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News » Miami Dolphins Inside Slant 2009-03-30

Miami Dolphins Inside Slant 2009-03-30

Miami Dolphins Inside Slant 2009-03-30
The Dolphins bid aloha to Hawaiian center Samson Satele after he started all 33 games of his first two NFL seasons because they're always trying to upgrade their offensive line and running attack.

The Dolphins traded Satele to the Oakland Raiders for a sixth-round pick and a swap of fourth-round selections, moving the Dolphins up 18 spots from No. 122 to No. 104. In essence, the two teams swapped starting centers this offseason with Miami signing free agent Raiders center Jake Grove to a five-year, $29 million deal.

It was no secret that Satele is mobile and athletic, but he had trouble dealing with some of the AFC East's mammoth nose tackles such as New England's Vince Wilfork and the New York Jets' Kris Jenkins. And the Dolphins face them four times every season. In addition, two of the Dolphins' six losses, including the playoffs, came against the Ravens, who dominated the line of scrimmage behind their massive nose tackle Haloti Ngata.

Satele's agent Leo Goeas said that his client was playing hurt with a badly damaged shoulder that needed comprehensive surgery after the season ended.

While coach Tony Sparano and vice president of football operations Bill Parcells are constantly trying to get bigger on the offensive line, the actual difference in size between Grove and Satele, both 300-pounders, is about one inch.

However, Grove has other assets that perhaps Satele lacked, like meanness and toughness. Grove does have some durability issues, having started 16 games only once (2006) in five NFL seasons. Sparano said the team did an extensive physical and is confident that the former Virginia Tech strongman (he once benched-pressed nearly 500 pounds) will be healthy and aid in the push up the middle which was so bad last year that the Wildcat was spawned.

"We feel like we had to get better in that area," general manager Jeff Ireland said Monday at the NFL owners meetings. "It's pretty critical that we did. ... We found out there was significant value for Samson."

So in hindsight, the Dolphins' trade of receiver Wes Welker to the Patriots two years ago for the No. 60 selection in the 2007 draft (Satele) and seventh-round pick - which was used on linebacker Abraham Wright, who didn't make the team - ended up being for the 158th pick in next month's draft and an 18-move improvement in the fourth round for a two-time Pro Bowl receiver.

The Dolphins also added backup center/guard Joe Berger, who played for Sparano and Co. in Dallas, so the handwriting was on the wall for Satele's departure.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: March 30, 2009

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Trey Darilek Name: Trey Darilek
Position: C
Age: 27
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