Starting fresh with the late afternoon rumors:
Dolphins interested in Mendenhall
NFL.com’s Daniel Jeremiah is “hearing a lot of buzz” about the Dolphins being interested in free agent Rashard Mendenhall.
It would be an odd fit for a team reportedly enamored with Lamar Miller, and terrible news for Daniel Thomas. Mendenhall would be an upgrade on Thomas, but not a viable replacement for Reggie Bush. Mendenhall has just 77 catches in 57 career games, and is not an asset as a pass protector. Giving Mendenhall touches at the expense of Miller would be counterproductive.
Giants said to be making “Late Push” to keep Bennett
The New York Daily News reports the Giants are making a “late push” to re-sign free agent Martellus Bennett, and that keeping him remains a “top goal.”
Bennett’s agent confirmed the sides are still talking. “I am and will continue communicating with the Giants,” Bennett’s rep said. “Martellus is still in New York, and we are taking it one day at a time.” The Giants are thought to be averse to entering a bidding war for the 26-year-old tight end, but he won’t get out of town without a fight. Bennett is reportedly drawing “some interest” from the Bucs, who have cap space to burn.
UPDATE: Boldin in real danger of getting the axe
The Baltimore Sun reports the Ravens are indeed pushing Anquan Boldin to take a pay-cut, and could release before the start of free agency if “talks continue to be unsuccessful.”
Boldin blithely claimed Saturday afternoon he had yet to be approached about a cut, but according to a league source, the Ravens nearly released him on Friday. Boldin reportedly went as far as to prepare a statement “thanking the fans for their support during his time in Baltimore.” Per reporter Aaron Wilson, team officials “remain hopeful” a deal can be reached. Boldin will have to swallow his pride for that to happen.
Dolphins actively seeking Wallace
FOX Sports confirms the Dolphins are the “lead dog” in the Mike Wallace sweepstakes, and that Wallace “prefers warm weather.”
Per reporter Alex Marvez, Wallace is expected to draw “multiple offers” worth between $11-$12 million per season. It’s clear the Dolphins are primed to be Wallace’s most aggressive suitor, but we wouldn’t put much stock in his supposed weather preference. Who truly “prefers” cold weather? It would be stunning if Wallace left even a little money on the table because Miami is a better place to take an evening stroll in the winter. Miami’s temperate climate should only be a factor if Wallace is weighing equal offers
Patriots, Bucs leading contenders for CB Smith
Yahoo Sports’ Jason Cole reports that the Patriots, Bucs, and Cardinals appear to be the “leading candidates” to land Sean Smith in free agency.
Cole concedes “things are fluid,” and interestingly doesn’t include the Eagles among Smith’s suitors. Arizona needs a bookend for Patrick Peterson, and new defensive coordinator Todd Bowles was Smith’s position coach in Miami. The Pats are considering moving on from fellow free agent Aqib Talib. The Bucs have the most cap space of the trio; Smith’s stated desire is to “get paid.”
Cards, Lions in the hunt for RB Bush
Profootballtalk.com calls the Cardinals a “team to watch” in the Reggie Bush free-agent sweepstakes.
The Lions are the other team mentioned by PFT. Bush would have a better chance at a starting job in Arizona, under pass-happy coach Bruce Arians. We’d still prefer Bush’s fantasy fit in Detroit, playing on turf in a better offense behind a better offensive line. He could catch 65-75 balls with the Lions.