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Dolphins News: Brock Marion To Sign
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Dolphins News: Brock Marion To Sign
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Mar 03, 1998: -- Brock Marion To Sign --

** Dolphins Agree to Deal with Brock Marion

According to reports, the Dolphins have agreed to a deal with free agent safety Brock Marion and he will sign that deal today in Miami. According to the Miami Herald, the deal is reported to be for 3 years at a total salary of $8.25 million, including a $3 million signing bonus.

Marion has played his entire career with the Dallas Cowboys after being drafted by JJ in the seventh round of the 1993 draft. He played mostly on special teams his first 2 years, but took over the starting free safety position in 1995. That year, he had 80 tackles and 6 interceptions as the Cowboys won the SuperBowl.

In 1996, Marion was the starting free safety until he was sidelined with an injury in the 10th game of the season. In 1997, he returned to the starting position and recorded 117 total tackles and 6 passes defensed, but no interceptions for the best pass defense in the league.

The deal with Marion became possible on Friday when the Carolina Panthers matched the Dolphins' offer to offensive lineman Matt Campbell. This freed up some money that the Dolphins used to boost their offer to Marion by approximately $2 million over the weekend according to the Miami Herald.

** Dolphins Also Get James Brown

The Dolphins have also reportedly agreed to terms with offensive tackle James Brown on a 5 year deal for a reported $10.5 million with a $3.1 million signing bonus. The Dolphins upped their offer to Brown over the weekend by $2 million with the rest of the money freed up by the loss of Matt Campbell.

Brown started every game for the Dolphins last year at right tackle and has consistently graded out as one of the best Dolphins' offensive linemen over the last 2 years, according to Dolphins' offensive line coach Larry Beightol. It was originally thought that the Dolphins would not be able to keep Brown, but with the loss of Campbell to the Panthers, Brown's signing became more important to the team.

** Bernie Parmalee Re-Signs and Kevin Alexander Signs

The Dolphins re-signed running back Bernie Parmalee yesterday to a 2 year deal worth approximately $1 million. Parmalee has been an important part of the Dolphins' offense since he made the team as a walk-on back in 1992. Parmalee reportedly received better a better offer from Seattle and was going to visit Denver, but has elected to stay in Miami.

The Dolphins also signed the contract that they agreed to last week with wide receiver Kevin Alexander, formerly of the New York Giants, yesterday. Alexander did start in 8 games for the Giants last year and had a 5 catch, 100 yard game against the Bengals, but the Giants decided that they wouldn't make him a contract offer this spring.

** Sean Gilbert to Visit the Dolphins

According to Sean Gilbert's agent, Gilbert will visit the Miami Dolphins next week. Gilbert is involved in a struggle with the Washington Redskins to have his franchise designation removed and if he does get it dropped through arbitration, he wants to leave the Redskins for another team.

Last year, Gilbert sat out the entire season in a contract dispute with the Redskins. Before that, he was one of the better defensive linemen in the NFL.

My Comments:

Whew! I get pissed off last week and look what happens! Maybe I should get pissed off more often...

By the way, I am informed by my English friends that "getting pissed" in Britain refers to getting drunk, while getting "pissed off" refers to getting mad. Apparently, I said that I was "getting pissed" in my last report and that caused some confusion across the pond.

Just to clear up any confusion, when I said that I was getting pissed in my last report, I meant "pissed off". I do get "pissed" now and then, but in this case, I was simply mad.

I'm sure that JJ and Bob Ackles took that into account this weekend when they used the money that they saved by not signing Campbell to boost the offers to Brock Marion and James Brown. That seems to me to be a sensible use of the extra money and I applaud them for it.

You have to be happy with the signing of Marion. Arguably the best free agent safety available, Marion has a reputation for playing smart, steady, aggressive football. I know that some people are worried about the fact that he had no interceptions last year, but I think that the fact that he had 6 picks in 1995 says that he can play the ball when he has to.

Another facet of Marion's abilities is his special teams play. Last year, he returned 10 kickoffs for 311 years - a 31.1 yard per return, which is an outstanding average. Of course 10 kickoffs is not a lot, but it may be an indication that he can fill in as a kick returner.

Whether or not he's a "great" player, he will certainly upgrade the secondary. In all likelihood, he will start at free safety opposite Shawn Wooden. T-Buck will continue to play the left corner spot and Sam Madison will probably keep the right cornerback position, while Calvin Jackson goes to being a permanent nickel back.

Of course, this may spell the end for Corey Harris and/or George Teague. It's possible both could stay on as backups, but I doubt that that will happen. When June 1st comes around, one or the other will probably be cut.

The signing of James Brown is good, now that the Dolphins have lost Campbell. In the current market, I think that they cut a pretty good deal for him - about $2 million a year - and he'll be a steady player at that right tackle spot. It also allows the Dolphins to concentrate on looking for a left guard to supplement or replace Jeff Buckey.

As for Bernie Parmalee, here's a guy that you just have to love and love to have. He works hard, doesn't complain, signs with Miami for less money and does almost everything well. He'll never be Barry Sanders or Larry Csonka, but every successful team needs a couple of Bernie Parmalees on them.

Hell, Parmalee even gave up a chance to sign with the Super Bowl champions to stay in Miami. I'm very glad he's back.

As for Sean Gilbert - well, he might be able to play at left defensive end and help out there, but I can't imagine that he'd be a cost effective player. He's going to want a lot of money and hasn't played in over a year. Plus, there's the whole question of his attitude, which is apparently stuck in the money-grubbing mode.

No, I don't think that Sean Gilbert needs to be in Miami unless the Dolphins can get him as a bargain. The word on him is that the Redskins are trying to trade him for a 1st or 2nd round draft pick and I don't think that the Dolphins should give up that high a pick for him, especially considering the fact that he'll want a new contract as soon as he is traded.

On a completely unrelated note, it now appears that the Dolphins are not going to go after Robert Smith of the Vikings after all. They are concerned about his durability and don't want to spend the money on him if he won't be likely to play all year.

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Curt Fennell, curt@phins.com, DOLFAN in New Rochelle (almost)

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