The Dolphins personnel department: The front office took a gamble on Chad Johnson and lost. But in doing so it created something of a "progress stopper" that its very philosophy says to avoid. Johnson took at minimum 300 repetitions with the starting offense since camp opened. I'm sure the Dolphins wish those now wasted reps had gone to someone that will actually be on the team. The Johnson signing also gave the personnel department a feeling of false security. It could flirt with but not actually sign Braylon Edwards because the desperation factor wasn't there. Instead of Edwards the personnel department signed guard Eric Steinbach instead. Edwards caught two passes for 51 yards, including a 39-yard touchdown in his Seattle Seahawks debut. Steinbach is working with the second unit at left guard. And, of course, Johnson is unemployed right now.
Brian Hartline: If Johnson goes out and Hartline comes in, I see no drop-off for the Dolphins. Hartline, when healthy, can be more of a downfield threat than Johnson at this stage in his career and his hands are more dependable. The problem is Hartline hasn't been healthy. He's been nursing a calf injury since training camp began and hasn't practiced but once or twice as a result. The Dolphins need him. Badly. Immediately.
[Morning update: Hartline is not practicing today. Again.]
Roberto Wallace: He had a fine game in the preseason opener Friday night. He was rewarded by running with the first team offense on Sunday. This is his opportunity to shine. And his opportunity to disappoint. It is a two-edged sword. If he responds, awesome! But if he gets this big break and drops it, that could be a Dolphins career killer for him.
The other young Dolphins receivers: I've told you for some time that the Dolphins wanted at least two young receivers to burst onto the scene this training camp. They now need that to happen because Johnson's departure opens a roster spot that demands filling by someone deserving of being on an NFL roster. So Julius Priutt, B.J. Cunningham, Rishard Matthews and Jeff Fuller suddenly get a chance to win a roster spot that wasn't going to be there if Johnson stuck around. Time to step up.
And, of course, the Dolphins personnel department again: Whether it be adding Lee Evans, or Plaxico Burress or finding someone off waivers when players start getting cut, the department needs to add talent to Miami's wide receiver corps.
[Radio and TV note: I'll be on NFLAM on NFL Network at 6:35 a.m. today and on Mike and Mike on ESPN2 and ESPN radio at 8:30 a.m.]