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Monday, March 23, 2009
After inking Grove, Miami moves Satele

By Len Pasquarelli
ESPN.com

The Miami Dolphins have traded one-time starting center Samson Satele to the Oakland Raiders for a draft choice.

Satele
Satele

Satele became available this spring when the Dolphins signed former Raiders starting center Jake Grove as an unrestricted free agent three weeks ago.

The trade was first reported by The Miami Herald and confirmed Monday morning by representatives for both players. Miami will receive a sixth-round pick from Oakland, a source close to the situation told ESPN.com's Bill Williamson. The San Francisco Chronicle reported on Monday that the teams will also swap fourth-round picks, with the Raiders dropping from the 104th overall pick to the 122nd.

The 24-year-old Satele started all 32 games for Miami the past two seasons. A former University of Hawaii star who was named to several all-rookie teams in 2007, Satele was the Dolphins' second-round pick in that year's draft.

His durability aside, Satele was believed by Miami coaches to be not strong enough to regularly handle the mammoth nose tackles in the AFC East. An offseason goal of the Dolphins was to upgrade at center, if possible.

The Dolphins achieved that goal, they think, on March 3 when they signed Grove to a five-year, $29 million contract, with $14.5 million of it guaranteed money. Speculation began immediately that Satele would either be traded or switched to guard to accommodate the addition of Grove.

A five-year veteran, Grove was a second-round choice of the Raiders in 2004. The former Virginia Tech star played in 54 games with 46 starts for the Raiders. However, he started all 16 games just once, in 2006.

Several injuries, including a calf injury in 2008, forced Grove to miss playing time. He played in only 12 games in 2008, all as a starter. In addition to his time at center, Grove also has started at left guard and right guard.

Senior writer Len Pasquarelli covers the NFL for ESPN.com.