Mare traded, preseason schedule announced

The handwriting was on the wall for kicker Olindo Mare when the Dolphins signed New York Giant Jay Feely as an unrestricted free agent last month and followed that up on Tuesday, April 3 when they announced that Mare had been traded to the New Orleans Saints.

In return, the Dolphins will get the Saints' sixth round draft choice (199th overall) in the upcoming April 28-29 NFL draft.

Mare spent the last 10 seasons with the Dolphins amassing 1,048 points while converting 245 of 303 field goals and 313 of 318 extra points. And even though he might go down as the greatest kicker in Dolphins history, the last two seasons became quite ordinary for Mare.

The 2006 season was a major struggle as he missed 10 of his 36 field goal attempts, finishing second from last in the league in FG percentage at .722. It also marked the fourth time in the past five seasons he finished under 80 percent. His departure marks the end of the second longest tenure on the team behind only Zach Thomas.

Mare not only owns franchise records for career field goals, career points and field goal percentage, he also set an NFL record with 39 field goals in 1999 – it was tied in 2003 and broken in 2005 – and had by far the most touchbacks in the league (126) since the K-ball was adopted in 1999.

DOLPHINS TO HOST JAGS IN PRESEASON OPENER

The Miami Dolphins' two home preseason contests will have a Florida flavor to it as they host both of their intrastate rivals, the Jacksonville Jaguars and Tampa Bay Buccaneers as they announced their 2007 preseason schedule.

The Dolphins will open the preseason on Saturday, Aug. 11 when they host the Jaguars and two weeks later, Saturday, Aug. 25, will host the Bucs. Miami will be showcased on the national stage when the Dolphins travel to Kansas City for a Preseason Week Two contest against the Chiefs on Thursday, Aug. 16. The game will be televised on ESPN. A return to New Orleans for the first time since Hurricane Katrina to take on the Saints on Thursday, Aug. 30 will round out the preseason slate.

The Dolphins will host the Jags in their preseason opener for the second straight year (Jacksonville won last year 31-26) and the game, slated for a 7:30 p.m. start, will mark the fifth time in as many seasons the two clubs have squared off in the preseason.

Five days later, Miami will enter Arrowhead Stadium for the first time since 2002 and the first time in the preseason since 1982, to engage with the Chiefs. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m.

When the Buccaneers cross the state for the Aug. 25 contest (7:30 p.m. start), it will mark the eighth consecutive season and 15th time in the last 17 years that Tampa Bay and Miami have met in the preseason. The Dolphins/Saints contest is scheduled for an 8 p.m. (EST) start.

"Our preseason schedule allows us to host both of our traditional in-state preseason rivals which is something football fans all over Florida appreciate," said Dolphins' President Bryan Wiedmeier. "We will face a tough challenge on the road as we travel to two difficult venues, Arrowhead Stadium and the Superdome, to play a pair of 2006 playoff teams in the Chiefs and Saints. Our game against the Chiefs will be nationally televised on ESPN, illustrating the appeal the Dolphins have nationally, and we are especially pleased to be able to return to New Orleans for the first time since Hurricane Katrina and see first-hand the role the Saints played in helping rejuvenate that city."


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