Friday, March 9, 2012
Should Dolphins consider Wayne, Clark?
By James Walker
Two of Peyton Manning's most reliable weapons are now on the free-agent market. Former Indianapolis Colts receiver Reggie Wayne and tight end Dallas Clark -- both multi-time Pro Bowlers -- will wear new uniforms next season due to Indianapolis' big roster makeover.
Should the Miami Dolphins consider signing one or both players? This would be one sure way to appease Manning, who is considering Miami as one of several destinations.
Miami could use an upgrade at receiver opposite Brandon Marshall. Wayne is a good friend of Manning and lives in Miami, where he went to college. Wayne seems like a good fit. The Dolphins don't have a huge need at tight end. But Clark, 32, could make a decent tandem with Anthony Fasano. Clark does have an injury history the past two seasons that Miami needs to be careful of.
The Dolphins are expected to meet with Manning over the weekend, and Manning has all of the leverage. But this is a very fine line for Miami to walk with free agency approaching.
On one hand, the Dolphins need to be careful not to let a player who may or may not sign with the team dictate how they operate with free agents. On the other hand, this is Peyton Manning -- one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time. If going after Wayne and/or Clark is what separates Miami from the other potential Manning suitors, it's probably general manager Jeff Ireland's best interest to swallow his pride (and offseason game plan) and go for it.
Miami's front office has spent months analyzing the draft and free agency, and there is a good chance spending money and cap room on two 30-something pass-catchers wasn't in the plans. But chasing a player the caliber of Manning is a high-stakes game where just about anything goes.