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How would Vincent Jackson look in Miami?

When I sat down in front of the keyboard this evening, I had every intention of discussing either Cameron Wake's improvement, or the dominance of the Dolphins' running game, or a couple of other subjects I have planned for this space in the coming days.

And then I remembered it has been at least a couple of minutes since I complained about Miami's receiver crops. So, that's the direction I'm going because I know some Dolphins decision-makers read this blog.

And maybe, just maybe, if you and I beg enough for the eventual addition of talent to that WR corps, the folks that make the decisions will do something to improve the situation -- just so you and I will finally shut our no-football-knowing mouths about it.

Here's the deal as I see it: Dolphins management has done a satisfactory, but unspectacular job of collecting receiver talent. The focus has been on the offensive and defensive lines and Bill Parcells and Jeff Ireland have done a magnificent job of making the Dolphins not only solid, but bordering on elite along the two lines of scrimmage.

You must remember Miami has the best running game in the NFL and is No. 2 against the run league wide. So the job of building the foundation is accomplished.

Now can we make it possible so the offense can pass the ball even a little bit?

Soon -- as in now if they can swing some trade before the deadline, or next offseason at the latest -- Parcells and Ireland absolutely must add a difference-making receiver. Why? The Dolphins sorely, dearly, painfully lack one. (Have you read that here before?)

Parcells and Ireland have tried to address the WR position in their first two seasons. Ernest Wilford was a strikeout. Davone Bess was a stand up triple considering he came as an undrafted rookie. Rookies Brian Hartline and Patrick Turner are too new to judge.

Meanwhile, Greg Camarillo and Ted Ginn Jr. were already on the roster when Ireland and Parcells began remaking the team in their images.

Regardless of all that, not one of the players I just mentioned is elite.

So Miami's receiver corps is bottom third in the NFL -- somewhere between No. 20 and No. 28 or so. And one elite receiver would raise that level to anywhere between No. 10 and No. 19. And that's really what you need to compete for championships if you're running the ball as well as Miami does and stop the run as Miami is doing.

So what can the Dolphins do?

One name I will throw out now and will continue to repeat until free agency begins in 2010: Vincent Jackson.

Heard of him? Last you saw him, he was catching that deep ball over Will Allen and Yeremiah Bell in San Diego. Before that, he caught another deep ball over Sean Smith and Gibril Wilson. And before that he caught 59 passes for 1,098 yards last season for a whopping 18.6 yard per catch average.

He's on a similar pace this year with 20 receptions for 373 yards and two touchdowns. Divide the 20 into 37 and, yeah, he's averaging 18.7 yards per catch this year. He's also on pace for a 1,400-yard season.

For perspective, the Dolphins currently do not have any wide receiver averaging more than 9.9 yards per catch.

Anyway, Jackson will be available next offseason. If the NFL and the players come to a collective bargaining agreement, Jackson will be an unrestricted free agent. If the union and the league don't come to a new agreement and the 2010 season is uncapped, Jackson will be a restricted free agent in the offseason.

Why do I know Jackson will be available? Well, San Diego GM A.J. Smith has said he won't sign Jackson to an extension until after the season. Guess what? After the season, all bets are off and anything becomes possible.

Now, I am not yelling at the top of my lungs for the Dolphins to consider this even when it doesn't make sense. This is not a request to add a problem child like Brandon Marshall or Chad Johnson or Terrell Owens. Jackson did have one DUI arrest last January that has yet to be adjudicated, but his record is otherwise clean.

Meanwhile he is catching 73 percent of his targetted passes. He is 6-5 and 230 pounds. He runs the 40 in the low 4.4s and actually ran a 4.38 when he was coming out of Northern Colorado five seasons ago. He is 26 years old. Let me repeat, he's 26.

He plays hurt as he did last week when he caught four passes for 56 yards -- his worst outing of the season -- while playing with a bruised knee versus Pittsburgh. And as for his toughness?

Well, let's just say after the game, Pittsburgh's James Farrior said something to Jackson and the two had to be separated by teammates. After the game! And Farrior is a linebacker. That is a departure from having receivers that head for the nearest sideline to avoid contact.

I recognize restricted free agents don't often switch teams because you have to give up a draft pick for them. Guess what? I'd give up a first-round pick for Jackson. He was, after all, drafted in the second round in 2005 and is now on the brink of being an elite player.

I also recognize 2010 free agency is a long way off. That's fine. More time for me to remind everyone Vincent Jackson would look mighty good in a Dolphins uniform.

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