- Aug 13, 2003
- Reaction score
- 120 mi west of Costa Rica
A subtle but very interesting storyline is playing out in this draft with new coach Nick Saban; he's working on possible trades of Pro Bowl CB Patrick Surtain and the No. 2 overall pick in the draft. Despite this year being considered a buyer's market for trades, Saban is holding firm on his desire for value for Surtain (he wants at least a second-round pick) and the traditional value for the No. 2 pick, according to the draft value chart that most teams use. Saban has said those thoughts publicly and is holding firm privately. The important part of this is that Saban doesn't want to give the impression that he will merely wholesale players and picks as he reworks the Dolphins' roster. In the past, new coaches have often gotten rid of players for a lot less than normal value or simply cut them . . .
Keeping Surtain, which Saban said he will do, will have a big impact on the cap. With a base salary of $5.9 million for Surtain this year, the Dolphins would have to rework at least two big contracts (DE Jason Taylor and LB Zach Thomas seem likely) to keep Surtain and sign their draft picks. It's a problematic situation for Saban, who doesn't want to keep investing money in veteran players.
CB Mario Edwards was recently signed to a one-year deal as depth in case the Dolphins end up trading Surtain. But the signing of Edwards is also an indication of what the Dolphins figure to do with their cornerbacks next season. Edwards, Surtain, Sam Madison, Will Poole and Reggie Howard are all physical cornerbacks who need to play in bump coverage. Look for the Dolphins to continue their aggressive style behind a beefier front seven as Saban slowly changes the defensive approach.