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Derrick Dockery is not headed to Miami

Update [2007-3-2 20:2:2 by Skin Patrol]: Well that's settled.

Update [2007-3-2 14:35:49 by Skin Patrol]: Should we lose Derrick Dockery, The Post lists a possible replacement: New Orleans Guard Montrae Holland.

The Redskins have interest in free agent guard Montrae Holland (New Orleans), sources said, and he mirrors Dockery's body type and run-blocking skills.
Update [2007-3-2 13:37:20 by Skin Patrol]: Hat Tip: Extreme Skins. Dockery is in Buffalo visiting the Bills per their Official Site.

Update [2007-3-2 13:15:56 by Skin Patrol]:The Phinsider mentions that Dockery was a Miami target though is heading to Atlanta. Keep an eye on his Free Agent Updates thread for any Dockery to Miami related news. From the Palm Beach Post:

Miami's plans for the offensive line could include Cincinnati left guard Eric Steinbach, who is considered the top player available at the position.

Washington Redskins left guard Derrick Dockery, considered next best at the position, will not be in the mix, said his agent, Todd France.

That's encouraging but hardly makes Dockery a guaranteed Redskin. Remember that Jason La Canfora yesterday said that Dockery would take in a 12M signing bonus based on how the market is behaving this free agency. He also said that Cincinnati's Steinbach would take in 16M, which is higher than most predicted.

Remember that Jon Jansen signed a new deal in February with a 10M signing bonus. Despite repeatedly admitting that I want us to keep Dock, 12M is high. He's a great guard but hardly the best player on our line, and I cannot justify giving him that large of a contract.

Why is this market so haywire? Remember that most of these players signed their last contracts before the major increase in the Salary Cap. The Cap increased drastically from 85M in 2005 to 102M in 2006. And while the Redskins made waves in last year's free agency -- testing the waters for the rest of the league -- everyone else has finally come around. Players' agents know damn well that their previous contracts are, like the Cap, 20% lower than they should be. And when teams (like Cleveland, San Fransisco, Tennessee, to name a few) enter Free Agency with tens of thousands of available cap space, it's simply a bidding war.

The good news for us is that our ridiculous spending spree last year is going to look a lot less ridiculous as the rest of the league recognizes that a higher cap means players get paid more. It's uncomplicated economics -- if a team has 20M more salary cap space than they did a few years ago, they have 20M more to spend on players. When two teams compete for the same player, the bidding can go higher and those contracts explode.

Partially because of our resource expending FA ventures last year, the Redskins aren't the big players in the 2007 FA market and thus might not be able to retain Dockery for either a reasonable rate or at all. We cannot pursue Clements and Hogs Haven predicts his signing bonus to be over 22M. I'm worried what Fletcher will cost us, but it almost appears as if other teams have simply lost interest once they recognized he was our guy. There is no utility in getting in a bidding war with the Redskins: the best case scenario is you risk overpaying Fletcher to cause us to overpay. The worst case scenario is that you end up actually overpaying London Fletcher. You're better off just letting Redskin One fly to Buffalo and scoop him.

Just because Miami is out of the way doesn't mean Dockery will come home with a reasonable asking price. He's still a valuable commodity in this crazy market (the teams unwilling to dish out 16M on a Steinbach might throw 10+M at Derrick) and multiple teams are likely eyeing him greedily. Tampa Bay, for instance:

Cincinnati's Eric Steinbach and San Diego's Kris Dielman top the list of free agents, but players such as Washington's Derrick Dockery might be worth pursuing as well.
I still maintain that the best case scenario is that, for whatever reason, interest in Dockery dries up and he returns home for a more reasonable sum. Whether we can afford him might also be contingent on what we pay Fletcher, as there is every indication that he's going to be a Washington Redskin.

Fingers crossed.