As we make our way toward free agency on March 11, here were the news, reports and rumors that happened on Wednesday.
The Dolphins need massive help on the offensive line, particularly since not many people expect tackle Jonathan Martin or guard Richie Incognito to return and because Bryant McKinnie -- who replaced Martin at left tackle -- didn't play well last year and probably won't be re-signed.
Thus, it's not a surprise Miami would be looking for linemen in free agency, and that reportedly is exactly what the team is doing.
According to the Miami Herald, the Dolphins have shown major interest in Ravens left tackle Eugene Monroe, Chiefs left tackle Branden Albert (who, via the paper, "appears to be very, very high on Miami's wish list"), Raiders left tackle Jared Veldheer and guard/tackle combo Rodger Saffold.
The paper opines that the team would like to sign Albert as a left tackle and Saffold as a guard, but that probably would cost Miami plenty of money. Luckily for the organization, though, the Dolphins are about $34 million under the salary cap, according to spotrac.com, so the team has some room to spend.
If the team can't sign Monroe, the team reportedly would consider using Saffold at left tackle or going after Veldheer.
Hit the road, Jack
- After coming off the worst year of his career -- and one of the worst performances of any guards in the league -- the Buccaneers released Davin Joseph on Saturday. The move saves $6 million on the 2014 salary cap. Tampa Bay reportedly had tried to find a trade partner for Joseph, but apparently, the Buccaneers were unsuccessful in doing so.
- Cardinals guard Daryn Colledge tweeted Saturday night that he will be released. Colledge was scheduled to make a base salary of $4.8 million, and according to spotrac.com, he would have counted $7.275 million against the 2014 salary cap. He leaves behind $4.55 million of dead money for 2014 and $2.275 million of dead money for 2015. Colledge had started all 48 games in the previous three seasons in Arizona.
Got to get paid
- The Packers and cornerback Sam Shields agreed to a four-year deal worth $39 million. Shields reportedly accrued a signing bonus of $12.5 million.
- The No. 60 player on the CBSSports.com free agent list, defensive end Red Bryant, reportedly has signed a four-year deal with the Jaguars. Bryant will be reunited with his old defensive coordinator, Jaguars head coach Gus Bradley.
- The Bengals announced they have re-signed impending free agent guard Mike Pollak, who played in eight of the team's final nine games last season with five starts at right guard. "Very simply, we are just glad to have Mike back," Bengals offensive line coach Paul Alexander said. "He's a veteran you can count on. When some injuries provided him an opportunity last year, he came through with flying colors for us."
- Four-year safety Darrell Stuckey re-signed with the Chargers. Which apparently made the team's special teams captain a happy man.
- Alterraun Verner is ranked as the sixth-best free agent by CBSSports.com, and already, he's drawing interest. According to ESPN.com, the Vikings have already called to talk. Which makes sense considering new Minnesota defensive backs coach, Jerry Gray, was Verner's defensive coordinator in Tennessee. The Jets and Rams also reportedly are interested in Verner.
- Speaking of the Vikings, they're also reportedly interested in Bengals defensive end Michael Johnson, via ESPN.com. At this point, it seems unlikely Johnson will return to Cincinnati.
- One of the most in-demand free agents of this offseason could be Ravens linebacker Arthur Jones, writes the Baltimore Sun. The Titans could be one of his suitors, while other outlets have pointed to the possibility that a team like the Colts could be willing to talk.
- Giants receiver Hakeem Nicks reportedly is saying he'd be willing to sign a one-year, prove-it contract. A reasonable fan would assume that's because he's not getting the kind of activity on the free agent market that he would deem acceptable and would try again next year, assuming he has a standout 2014 performance.
- The Jets are in offensive-building mode. Late Friday, they re-signed tight end Jeff Cumberland to a three-year deal, and now, the NY Daily News reports that the team will make a play for Chiefs guard Jon Asamoah with Willie Colon considered a potential backup option. Asamoah lost his starting job to Geoff Schwartz last season, but before that, he'd started 31 games in 2011 and 2012 in Kansas City. Asamoah was ranked by Pro Football Focus as the 10th-best guard in 2012, but he dropped to No. 20 in 2013 (Schwartz was ranked eighth in 2013). The newspaper reports that the Falcons and Chargers also could go after Asamoah.
- If Osi Umenyiora becomes available in free agency -- and the Falcons reportedly want him to take a paycut -- the Giants could have interest in picking him up again, according to the Newark Star Ledger. The paper also reports that the defensive end also could be interested in returning to the place where he spent the first nine years of his career.
- While the Ravens would like to come to an agreement with left tackle Monroe, it sounds like he's intent on testing the free agent market. The Baltimore Sun reports that the two sides are far apart in negotiations and that it's too close to free agency for Monroe not to test it.
- The Patriots apparently are in talks with nose tackle Vince Wilfork in order to restructure his contract, according to ESPN Boston. Making matters tough for Wilfork is that he's 33, he's coming off a torn Achilles and he counts $11.6 million against the 2014 salary cap. Moving forward, it'll be interesting to see if New England actually would cut Wilfork if the two sides can't come to some sort of deal.
Tweet of day
Hmm, this is encouraging (if you're a player, that is).
What a difference a year makes! Free agency will be a lot better this year— Drew Rosenhaus (@RosenhausSports) March 8, 2014
Tweet of the day, part II
As usual, Wade Phillips continues to be an awesome follow.
Talking about records. I am the only coach ever let go by all 3 Texas NFL teams(Oilers,Texans,Cowboys)!— Wade Phillips (@sonofbum) March 8, 2014
Another record-Only 6 time HC in NFL history & fired the most as a HC(6)— Wade Phillips (@sonofbum) March 8, 2014