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Crowder's knee injury could cost him money

It has been two weeks now since Channing Crowder has been able to go full tilt in a practice for the Miami Dolphins. He's got a bad knee that prevented him from playing against Kansas City. The Dolphins will watch Crowder practice Friday -- assuming he can go -- and determine if he's able to start or even play against the New York Jets.

Crowder practiced on Thursday but it was in a limited capacity. Neither he nor cornerback Will Allen (groin) worked on Wednesday.

“I think they both want to be in this game, sure," coach Tony Sparano said Thursday. "It’s just a matter of right now, as I said yesterday, I think it’s day-to-day. And they did do some work today and it’s really getting a chance to come in here tomorrow and see how the thing responds one way or the other.”

So, again, Friday is a big day for Crowder and Allen.

But I would tell you it's a bigger day for Crowder.

Unlike Allen, Crowder has a history of injury problems dating back to his college days at the University of Florida. Knee problems also caused Crowder to finish the year on injured reserve last year. And now he is fighting to keep from missing the final two games this season because of the injury.

Obviously Crowder wants to play because he's a competitor. But he also wants to play because he doesn't want the Dolphins to somehow go into the offseason with the thought he's not reliable in crunch time based on that troublesome knee.

And that is a big issue for both Crowder and the Dolphins because the inside linebacker is an unrestricted free agent this offseason.

Crowder understands the importance most teams, the Dolphins in particular, place on investing their money on healthy players. Every game he misses will cost bargaining chips in contract talks. And chips represent dollars.

So whether Crowder can practice full go Friday and eventually play Sunday could make him or lose him money in contract negotiations.

There is, of course, another school of thought on the matter also.

Crowder, who is second on the Dolphins with 105 tackles, was not easily replaced by Miami against Kansas City. Reggie Torbor took his place in the lineup but had only one tackle. Akin Ayodele, who called the defensive signals, had only three tackles.

Crowder averages 7.5 tackles per game. So there was quite a drop in production in his absence.

The Dolphins put forth what was described to me as a modest contract offer to Crowder last month. Obviously nothing has been done on that front so neither side is ready to commit to the other. That means Miami this offseason will again weigh a willingness to pay Crowder despite his uncertain knee versus risking losing him and trying to find someone else who will be as productive and active.

It will be a difficult decision for all involved.

What would you do?

[Friday update: Both Crowder and Allen practiced today although to what degree -- either full or limited -- will not be known until later. It is pretty obvious Allen will play Sunday. Crowder? I would say he's 70 percent likely to play.]

[SHAMELESS PLUG: In case you missed it, I wrote this story in Thursday's Miami Herald detailing the interesting (to me, at least) parallels between this year's team and Don Shula's first team in 1970. If you can't think of reasons why that is important, click, click, click on the story and find out.]

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I've always liked him and think he's done a good job filling in for Zach this year...I think those are EXTREMELY large shoes to fill and many are (infairly) comparing him to Thomas...He's had over a hundred tackles and 3-4 FF's...That's not too shabby in my book...In addition, he's an emotional leader and from all accounts a good guy. Hopefully the knee will get healthy and won't continue to nag him. I'd like to see him back next year. I think it would be easier to upgrade Torbor and Ayodele than him.

*unfairly

I'd like to see a healthy CROWDER on the field for the DOLPHINS D next season. Compared to the other free agent MLB of 2009. Crowder's knowledge of the scheme age and experience are all positive factors. But hey maybe will make a move and bring in

RAY LEWIS

After a little research he actually has more tackles than Thomas this year. Also, he's one of TWO ILB's, so, he's not going to have 150 tackles like Zach did...

Ray Lewis? I'd take Zach back any day over that move. He only signed a one year contract with the Cowboys.

Re-signing Crowder is an absolute must. Sure, the guy had a knee problem last year, but that was the first time since college that it gave him any problems. And the injury was supposed to be unrelated to the one he had in college.

Crowder is irreplaceable in this defense as far as I'm concerned...at least at this juncture.

Its tough, he obviously knows the system, but at the same time the team lost him toward the end of the season. Injuries happen, I just hope he gets a reprieve to beat the damn Jets... Merry Christmas everyone.

Hey! I thought of Ray Lewis too!

Though he would be good, it might be best to keep him away from sharp, pointy things.

Well...his friends anyway...eh, him too...yeah.

I think Crowder has done a good job this year but not spectacular, he overpersued runners and certain players many times, leaving big holes, besides that, the ILB in the 3-4 system isn't so important and combined with the importance the trifecta puts on being healthy I expect that if Crowder don't play on Sunday it'll be difficult to see him returning unfortunatly.

This is not a hard decision at all - Get rid of Crowder. He is just slighty better-than-average and injury prone (his knees were already wore out during his college days at Florida). He should be fairly easy to replace through the draft.

We have to resign him. He is a perrenial pro bowl type of a player. Anyone who is critical of his play this year is comparing him to Zach Thomas. Not a fair comparison. Yeramiah Bell and Crowder are the heart of the defence. We will need both back next year to continue this great turnaround.

Crowder needs to play Sunday. Not only for us to win but for him to remain a Dolphin. Regardless of whether I like the guy or not as person (his teammates do & so does Coach Sparano), Parcells wants players who are "gamers" so while the Dolphins might offer him a "modest" contract, Crowder is not going to get the money he is seeking if he's not on the field this Sunday & making a big impact. Unfortunately this is even more of a business than most fans or even writers want to believe but Parcells understands this & if he has no use for players that don't play especially in our biggest game of the season.

"We have to resign him. He is a perrenial pro bowl type of a player. Anyone who is critical of his play this year is comparing him to Zach Thomas. Not a fair comparison. Yeramiah Bell and Crowder are the heart of the defence. We will need both back next year to continue this great turnaround."

Rich,

I personally like Crowder a lot & think he has played well this season but he has a long history of injuries that go back to before he was ever a Dolphin. When a player is looking for a big contract you have to take that into account.

I don't think he's a great player & he's not an "elite" or a "Pro-Bowl caliber" player but he's still a good player. As for Bell, I think it's insane that he hasn't gotten a new contract yet.

Keep Crowder for the right price.
Torbor looked slow out there , he has been bit of a dissapointment. Since we will be drafting lower than we thought , the best LB available might be snagged!
Laurinitis anybody?

Cushing from USC might be available , even the Lb from Virginia

U know parcells can draft lbs with the best of em. He can and will be replaced this off season.

Cut him loose, he arrived on paper knees out of college. we are lucky we got what we did out of him to this point. At any rate he is solid but not spectacular. The current regime will have no problem finding an equal or better replacement.

Look for the TUNA to continue his search for "HIS" type of lb.He's got a pretty good track record of finding good,if not great ones.This is why we have BILL! No more worrying about who the fins draft...I've got extreme confidence they'll make the right moves,unlike previous morons who ran this organization into the ground....GAWD I love the TRIFECTA!! GO FINS!!!!!!!!!!

Resigning Crowder and Carey have to be the #1 priority in the off season period. This nonsense that Crowder can be easily replaced in the draft is plain ignorant.

I think both guys had better take the needle so they can play. These opportunities don't come along very often.

What would I do? Play injured of course and take care of the injuries in the off season. This is the biggest game of both players careers.
It is only pain. If it is going to be a chance to never walk again, I would rethink but the great ones always find a way to get the job done.

Many on this current roster won't be in Dolphins uniform next year. The re-building has not been completed. They will get better and better each year.

1) Sign Bell
2) Keep the offer to Crowder on the table as long as it does not appear his injury is chronic or career threatening.
3) Sign carey
4) Draft a linebacker early

I'm not overly impressed with Crowder. He's better than Torbor and more suited for the outside.

Could always draft Brandon Spikes...assuming he comes out.

Just replace him (snap)! with anybody (poof)! You guys are smoking something.

Replace him with MATT ROTH WHAT a huge mike lambacker.Some one very good against the run.

Cote predicted the Dolphins to fall against the Jets, and the Bills to beat the Patriots. Isn't that something? I did not know that Cote felt that way about THIS Miami team, which has shown us something that we haven't seen in years. Balls. Cote, and your %$@#! Jets, can go to hell.

Go Phins!!!!!!!

We definitely take Crowder back, unless his contract demands are enormous. While we don't have all the question marks we did going into the off season last year, we still have holes to plug up. Signing Crowder means we have one less question mark.

Comparing Crowder to Thomas is wrong. ZT played in a defense that was catered to making plays for the MLB to clean up, and Thomas excelled at that role. Crowder is playing in a system that favors the OLB's (Roth and Porter) to make plays off the edge, while the two ILB's clean up the middle. Crowder has been solid in that role this year, and I think has matured a great deal and picked up a leadership roles. Definitely qualities you want at that position. While the knee injury is disappointing, it's not something that concerns me going into next year. This is a physical game, players are bound to get worn down at the end of the season.

I am a huge dolphin fan, but I am not a Crowder fan. I'm sure I will hear feedback on this, but I will say it anyway. I believe Crowder is weak. He misses tackles. I know Zach left big shoes to fill; but I am positive that Crowder is only average (at best). I was never sold on him; but I turned on him when Matt Light of the Patriots punked him. I'm not saying Crowder needs "street cred" or anything stupid like that; but I like players who are tough and take nothing from anyone. If Matt Light had done that to Porter, Porter would have taken him down. Instead Crowder ran like a little girl, laughing. I thought that made him look like a clown.

I have to believe we can up-grade this position in the off-season.

We really need Crowder to play in this game,this could be a make or break for him,win or lose if he suits up it tells everyone that he really wanted to help this team in their biggest game of the season (I really do think he wants to play but hey if your hurt your hurt)but I think we are going to wait until the offseason to see what the market and draft brings,if we let Crowder go we would still have to shell out big bucks to a lb or use a early draft pick on one.I say Crowder and Carey should get re-signed and I dont know if Peppers got a new deal from Carolina but if not I think we should go with Haynesworth or him in the market that would address our d-line then solve the corner problem with Vonte Davis or Jenkins in the draft.We are gonna shed out some big cash to someone dont know who,Ashumunga from Oakland would be great best shutdown corner out there but he will ask bout 9 mill a year.

i suspect Parcells will replace him next year. Crowder will get a decent contract with another team, but these guys really value durability and making game-changing plays at LB. He is indeed a prolific tackler, but when has he ever made a game changing INT or gotten a sack on the QB? He's forced a few fumbles, but overall, he's made very few truly game-changing plays. His biggest strength is that he's a sure tackler. That was what we were missing in KC last week. That makes it clear that ILB is a position that needs to be upgraded in the offseason, whether or not Crowder stays.

They might keep Crowder, if he comes at a reasonable price and then they will use a high draft pick on another ILB. There are plenty of good ones coming out in this draft that are game-changers.

Draft an ILB early and offer crowder a 1 or 2 year deal.

This draft is heavy at LB and CB is not. Bell must be resigned and if the trifecta can get a bargain on Goodman we might have seen the last of double C.

Crowder is a good, not great, ILB. Tough but his skills in the passing game and his smarts are limited.

If Brandon Spikes is still available with our 1st round pick he will be a huge upgrade.

You know ronnie needs 141 yds to break a 1000 .

Gian, just so you are aware, I am in last place in picking among the experts. In fact, I'm so terrible, I am probably going to get kicked out of the expert club because a chimp can do a better job picking games than me.

So take heart you Gian. Because I don't know anything.

Oh yeah, I also wrote the Dolphins should trade for Brett Favre (bust) and Chad Johnson (injured and a cancer). That's how retarded I am.

guyz its gonna be 60 with 30 percent chance of rain this is all coming toghter for the fins. hope i see alota fins fans there gonna need some back up. lets go fins!!!!!!!!

Mando, Do you know what the CBS/FOX schedule is for Sunday? Which games will be televised here in the Miami area? I know we are obviously going to get he Dolphins game, but will we get to see the Patriots game beforehand -- Of all the other games on schedule, it is the one game that we care to see the most so that is why I ask -- or will we be stuck with another game that does have some meaning but nothing that will matter to us Dolphins fans. I would like to know if you have any info on this matter or how I can figure this out before Sunday. Thanks... happy holidays and Go Fins!

You guys also seem to forget this is his 1st season as a starter @ ILB...Easily replaced or eplaced through the draft are assinine statements...

I wrote this in the article that highlighted Derek Smith's signing: The Dolphins might very well be looking to upgrade the ILB position in the first round. Laurenitis, Maulauga, or Spikes. As a matter of fact, I think they wil go all defense in the top part of the draft. They need another corner (to play nickel at least early in the year), a younger NT, an OLB to pair with Joey Porter on passing downs and another ILB whether or not they keep Crowder. I think they should try to re-sign Crowder, Bell, and especially Vernon Carey. I don't think they need to address WR early. Their WRs and TEs have been very effective and are all young and very capable of improving.

Mnado--I know you're not your brothers keeper, & etc., but Darlington's effort today in the print version is pathetic. The Friday before the "Big Game," and the lone Dolphin article is Darlington's Lover Letter to Jay Feeley?!?

I know that Feeley was the reporter's beloved snitch last year, so Darlington feels the need for payback/stroking, but it pissed me off big-time.

F Jay Feeley, & F his revenge. I hope he & Darlington fail miserably on Sunday, and that Darlington's next "Bangy-Dangy" Party gets raided by the Vice Squad.

Anti,
Simms and Esiason appear similar from a distance it's true.
It's easy to tell them apart up close though: Simms WON the Super Bowl and was MVP.

Did the cuban menace get deported or something?

Plus a couple good WR's are available via free agency like.....Boldin , Houshmandzadeh , and Roddy White.
Sign Carey , keep Crowder on the cheap , draft defense all the way !
I dont know if we have enough to sign Haynesworth ( biggest difference maker in NFL for defense ).

I still think we should go with Vonte Davis or Malcome Jenkins with the first pick depending on if they fall to us.As of now we are looking to have a pick in the 20's depending on if we make the playoffs as well so who knows if any of these guys will fall to us.I say sign Carey,Crowder,and give Bell a 2 year deal.We need to upgrade at the d-line,cb,a saftey wouldnt hurt either,dont know how you guys feal about Roth but how would Spikes,Maulauga or Laurenitis,Crowder and Porter sound.

Masters, No Not Been Deported , Working Mega Hours. Have To Regain Some Of My Lost 401 K Money That You Wall Street Guys F.u. On .

Not to say all wall street guys suck, just some of them...

I just took a hideous, crap in the Madden Cruiser's toilet. Don't anybody go in there for AWHILE.

Well, I'd like to see the two of them play, and from what you've said, I'm betting they will. The Dolphins' defense needs these two, too.

Peter King of SI has picked the Jets. Getting Very Skeert over here.

Sure, Peter King picked the Jets.

But he also picks his nose!!!

BWAAAAHAHAHAhahahahahaaaa....!

Didn't he pick the Chiefs to win the Superbowl like every year from '96-'01?

Hmm...not so much Petey...not so much.

Yeah, I'm corny. Big whoop wanna fight about it!?

Butt crack yeast infection!

TODAYS NYPOST BACKPAGE URGES JETS FANS TO ROOT FOR CHAD AND THE DOLPHINS SO THAT THE NYETS LOSE, THEY FIRE MANGINI, AND HIRE COWHER

I AM TELLING YOU ALL THAT WHAT WE WILL SEE ON SUNDAY WILL BE UNLIKE ANYTHING WE HAVE SEEN WITH THE HOME TEAM FANS ROOTING FOR THE VISITING TEAM AND CHANTING ITS QB'S NAME AT THE FIRST SIGN OF ADVERSITY....WILL BE THE GREATEST GAME IN DOPLHIN HISTORY SINCE 73

THERE WILL BE MANY NY JETS PENNINGTON JERSEYS IN THE CROWD.....AND HAVE I MENTIONED I WILL BE AT THE 40 YARD LINE, FIRST ROW BEHIND THE NYETS BENCH?

Glass half full: this saves us money by allowing for a lower base/conditional contract.

Well like I said god only knows what we will do in the offseason.the free agent market is pretty darn good,Peppers,Haynesworth,White(Atlanta would be a fool not to tag or give him a new deal)Asuhmuga(big price tag but the best shutdown corner out there).I Would love to see us sign Ashumuga and then draft Vonte Davis or Jenkins then we would have 2 sick corners but only because I think our secondary is our biggest concern.As for Bell well he has a history of injuries as well no more than a two year deal for him.As for linebacker I like Crowder he is still young lets give him a chance.Sure Porter is playing like a beast but for how much longer and to tell you the truth im not sold on Roth.If we get rid of Carey,Crowder and Bell then we would have to replace these guys through the draft or FA.And in my opinion like I said secondary is a big concern I would hate to use an early pick on a rt,lb unless that lb replaces Roth,.Ray Lewis will be there yes but he will cost more than Crowder and how many years does he have left in him as well.Brian Dawkins will be out there so if Bell happens to pack up then we can grab him.

I like James Laurinitis at the 20 something pick in the draft. He is a stud, and we need linebackers. His motor is never ending and will play hard. of course, I am a Buckeye fan but nonetheless you don't get the accolades that he has received if you aren't a stud.

We need LB, DL and OL in that order. Pick up a proven WR somewhere along the line - remember, we don't throw down field enough to warrant a big time WR at this point. Crabtree would sure be an interesting option though if he is available (not likely).

Go Dolphins!

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