Share this article

print logo

DONAHOE SAYS DOLPHINS WON'T GET HOOKS IN HENRY

The Miami Dolphins are looking for a replacement for retired running back Ricky Williams, but they won't find him in Buffalo.

Bills President and General Manager Tom Donahoe said Wednesday that there is no truth to reports out of Miami that the Dolphins have contacted the team about a trade for Travis Henry.

Even if Miami called, Donahoe said, "It would be a short conversation."

The Dolphins reportedly have contacted a half-dozen teams, including the Oakland Raiders, Minnesota Vikings and Green Bay Packers. The Dolphins also were scheduled to work out veteran free agents James Stewart and Terry Kirby this week.

For the moment, their starting running back is Travis Minor, who has never started an NFL game in his three-year career. Former Bill Sammy Morris and Leonard Henry also are on the depth chart.

Travis Henry would be a huge upgrade over those players, but there is no way the Bills are letting him go.

Donahoe realizes there is no logic in trading Henry, at least not this year. Willis McGahee is coming back after nearly two years on the sideline because of a major knee injury. Even if McGahee looks great in training camp and the exhibition games, he still must prove he can stay healthy and effective over the entire season.

Henry is coming off his second straight 1,000-yard season and has 3,623 yards and 27 rushing touchdowns (29 overall) in three years.

But any trade scenario involving Henry seems highly unlikely since the Dolphins are an AFC East rival and because the Bills' asking price -- at least a first-round draft pick -- would be high.

Donahoe's primary focus these days is getting first-round picks Lee Evans and J.P. Losman signed before the Bills report for training camp on Saturday. The first practice is Sunday at St. John Fisher College in Pittsford.

Donahoe said he's had positive discussions with the players' agents and remains optimistic the deals will get done soon.

"We're talking every day," Donahoe said. "We have two players who want to be in camp on time."

Only 13 of the 32 first-round draft picks have either signed or reached an agreement on a contract. Evans was the 13th overall selection, while Losman was the 22nd pick.

One of the challenges for Donahoe is signing Evans and Losman within the rookie pool, which is money allotted to each team. Using a formula based on the number of picks a team has and where those picks are slotted in the seven-round draft, each team is given a figure. A rookie's signing bonus is prorated over the length of the contract and added to the base salary to produce the rookie pool figure.

The Bills were allotted a little more than $4 million to spend on rookies. Evans and Losman are the last of the team's six draft picks that haven't signed.

"When you have two first-rounders, you're probably in a situation with the rookie pool where you're a little bit more strapped than say a team that has a first- and second-rounder," Donahoe said. "It's just the system."

Still, it shouldn't take long for Evans and Losman to come to terms. It may help that the players picked just ahead of them have signed.

Linebacker Jonathan Vilma, taken 12th by the New York Jets, signed a reported five-year, $10.3 million contract that includes $7.25 million in guaranteed bonuses. Defensive tackle Vince Wilfork, taken 21st by the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots, reportedly signed a six-year deal with a maximum value of $18.05 million and including $6.575 million in bonuses.
e-mail: awilson@buffnews.com

There are no comments - be the first to comment