BRANDON MARSHALL-TO-DOLPHINS RUMORS ARE FLYING!: Trade-wanting Denver wide receiver Brandon Marshall signed his $2.512 million tender with the Broncos today, facillitating trade talks with other teams. Seattle, which looked hard at Marshall in free agency, is thought to be a frontrunner, but all sorts of speculation has the Dolphins seriously interested if the price is no greater than a second round pick. Stay tuned. For now, though, I am as hopeful as I have been in a long while that Marshall could actually end up in Miami before the draft -- that genuine interest is there. Getting Marshall would hugely change the complexion of what has been (see below) a somewhat disappointing Dolphins offseason so far.
[NFL Network is reporting the Dolphins are shopping WR Ted Ginn. Umm, is this news? Shopping a guy and finding a buyer willing to pay more than the NFL equivalent of a couple of bucks are two different animals].
JETS TAKING OFF; DOLPHINS ON TARMAC:[This is the column and blogpost subject to obvious change if Miami landed Brandon Marshall]. Jets taking off and leaving Dolphins on the tarmac is the broad premise of today's column by me (click here), which notes the rival New York Jets have had a more productive offseason than the Dolphins by having a clearer win-now philosophy and by being more aggressive. For Miami it's been LB Karlos Danby and not much else notable. For NYJ it's been RB LaDainian Tomlinson, WR Braylon Edwards, CB Antonio Cromartie and now WR Santonio Holmes. The teams' opposite handling of Jason Taylor also is interesting. The Jets have aggressively pursued and wooed Taylor, while the more passive, reactive Dolphins are just now talking about meeting with him. Should a Dolfan have any concern about all this? I like making fun of Jets coach Rex Ryan (pictured right as Peter Griffin) as much or more than the next guy, but I give the Planes credit for some gumption the Dolphins brass seems to lack at times. Your thoughts invited. Take a dip in our poll and tell us why you feel the way you do.
PANTHERS CELEBRATE BEING ABYSMAL: You had to be there to believe it. After Sunday's season-ending loss -- capping a record-tying ninth straight season out of the NHL playoffs -- streamers and confetti fell in the team's emptying arena. It was as if the club was celebrating a Stanley Cup championship, instead of a continuation of its own abject embarrassment. Stephen Weiss was among the players visibly upset by the ridiculous, out-of-place display, and rightfully. What a horrible, boneheaded decision on somebody's part. As for the future, it'd be easy to go scapegoating and call for coach Peter DeBoer's firing but he is closer to a solution than a cause of this playoff drought. I give him one more season before the seat under him should start to smolder. The Cats need more than a good upcoming draft. They need what they really haven't had since Pavel Bure -- a major, top-tier goal scorer. Olli Jokinen was a steady 30-plus goals guy. Florida needs somebody who's going to cash 40-plus. Offense is the problem, not DeBoer.
MASTERFUL GOLF: You needn't have been a golf fan to get caught up in the Masters tournament this past weekend. In the drama of it. I was rooting for Tiger Woods. I admit it. But I also was happy for Phil Mickelson. What a contrast, huh? Tiger, exposed as the ultimate philandering dog, vs. Phil, the ultimate (so far as we know) family man with the cancer-stricken wife. I throw in the parenthetical not to imply any mistrust of Phil at all, but to remind that we all thought Tiger seemed like the perfect family man, too, until not quite five months ago. Almost forgot. Freddy Couples winning would have been a heck of a story, too. Great, great weekend for golf and its premier tournament. The rare sporting event I wasn't at but honestly wished I was.
CHIMING IN ON BIG BEN: Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger skates on a possible sexual assault charge with the D.A. electing to ot prosecute. Even if innocent, Big Ben's behavior and judgement call to mind an immature frat-boy, not an NFL quarterback. A position that demands respect and commands leadership requires more of the man filling it. Much. Like Tiger, Roethlisberger can overcome his personal frailties and earn back his name. But it won't be easy.
THE LIST: MARLINS RBIS: Jorge Cantu has 12 RBIs in only seven games after two more in last night's loss to the Reds, one of the hottest starts ever by a Marlins batter. Most RBIs in a season in franchise history:
121 Preston Wilson 2000
120 Gary Sheffield 1996
119 Miguel Cabrera 2007
116 Miguel Cabrera 2005
115 Moises Alou 1997
115 Carlos Delgado 2005
Click back. Probably adding more stuff to this post late today.