The addition of veteran cornerback Eric Green gives the Dolphins a fallback position -- a player with starting NFL experience -- if their plans with a rookie draftee or Nate Jones or Jason Allen or someone else somehow falls through.
But we know that mostly Green was necessary because the Dolphins lost their starting cornerback of the past few years -- Andre' Goodman -- in free agency. Goodman signed with Denver.
So the natural question is have the Dolphins upgraded, downgraded or broken even in basically exchanging Green for Goodman? It is impossible to know for sure until we actually see Green play and compare that to what Goodman did for Miami last season and continues doing in Denver.
But let's compare the players and their histories to, as Nick Saban would say, get a predictor of their future performance:
MEASURABLES: Green is 26 years old. He is 5-11 and 196 pounds. Goodman is 30 years old. He is 5-10 and 190 pounds. ADVANTAGE: Green. He's bigger and younger.
PRODUCTION: The past three years Goodman has played 44 games. He had seven interceptions, 26 passes defensed, 101 total tackles and two forced fumbles. Green has played 39 games. He had one interception, 26 passes defensed, 127 total tackles, and one forced fumble. ADVANTAGE: Goodman. Although Green has been a bigger producer in run support, Goodman's early 2008 slump didn't erase the fact he was productive against the passing game and later in the year became a turnover threat when attacked too often.
PROJECTION: According to one pro scout, who always takes my call God bless him, Green is probably the better athlete in that he has better speed and won't get overmatched as often as Goodman can against big receivers. But the same scout says Goodman is a better technician, has greater instincts, and has shown better overall balance than Green. The scout said Goodman has a reputation for playing even when he's not 100 percent healthy while Green has not played very well when playing hurt. ADVANTAGE: Goodman. The scout said he would grade Goodman a 65 player while grading Green a 63.
Obviously this is only one man's opinion. Beyond that, the statistics speak to what has happened rather than what is about to happen. One area that must also be taken into account is the contract Green got.
That is not available yet. If Green signed for bargain money, that works in Green's favor because Goodman didn't come cheap. Goodman signed for five years and $25 million with $10 million in guarantees. If Green signed for less than that, he pulls ahead in this comparison.
If Green's contract is comparable,however, then the fact Goodman is slightly better in pass defense and has more experience in Miami's system gives him a small edge over Green's youth, superior overall athleticism and potential.