The Miami Dolphins welcomed their supposed QB of the future back to the practice field on Sunday. Ryan Tannehill, working on just about 5 hours of sleep, checked in to Dolphins training camp Sunday morning and made a pretty good first impression. Tannehill worked with the second team, but was efficient with his throws, completing 11 of 12 passes at one point. It was only one practice, but the Dolphins have to be encouraged by what they saw in Tannehill.
During OTAs and minicamps, Tannehill held onto the ball for too long and made some questionable decisions. After practice coach Philbin said that Tannehill made faster decisions ‘a couple of time’. Tannehill, who missed the first 2 days of practice ‘didn’t miss a beat’, according to Mike Sherman. This is all good news, but ultimately, whether or not Tannehill stays in the QB competition, will depend on how well he plays in the Dolphins first couple of preseason games.
Tannehill, it should be noted, is not in pads yet. According to the NFL rules, a player must be in camp for 2 practice days before putting pads on. Tannehill’s first practice in pads will be on Wednesday. This is a moot point, however, since Dolphins QBs are not allowed to be touched in practices.
In other news that has been overplayed everywhere, the Dolphins worked out WR Braylon Edwards last week. The Dolphins have Brian Hartline nursing a calf injury, so the Edwards workout could just be insurance. If Hartline’s injury doesn’t progress, the Dolphins could potentially look to sign Edwards to a contract. Another wide receiver to think about for insurance, would be Plaxico Burress. Burress is older than Edwards, but could be a red zone weapon for the Dolphins. He’s still a free agent and would likely play for a reasonable contract. I’m not suggesting that either should be signed, but there are options out there if the Dolphins need veteran WR help.
Finally, there were rumors all weekend about the Dolphins and WR Mike Wallace of the Steelers. Wallace is in a contract dispute with the Steelers as he enters the final year of his rookie deal. Wallace has averaged 9 TDS, 1,200 yards, and 18 yards per catch over the last 2 seasons. There was even a post from the Pittsburgh Post Gazette beat writer that guesses Wallace could possibly be had for a 4th round pick. A fourth round pick would be a steal for this guy…Considering the Dolphins gave up 2 second rounders for Brandon Marshall, I’d be willing to give up a 2nd for Wallace. He’s big (6’0″, 200 lbs.), fast, and young (turns 26 on Wednesday), so he could be the go-to receiver for Ryan Tannehill as he hits his prime.
The problem with Wallace is that the Dolphins would have to turn around and give him a 4-5 year deal worth about $11 mil per season. According to a source close to the Steelers thinking (yes, we actually have sources!!), the team believes that Wallace is a “one trick pony”. The Steelers believe that Wallace is not a well rounded receiver and is only useful ‘going deep’. Wallace’s 2011 was good overall. However, if you look at the numbers, he trailed off towards the end of the year. In September/October he caught 43 balls for 800 yards and 5 TDs. In November/December/January he caught 29 balls for 393 yards and 3 TDs. Certain teams did a better job of limiting Wallace, but he certainly has talent.
All of this speculation is just that, because this weekend the Steelers GM came out and said that they were not going to trade Wallace. BUT, we all know that GMs can say whatever they want publicly…it doesn’t mean that it’s the truth! Stay tuned on this story…