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|The Dolphins traded Wes Welker to the Patriots for draft picks, one of which Miami used on Samson Satele, who may be out of a starting job.|
Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham
Despite a faction of Dolfans who've refused to concede because center Samson Satele just might forge a dominant career, I think we can safely declare a winner in the Wes Welker trade.
The Miami Dolphins got rolled in the parking lot.
As if Welker's 223 receptions and 2,240 yards in two seasons weren't enough to declare the New England Patriots clear victors, the Dolphins are extracting Satele from the middle of their offensive line.
Former Miami general manager Randy Mueller traded Welker to New England for second- and seventh-round draft picks in 2007. The Dolphins selected Satele and linebacker Abraham Wright.
Although the Dolphins waived Wright last spring, Satele had shown promise. He started all 16 games as a rookie, something no Dolphins center -- not even Hall of Famer Dwight Stephenson -- had done. Satele was Miami's first rookie offensive lineman since 2003 to start every game.
But it doesn't look like Satele will be Miami's center anymore, making the Welker trade even more lopsided.
It's becoming common knowledge in the NFL community the Dolphins already have decided Satele won't snap the ball next year because the 6-foot-3, 300-pound Hawaiian isn't physical enough.
An NFL source informed me Bill Parcells, Jeff Ireland and Tony Sparano have made finding a new O-line anchor their priority -- and they don't care if they land one through free agency or the draft. Satele could be rendered a depth player if he doesn't evolve into an effective guard.
The best available free-agent centers are Jeff Saturday, Matt Birk, Jason Brown and Brad Meester. Brown is a four-year pro, while the others have at least nine years of experience.
Draft gurus rank California's Alex Mack and Oregon's Max Unger as the best centers in this year's class.
The Dolphins own the 25th pick, and Mack seems to be in that neighborhood. ESPN's Mel Kiper and Todd McShay predict the Pittsburgh Steelers will take Mack with the 32nd selection. Scouts Inc. ranks him the 32nd-best prospect in the draft.