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The sad tale of Justin Smiley's shoulder injury

[Before I begin today I simply want to thank you, the readers, for your loyalty to this blog. April was a record-breaking month here. This blog enjoyed nearly 1.2 million page views in April. Yes, I said million. It is amazing to me that so many of you are so hungry for Dolphins information, analysis and opinion. It is humbling that you come here to satisfy that hunger. Thanks again.]

There is a good reason the Dolphins asked Justin Smiley not to show up for the offseason conditioning program when it began in late March: The team is concerned their left guard would blow out his already weakened right shoulder by merely lifting weights.

That's how bad things have gotten for the gritty, wily, tough, often injured Smiley.

The Dolphins have been trying to trade Smiley for over a month. No other NFL team has shown enough interest in Smiley to convince the Dolphins to trade their starting left guard of the last two seasons. Miami doesn't simply want to give him up for an afterthought sixth- or seventh-round pick.

But there is probably no choice. No team has offered anything higher. And I would predict no other team will offer anything higher anytime soon.

So Smiley is still on the team -- for now.

"I'm not sure where that whole thing is right now," Dolphins coach Tony Sparano said Friday. "And I'm not really skirting it. I really am not. At this particular time, right now, we are not sure and he is a member of my football team right now."

He may be a member of the team but that could change before the Dolphins report for the mandatory full-squad mini-camp at the end of May. By then the team hopes to have the issue resolved one way or the other.

The solutions?

It is clear the Dolphins intend to go in a direction that doesn't include Smiley. The club has told him he still might be brought back for 2010, but who is kidding whom here?

Smiley's shoulder is shot. The Dolphins know it. The San Francisco 49ers knew it when Smiley signed with Miami as an unrestricted free agent in 2008. Smiley missed the final eight games of the season with the shoulder that required surgery in 2007. He injured the shoulder again in 2009 and missed one game and was a backup in three others because of that injury.

The 2007 surgery apparently didn't go very well. Smiley, according to two sources, has lost strength in the shoulder over the past two years. He often struggles to lift his right arm over his head and has lost some of the punch and explosion generated at the shoulder.

That wouldn't be a problem for a school teacher. But Smiley makes his living as an NFL offensive linemen. He is supposed to push and punch at 300-pound defensive players and the torque for that is generated at the shoulder and elbow. For Smiley, the shoulder isn't generating the necessary torque.

The problem for Smiley is also that lifting weights to strengthen the shoulder isn't really the solution. Lifting extremely heavy weights, you see, could cause another injury to the shoulder.

So while he could come back and probably play and contribute at his current weakended condition, the Dolphins and probably even Smiley recognize he is on borrowed time. More games or more strenuous weight lifting would probably land Smiley on another injured list.

That is the reason he is on the trade block. That is the reason no one has jumped at the opportunity to trade for him.

Simply, for the Dolphins, the future at left guard once belonged to Justin Smiley. Now it belongs to rookie John Jerry. And Smiley?

He may have played his final game for the Dolphins.


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NYSott. why are you so on this topic for days, ireland asked a very not so nice question and you try to dissmise it.like it never happened .stick to football better .

Odrick kind of reminds me of Sean Merriman in the way he speaks. Lets hope he's the hungry version of his play on the field.

Koa Misi is smallish. I would rather he already be carrying the 250+lbs they want him to have but hey, in a perfect world right? Go luck gaining in the SoFl heat Mr. Misi.

G John Jerry and his quick feet and size will slide right into his guard spot and be a natural. It helps that the team worked with him firsthand at the Senior Bowl. This will end up being one of the best in the this draft class.

Edds seems very grounded and intelligent. He has TE experience which should help him with what the TE's will try to do in space to get get open. If he ends up displaying tackling ability paired with the coverage skills he has displayed in college he can make some game changing plays.

Fingers are crossed on this draft cless.

OTA's just ain't enough...come on mini camps!


If J Lo is classless which she is NOT then Palin is what? Dont bring dirty politicians into Fins

joefispete, ARE YOU KIDDING ME!? lol. He asked the question after he was told by the kid that his dad was a pimp and that his mother worked for his father. What are you not understanding about that? He was led into asking the obvious question and the,,,,,, you know what, if you can't understand what is going on here I'm not going to waste my time on you. Keep your head burried in the sand, it's easier than having to think for yourself.

Completely off topic...

For what it's worth, Dez will do just fine in Dallas, craazy upbringing and all. Dallas will cradle that guy in support and he seems like the type that has a lot of that "I'll show you" attitude in him.

I gotta go... this off season, after the draft, slow motion news sux.


"As Putin rears his head and comes into the air space of the United States of America, where– where do they go? It's Alaska. It's just right over the border." --Sarah Palin, explaining why Alaska's proximity to Russia gives her foreign policy experience, interview with CBS's Katie Couric, Sept. 24, 2008

"All of 'em, any of 'em that have been in front of me over all these years." --Sarah Palin, unable to name a single newspaper or magazine she reads, interview with Katie Couric.

"Well, let's see. There's ― of course in the great history of America there have been rulings that there's never going to be absolute consensus by every American, and there are those issues, again, like Roe v. Wade, where I believe are best held on a state level and addressed there. So, you know, going through the history of America, there would be others but ―" --Sarah Palin, unable to name a Supreme Court decision she disagreed with other than Roe vs. Wade, interview with Katie Couric.

We believe that the best of America is not all in Washington, D.C. ... We believe that the best of America is in these small towns that we get to visit, and in these wonderful little pockets of what I call the real America, being here with all of you hard working very patriotic, um, very, um, pro-America areas of this great nation." --Sarah Palin, speaking at a fundraiser in Greensoboro, N.C..

"[T]hey're in charge of the U.S. Senate so if they want to they can really get in there with the senators and make a lot of good policy changes that will make life better for Brandon and his family and his classroom." --Sarah Palin, getting the vice president's constitutional role wrong after being asked by a third grader what the vice president does, interview with NBC affiliate KUSA in Colorado, Oct. 21, 2008.

"They are kooks, so I agree with Rush Limbaugh. Rush Limbaugh was using satire ... I didn't hear Rush Limbaugh calling a group of people whom he did not agree with 'f-ing retards,' and we did know that Rahm Emanuel, as has been reported, did say that. There is a big difference there." –Sarah Palin, attempting to rationalize why it's okay for Limbaugh to use the word "retards" but not Emanuel, FOX News Sunday interview, Feb. 7, 2010.

"Who calls a shot like that? Who makes a decision like that? It's a disturbing trend." –Sarah Palin, pushing a conspiracy theory that "In God We Trust" had been moved to the edge of coins by the Obama administration (the change was made by the Bush administration in 2007 and was later reversed by Congress, before Obama took office), West Allis, Wisconsin, Nov. 6, 2009.

"I think on a national level your Department of Law there in the White House would look at some of the things that we've been charged with and automatically throw them out." --Sarah Palin, referring to a department that does not exist while attempting to explain why as president she wouldn't be subjected to the same ethics investigations that compelled her to resign as governor of Alaska, ABC News interview, July 7, 2009.

Someone brought up Palin so I thought we could all use a laugh. I know I could! God I hope she's not the next republican candidate for president, YIKES!

NYScott...So whats wrong with humor? I rather have Palin making me laugh, than Obama making me cry any day.

NYScott, I agree with you 100% as far as the injustice done to Ireland, I and most everyone else here i suspect could have done without the stupid posts on Palin, what was your point? p.s. Just like in the case of J Ireland and Dez, things sound different when the entire text or transcript instead of a convenient soundbite is used. Carlito from your dad's culito, go Fu - c-k your self, JOEFISPETE you are an imbecile, and to all you racist black supremacists, payback is a Dez bryant's mom, wait til nov, as far as the phins go, if they avoid injuries 10 to 11 wins are on the horizon, last year rookie QB thrust into starring role in game 3 or 4, toughest schedule in the NFL, this year rising talented young QB with experience and B Marshall, and 19th toughest schedule.

Rob im worried about misi size as well---time will tell

NUMBERJUANPHINSFAN, No point with the Palin posts. Someone brought her up and I found a site that had her quotes posted so I copied and pasted. She's a character and I find her amusing. And NO those aren't soundbites they are full statements. And if you read or listen to the entire transcript, like you suggested, you will find that the statements are even worse and in no way do they sound different. You can listen word for word to most of these statements right here. http://politicalhumor.about.com/od/sarahpalin/a/palin-top-10.htmdo.

I can't for the life of me figure out why people choose to defend stupidity and ignorance at the highest levels of office in our great nation.

nyscott, a gm is different than any of us,he should think before he opens his mouth.

pallin is just a comic relife for rush and the tea party red necks .

Saw some NFL Power Rankings on the web.
They show Miami ranked #7 with a projected finish of 11-5.
They expect the Dolphins to make the playoffs as a Wildcard
team. Take it for what it's worth. But, they also project the Jets to be #1! Go figure!

NYScott...do you mean Congress and the white house? LOL I highly agree with you.


You do great work on this blog....you provide great insight and seem to add certain nuggets of information that other local writers can't provide.....Keep it up!

NYScott...all I can say is...Bravo!!! Can't believe Armando even begins to defend that lady. She alone destroyed any chance McCain had of winning...lol. Bonehead move.

Smiley is a great tough,gritty, loyal player &
he deserves to be treated as such. Obviously he
is not going to get that from the clasless Dol-
phins. Look what they did to J.T.& Zach.Fire Ireland he is a tactless moron. I hate him.

Armando, you've become a sports journalist and not a typical smack running hack.

I like Justin Smiley. He gave the Dolphins his best. But sadly his recurring shoulder injury works against him. It's likely he'll be released with an injury settlement. If I was a coach or GM of another team, I wouldn't trade for damaged goods. I believe that this kind of injury will force him to retire from football.

But the team did what it had to do and must move forward. Hopefully Incognito and Jerry will help along with Garner, Thomas, and even Berger who can play both center and guard.

probably 7-9 again, if not 8-8. i don't see them winning double digits.

NYScott typical Republican model. UGGGHHHHHH

I don't need to defend Mr. Odinseye or anyone else on this blog but it appears that there are a some self appointed kindergarten cops here that think they can tell others what to do.

That kind of thing might go down well in China or North Korea, but this is America, a constitutional republic with an acknowledged first amendment right of self expression.

If you don't like what someone says here, you have the freedom to not read it. But no one here except our esteemed columnist Mr. Salguero has the right to shut anyone up!

The kindergarten cops and you know who you are, to one Dolphin fan here, are starting to look mighty PUNY!


Gee, thanks Armando for putting this sordid issue out in general public. Not that I think any NFL team that might be considering Smiley didn't already know, but there's no question about it now, is there ?? You're really helping out our beloved Fins here, aren't you ??

Armando I feel for you bro, you're like the Rodney Dangerfield of sports writers, you can't ever get any respect.

Little girls here gripe and complain that you never write anything of substance, then you write an insightful piece like this on Justin Smiley and they gripe and moan about that.

Here is some advice for all you moaners out there, put a tampon in it, take a Midol and chill!

This guy has no idea what he is talking about. Smiley is tougher than any rookie they could bring out there. Did he show any weakness this past season? No. I know Smiley personally and he's good to go. People really shouldnt write about things they don't know as facts. Smiley has hurt his shoulder before...big deal. What football player hasnt been injured? Grow up and write some truth.

Just another classless attack on an NFL player who has given his body for the enjoyment of fans and football!!! Dolphin management preaches family.....since when does a family tell their family member to stay away and leave them hanging in limbo with no explanation ???? Not the kind of family I'd want to be a part of!! Too bad you chose to put such a negative slant on Smiley who was the best player on the Dolphin O-line for the past 2 years.
Classless reporting~

First off, make no mistake about it, Jake long is the best guy on the o line we have. Plays the toughest position and plays it the best. Secondly, instead of bashing the dolphins for letting him go how about applauding them for giving him a chance when San Fran and no other team wouldn't??? Just a thought.

Inimounts:You do not have correct information- No mistake on my part-Matter of opinion-No one is bashing the Dolphins for letting him go...That's the whole point here!!!!!!! They won't let him go!!!!They won't let him come to practice-They've kept him in limbo for 6 weeks now!!! This article and blog wouldn't be here if they would have let him go!!!!! As far as your last comment-again you do not have correct information-He was offered a contract to stay in San Fran!!!
Just a fact:)

Chicago is not going to give up anything let alone Olsen for Smiley. They are waiting for him to be released just like every other interested team. He will get in camp with someone else at that point but if his shoulder is as bad as indicated he is done. Too bad, he is a good player.

Shoulder issues including pain, are one of the more common reasons for physician visits for musculoskeletal signs. The shoulder is the most movable joint in the body. However, it's an unstable joint because of the range of motion allowed. This instability increases the likelihood of joint injury, often leading to a degenerative process in which tissues break down and no longer function well.

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