Eric Winston meeting with Dolphins; Pats in the mix
Eric Winston is meeting with the Dolphins; and has drawn interest from the Patriots
Fresh off the heels of losing four-time Pro Bowl tackle Jake Long, Miami is reportedly meeting with free-agent lineman Eric Winston who was recently released by the Chiefs. According to Adam Schefter, the Patriots are also potentially interested in Winston's services.
Former Chiefs/Texans OT Eric Winston is visiting Dolphins today. Deal could happen. Eagles, Pats, Chargers, Cowboys also interested.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 20, 2013
The fact that the Patriots are apparently expressing some interest in Winston is another indicator that they may be preparing for life without Vollmer. But as I did when I first wrote on Winston, I still believe the Patriots are better served finding a replacement for Vollmer within the team or in the draft. I think the fact that Coach Belichick and the organization still seemingly think very highly of Marcus Cannon is another sign pointing towards an internal replacement for Vollmer should he leave. Here is Bill speaking on Cannon yesterday (Quote from Boston.com):
“Huge gains last year,” Belichick said of Cannon. “Obviously he dealt with his physical situation in ’11 [when he underwent treatment for non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma], he wasn’t really able to start participating until whenever the PUP thing was.
“This year was a totally different situation — he got a lot of reps in training camp, given our offensive line, specifically tackle situation [Vollmer was rehabbing from an offseason back procedure], and he’s improved tremendously as a player.
“The opportunities he had to play early in the year, and even late in the year, he showed that improvement on the field in games as well as the practice field ”
I would still be surprised if Winston ends up in New England. I do think he is a solid veteran player who has proven to be extremely reliable and durable at a punishing position; but at this point all signs point to Cannon should Vollmer decide to leave the team.