Let's Make A Deal ... Or Not?

Tuesday is the NFL trading deadline, but in recent years it has more often than not come and gone without much activity. This year's could be different, though, because there are a lot of players who could be available or who are dissatisfied with their current situation, such as Joshua Cribbs and Shawne Merriman. But if there is any action on Tuesday, will the Dolphins be involved?

Coach Tony Sparano was asked on Monday whether the Dolphins needed upgrading and he replied by saying, "I love my team. I like where we're at."

Then again, remember that Sparano frequently last year the Dolphins would never stop "flipping rocks" to try to improve the team. Bottom line, the Dolphins wouldn't turn down the opportunity to make a trade if they thought it would make them better.

The area that immediately comes to mind is the kick return game and Cribbs. Reports out of Cleveland suggested the Dolphins called the Browns to inquire about Cribbs, but the next day Eric Mangini said Cribbs wasn't going anywhere.

Of course, it's entirely possible that Mangini said that to try to drive the price up because Cribbs is unhappy with his contract situation in Cleveland and coaches don't tend to like having unhappy players on their hands -- particularly a first-year coach try to rebuild a team.

The other area of interest is wide receiver, the position Cribbs also plays -- although he's clearly a return specialist first. The name to remember there is Dwayne Bowe.

The connection is obvious. He's a former first-round pick with a lot of talent who hasn't won over his new coaches in Kansas City. The Chiefs and Dolphins already have made three trades in the past year. Bowe is from Miami.

The Chiefs, it is believed, are willing to trade practically everybody on the roster not named Matt Cassel, so Bowe should be available. Baltimore is said to be interested and the Dolphins absolutely have to be interested as well.

The question there is: What will the Chiefs be asking for Bowe?

As for Merriman, he's in the last year of his contract and it seems the Chargers are in no hurry to give him a new deal, particularly after taking outside linebacker Larry English in the first round of the 2009 draft.

The problem with Merriman is that the Chargers likely will be asking a lot for him, then there's the issue of signing him to a new contract, and more importantly he has done nothing this season after coming back from knee surgery.

Besides, it's not like the Dolphins are lacking for pass-rushing outside linebackers, although Joey Porter and Jason Taylor don't have many years left.

What the Dolphins really could use is a safety, and sportingnews.com is suggested the Raiders might be willing to trade former first-round pick Michael Huff.

Huff has been a major disappointment so far with the Raiders and isn't even starting these days, but he does have three interceptions in 2009.

For the right price, the Dolphins might want to consider him, although they're probably wary of trading for a Raiders safety since the reason they're in the market is that offseason acquisition Gibril Wilson hasn't played up to expectations.

The bottom line: If the Dolphins do something on Tuesday, we would expect it would involve a wide receiver, either Bowe or Cribbs.


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