NEWS AND NOTES

The Dolphins have made a change in their coaching staff, with wide receivers coach Robert Ford "released from the coaching staff." Ford had been with the Dolphins since 1998.

In addition to finding a new wide receivers coach, the Dolphins are expected to add a quarterbacks coach, something they didn't have after Mike Shula resigned to become the head coach at the University of Alabama.

In other news:

-- Veteran defensive end Rob Burnett said he was strongly leaning toward retiring. The 14-year veteran, who ended the season on injured reserve because of a knee injury, was scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent.

"I'm thinking right now it's probably it as far as playing," Burnett said. "If it is, I'll be happy and satisfied with my career.

"I'll have no regrets. I'd done just about everything I've wanted to do."

Burnett, who spent two seasons in Miami, won a Super Bowl title as a member of the Baltimore Ravens in the 2000 season.

-- The Dolphins signed five players to "future" contracts. All of them were on the Dolphins practice squad in 2003: safety Yeremiah Bell, wide receiver Ronald Bellamy, center Shawn Lynch, wide receiver Carl Morris and cornerback Alphonso Roundtree.

-- The Dolphins will have the 20th overall pick in the 2004 draft, by virtue of their 10-6 finish.

The Dolphins will alternate between 20th and 20th with the other 10-6 teams.

The Dolphins do not have a second-round pick, which went to New England in a 2003 draft-day trade, or a fifth-round pick, which is going to San Diego to complete the trade for linebacker Junior Seau.

The Dolphins do have an extra seventh-round pick, which will come from New Orleans in the trade for linebacker Derrick Rodgers.


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