The week in review

It was a busy first full week of free agency for the Dolphins, who on Friday made official the signing of linebacker Donnie Spragan and also entertained free agent fullback Heath Evans. We look back at the events and examine what it all means.

-- First, the free agents signing. The Dolphins this week added DE Kevin Carter in addition to Spragan.

The signing of Spragan isn't terribly significant because even though Spragan was a starter with Denver last year, he's not what anyone would consider an impact player.

Adding Carter was nice, but let's not get overly carried away, though. Carter is a solid player, but not necessarily a stud anymore.

What his signing, coupled with that of Vonnie Holliday the previous week, means is that the Dolphins have positioned themselves closer to being able to play a 3-4 scheme.

And that is believed to be the way Nick Saban wants to go, even though he has never come out and said so publicly.

The problem right now is at linebacker, where the Dolphins probably need another front-line player to go along with Zach Thomas, Junior Seau and Spragan.

If the Dolphins get another linebacker, do not be surprised if there's more 3-4 than 4-3 player next season.

-- And where will that leave Jason Taylor? Lining up outside in pass-rushing situations, that's where.

Taylor cannot start at end in a 3-4, it's just too small for that, and the same goes for David Bowens.

Saban's statement this week that Taylor would not be moved or traded was interesting because it goes against what everyone believes will happen.

If Saban surprises everyone and sticks with the 4-3, then he will have great depth at end with Taylor, Carter and Holliday, to go along with Bowens. And Holliday also could slide inside to play tackle along with Tim Bowens and Larry Chester.

-- The trade talk keeps going, with word that the Colts and Seahawks are willing to trade Edgerrin James and Shaun Alexander, respectively. Both players have said they'd like to play in Miami, so a trade should be easy to consummate, right?

Well, not so fast. The problem here is that both players are looking for long-term deals and the Dolphins probably don't need to pay big money for a veteran running back when they can just draft one with the second overall pick in the draft -- say, Ronnie Brown.

Even if the Dolphins trade out of the No. 2 pick, they can still get a quality running back later in the round because it's a very deep year for the position.

So don't look for anything on that front.

-- Finally, there's the quarterback situation. Many believed the Dolphins would have Gus Frerotte signed by now and the only question would be whether Frerotte would get the chance to unseat A.J. Feeley as the starter.

Remember, Frerotte played for new offensive coordinator Scott Linehan the last two years in Minnesota, so that gives him a big edge here.

But word is the Dolphins are not offering Frerotte enough money for his liking right now, which is why he hasn't signed and conceivably could just re-up with the Vikings.

Veteran Brad Johnson is next on the list, but the Dolphins probably won't want to pay him any more than they offered Frerotte.

Either way, we're thinking either player would be an upgrade over Feeley.

Should the Dolphins instead go for a quarterback at No. 2 in the draft? No, and that's because there are too many questions about both Alex Smith and Aaron Rodgers, easily the top quarterback prospects this year.

-- Finally, it was good to see Jay Fiedler get a nice contract to become the backup to Chad Pennington with the Jets.

Yes, we know a lot of Dolphins fans hate his guts, but you can never argue the fact that he was a classy guy and team player all the way and he got treated a lot worse than he deserved.


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