- Aug 13, 2003
- Reaction score
- 120 mi west of Costa Rica
Saban laid out some hints about what the Dolphins may look to do in the draft, regarding their former star running back and how the quarterback competition will go.
Miami, 4-12 last season, has the second overall pick in the draft, and isn't slated to choose again until the third round. Trading down to collect more picks remains a strong option, yet Saban acknowledged that many projected first-round selections also piqued his interest.
"You make some mistakes if you just take need into consideration," Saban said. "Everybody, as a coach, would like to satisfy some need in the draft that you have, but when you're picking that high you better pick the player that has the most value to the organization long-term."
The Williams factor remains interesting. The NFL's leading rusher in 2002 still owes the team $8.6 million for breaching his contract when he unexpectedly retired last year, yet he and Saban have spoken at least once about his future. It's still a mystery, however, when, if or where Williams will ever play again.
"If I did talk to him, it would be confidential so I wouldn't tell you what we talked about," Saban said. "But I can tell you he's in India and I haven't talked to him. So I don't have any new information."
He also said a long-term deal may not be possible for cornerback Patrick Surtain, who has been mentioned in trade rumors - many involving Kansas City and Indianapolis.
The Dolphins can save about $6 million in salary cap space by trading Surtain, but Saban said he won't budge on what he's asking in return - presumably a high draft pick.
"If someone else wants to work a business deal for him to be on their team, fine, but we will not compromise on our price," said Saban, who added that he still wants Surtain with the Dolphins.
Also, tight end Randy McMichael is a candidate for a long-term deal; his contract expires at the end of the 2005 season - but again, only if the numbers make long-term sense.
"We'd like to get it done," Saban said, "but it's not fantasy football."