphins need to sign a rookie class of players AND upgrade at certain positions, they have quite a bit of work to do.  The rookies will  account for $4-5 mil of the Dolphins cap for 2012.  Again, that doesn’t leave much left to spend.

So where do the Dolphins think they’ll get the money to sign a Matt Flynn or Peyton Manning?  The Dolphins, like other NFL teams will look to cut players and/or restructure current player contract before March 13th.  When a team restructures a player’s contract, they are doing so to reduce the ‘cap hit’ for the current year.  Reggie Bush, for example, has 1 year left on his deal and is set to count roughly $5 mil against the Dolphins cap.  If the Dolphins restructure his deal and sign him to an extension, they could reduce his cap hit for 2012.  Jake Long, Karlos Dansby, and Yeramiah Bell are also candidates.  Bell, in fact, will probably need to restructure if he wants to stay in Miami.  Otherwise, he’ll probably be cut outright.  These are all the conversations that are going on in Davie right now.  Jeff Ireland is looking at the numbers and putting puzzle pieces together to see which players can give them more flexibility in free agency.

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Catching up on the Dolphins Offseason

Wow… (cracks knuckles)…it’s been a few days since we talked Miami Dolphins football, huh?  I apologize for the absence, life caught up with me a bit this last week.  My busy schedule, combined with very little Dolphins news combined for a slow week at PhinNation.com.  We’re back and wanted to give you our thoughts on the recent happenings that concern the Dolphins:

Dolphins sign Jerome Messam…who?

Earlier this week, the Dolphins signed former Canadian Football League running back, Jerome Messam.  Terms of the deal are unknown at this point, however we do know that a number of teams had an interest in signing Messam.  Messam is said to be a bruising running back at 6’3″, 245 lbs.  Last year in the CFL he ran for 1,057 yards on 195 carries and won the league’s Most Outstanding Player Award.  Jeff Ireland hopes that Messam can be the diamond in the rough that Cameron Wake was.  More likely, Messam will compete at camp and compete with guys like Lex Hilliard to make the final 53 man roster.

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Phriday Phun: Peyton Manning in a Dolphins logo?

We’ve spend the last few weeks telling you about the Miami Dolphins and their QB options this offseason.  I think we’ve just about covered everything!  Peyton Manning’s health, RG3′s trade cost, and Matt Flynn’s experience are all question marks for the Dolphins.  Today, we thought we’d share a laugh with you all.  We came across this blog on Twitter (thanks to @rizzmiggizz).  Dave Rappoccio created a new logo for every NFL team……with Peyton Manning’s head built in.  Here’s what his new Dolphins logo looks like:

Picture by: Dave Rappoccio

Thought we would share for your enjoyment.  As we’ve said before, no one really knows how healthy Peyton is going to be when he is released by the Colts….Equally as important, no one has any idea which team Peyton will end up on when he’s released.  Report after report suggest different things about his health.  Bill Polian says he’s throwing the ball well, but is capped at 25 yards….Others suggest that he can’t throw to his left and doesn’t have enough zip on the ball.  It’s going to continue until the Dolphins and other NFL teams can look at Manning and watch him throw, in person.  Everything else you hear is pure conjecture and speculation.

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Peyton’s arm is still weak, Dolphins should proceed with caution

Last week, Dolphins fans like myself, began to get excited by the thought of what could be.  It happened as soon as reports surfaced that Peyton Manning was medically cleared to return to the NFL.  We all sat back and watched the public relations war between Jim Irsay and Peyton Manning….and we loved every minute of it.  We even included Peyton as one of the choices for the Dolphins QB Plan.  I realized that I am in the minority on liking the idea of Peyton Manning on the Dolphins…Matt Flynn came out on top of our QB Plan Poll, with over 50% of the votes.  I believe that most Dolphins fans are afraid of Manning’s health and his age.  Hard to argue with either, especially considering the latest news.

Reports began surfacing yesterday that Peyton Manning might not be as close to returning to the NFL as many had believed.  Yes, Peyton’s neck is structurally sound.  However, Peyton Manning’s current arm strength is not Peyton Manning’s old arm strength.  Bob Kravitz of the Indianapolis Star said that Manning has a ‘noodle arm’.  So, Peyton’s arm strength is probably somewhere between my sister’s and Chad Pennington’s.  I’m not trying to make fun of him, just trying to point out what his arm strength is really like.

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Former Dolphins RB, Ricky Williams to retire

Have Dolphins fans gotten over Ricky Williams betrayals in 2004 and 2006?  You remember, Ricky Williams surprisingly announced his sudden retirement from the NFL?  We learned shortly thereafter that Ricky had tested positive in December of 2003 for marijuana.  Ricky would later say that he was too embarrassed to face the NFL after failing another drug test. The same fans that cheered for Ricky during his 1,800 + yard season of 2002 were now hurt that their star running back could turn his back on the Dolphins.

After retiring for the 2004 season, Williams returned to the Dolphins in 2005 under then-coach, Nick Saban….only to fail another drug test.  Strike 2 for Ricky with Dolphins fans.  He was subsequently suspended for the entire 2006 season and went on to play in the CFL for the Toronto Argonauts.  He was reinstated into the NFL in 2007 and returned yet again to the Dolphins where he stayed through the 2010 season.  Thankfully, Ricky did not fail another drug test!  He was not resigned by the Dolphins and he spent last season (2011) with the Baltimore Ravens.

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Dolphins are favorites ‘right now’ for Manning, in Schefter’s opinion

Peyton Manning as QB of the Miami Dolphins?  It might not be as crazy as we once thought.  In fact, in Adam Schefter’s opinion, the Miami Dolphins are the favorites to land Peyton Manning.  Keep in mind, this is Schefter’s opinion and he is not reporting that the Dolphins are definitely going to get Manning.  However, in his ESPN insider article, Schefter is asked where Manning might end up.  In our opinion, guys like Schefter often share their opinions when they are based on something they know or have heard.  Not saying this is absolutely the case, but if you want Peyton Manning on the Dolphins, it’s a good sign that a true insider like Schefter, thinks they have the best shot.

Schefter says that Miami is the favorite right now because they can offer him warm weather and a favorable contract.  He does caution readers by saying that the ‘favorite’ status didn’t work out so well for the Patriots on Sunday.  This is all predicated on the belief that the Colts will decide to cut Peyton before his March 8th roster bonus of $28 mil is due.  Again, once released, Peyton Manning will be a free agent and free to sign with any team that he chooses.

We will keep you posted on Manning’s status, since it seems to change by the day.  If he’s released, it’s going to be a circus.  If you think the LeBron James free agency tour was crazy, just wait until the future Hall of Fame QB is released.

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