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Dolphins weigh Edwards, like their guys more

One of the most common questions I get from fans is a request to explain why the Dolphins have shown zero interest in WR Braylon Edwards even though the free agent is very productive and reuniting him with former Michigan teammate and quarterback Chad Henne seems logical.

My sense is the Dolphins don't feel like Edwards is worth the trouble when you balance that versus his potential contribution.

On the plus side, you have a legit deep threat receiver. The guy averaged a whopping 17.1 yards per catch for the New York Jets last season. He also scored seven TDs in 16 games which is more than solid. 

But the combination of his initial high asking price, the fact he's a party animal, his borderline criminal behavior that includes drunk driving arrests and probation violations and alleged role in a bar room fight earlier this week, make him a major, major, major risk.

The Dolphins obviously want no part of that risk even though now it seems the price for acquiring Edwards is dropping based on a very soft market for the player. He will probably end up signing a one-year contract with someone who will limit their liability by hoping Edwards finally understands he's another bar fight from having practically every team turn their backs on him. A motivated (read scared straight) Edwards might work for someone for a short span of time.

Not the Dolphins. They seem content with Brandon Marshall and Brian Hartline as their starting receivers with Davone Bess in the slot. I guess we have a possibility Marlon Moore or Roberto Wallace take a significant step in their second seasons and challenge for playing time.

There's also a chance rookie Clyde Gates comes along really fast (his specialty) and cracks the rotation.

But the greater likelihood is definitely Hartline opposite Marshall. And Hartline apparently is very happy with that.

"I'm never satisfied," Hartline told me this afternoon. "Talk about competition, we always have competition. If I'm not competing against somebody else, I'm competing against myself. Although I did take some steps last year, I didn't finish up where I wanted to finish because of the [finger] injury. With that being said, I think it still ended up being a pretty good second year. I want to act like I finished the year out and then take a step on top of that. I want to be a guy that makes plays for the team and the team knows it can come to me."

I asked Hartline what he did this offseason to get better.

"I tried to put on a little more weight," he answered. "We play a grown-man game so I'm trying to bring a little more of the punch of blocking and really just prepare mentally. It's a mental game and you need to know your routes and where you're at."

Look, the Dolphins are making personnel decisions every day now. They have obviously weighed their options and believe Hartline's price and other variables will serve them better than Edwards. That is the name of the personnel game. 

Just as the Dolphins weighed their options here, we'll weigh their decisions versus what could have been when the season is over and we'll see whether they were correct or not.

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