I know the Dolphins are not a fantasy football team.
They operate under a salary cap. They make personnel decisions by weighing risks of potential roster additions as well as the potential improvement those additions might bring. There are no guarantees any addition will pan out because, as Bill Parcells famously says, "they don't sell insurance for this."
Following up on this column in today's Miami's Herald, in which coach Tony Sparano says there is a wide open competition for the team's No. 2 wide receiver job opposite Brandon Marshall, I have simply marvel at the fact the Dolphins were not the least bit aggressive in trying to add Braylon Edwards to the roster the past couple of weeks.
Edwards joined the San Francisco 49ers last week. He signed what was reported as a one-year, $3.05 million contract. Sounds expensive for a risky acquisition, right? It wasn't really. More on that in a moment.
I cannot stop thinking about the missed opportunity to add Edwards because currently the Dolphins are trying to decide whether Davone Bess or Brian Hartline or "maybe one of the young guys," as Sparano said, could step up.
In short, what the Dolphins have is an uncertain situation at the No. 2 receiver spot with none of the likely answers looking like as good a player as Edwards. I remind you Edwards caught 53 passes for 904 yards with seven touchdowns last season. That means Edwards averaged 17.1 yards per catch. For his career, Edwards averages 15.8 yards per catch, higher than any receiver on the Dolphins with more than one season of experience.
Now, I know Edwards is a knucklehead. I know he gets in trouble. I know he faces a possible four-game suspension from the NFL for violating the league's personal conduct policy. I get all that. I get that if Edwards is suspended he only plays 12 games.
But that suspension is not a certainty. And were it to happen, Edwards would come back with something to prove. He knows he has to fly right or his next step will be out of the league because precious few teams were interested in him this year. I know that for a one-year deal with no guaranteed money, the risk is really a fair gamble.
Remember there is no insurance for this.
The reasons to have done this are logical. Edwards played at Michigan and was a teammate of Chad Henne. He and Henne had a good relationship to the point the wide receiver and quarterback never had issues in or out of the huddle. Edwards would have been extremely motivated for those two games against the division rival Jets after they walked away from him. And, you have to understand that Brandon Marshall is still battling the demons of his personality disorder, so his status is not completely certain. If anything happens to Marshall, the team would have no other proven dynamic receiver to put on the field.
So why didn't he make sense?
Too expensive? Not hardly.
The 49'ers, in fact gave, Edwards an incentive ladden contract. To make his $3.05 million Edwards has to catch 90 passes and go to the Pro Bowl. I dare any Dolphins personnel man to tell me 90 catches and a Pro Bowl trip by a Dolphins receiver wouldn't be worth $3 million.
It absolutely would be worth it. Is Edwards going to get that? Probably not. But he is going to likely be a deep threat as he's been much of his career. He's likely going to drop a handful of passes as he has most of his career. He's going to give you an average of 5 TD catches for the season, as he has most of his career. He would also present the secondary with a terrible problem because no one could double cover both Edwards and Marshall.
Alas, the Dolphins went a different direction. They think one alpha receiver is good enough. In a league where the Eagles pile talent, atop talent, atop talent, atop talent, the Dolphins seemingly are content going with their solid if unspectacular guys.
I hope it works.
Except it hasn't so far.