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Joey Porter issue: The analysis and opinion

I learned a lesson in 1993. Having grown up on Dolphins football, I had great admiration for what Don Shula and Dan Marino and Mark Clayton and Mark Duper did in the 1980s.

When I started covering the team in 1990 I had to suppress some of those feelings because now I was interviewing and writing articles about the very men I grew up watching on TV. And dealing with Shula and his band of stars, I came to realize what I saw on TV or had read in the papers wasn't the full picture.

I realized, for example, that Clayton was a supremely gifted, intelligent, pain in the behind. Shula loved what the wide receiver did on many game days, but wasn't thrilled with Clayton on many Mondays through Saturdays.

But despite many trips to Shula's office and many verbal tongue-lashings, Clayton remained on the Dolphins because, well, he produced.

Then in 1991, after posting three 1,000-yard seasons in the the previous four years, Clayton wasn't producing so much anymore. His catches dropped to 44 from 70 the previous year. His yards fell to 619 from 1,053 the year before. And fate of fates, Clayton was also now a free agent.

So you know what Shula did with his star receiver who had done so much and meant so much but was also a pain in the behind and was now on the decline?


No farewell press conference. No ceremonial celebration at the training facility or the stadium. Clayton was just ... gone.

Shula was asked why the Dolphins didn't retain Clayton and all he said was, "He's a free agent and he's free to make whatever decisions he needs to make. And we're free to make whatever decisions we need to make."

That was it. Nobody asked about Clayton again. Shula never talked nostalgically about Clayton while he was coach, that I could recall.

Within months, Shula traded for Irving Fryar, who did get an introductory press conference at the stadium. And Fryar promptly delivered a 1,000-yard, a 1,200-yard, and a 900-yard season the three years he was in Miami.

So why am I telling this story? Well, it relates to another supremely gifted, intelligent, pain in the behind player currently on the Dolphins roster: Joey Porter.

Porter has been interesting his three seasons in Miami. He was a terrible free agent bust in 2007. He was a Defensive Player of the Year Candidate in 2008. And he was somewhere in between in 2009, with the scales tipping slightly closer to '07 than '08.

And throughout that time, he's done some things that have made Dolphins coaches -- both staffs -- gleeful he was around and also unhappy he was around. But, regardless, Porter stayed around because he (mostly) produced on Sundays despite the fact he was sometimes a pain Monday through Saturday.

The problem for Porter is that his pain in the behind factor (PITBF) rose significantly in 2009 while his performance went in the other direction. It wasn't a big problem when Porter refused to come off the field during one game in 2008. Porter was simply fined by Sparano.

But as you read in the previous post, it wasn't cool for the Dolphins when Porter had issues with in 2009 as he was mired in a sack drought. He got suspended for disciplinary reasons. See the difference in the response?

And, as I reported first, Porter became an unhappy camper by season's end and he let coach Tony Sparano know as much in a private meeting.

Porter told Sparano he didn't agree with the suspension in an end-of-season talk. I also reported first that Porter also told a hometown Bakersfield, Califorinia radio station he wasn't coming back to the Dolphins and wanted to play closer to home.

And so now the Dolphins have a decision to make on Joey Porter. 

The current labor situation in the NFL means there probably won't be a salary cap in 2010 so the Dolphins are able to jettison Porter with no sort of cap hit whatever. Yes, they have to pay him $2.4 million in guaranteed money that his contract calls for. But they certainly don't have to give him another $1 million he is due on March 1 as a roster bonus.

And whatever they do will not hurt them against the cap because there will be no cap, as it stands now.

So the next move belongs to the Dolphins. Porter is only along for the ride here. He might do a million interviews and say he wants out or say he wants to stay and it will not matter because the Dolphins have hand over this issue.

So will Miami keep the player that has some talent left but also has a high PITBF? I don't know.

I'm too busy thinking Mark Clayton.


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McClain is a game changing LB, even if he is ILB, that's who we should draft. Porter's time is over, they'll find someone to replace him.

This issue has been discussed to death.

He should have been released the day after the season ended,

It would send a message to the other players.

Ya, Porter's time is done. Someone will pick him up but thats not out problem anymore(or wont be).

I'm done with Porter. He's a divider, too inconsistent and takes too many dumb penalties.

"I don't know" Really Armando?? You have to have some opinion one way or the other don't you...??

We need to try and get at least SOMETHING for Porter...

2nd, 3rd, 4th or even a 5th round pick!! Maybe even another player

you da man mando... Peezy = Gone

People in general have some diva or PITB elements to their make up. Sometimes it's positive and sometimes it's negative. The lesson we learn about Joey Porter is that we need to have players who play at a consistently high level, year in and year out. When we watch the game, we get excited when JPeezy gets a sack but what we miss is how many more times he gets beat on running plays, pass coverages, and the times he disappears on pass rushes. People who talk a lot and don't back it up are gas bags and it can stink up the joint. I don't know if Mike Singletary or Ken Whisenhunt (whose teams are closest to Bakersfield) want to put up with JPeezy's nonsense. Al Davis (who is very close to Bakersfield) used to take pride in his reclamation projects, but he may want to let his pride and ego overbid for JPeezy's overpriced services and ego.

Sorry but you are a year behind on Mark Clayton. He became a free agent after the 1992 AFC Championship Game. We saw Marino and the Marks Bros. for the last time. We lost to the Bills 44-24. Mark Duper also ended his career after that game.

Clayton signed on with the Green Bay Packers and played only one more season. I believe Duper retired.

So Irving Fryar and Mark Ingram were signed in 1993 and played until Shula got canned for Jimmy Johnson.

You cut Porter only if you have a decent replacement at OLB.
Wake has only partially convinced the coaching staff, we are unsure of JT's future, and the rest of our OLB's are at best average.
Conclusion: Porter stays. The guy had almost 10 sacks in an off year. That's too much upside for him to be released.

There is no way we can trade him. We won't want to pay him the bonus on 3/1 and other teams know it. He'll be cut.

Let me finish that article for you Mando:

"So will Miami keep the player that has some talent left but also has a high PITBF? Absolutely. It is the only sensible thing to do. The only question is when and whether he will be traded for salvage value."

I made a comment yesterday about how Porter should have been cut last season. I do remember that before anything happened between him and Sparano this season, Sparano said they kept Porter for his Veteran leadership abilites. Who would have known his season would end so poorly and he would complain about everything. The Dolphins won't retain him. And if the Dolphins can get some ILB or OLB in FA and the draft, I don't think Crowder's future is looking that promising with the Dolphins. He missed a lot of tackles this year and has been injury prone.

JT will come back for one more season and then retire. He wants to stay with the Dolphins and the coaching staff will keep him to be a leader and help the rookies transition into the NFL with a good captain on defense.

They should cut Porter regardless of whether JT re-signs or not. The current backups on the roster (Wake, Anderson, Moses) could do a comparable job without the headaches.

The headaches are one thing though - the overriding factor is age and declining production. He will be 33 next year. Too much mileage for that OLB. At best he should be a rotational player in his career which he has no interest in being - so goodbye.

PS - Having Derrick Morgan playing that position next year would be SWEET!

Senior bowl practices about to begin. I will you updates.

I would be shocked if they don’t jettison Porter. There is no way that Wake could be any worse than Porter defending the run and, in his limited opportunities, Wake was far more dynamic than Porter as a pass rusher. It seems every time Wake had an opportunity he created pressure. If the stories are true about Porter not coming out of games when he was supposed to then he completely undermines everything this regime stands for and Lawrence Taylor he is not!!

I enjoyed “Lips” take on your attitude NJ and will adopt his way of thinking as my own. Being a Dolphins fan in the heart of New Jersey must be a never ending battle and we all know that you represent us well. Keep bringing the good football knowledge and God Bless :)

You will notice I am now blue even though my screen name is a bit of a misnomer for in no way do I feel I am always right.

On the job , there's a message for you on the previous blog.

If Porter can pull his head out of his butt, I say we keep him. Our depth at LB is not great and neither do we have the "great" talent there, yet! He battled injury all year and still managed to get 10 sacks (in 15 games). Also, he is only 1 year removed from Defensive Player of the Year award. No one knows what our new D-cord thinks about him either and I think that will matter

Trade for ELVIS DUMERVIL and stay the F*CK away from Marshal please!!!

Porter is gone and we'll draft one or two OLB's this year in later rounds. We'll have wake and JT start and anderson and moses will rotate in. If there is good FA available then bring him in if not just wait for the draftees to develop

Mark , your boy dorin dickerson making some nice catches.

Let Porter go.

How can any team live with 3 of basically the same player at the same position - Porter, Taylor, Wake? How could that not take snaps from each, making each less effective?

While you are thinking about Clayton, don't forget to think about Matt Roth...

WR Jacoby ford -clemson looks real good but at 5-9 doesn't fit miami's need for a bigger wr.

A writer laboriously made a case for how big a downer Porter was in the locker room and then listed five reasons the defense fizzled out at the end of the season without listing Porter's behavior as a factor. The defense, more than the offense, has to be fired up as a group (to play outstanding body-sacrificing defense). The right pain in the butt can kill that. He may have been reason number one. Cut.

"The headaches are one thing though - the overriding factor is age and declining production."

My sentiments exactly (thanks Mark from Toronto). Parcells seems a lot like Shula in that, once a player stops producing, they stop being a necessity to a team (regardless of what they did in the past). It's called "What Have You Done for Me Lately!" And, in relation to Joey Porter, the answer is "not much." So see ya, it was nice knowing you. Out with the old, in with the young. I'd prefer a trade for some picks, but who's dumb enough to trade anything for a washed up linebacker (ding ding ding, hello Washington Redskins!!!).

Porter was really good in 2008 until those last four games and the playoff loss (he was really the only guy producing sacks, to be fair, so other teams doubled him). He was injured this year, sure, but he was also stubborn and not a team player (staying in because you have heart isn’t necessarily helping your team). He is at the end of his career as a full time starter when healthy and he needs to accept that and play for less money (somewhere else). His high salary next year ($3.6 Million) and the fact that the Dolphins owe him a $1 million bonus by, I think, March 1st, means he will be cut, not traded - unless he'll renegotiate. But, he's already mouthed off and he is divisive and a bad example to the younger players - not something Parcells tolerates.

Off the Porter subject: Ronnie Brown's last tweet (12 days ago) --> my heart is in miami but if i end somewhere else "it is what it is"

Is that a sign his days in Miami are numbered?? I sure in the heck hope it isn't or we are drafting a RB in the 1st or 2nd round (I think). Any thoughts anyone?

Just another reason why Parcell's places so much emphasis on bringing in high character, unslefish players.

Does anyone really believe that Porter kept his greivances to himself and did not spread it through the locker room?

Does anyone really believe that this did not affect, in some way, team chemistry especially on the D?

If you have a loud mouth malcontent dissing the coaches, then all other players are going to have seeds of doubt planted about the coaches. Especially the younger guys.

Then again, Porter may have a point about being played out of position since Paul P is gone. But you can do that complaining in a classy unselfish way, or in a way that affects the locker room. Porter likes the latter, for whatever reason.

how does cody look today?

Mark , they're playing dickerson at wr.

Indiana Dolfan,

I hope it isn’t an indication Ronnie’s days are numbered. I have always liked him as a player but also feel he has never really met his true potential. If we want to go away from the wildcat then Ronnie can be replaced as RB is one of the most talent laden positions in the league. If we want the wildcat to stay a significant portion of our offense then IMO Ronnie seems to have a unique knack for running it and keeping him is imperative.

how can porter feel he played out of position when he is a weak side LB and only switched to the other side if the te lined up on the left side! like someone said earlier he couldnt eveb beat backups

Indiana Dolfan

I had a feeling that they might not bring back Ronnie. He has had two season ending injuries in the last three years. The Dolphins will probably offer him a contract that he will feel that is below what he deserves and go else where.

MJZ brings a good point: "Just another reason why Parcell's places so much emphasis on bringing in high character, unslefish players."

Ever notice that the drama situations on the team are always with the holdovers -- Roth, Porter, Taylor after his dancing gig, etc?

Sure they've made some bad choices like any team but those are about talent/production not personality.

Even if guys like Wilford or Murphy don't pan out (and signs that maybe White and/or Turner might not), you never see anything out of those guys that indicates anything other than hard work and good attitude.

Heck -- even Vontae ended up being something very different from the headcase that the draft pundits portrayed.

Porter needs to go. He is too much trouble and can't produce any longer. He is too old, and too expensive to keep around.

As far as Ronnie Brown, he should stay. He has several years left of good football. He is a good guy, team player, and unselfish. He has just had some bad luck with injuries...

If there's no new cba , ronnie brown becomes a rescticted FA who has a 5 million dollar option clause in his Contract. He's not going anywhere because no team will give him more than the 5 mill coming off back to back injuries.

If they don't reach a CBA (and it seems they most likely won't) then Ronnie is on the team next year. That's in his contract.

He would then be a free agent for the 2011 season (assuming there is one).

MickFins - 10 sacks in 15 games with a battle of injuries all season isn't producing?? I disagree! I'm not saying we have to get rid of Porter....just saying he did produce decent numbers in an off year which all players do!

As far as Ronnie, very bad luck with fluke injuries. The guy seems very respectable, team player and VERY unselfish. I think Parcells and Sparano like that!

If no CBA is settled, Ronnie will be in his "contract year" this coming season with a little bit to prove, so he could be dangerous!!

Ricky already said he is retiring after the 2010 season on a radio show. Even if we do bring back Ronnie there is the possibility that he will get hurt again like he always does. With that being said, do you think the coaching staff would pass up on a guy like Spiller? No doubt we need a OLB or ILB but that can be addressed through FA. How often to you have the chance to grab a guy like Spiller?

Some observations:

1) A prime number (e.g. 2, 3, 5, 7, etc.) is divisible only by itself and the number 1. Euclid's second theorem states that the number of prime numbers is infinite. But how can we really know?

2) So I have Madden 2008 (I know, it's pretty old.) And I created a "Nathaniel Dodsworth" quarterback, and gave him maximum talents. I had the Dolphins sign him. But he's not tearing up the league like I had hoped. The Dolphins' team is just too weak. Maybe I'll add a Cuban Menace at running back, and a Soiled Bottom at wide receiver to spice up the Miami attack.

3) Why is John Madden universally regarded as a loveable softy when he routinely put on the field in the 1970s a motley crew of brigands, headhunters and outpatients? (Granted, they were GREAT.)

4) On the NFL Network's program listing the ten greatest home field advantages, they have the Orange Bowl as #8. Your thoughts?

5) I'm not gay, but I have to confess that I find Gavin MacLeod to be a very handsome man.

That's funny because I've always wondered about Mark Clayton's relationship with the head honcho for a long time. Even though I idolized Marino, I grew up a big Clayton fan. Even though I love Duper, it was Clayton's catch anything, wristband-wearing style that caught my eye.

I always wondered about the fall out in 1992, specifically an article on the Herald which showed what looked like Don Shula and Mark Clayton arguing. I'll never forget that. I'll also never forget the 1992 Action Packed(tm) Mark Clayton football card on which a small marking was placed to the bottom right stating, "Now with GB Packers".

Mark Clayton (the real one) has always been my favorite receiver because of the way he produced as an undersized reciever and also his 'six-wristband', 'shade-wearing' style. How cool was that?

The 1992 season remains etched in my head for many reasons but I'll also remember it as the end of the Marks Bros. It's funny, because I always thought the departure of the Marks Bros., had something to do with Marino's love for Keith Jackson that year.

The truth is, both Duper and Clayton started to decline..i could be wrong...Maybe they just had an off year. I did see Clayton drop a wide out open streak down the sideline in the AFC Championship game....who knows? I guess Shula was just ready for a new stable of receivers.

NJ, Dorin Dickerson has revealed himself to be a fraud this week. He was listed by Pitt as a 6'2 230lbs smallish TE/HB with the ability to stretch the field. He also promoted himself to have 4.4 speed.

During this practice week, he measured in at 6'1 221 lbs. His speed has also revealed itself to be faulty. He's at best a big WR but his yards per catch at Pitt was underwhelming (under 10). I'm nowhere near as high on him as I used to be.

Nathaniel Dodsworth - Every point you made were pretty much worthless excpet for maybe #4, but either way who cares.

Mark , yeah . he been lining up at wr all week.

I'd let Nolan make that decision. My guess is he'll want his type of players. There's really no reason to want him back though. Wake and Taylor can play that side. They're going to be drafting linebackers. Possibly sign a free agent. A new coach will not want to be told what to do from day one though.
If Porter wants to play close to home, maybe they can get a 3rd. or 4th. rd. pick from Oakland or Seattle.

Jimmy Graham looks to be shooting up the draft boards with his practices this week. SO much for grabbing him with a late pick.

Brandon Graham has only been touted as a 2nd rd pick as a DE because he is only 6'1. If he's drafted to play OLB, his height is nowhere near beaing a factor and he's been reported to be blowing by tackles in the first 2 days of practice. And last I checked Dwight Freeney had no problem with only being 6 ft tall.

Ed Dickson of Oregon looks more like what I thought Dorin Dickerson would be so far in the TE/HB mold.

jacoby Ford is more intriguing because of his reported 4.3 speed. Small but strong also. He's 185 on a 5'8 frame. Would be a mistake to dismiss him.

Oh my God, NJPHINFAN, please stop being wrong all the time.

If there is no CBA, Ronnie Brown is NOT a restricted free agent. He is under contract. So he is not a restricted anything. The contract will pay him $5 million. Period.

If there is a CBA, he is an unrestricted free agent. Period.

Armando has written about this a million times already. Are you retarded?

I disagree with #4, the Orange Bowl should be number 1! Combine the Canes and Dolphins win at that stadium and I think that should speak for itself.

Mark , B. graham had another good day today. Mark iupati the guard fro idaho also hada good day . He's been a rock all week . Maybe Top 20. Ed dickson has been real good and he's blocking has been a pleasant suprise. I posted yesterday about J Graham from miami. He looked smooth and good hands. The south practice will be on at 3 pm. Fill you in.

FLPD , the stupidty of your post is self explanatory. That said it all .

NJ, If you could also give me thoughts on Sean Witherspoon. he has the size and athleticism to play all 4 OLB positions. he was also very productive at MIzzou

NJ PHIN FAN, FLDP and everyone else:

Can't we all just get along?? Haha!!

Mark . i'm glad you brought witherspoon uo because i was just about to. He's looked steller so far this week . He's a guy miami needs to put on the draft board and look for in the 2nd-3rd round area. He was pursuing sideline to sideline and filling gaps like a beast. I like him.

1- McClain

2- Mount Cody

3- Jimmy Graham

Porter only had 9 sacks BTW... Remember this?

He pleaded no contest to battery charges against Levi Jones when he and six associates assaulted Jones in a casino.

The guy's a punk and just as Armando alluded to, bad character guys hang around as long as they are productive. When the production stops, so do the bucks.

Shula didn’t like Mark Clayton because Mark liked it when it snowed in Florida…

although Clayton is a big favorite of mine, who cares about him now????

this clown called Peezy needs to go... didnt want him when we got him, dont want him now! besides his dycked head attitude, he's just not that good any more, lots of miles

Patrick - So being tied for 16th in the entire league for the amount of sacks is not being productive??? Also, those 9 sacks were in 15 games while battling injury most of the year...

I like him too but they'll be lucky if he's there in round 2. Saw him selected in round 1 in many mocks. Granted, some of them more credible than others.

Bottom line is with guys like Witherspoon, Graham, Hughes, Hardy, Norwood and others - no reason for Kindle to even be a consideration in round one. i prefer all of these guys to Kindle straight up. Can't understand how he gets the round one ranking.

LOL @ Patrick/bod. Clayton had His Ski Mask on alot in miami.

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