Miami's first day a busy one!!

Muck

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Focus placed on defense
Dolphins seek upgrades on 1st day of free agency
BY JASON COLE
jcole@herald.com

INDIANAPOLIS - As the Dolphins became the most popular team for any agent representing a running back, be it a veteran or potential draftee in April, they spent much of the first day concentrating on upgrading their defense.

The team began extensive negotiations with free-agent defensive tackle Larry Chester of Carolina, hoping to shore up a position that became an Achilles' heel last year after a back injury to defensive tackle Daryl Gardener.

Aside from Chester, the team also began talks with the agent for Arizona safety Corey Chavous and expressed strong interest in Indianapolis restricted free agent defensive end Chukie Nwokorie.

The team is planning to bring in former Pro Bowler and University of Miami standout Leon Searcy next week. Searcy, who has missed most of the past two seasons because of injury, will be considered at the guard position.

Meanwhile, defensive ends Kenny Mixon and Lorenzo Bromell received interest from a number of teams. Mixon is expected to visit Cincinnati next week, and Bromell is scheduling a trip to Minnesota and has heard from Denver.

That doesn't mean that the Dolphins are not paying attention to the running-back market and offensive line. Aside from discussions with New Orleans over a trade for Ricky Williams, the team has been in contact with the agents for unrestricted free-agent running backs Garrison Hearst and Warrick Dunn.

Agents for other running backs, such as James Allen and Olandis Gary, also called the Dolphins constantly.

In addition, former New England running back Robert Edwards is expected to visit the team Monday for another examination on his knee.

''Right now, we're very popular,'' Dolphins senior vice president Rick Spielman said jokingly. He pointed to a lobby when almost all of the agents had gathered for an annual meeting and said, ``When I walked through there, I heard the name of every running back who is out there.''

As for the deal for Williams, coach Dave Wannstedt said: ``There's nothing new to report on that. In the next couple of days, we'll get a chance to sit down with the New Orleans people and see what happens.''

Spielman said that the chance of signing Chester would not affect Gardener, who recently declined to restructure his contract after missing much of last season following the second back surgery he has had in the past two seasons.

• Defensive tackle Damian Gregory, who was waived Wednesday, was claimed by Cleveland. The Browns had tried to trade for Gregory in October before he had surgery on a ruptured spleen

• Punter Matt Turk has received extensive interest from the New York Jets, agent Steve Weinberg said. Weinberg also had brief talks with the Dolphins and said that a decision by the Dolphins to add incentives to Turk's contract last year would likely help the team in re-signing him.

• Agent Harold Lewis, who represents Bromell, said that the league denied an appeal of three fines against Bromell, including two for hits on quarterbacks that were not penalized. The fines totaled $32,500.
 

Muck

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From ESPN's Len Pasquarelli

"Dolphins dealing: No team tried harder here Friday to cut a quick deal in free agency than the Miami Dolphins, who came to Indianapolis convinced they were prepared both for the start of the signing period and the combine.

The Dolphins worked the phones hard, and their top target was, and still is, Chicago center Olin Kreutz. It appears Miami was prepared to release longtime starting center Tim Ruddy if it landed Kreutz. But once the Dolphins heard Kreutz's asking price, a signing bonus of $7 million and a per-year average of $4 million on a long-term contract, they backed off him. Now it looks like the Houston Texans are hot on the Kreutz trail.

The Dolphins came very close to striking an agreement with Carolina unrestricted free agent defensive tackle Larry Chester, and that deal almost certainly still will happen. Chester passed a Miami physical here -- he suffered a broken fibula in 2001 -- and the Dolphins definitely feel he could be a terrific No. 3 tackle in a rotation with Tim Bowens and Daryl Gardener."
 

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Not yet, but I love the Chester signing. He's a stout run stopper who's strong as an ox. Will be a nice compliment to TB and DG. BTW - Damien Gregory was claimed by the Browns.

IMO, Corey Chavous would make a terrific safety. A true student of the game, he currently plays RCB, but he goes 6'1", 206 lbs. He'd have great speed and range for a safety. Chavous and Arturo Freeman would make for one hell of a tandem. And Jim Bates would have no good reason not to BRING A DAMN SAFETY UP.
 

burghPhinFan

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you guys ROCK!!

Glad to see you guys posting all the lastest info. Just great to check in and see what you guys found!!!:D Wish I had found this site sooner!!!!
 
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