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Jesse Chatman surgery proves Dolphins right

New York Jets running back Jesse Chatman is having knee surgery today at Doctors Hospital in Coral Gables as yet another step in what has been a bitterly disappointing season for the former Miami Dolphins player.

So why am I breaking this Jets news on a Dolphins blog?

Because it speaks to yet another set of personnel decisions, these controversial, that Jeff Ireland and Bill Parcells made this year that have, well, paid off handsomely.

Chatman, you'll remember, was a pretty good player for the Dolphins last year. He gained 515 yards and averaged 4 yards per carry. But unsigned for 2008, Parcells and Co. let him walk.

That came in the wake of the Lorenzo Booker trade that brought howls from the bloggisphere because Booker showed much promise toward the end of the 2007 season after being drafted in the third round of that season's draft.

The Dolphins jettisoned Chatman and Booker and kept ... Patrick Cobbs.

Tell the truth: You were scratching your head over that one. But guess what? It has worked out very well for Miami.

Chatman signed a one-year deal with the Jets and promptly was suspended four games for violating the NFL's banned substance policy. After the suspension was lifted, he played all of three games before suffering the season-ending knee injury which required surgery today by Dr. John Uribe.

Chatman's total contribution to the Jets was five carries for 8 yards and two receptions for 5 yards. He also played on special teams those three games.

Booker has also been something of a non-factor for Philadelphia even as the Eagles have endured injuries to both Brian Westbrook and Correll Buckhalter. Booker has 20 carries this season for 53 yards -- a 2.7 yard per carry average. He also has 5 receptions for 10 yards.

The Dolphins, meanwhile, are maximizing their contribution from Cobbs to the point he's become one of the team's more valuable players. Imagine that. Cobbs has 10 carries for 44 yards and 16 receptions for 256 yards. He has scored three touchdowns and is one of the team's most active special teams players.

The Dolphins saw in Cobbs attributes that fit "the makeup" of a player they want. And Cobbs has delivered well enough that he was offered and signed a contract extension.

So the Dolphins were right on Cobbs. And those, me admittedly among them, that wondered about the wisdom of letting a proven rusher (Chatman) and a promising third-down speedster (Booker) go were wrong so far.

That doesn't mean the Dolphins will be right all the time -- see Ernest Wilford and Shawn Murphy -- but I think we've all learned to trust these personnel guys much more than we did previous ones.

So give Bill Parcells, Jeff Ireland and assistant director of player personnel Brian Gaine a hand. They earned it on this one.

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