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Whither A Kicker?

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T.O.'s done. Jason Fabini's a Cowboy. It's time to find a kicker.

A smattering of news:

-- Julian Peterson visits Miami today. The Dolphins are going 3-4 and need an end to bookend Jason Taylor, who now stands up as an end. I've found no confirmation that Peterson will visit Dallas.

-- Keep an eye on the Steve Hutchinson hearing today. The NFL and NFLPA will again butt heads before an arbitrator over the legality of the offer sheet G Steve Hutchinson signed with the Vikings. Seattle and the league claim a clause that assures Hutchinson is the highest paid OL on his team violates the new CBA signed two weeks ago. The players union contends it is legal.

If special master Stephen Burbank, a professor at U. Penn's Wharton School of Business, rules in Seattle's favor, the Seahawks will retain Hutchinson and use a giant chunk of its $20 million in cap room. Seattle will then try to finish the John Abraham deal or pursue Julian Peterson, who visited Seattle last week. That signing would further diminish the Seahawks' cap room.

The Cowboys are eyeing Seattle K Josh Brown and may be waiting for the Seahawks to burn some of their cap dollars before presenting Brown with an offer sheet. He is a restricted free agent and would cost Dallas a seventh-round pick if the Seahawks failed to match Dallas' bid.

-- Miami, like Dallas, is hip-deep in the kicker sweepstakes, though they have veteran Olindo Mare on the roster. The agent for Paul Edinger has been making the rounds, calling Miami and Dallas last week to guage interest. Edinger kicked for Miami coach Nick Saban at Michigan St. and made three game winning kicks for the Vikings last season.

He seems like a fallback option at best. Edinger was a poor 3 of 8 from 30 to 39 yards last year kicking in a dome. It's that type of performance that got Jose Cortez and Billy Cundiff cut last year.

-- The Boston Globe has a photo archive of Adam Vinatieri's 19 game-winning kicks up. (click link below his photo.) Surprisingly, only one of them was a win/loss kick, that being the 30-28 decider in the '99 season-opening win over Bill Parcells' Jets. The rest came in games that were tied. That doesn't cheapen his accomplishments, but I would have expected a little more drama in ten years.

-- In the rampant speculation department, watch the progress, or in this case, the non-progress of CB Ty Law. The Dolphins passed him over this weekend, signing former Giants CB Will Allen.

Miami was considered a strong contender for Law, who lives in the city. He was told by Kansas City earlier in the week that they could not afford him. Law may be suffering from Marco Rivera Syndrome. He's a talented player in his 30s, coming off a serious leg injury. Law played well last season, nabbing 10 interceptions for the Jets. He also made $10 million, which is too rich for even the wealthiest clubs, given his age.

There are still a few big contracts to be handed out. Hutchinson, Abraham and Peterson will get theirs. Adam Vinatieri will also get his, though he might not get what he wants. That said, all the position players mentioned are in their 20s. If MRS really is taking hold, Law might -- and I stress might -- become a candidate for the open free safety slot. I'm sure he would prefer one last payday at cornerback rates, but the Bill Parcells angle should be considered at this point. Law was the Tuna's top pick in '95.