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Age question cannot have one answer [Update 2]

[Update 1: Before reading this understand that at this hour the New England Patriots are wrapping up the signing of free agent cornerback Leigh Bodden, according to The Boston Globe. The contract is a one-year deal at the veteran minimum salary of $750,000. The Patriots have signed two veteran free agent corners in the last week, the other being Shawn Springs. By the way, if you read the item, notice which team led the NFL in touchdowns allowed last year. That would be Arizona. The Dolphins are interested in signing Arizona CB Eric Green.]

 When is an upgrade not an upgrade? Well, for the Miami Dolphins the question has been answered over and over and over again the past two offseasons: When the potential player who might upgrade the roster is, ahem, older.

Bill Parcells and Tuna Helper Jeff Ireland came to Miami intent on remaking the roster with young players that were ascending and about to enter their primes. It was a smart, logical approach to improving a team that was 1-15 in 2007 and was two or three years from competing.

But something wonderful happened to Miami en route to 2010. The team went 11-6 in 2008, won the AFC East, got in the playoffs, and became an overnight contender. Except the Miami braintrust isn't exactly treating Miami like a contender this offseason.

The braintrust is still using this free agency period to bring in relatively young (25-29 years old) players that (one hopes) have their best games ahead of them. You have to applaud that approach for its patience and long-term vision. It truly is the wise way to build a team.

(So right now, at your computer, stand up and applaud. I will join you ...)

OK, now that I've said that, let me say this: I hope this hard-and-fast rule the Dolphins seem to be following about not even sniffing talent in its 30s isn't so hard-and-fast. That would not be wise.

It says here the Dolphins are a team that this offseason has lost three veteran leaders on defense. Vonnie Holliday was a team captain while Andre' Goodman and Renaldo Hill were quiet but steadying influences for the players around them.

The Dolphins will likely draft or promote much younger players to take their places on the roster and in the lineup. So the young Dolphins are about to get younger even as they seek new leadership in their locker room. But the Dolphins seem unwilling to deviate from the youth movement in the slightest to fill any void.

Yes, we know the team will draft a cornerback. We know the team will draft a receiver. There are linebackers and other players coming among Miami's nine draft picks.

But why not seriously consider a veteran talent also under the right conditions?

If a player is over 30 but still productive, why wouldn't the Dolphins consider him? If he can come at a bargain rate, why wouldn't the Dolphins take a chance at hitting a home run for a couple of years? Why would the Dolphins consider a player like Chris McAlister?

I realize there are problems with him. He has been injured a lot the past two seasons. But that shouldn't disqualify him because, guess what, it didn't disqualify Jake Grove from being signed after being injured a lot the past two seasons.

The disqualifying factor seems to be McAlister's age. He will be 32 years old in June. That seems to wipe him off the Dolphins radar like a stealth jet disappears over Iraqi airspace.

My point, my hope, is a player like McAlister, who has been a starter and a star, should get a full investigation and assessment, one every bit as thorough as a younger player such as Eric Green, a player who has age on his side but whose production has not been anywhere near a healthy McAlister.

Does it mean the Dolphins have to commit to McAlister for five years? No. Two years is plenty, thank you. But two years might be better than zero years in some cases.

The same holds true at other positions. Yes, the Dolphins have to improve the wide receiver spot and the hope is the team will draft a player prominently to fill that need. But why just dismiss some available vets based on the fact they're over 30?

Is Joey Galloway not worthy of an investigation? Of a visit? He's ancient, yes. But he's still faster than any Miami receiver save Ted Ginn Jr. He's still able to fill a role -- my guess would be he'd be Miami's No. 1 receiver the second he walked through the door. Galloway isn't what he was 10 years ago. But he's still good enough that the Super Bowl champion Steelers brought him to town for a free agent visit Monday and are trying to sign him.

The Jets, meanwhile, are said to be considering soon-to-be 33-year-old Torry Holt when he is cut from the Rams. The Seahawks addressed their receiver issues by signing 32-year-old T.J. Houshmandzadeh. I'm not saying the Dolphins should have signed these guys or should go get Holt. I'm saying they shouldn't simply turn their back on them based on age alone.

Too expensive? I understand. Too much of a locker room problem. I'm with you. Not a position of need? I totally agree. Over 30 years old? Let's discuss this one a second.

A lot of teams have used this offseason to add veterans who aren't what they once were, but are still excellent players. Brian Dawkins went to Denver. Matt Birk went to Baltimore. Shawn Springs went to New England. Kurt Warner went back to the Cardinals and Ray Lewis went back to Baltimore.

We're not talking about schlub teams here. The Patriots, Cardinals and Ravens have something of reputation for identifying good talent.

The point is there are guys beyond 30 that can still play at a very, very, very high level. And following their experience with 34-year-old Jason Ferguson and soon-to-be 33-year-old Chad Pennington, the Dolphins should know this firsthand.

Yes, the Dolphins should rightly continue to ask how they can build for tomorrow with young players. But Miami should not dismiss an important counter-balance to that question: What can veteran players do for us today?

[Update 2: The Dolphins announced they had no unrestricted free agent visits on Tuesday.]

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Just be patient. Don't panic. Sheese!

I agree with your post, but I also believe that the Dolphin brain trust thinks that this 11-6 team needs to continue to bring in the youth movement. I guess it is the quote of "consistency builds credibility" with the front office. They have a plan and they are going to stick to it. I would like to see a veteran corner with starting experience come in our direction, it would also be nice to have a wide reciever that has experience. Saying that if they decide not to, it won't change my outlook on this upcoming year. I think we will play better but may not match the record of 08. For me it is nice to see us discussing the need for a veteran rather than trying to figure out who is running the show like a couple of years ago. This is, shall we say, the right kind of dialogue about my team.

I concur Mando. Especially after seeing Shawn Springs sign a 3 year $10 million deal, I think the Dolphins could use a veteran corner like McAllister to help guide a young secondary against a pass potent AFC East.

torry holt is worth a look at the right $

I'm sure if the trifecta thought a free agent was available that could get them to the big game they would go after him or them. But that not being the case, they are looking at who can help them two or three years down the road. That means players that won't be 33 - 36 at that time.

We need young people with new ideas like the Democrats, not old ideas like the Republicans... Youth is the future! Let's not go back now and make mistakes like the Jests... They are near the cap, too old and quarterback / leaderless!

Ben,what are you talking about ,the team already has few senior players who will not be able to keep it up with R.O or Moss

we don't need a veteran to guide any one but a devil runner CB to defend MOSS T.O.no thing else.in fact a record of 6-10 looks more real every day now.

First of all Ben, Will Allen is the veteran leader of the secondary.

Mandon, I was so ready to post what bout Ferg at his age. They had no problem bringing him in. Penn was a no brainer but if Jets hadn't released him late then its appears we would have started Beck or Henne. Anyway when I got to the bottom of your article I saw u beat me to it

I Never heart that before that Allen is the vetran leader of the secondary, are you kidding me? BTW How old is he? i think he's 37

" New ideas like democrats " . You mean like the old ideas of spending and then reaising taxes ? LOL . Or that new idea of socialism that hasn't worked throughout the history of the world. Those new ideas ? LOL . Please stick to football before you run your mouth.

Peter Parker is a smart man not like most fin fans

McAllister is supposedly a bit of a pain in the locker room. Not because he isn't friendly with other players, but because he has a problem with alcohol...which leads to him being insubordinate, and routinely being late/not following team rules. The truth (some say) is that he wasn't really injured, and the booze was what was keeping him off the field.

I think Parcells and CO fill it is more important and valuable to throw the younger guys into the fire than to pick up older guys that will eat into their reps and playing time. I think if they don't get all they need in the draft and feel the players they pick up will do more damage to themselves by playing than sitting on the bench and learning, then they will fill it with a veteran. I think the WR got a ton of on the job training last year and did wonders to their growth which will be evident this year. We add a true #1 and our receiving core is top 10 for years to come... They'll try the same process with the secondary...

Hey park your Peter somewhere else. Democrats or Republicans ? Who cares ? Put two piles of crap side by side and they both draw flies like you.

Armando....good read! A smattering of vets I believe is key to having a cohesive unit that will eventually go to the big one. As you stated, the budget is the big sticking point. Surely the Phins could plug in one or two vets and save the draft picks for the best on the board or most pressing need. I have a feeling it will be a DT but hopeful it is one of the top LBs. 46 days to the draft! GO PHINS!!

BRING BACK DAN MARINO!!! Mando says age doesn't matter & trifecta should listen!!

I Am glad that MJF is not fin's coach , his idea of what we should do about sitting players on the bench and learn doesn't work any more in NFL and that's why dolphins signed WAKE .

DAN MARINO WAS THE MOST OVER RATED PLAYER IN NFL HISTORY SHULA ALSO AS A COACH.

The Arizona Cardinals are an organization that identifies good talent... huh? are we taking about the same team that has been pathetic for, lets see, just about every year of their existence (save for this year)?

Peter:

You must be a JETS fan. The DemoCRAPS wouldn't know a new idea if it dropped into their laps. I can't wait for my taxes to go up and my freedoms to be stripped. As for football, I would rather be great for 6-8 years in a couple of years from now than be good for 2 years now then suck again like the JETS. Don't forget; it wasn't that long ago we were the laughing stock of the NFL. GO GET 'EM TUNA!

im all for bring in a couple couple vets but at the same time if they havent brought them in just because they arent interested, they didnt bring mcfadden down. or phillip so its just them not thinking the players avaible are worth it. which i agree with i rather draft a corner and work with what we have when all these teams get old in a hurry our players will set into their prime

My team Arizona is a much better team than your dolphins,no but about it Larry G.you would be lucky if you finish the year with 5 wins

bird- Yeah, I know... sitting players on the bench to learn doesn't work at all. James Harrison and Troy Polamalu worked out terribly for the Steelers.

Cardiac, I think Ferg was the best available NT at the time, plus he came cheap (what was it, a 4th rounder? a 6th?) and they were familiar with him... but I see your point, they DO pull the trigger on older people, but those are good reasons to do that: best available, history, cheap...

Can you even read? Where did I say sit guys on the bench and learn? I said if they were not good enough to play, they going to the bench anyway! Hopefully learning is what they will be doing on the bench. Isn't that what they did with Chad Henne? Isn't that what SD did with Phillip Rivers? Bird you are retarded... Get your facts straight...

Oh, you mean GM Jeff Ireland. You and the Sentinel have some type of conspiracy to not call this guy by his title...its absurd.

Charlie Bungle AlienMan, your friend Jahndoh ripped your best friend, Tinshaker. And Jahndoh was right.

Here is what Jahndoh said:

"Jahndoh says:Yesterday, 5:29:37 PM
“Yeah, I think you're kinda getting full of yourself tin...you're not going to go from "random blogger on the SS dolphins blog" to the source for all things dolphins for all dolphins journalists and fans in one month.

If you said something that gives a professional journalist an idea that's understandable, but to insinuate everyone is looking to your blog for dolphins information is a bit far fetched."

Mr.suks, your team still Sucks

Armando,

I am still amazed that you continue to question the trifecta and their ability to judge talent and make decisions that are in the best interests of the organiztion long and short term. I'm glad your not running the show. Joey Galloway would 'walk in and be our number one receiver'?.....are you kidding me!! The man is 37 years old and can't stay healthy. Pittsburgh is looking at him as a number three. We're not done yet. Free agency is ongoing, the draft still has to happen (where we will have at least nine picks) and then there will be players cut at a later point in time. There are some players out there who would be of interest to the 'Phins and who are over the age of 30 but we don't know what kind of money is being discussed and we shouldn't be criticizing because the trifecta doesn't think they are worth it. Let's be patient and see how things pan out....

I'm glad Cam Cameron is not still coach so he wouldn't be out reading these blogs and go sign someone because Bird say so.

WE SHOULD let new young players sit on the bench and learn then when 4Q starts we move them to lay on giant sofas and learn some more then when we end the year with record of 4-12 we release them then we start a new again ....GO FINS

Larry G: Are you really going to argue with me that the Cardinals cannot identify talent? Seriously?

Did you watch them play the Dolphins last year? That looked like a pretty talented team to me. And that talent didn't just appear magically. It was drafted, acquired in trade or through free agency. Please dude, think.

Armando, where can I get some good crab cakes in Miami? Also, did you hear what Britney Spears said on stage when she thought her microphone was off?

Armando, you thought I was ruining your blog? Some of these guys on here take the cake... Eat it and then throw it up on their computer screens...

Some of these guys on here take the cake...

Posted by: MJF | March 10, 2009 at 12:59 PM

Mmm, cake.

I would argue that The Cards main talent, Boldin/Fitz, was a result of drafting high/sucking the last decade vs. an eye for talent, HOWEVER, that is not always the case: see Detroit Lions.

I never expected Warner to be as good as he was... were Calvin Pace and Dansby talent finds via the draft?

First things first.
Step 1; Free agent signings for the Fins are done, finished, complete.

Step 2; We will now look to the April draft to fill some more needs with a certain degree of flexibility that was gained via the acquisitions the team collected in step 1.

Step 3; Based upon needs filled in steps 1, and 2 and the Dolphin's own training camp situation, certain positions and players from other teams will be targeted and players who can contribute will be signed when they are cut. Players who can't contribute will be cut.

Seems like what they did in 2008 and it worked pretty well.

LOL @ anybody who thinks that Democrats are anything other than the other side of the exact same coin as the Republicans. Both of their ideologies are willing to sacrifice traditional values like individual freedom and personal responsibility, in order to further their ends. Electing a majority of either Dems or Repubs leads to the same bastardized, totalitarian hegemony which leads to national socialism.

Face it, the "two party" system in this country is actually the Demopublicans and the Libertarians. Socialism vs. Individual Freedom, centrally-planned economies vs. free-market / austrian economics, Theocracy vs. Freedom of Religion. etc., etc.

Finsupremo yeah I was agreeing with Mando that a vet shouldn't be ruled out becuase he's in his 30s. I actualy posted few days ago that a 2 year deal for McCallister would make sense for our cb need

Great points Armando, but is this "age policy" something that the Dolphins have stated or is this just an assumption on your part?

Bob, with all due respect, your point No. 1 and point No. 3 are opposites of each other. You say we are done signing free agents, which is highly unlikely. Then you say we will sign free agents when other teams cut players we want. So we are done signing free agents but we will still be signing free agents?

lol... Mr. Bungle... Do you know I had an argument with a guy talking about Darius Butler was a "duck and swipe tackler" and gets pushed around by bigger receivers... I'm like ok give me an example... He goes on to launch a tirade of insults... I'm like, dude, I just asked for an example... He claims he has watched the most Big East football in the history of football and created football on his day off from inventing human beings... Ok, give me one example... He goes on insulting again... I'm like, dude, I'm watching UConn and UVA right now and Butler is running around spearing dudes, I'm like I think I like how this dude plays... He is like Goodman size but I never seen Goodman attack the run like this guy... Once again he insults... I'm like I give up... It's like talking to caveman...

IN times like these you don't sign new young players and wonder will they play well or they will sit on the bench and learn cause some players love to sit and get paid while they are sitting and drinking and avoiding hitting and getting hit then in end of the season team will be 4-12 then all these players get released and the team start a new and that sound like the years before tun's regime MR.MJF

Nice try fake Mr. Bungle... You don't know me dude...

MJF, was that guy's name Jack?

Guys, what's with the political debate? This isn't Lou Dobbs Tonight or Hannity. Not yet anyway.

Can we get back to feetballs?

Also, SWFlafan: Jeff Ireland talked several times last year about what players he wanted to add. And the greatest statement of this is what they have, in fact, done.

MJF: I've deleted the post by the fake Bungle. I never said you ruined my blog, did I? I just banned you temporarily for being mean-spirited at times and loving a blog not named Dolphins In Depth. But you are welcome here now.

Rocky get real. Marino over what!!!

With no solid running game or def thru his entire career the Fins consistently made it to the playoffs. Those same reasons are why he never got a ring. He set the bar high in the record books and if Farve hadn't played til he was 50 they would still all be his.

Stop it Mando. Look what happen when the other head coaches brought in old players (Culpepper). Where did that get them? It got them the bottom of the barrel baby. Put that in your notepad and remember it.

Stop it Mando. Look what happen when the other head coaches brought in old players (Culpepper). Where did that get them? It got them the bottom of the barrel baby. Put that in your notepad and remember it.

Posted by: Rideshare | March 10, 2009 at 01:17 PM

Uh, Chad Pennington is older than Daunte Culpepper.

Mando, I also think the fact that we had one of the weakest schedules in the NFL last year had a lot to do with our record and thus momentum. When we played real teams like the Ravens or Patriots, we stunk up the joint (and don't you people bring up the first Pats game. As sweet as that was, we caught them off guard with the wildcat and Sparano and the coaching staff completely out coached the Belicheats).

Even signing once great injury-ridden veterans isn't going to fix this season's schedule which is one of the toughest if not the toughest in the NFL. The Dolphins are still rebuilding, and the trifecta realizes that.

Signing older players as a quick fix to win now is wasting the opportunity to develop younger stars of tomorrow because the fact is the Dolphins are not going to win now.

I'm not a football scout, or do not claim to know anything about Eric Green because I don't, but what if they do extend an offer to him or thought they saw something in him that could develop into something better? Isn't that a better idea than signing someone like McAlister who is fading and might not be able to keep up with HOFers like T.O. and Moss? Players do develop over time ya know... look at $100 million dollar chump haynesworth.

However, having said that, I believe signing a guy like Torry Holt or Marvin Harrison would be extremely beneficial to our young guys at WR.

Naw Mr. Bungle, nj phin fan.

Mando, you did say that... I got the email to prove it... You been doing better lately... I think around this time of the year with news breaking and hard to get, you shine but during the season, you know were my allegiance lies... :)

Cardicfin ....fins made it to the playoffs all the years dan marino played so what? a lot of other creepy teams did the same and the question remain,did you win it all? if the the answer is NO? then move to the trash NFL hard driveand please don't use the word IF again cause every bad team can say the same

I pretty much agree with everything Mando said here. There may be no reason they can't pick up a capable veteran CB on a one or two year contract. This would gurantee some stability on the other side of Will Allen and provide any rookie CB's coming in with another experienced CB to learn from. That being said, there's no reason to believe they won't go this route until we see what happens. It's quite possible that the team realizes the market will be high for the first couple of veteran CBs who are taken and maybe they're waiting for that price to be set before they make an offer to the 3rd or 4th best CB available. In a perfect world we could say 'why not take the best CB available and just give him the money he wants'? First, we know the trifecta isn't going to overspend and second we know they're also very high on character players. They want to bring someone in who's not only going to produce on the field but is also going to be a model teammate and someone the rookies can look up to and learn from. No me guys, bling guys, movie stars, slackers, etc., noone who will carry any baggage or an ego into camp with him. They've done their homework on these players, we can be sure of that, so I have to believe that there are a lot of things going into the decision of how to proceed in this area. This is why I believe it's not JUST an age issue.

Because 30-33 year old talent in the free agency usually wants more than they deserve or are not very good or else their original team would have signed them. This is a stupid blog.

MJF, did you frame that e-mail or ask Armando to autograph it?

There is a difference between unrestricted free agents available before the draft and players that are cut during training camp, street free agents, both in quality and price. There will be good players, some experienced and some raw talents who don't make the final cut due to the numbers game.
There isn't enough value left in the remaining crop of free agents so I doubt very much whether we sign anybody else before the draft.

Robert do you remember the score of the second NE game after 3 quarters? We did not stink up the joint... We were very close to winning that game... The Ravens game was a wreck and that had to do with the line play which I think we have addressed...

MJF will be sitting with the young new players on side line to learn how look at football again next season

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