Dolphins won’t relinquish rights to Rosenfels


With the Houston Texans down two quarterbacks and desperately needing an upgrade, a report surfaced this week that the upgrade would be Sage Rosenfels. But the Miami Dolphins apparently stopped that from happening.

Rosenfels is currently on the Dolphins’ Non-Football Injury list because he had a blood infection that made it tough for him to play. That means the Dolphins don’t have to pay him, but they do own the rights to him. However, Rosenfels now seems to feel good enough to play, and he’d reportedly like to re-join the Texans. That would require the Dolphins to waive him.

And the Dolphins aren’t doing that. Dolphins G.M. Jeff Ireland hasn’t discussed the matter publicly, but he apparently thinks squatting on the rights to Rosenfels is better for Miami than letting Rosenfels go free.

One league source responded to that by saying, “Stay classy, Jeff,” in an interview with Ben Volin of the Palm Beach Post, but the bottom line is that Ireland is under no obligation to let Rosenfels go. And he’s surely not the only G.M. who would do the same under the same circumstances.

If anything, Ireland is the one who has reason to be upset: The Texans and Rosenfels would be violating league rules if they worked out any type of agreement for Rosenfels to head to Houston while Rosenfels is still a member of the Dolphins.

The Broncos let Kyle Orton go elsewhere by waiving him after it became clear that Tim Tebow was the starter, but that was a cost-cutting move for Denver. In the case of Rosenfels, who isn’t getting paid on the Non-Football Injury list, there’s no such benefit to the Dolphins by cutting him.

And so Rosenfels will continue to sit out and not get paid, when he’s apparently healthy enough to play, and the Texans are apparently willing to pay him. That’s too bad for Rosenfels and the Texans, but the Dolphins hold all the cards here.

33 responses to “Dolphins won’t relinquish rights to Rosenfels

  1. I can’t believe this is still a story, why the hell should they release him just because the Texans want him?

    It makes no sense.

  2. When this story first broke I was curious why the Dolphins would be so cooperative for another AFC team, so I’m not surprised that the Dolphins are sitting on Sage. There’s nothing morally wrong with what Ireland is doing, it’s smart because he has someone that another team has, and he should pursue some sort of compensation if he is to let Sage go, and it also makes sense because the Texans are still AFC competitors and there are no personal connections between Ireland and the Texans staff.

    I’m no Dolphin fan or nothing, but I think it’d look kind of weak if they just coughed up a QB to the Texans for nothing.

  3. Good for the Dolphins, why should they help the Texans? Especially for free.

    I am really sure that other teams would do the same.

    More to the point, when have other teams even tried to help the Dolphins.

  4. I usually don’t side with Ireland on anything, but he’s right in this case. A guy who says he has a disease that won’t allow him to play football suddenly wants to be released so he can play (start?) for another team? And all this after you signed the guy with a legitimate team need for depth at QB, and he’s suddenly OK to play, just not for your team? I wouldn’t be doing him any favors on my watch either.

  5. Can’t he force himself to play for pay for the Dolphins then? Isn’t he entitled to make a living being paid? What’s the story here that I am probably missing…..

  6. WoW Dolphins,,,your season is ALREADY down the drain,,,and now you want to hold someone back from trying to sustain theirs…..not a good look Miami….

  7. While it’s true that the don’t have to, and shouldn’t for that matter, cut him just because another team wants him, it’s still unfair to Sage that he’s not getting paid.

  8. Considering that all Rosenfels wants is a chance to play; that is why the Giants granted his request ealier in the year in the similar situation after Miami’s starting QB went down. Either roster him (where he would at least get his salary) or let him go.

    The Dolphins want it both ways and should gets let him fly away.

  9. Does he become a free agent able to sign with any team or does he pass through waivers?

    If its waivers, then there is no gaurentee he ends up in Texas.
    If he is a free agent, Houston could offer Miami something in return. I’m sure there could be some sort of wink/nudge deal arranged since the trading deadline has passed.

    What’s most odd to me, is a player gets sick (not injured) and not by his own actions and his team can squat on him and not pay him. I could see if he had a non-football related injury from riding a motorcycle recklessly through city streets.
    But to not pay him and then be able to cut him at the end of the season seems a bit off.

    but I guess that is what they negotiated.

  10. The trade deadline ended around Week 6, so they can’t work something out. A wick / wink isn’t worth the risk as it would be low value, while the league could take away a first round draft choice if they found that they skirted the rules.

  11. This is a bizarre move (or non-move) by the Dolphin organization. They won’t activate Rosenfels, they’ve started to play better with another QB in place, but they won’t release Rosenfels so he can go play somewhere else?

    Petty decision by Ireland. A lame move by a small man.

  12. IF he is well enough to play Miami doesn’t have to release him to play elsewhere, but shouldn’t they have to move him off of that status and start paying him? Doesn’t seem right a team can hold onto a guy without paying him. In other words, holding a player’s rights should cost something.

  13. Why didn’t the Texans cut Matt Schabb for the Dolphins when they had no good QBs on the roster?If Sage wants to play and is healthy enough then let him play for the Dolphins as a backup and not for the Texans.

  14. Why can’t Sage force Miami to put him on the roster if he is able to play? Surely, Miami would cut him at that point, or else pay him what he is owed.

  15. I also want to know, if Rosenfels is no longer “non-football injured,” why can’t he get off the list and start earning an income again. Seems like a pretty unfair injustice. I don’t really care if he gets paid with the team with the rights to him or any other team. If its OK to get put on IR without pay, then it should be OK to got off that IR in order to get paid. Did the NFLPA whiff on this one under the new CBA?

  16. I find it hilarious that “the Dolphins hold all the cards” only in situations like this where the jackpot is a big pile of nothing.

    Any GM worth his salt would be able to put together a nudge-nudge, wink-wink deal with the Texans that would move a player Miami’s way at some point down the line……

    Miami has become such a pathetic joke.

  17. He should be able to petition the league to be taken off the non-football injury list.

    If he were getting paid that is one thing. But this is a clear cut case of restraint of trade. He has an ability to earn and an entity willing to pay him. Although the league rules allow it, it simply isn’t right for the Dolphins to block it.

    If they want to take him off the list, put him on the roster and pay him, or even put him on IR and pay him, fine.

    Otherwise, let the man earn.

  18. Sage would likely be claimed on waivers by the Titans before they allowed him to be picked up by the Texans. Still, if Sage is healthy enough to play, why can’t he force himself onto the roster so he gets paid? It seems the NFLPA is dropping the ball on this one.

  19. He can’t play for the Dolphins this year because after they signed him to the contract they found he had a blood disease which made him not able to play, therefore he was put on the NFI list. This list is basically IR for players that were injured outside of football. There is no forcing himself onto the roster.

    Even if he was released some AFC team with a higher pecking order, still fighting for playoffs would snag him off the waivers to let him sit on the bench solely so the Texans couldn’t have him.

  20. Low class move by Ireland. I’ll just reiterate whats already been stated.

    1. They don’t’ want to pay him, and he has a chance to earn a check elsewhere.

    2. They won’t release him so he can play for another team, but they had the same exact thing done for them. That’s how they got him in the first place.

    3. He would have to pass through waivers, so there’s no guarantee that he makes it to Houston. (Have you not noticed the many other QB needy teams?)

    4. Even though Houston is a AFC rival, they will not play each other again, so Rosenfels on the Texans has no impact on Miami’s season.

  21. Regardless of Ireland’s rights the only reason they have Rosenfels is because the Giants were in the position that the Dolphins were and the Dolphins were in the position that the Texans were and the Giants gave him the courtesy of allowing to get on a roster.
    Probably not the most affective way to build good rapport with other league execs.

  22. There are some fair points here.

    The key point being, if he isn’t getting paid, find a way to either pay him or let him get paid. He was sick, this would be different if the scenario was a holdout or something of that nature.

  23. I don’t know that it’s an issue that the Texans want Sage (and I don’t know why the article is presented that way) since he would have to clear waivers anyways so its not like the Dolphins would just be handing him over to the Texans.

    To me the bigger issue is that Ireland is just being an ass in holding onto Rosenfels and not letting him earn a living. I’m sure all the people that are siding with the Dolphins on this wouldn’t like to be denied a right to make a living.

  24. So let me get this right

    The Dolphins sign him because they needed a QB, but he said he was too sick to play for the team not going to the playoffs. Now a team that probably is going has an opening and he makes a miraculous recovery. The Dolphins are suppose to help the Texans, whom they have never beaten by the way, for nothing and possibly anger several other teams that are also fighting for a playoff spot. Wow is that the way you would run your business?

  25. A lot of talk by people with no info on Sage, there are rules in the NFL, Miami has to follow them, we don’t know if he can play or not, more info will come out sooner or later. Bill

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