Dolphins Roundup 8/11/04
By The Source
Aug 11, 2004
Compiled from a variety of sources
-The afternoon practice (4:15 p.m.) originally scheduled for Thursday, August 12, and open to the public at the Miami Dolphins Training facility in Davie, FL, has now been changed to a closed practice. The morning practice (9:00 a.m.) scheduled for Thursday, August 12, will remain open to the public. For more information on training camp dates and times, please call the Camp Dolphins hotline at (954) 452-7004.
- “We moved Bobby Sippio to receiver. That is what he really played in the Arena League. That may be his best opportunity to play. But right now since we are a little bit thin from a numbers standpoint at receiver, we are going to leave him there for right now. He does have talent, it’s a just a matter of how quickly he can learn the system.” - Head Coach Dave Wannstedt on moving Bobby Sippio to receier.
-The Dolphins will further assess the wide receivers on their roster in Saturday night's exhibition opener against Jacksonville before trying to sign unrestricted free agent Antonio Freeman.
The Dolphins gave Freeman a workout Tuesday at their Davie headquarters as a potential replacement for David Boston. Boston suffered a season-ending knee injury Friday at a joint practice with the host Houston Texans.
"He was great," said fourth-string quarterback Clint Stoerner, who estimated throwing 20 to 25 passes to Freeman. "He had good speed coming out of breaks and catching the ball on the move. He ran all kinds of routes. He did a little bit of everything."
But an NFL source said the Dolphins want to keep their options open in case a faster receiver becomes available through a trade or free agency.
The Dolphins consider Freeman, in his ninth NFL season, a possession-type receiver best suited to a slot position.
"We're talking to a lot of different free-agent players at a lot of different positions," coach Dave Wannstedt said. "We'll keep looking and hopefully the right guy will come along and we will add him to the roster."
The Dolphins are expected to re-evaluate signing Freeman after seeing how their reserves play in extended action Saturday against Jacksonville at Pro Player Stadium.
Sam Simmons, J.R. Tolver, Marvin "Snoop" Minnis and Terrence Wilkins are the top backups battling for spots.
Derrius Thompson was elevated to the starting lineup following Boston's injury, with Kendall Newson moving to third wide receiver.
-While Wide receiver Antonio Freeman put on a good workout Tuesday, but the Dolphins appear to be taking a patient approach to signing another receiver, with an eye on the increasingly tense situation between Tampa Bay and Keenan McCardell.
An NFL source said the Dolphins indicated they will wait until next week before making a decision on signing Freeman.
Another source said the Dolphins might be one of several teams interested in McCardell, who is holding out of training camp in hopes of getting a new contract.
Baltimore, Kansas City and Chicago are among teams that could also have a strong interest. Tampa Bay increased speculation McCardell will be traded or cut by signing veteran receiver Tim Brown on Tuesday to a one-year contract.
McCardell, 34 and a 12-year veteran, caught 84 passes for 1,174 yards and eight touchdowns last season. He has caught at least 60 passes in each of the past eight seasons.
Despite having two years left on his contract at $2.5 million this season and $2.75 million in 2005, McCardell demanded a raise in July. McCardell wanted to make $4.5 million per year, the average of the leading receivers on each team around the NFL, said Steve Caric, a spokesman for agent Gary Uberstine.
The Dolphins are concerned about McCardell's contract demands. Asked about McCardell over the weekend, one team official said, ``Doesn't he want a lot of money?''
In addition, general manager Rick Spielman said trading another draft pick for any player is somewhat problematic.
The Dolphins have dealt their second- and sixth-round picks for 2005 in acquiring quarterback A.J. Feeley and wide receiver David Boston, respectively.
''It's something that you're very concerned about,'' Spielman said. ``You don't want to give away your future draft next year where you don't have any picks. But by the same token we know how important it is to win this season, and we're going to do everything we can to get somebody in here to help us win this year.
``This year is a very important year because of all the movement we did on offense and all the guys we brought in. We're very excited about how everything's progressed. We'll do everything we can to win.''
The Dolphins issued a statement Tuesday from Boston's agent, Mitch Frankel, absolving them from blame for the receiver's torn patella tendon.
Boston was medically cleared before Friday's practice by team physician George Caldwell and expressed a desire to participate despite patella tendinitis.
"I believe at this time that the Dolphins organization, including the club's medical staff, took the necessary precautions in caring for David," Frankel said.
"David's injury was very unfortunate, but we all understand injuries do occur in the NFL. David appreciates all the hard work and effort the Dolphins coaches and medical staff have made in working with him in preparation for training camp and the 2004 season.
"David looks forward to a successful and quick rehabilitation and rejoining his teammates as soon as possible."
-Update on Ricky
Tailback Ricky Williams may not have to face a four-game drug suspension if he decides to play in 2005.
Before filing his retirement papers last week, Williams was facing a suspension following his third failed test for marijuana.
The NFL may consider Williams' sitting out the season as sufficient punishment under its drug-testing policy.
"The policy allows a free-agent player to serve his suspension immediately after a decision is rendered whether he is available to play or not," NFL spokesman Greg Aiello said.
Aiello refused comment on how the policy would apply to Williams. But regardless of whether the suspension is enforced, Aiello said Williams would "still forfeit his salary for the period of time covered by a suspension."
Williams is facing fines of approximately $1.6 million for failing two drug tests in nine months, including one last month just before announcing his retirement.
Williams' close friend, Lenny Kravitz, is to perform as part of an NFL music special before the league's opening game Sept. 9 between Indianapolis and New England.
A published report said Williams had admitted smoking marijuana in July while on a tour with Kravitz in Europe.
-Wooden to try rehab
An NFL source said safety Shawn Wooden will treat a bulging disc in his back through rehabilitation in hopes of staving off what could be season-ending surgery.
Wooden is on the active/physically unable to perform list after aggravating the injury the day before camp.
-Linebacker Zach Thomas was limited in his second day since returning from a knee injury. Thomas ran in pads during the morning practice and took part in selected drills.
-Kicker Olindo Mare spent part of the morning practice working on onside kick attempts.
-The Dolphins-Jaguars game will be televised live at 7:30 p.m. Saturday on Channels 4 (WFOR-TV) and 34 (WTVX-TV). ...
-Ex-Dolphins guard Jamie Nails is being considered as a free-agent signing by Washington.
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