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Tackling the age question on the Dolphins

I remember covering Dolphins games that had Bill Parcells on the other sideline, and in some of those games, Parcells trotted out players such as Keith Byars and Bryan Cox and Drew Bledsoe and got excellent production out of them.

Those players were older veterans. So it didn't seem to me Parcells had a problem with older players back then. In fact, in some cases, it seemed he preferred the older guys.

So it continues to be a point of inquiry for me that now Parcells is running the Dolphins and he seems to have an aversion to older players. He'd rather sign a younger, unproven cornerback named Eric Green than an older and more proven Shawn Springs or Chris McAlister or Ken Lucas.

He'd rather pay a younger but oft-injured Jake Grove $29.5 million over five years than show interest in a older but more reliable Matt Birk, who ends up signing for three years and $12 million.

Why?

“It depends on the health of the player," general manager Jeff Ireland said, no doubt forgetting both Grove and Green have not exactly been pictures of health recently. "There is no doubt about it; you have to have younger players on your team. You want to build through the draft. That’s a strategy and philosophy that this trio has felt real strongly about as many times as we have been together. Age does make a difference as well as longevity, how many more years a guy can play and if a player is ascending or descending.”

I totally buy it if the team is drawing the line between filling a need through the draft verus free agency. In that comparison, the drafted player will always be younger, always have his best days ahead if he turns out to be good, and will usually be less expensive.

It makes sense.

The Dolphins need, must continue to fill in talent through the draft. They need, must continue to stay young and keep their salary cap structure manageable.

But if the comparison is one free agent versus another, the strategy needs some gray area between the extreme black and white of youth versus age.

The fact of the matter is some younger free agents get hurt a lot also, be it by happenstance or bad luck or something else. Grove, all of 29, has been hurt a lot in his career. Justin Smiley, 27, came to the Dolphins having been hurt in San Francisco. He got hurt and missed the end of the season last year.

Meanwhile, some older players such as Kurt Warner play and play and play with relatively few injuries.

And sometimes the younger players, despite their injury history, still draw bigger paychecks in free agency while the older players often come at a bargain. Age doesn't always work against a team when one is comparing free agents.

Bottom line: The age question is important for the Dolphins. They are a team still trying to get better for tomorrow. They need younger players. And it makes sense for them to draft those younger players. 

But once they start looking at free agents, where injury history, performance history, and price tag need to matter, I'm thinking youth is a variable that cannot always be considered most important above all others. 

 

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after deep thinking and research i agree with Jorge,this team is 8-8 Mediocre with huge up side to improve to 9-7

ARMANDO,

YOU ARE ALWAYS HITTING UP AND CRITIZING PARCELLS ON EVERY MOOD. STOP IT!!!!!!!!!! ITS ANNOYING AND CHILDISH. IF YOU CANT GET READERS TO READ YOUR ARTICLE ANY OTHER WAY THAN TO BLAST PARCELLS IN EACH AND EVERYONE OF YOUR ARTICLES, THEN GET OUT OF THE BUSINESS.YOUR ALWAYS HATING ON THE DOLPHINS. YOUR WORSE THAN THE PRO DOLPHINS ARTICLES THAT NEVER SAY A BAD THING ABOUT THE DOLPHINS BECAUSE YOU ARE ALWAYS CRITIZING EVERYTHING AND ITS PREDICTABLE. STOP BEING BITTER THAT YOU DONT GET ACCESS TO PARCELLS, NO ONE DOES.....

Ok guys the menace is on-line, shoot the first Q at the menace and win a baby ruth candy bar...

Or a bill belichet life sizephoto, it,s good for target pratice or knife throwing, who's going to shoot the 1st Q ?

my girl friend is telling me not to read any one but the menace,i think i am not going to leave her any more.

jordan jones

Birmingham, England

sonny, i read a little bit about it in the nfl rulebook before, it does exist but never used, most people don't even know about it anyway.

to gopats it must suck that are mediocre team made the playoffs over your washed up old team

Parcells likes young players so he can take them with him in his next venture.

after deep research and thinking,it seems that in the nfl a lot of mediocre teams can make it to the playoffs but then the INTERCEPTIONS come home to mama.

Another way of looking @ the personal decisions being made only on age/youth, the fin "boys" will be playing the "MEN" in the Eastern Conference. Compared to our opponents, its going to be school time again next year where IF we get to the payoffs?? the MEN will win and we'll get a draft pick 2 or 3 spots higher. Then its back to school again for another year. WHEN WILL WE GRADUATE!!!!!

Salary Cap and escalating tags on signing free agents and rookies. the more I read this blog the more i realize that this guy doesn't know anything about football.

WELL, IT'S LIKE THIS FOLKS; IF YOU WANT SUCCESS QUICKLY, THEN YOU HIRE SOME VETERANS. IF YOU HAVE TIME ON YOUR HANDS AND NEED ENDURANCE, THEN YOU HIRE A BUNCH ROOKIES. REMEMBER THE EXPANSION TEAMS, CAROLINA PANTHERS AND JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS. THEY BOTH HIRED A BUNCH OF VETERANS AND BOTH TEAMS WENT TO THE CHAMPIONSHIP GAME. THEY BOTH WOULD HAVE WENT TO THE SUPERBOWL THAT YEAR, BUT POLITICS KEEP THEM OUT BECAUSE IT WOULD HAVE BEEN LIKE A PRESEASON GAME ON SUPERBOWL NIGHT. SO, HISTORY HAS SHOWN THAT A MIXTURE OF ROOKIES AND VETERANS HAS YIELDED THE BEST AND LONGEST RESULTS. SO, FOR TO ACHIEVE FAIRLY QUICK SUCCESS, YOU MUST HAVE SOME VETERANS ON BOTH SIDES OF THE TEAM.

it's official guys are stealing my name..fuc* off

cheers miami

Jordan Jones

Birmingham, England

I agree Armando. Many people here are forgetting how productive Joey Porter was last year, and how steady guys like Vonnie Holiday and Will Allen have been since day one. Not only that, they bring leadership that the younger players can't offer.

Which leads me to my next question. Why is Tory Holt not on the radar? At a position where the Fins are desperately lacking a veteran that can teach the young guys a thing or two and who, even in his twilight years, has arguably more talent that anyone on our current roster, this seems like a complete no brainer to me. We all know what a crap shoot the draft is to find productive first year receivers. Just point to Ted Ginn.

Guys-
Can we stop with the "he's not a Parcells guy comments?" Tory Holt is going bald... Tory Holt is not a Parcells guy. Do you think that every player that IS a Parcells guy ends up being successful? If a guy can play, he can play. Wilford was a Parcells guy. He can't hold Camarillo's jock strap. In fact, if it wasn't for the cap loss, he should have been gone yesterday. Btw.. Camarillo wasn't a Parcells guy. I love BP but the guy isn't God.

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