Vacation time has come and gone. The Dolphins begin training camp practices Friday and so it's worky worky time again for me until next May or so.
I'll get right into it later today by posting a breakdown of the Dolphins strengths and weaknesses. I've been reading that Miami's wide receivers expect big things this season. Chad Johnson (he's back to using his real name) is saying he's getting to the Pro Bowl this season while others such as Brian Hartline are saying the Miami WR corps is the best in years.
Ooookaaay. Maybe that turns out to be true.
But I don't think I'll believe until I see it.
Truth is Johnson, 34, has been on the decline the last two seasons and would need to reverse course to return to Pro Bowl status. Most players don't get better at age 34.
And Hartline needs to finally find some consistency and the trust of his quarterbacks as last year he had fewer catches in 16 games than he did while playing only 12 games in 2010. I'm not saying he needs to be the go-to guy because he couldn't be that with Brandon Marshall on the team, but this is Year Four for him and he's 25 years old now. Time to show for real. (It would be nice if he's healthy, which he was not for part of the offseason, missing some time with an unspecified leg issue and now recovering from an appendectomy.)
The Dolphins do have definite strengths. And I'll share those with you later today in a new post. (Yeah, we're back to posting multiple times per day.)
One thing: Rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill, Miami's first-round pick, continues to be unsigned. There was reportedly a snag relating to "offset language," which would protect the team should Tannehill be released during his initial four-year rookie deal. Progress in negotiations has been slow so far because of that stumbling block but should pick up in the coming hours. I expect, barring an unexpected road block, he'll be signed by the weekend.
[Update: A source just texted me the contract "should get done soon."]
[Update 2: Third-round selection Olivier Vernon is also close to agreeing to his rookie deal, according to a source. This one should be done by the time the club practices Friday.]
In the meantime, let me share with you about my vacation: I did a lot of chores around the house. And I spent quite a bit of time doing this: