So long, Justin Smiley. Hello, Cory Procter.
That’s what the Dolphins said yesterday in perhaps the most anti-climatic move of the off-season. A lot of motion in the ocean as the Dolphins try to shore up their offensive line. Is center Jake Grove now on the hot seat for his starting job?
Two months ago, Miami Dolphins veteran guard Justin Smiley received a phone call from Bill Parcells, who told him not to report to OTAs because the team was looking to trade him.
After drafting Mississippi offensive lineman John Jerry and picking up free agent Richie Incognito, it was fairly obvious the Dolphins were ready to unload Smiley. So he went out and hired agent-shark Drew Rosenhaus, and then came the waiting game.
That game ended yesterday when the Miami Dolphins finally reached an agreement with the Jacksonville Jaguars for an undisclosed draft pick (presumably a late-round draft pick), pending a physical.
Smiley was drafted by the 49ers in 2004 and signed a five-year, $25-million contract with Miami in 2008 as an unrestricted free agent, but has since faced a string of injuries. He missed time last season with a nagging shoulder, and he also sat out part of the ‘08 season when he broke his right leg in a win over the St. Louis Rams.
Now awaiting a physical (which I was just told as of 3:00 on May 26 he did), Smiley will part ways with Miami and head up I-95 north where he’ll join his new team for mini-camp. All smiles, of course.
With Smiley presumably gone and Nate Garner out with an unspecified injury, the Dolphins signed Cory Procter in an effort to add some insurance to the offensive line.
Procter, who was cut by the Cowboys last week, spend five seasons with Dallas after signing with the Detroit Lions as an undrafted free agent in 2005. He started 11 games in 2008 and appeared in 12 as a reserve last season. I’ve also been informed that he’s an avid musician, a drummer for the Dallas-based heavy metal band Free Reign.
A 6-foot-4, 311-pound center by trade, the versatile Procter has some experience at left guard and he also had experience (at least in practice) running a version of the Wildcat in Dallas.
Procter is the third University of Montana Grizzlies player currently on the Dolphins’ roster, joining kicker Dan Carpenter and running back Lex Hilliard. I have reason to believe those guys from Missoula, Montana, know how to play in all kinds of weather.
With Procter coming to Miami, it’s center Jake Grove who just got a wake-up call via a cold bucket of water. The Dolphins recently announced an open competition for his starting center spot, and with several able-bodies on the depth chart, Grove’s probably feeling a little “Under Pressure,” a la David Bowie.
Wakey Wakey Jakey,you can’t afford to make a big mistakey.