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Harris for Allen doesn't mean things got better

The Dolphins signed cornerback Al Harris and waived cornerback Jason Allen today. And in the coming hour you'll hear how coach Tony Sparano feels that Harris is a good player that can help the team the same way you heard him say Allen was playing really well earlier this year.

Throughout talk radio and on this blog's comment board you see people extol the virtues of this exchange -- cutting a first-round bust for a player whose playing his final NFL days -- as improvement.

I don't care about any of that. That is just people's opinion.

This is a fact: The Dolphins today have cut a player they thought was good enough to start seven games for them. They cut a player who still leads the team with three interceptions. The Dolphins, in thinking this guy was good enough to start one week and cut two weeks later, just told you how terrible their cornerback situation has really been.

If you are cutting a player that you said was pretty good and you were starting most of the season, you are admitting that player really wasn't all you said. You are admitting he wasn't good enough to keep around, particularly if the reason you're cutting him is all about his performance rather than some strange chemistry or police blotter reason.

Then there's the other side of this coin -- the adding of Harris.

Harris was cut by the Green Bay Packers this week. They cut him not because he's a problem child or because he's in a contract dispute. The man has been an outstanding NFL cornerback for 12 years. But that changed in year 13.

So the Packers cut Harris because he's going to be 36 years old next month. They cut him because he hasn't played sinced Week 11 of last season. They cut him because his knee problems hadn't allowed him to be 100 percent healthy so he could get on the field this year.

The Packers cut Al Harris because they realized he cannot help them anymore.

And so this is the player that can help the Dolphins?

What does that say about the desperation of Miami's cornerback situation?

Well, combined with the cutting of a player who was starting, this tells me the Dolphins are in some desperate times. And their response to desperate times is this desperate measure.

If that shakes your confidence in this team's defensive backfield, then you're on point. Remember that according to coaches, Allen was the best answer at one cornerback spot up until last week's game at Baltimore. But, by the same token, he was only good enough to kick out the door.

(By the way, this blog has known Jason Allen wasn't the answer to any question that had anything to do with defensive back play about two two years ago.)

So what does Allen's ability to hold off Sean Smith for a starting job in seven of the past eight weeks say about Smith? Remember, the coaches believed Allen was better than Smith up until last week. Now we're supposed to believe all is well?

And we're supposed to believe that Harris could be a viable, solid, good answer if he gets his chance?

The Dolphins are basically trying to patch leaks now. Allen wasn't the long-term answer. Harris isn't the long-term answer. It can be argued whether Smith is a long-term answer.

Point is nothing about this move suggests things are improving. I'm not hating the move, but rather giving you what the move means. It means the Dolphins are trying not to drown. They're just hoping to tread water.

And that doesn't instill a lot of confidence.

 

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