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The price of mediocrity? It's going up for the Dolphins

The Dolphins call this a measuring stick game.

And I would tell you that most observers who measure the Dolphins see them as a mediocre team -- at best. So what does a mediocre team do with starters that aren't quite stars but are good enough to threaten significant attention in free agency?

Whatever the Dolphins do it means the price of doing business with these players is going waaaay up after this season.

Whatever you think of Brian Hartline or Sean Smith or Randy Starks, all of them are going to get significant pay raises after their contract expire this year and heading into free agency. All of them. I tell you here the contract neighborhood those players expect to be after 2012.

I tell you where the contract talks are with those players. I also tell you here which player has had no contract negotiations with the Dolphins and is likely to be done playing for Miami after this season. (Hint: He plays running back).

Back to the measuring stick issue, today will offer comparison between the Dolphins and a team with championship aspirations. The Patriots, as you may know, are 18-0 in the second half of seasons since 2010, including 2-0 this year.

They're good.

So if the players we discuss above have a great game against New England or help the Dolphins beat the Patriots today, they will argue they're worth their high asking price. Fair.

But what if Miami loses? Does that mean those guys aren't worth it? I don't think so. The truth is the Dolphins can't really lose ground this offseason. They lost ground before this season in dealing away Brandon Marshall and Vontae Davis and now wide receiver and cornerback are team needs.

So they're going to lose Sean Smith or Brian Hartline -- a cornerback and wide receiver -- and make a hole a bigger hole? It's an interesting situation.

By the way, there's a live blog today. Starts in the comment section. I'll be there around kickoff.


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Not feeling it today. Was going to go to game but decided against it. Hopefully I'm wrong

Comes down to the Draft. Post-CBA, your best investments come from the Draft, with salaries being held in check. Puts pressure on the GM and scouts to really produce a good Draft. Teams with good GMs will succeed, teams without good GMs are doomed.

At least the stadium will be filled bobby. Too bad many of them will be Pats fans.

I Hop the fins shock the world with a win today, Will be at the San Fran game next week(Live there) So I'll be rooting hard fora Phin win today, But looks like the Pats are startingto hit there stride lke they do every season..

Heck, if the Dolphins were mediocre they'd throw a parade. LOL

Whatever. It will be a good measuring stick for Us.


I'd MUCH rather see an Alex Smith QB'd SF team than a Colin K QB'd SF team. We'd have a better chance stopping Smith.

Good article Armando. And it opened me eyes as I realized their was a story within the story. I have been consistent in my stance regarding Irelands seeming inability to evaluate talent at both WR and TE, knowing he has failed there but realizing Philbin will have more input in which players he wants. That kept me on the fence about Jeff being fired.

But now, after realizing Jeff has cost this team millions in cap space because of the way he tries to low ball every player on his roster while offering lucrative deals to free agent busts, I no longer sit on said fence. Ireland needs to go. Had he signed Hartline to an extension we could have possibly saved up to 3 million a season. Same with Smith. So now instead of filling holes we may be digging more.

I think we'll see a totally flat Pats team today. Good chance for bthe upset.

Phins 78, Ireland needs to go? No shyt Sherlock. You're just realizing that now?? Everyone knew that 2-3 years ago.

So the post at 11:28 was allowed to pass? The post discusses male semen and sleeping with black men. Wow, the Herald can not control their blogs and it's pathetic. I wont be back for the live blog because I'm not wasting my time talking to low life scum bags. Thanks for nothing Herald, enjoy your self made sewage ditch.

How rhe hell will smith and hartline get more money? Both wont even start on other teams. They are far from elite or even play or differemce makers. Let them walk and ley some other idiot over pay them.

DC only thing is he's a rookie too, but he's got great weapons, Unlike Yennehill, Though tennehill is a good player the other teams found his weakness after week 5, lets see how the othr rokie performs in his 5th start.

U Ireland bashers .....r tiresome .....m guessin ub bitchin no matter what ........actually bitchn n whining continuously on n on n on ........go root fer jets ...I hear their head cheerleader quit....please go ....just f&*@$&% go .......

I don't see neither Smith or Hartline being make or break players for this team. They would both create holes to fill but they are both way too inconsistent. Even though I like both of them. These are not guys you sell the farm for in the off season.

Phins 78, are u kidding me? Why would sleeping with Afro- Americans not be allowed?? You racist.

The inactives today:

7 Pat Devlin QB 29 Jonathan Amaya S57 Josh Kaddu LB72 Will Yeatman T84 Michael Egnew TE87 Kyle Miller TE 97 Kheeston Randall DT

Sorry, Thats Tennehill..

It is obvious that Amaya, who was arrested Monday, is being punished today. He is not injured and has been inactive for all the previous games.

Also, Lamar Miller is active.

Indy, Buffalo and Tenn were better gauges of team's ability and still we cannot understand how the Dolphins lost to these mediocre teams. Pats game can only show how far away from NFL playoff elite status this year's team really is.

Lamar Miller inactive? Thanks again Ireland.

1984, Read it again.

smith is avg 1 INT per season for 4 years, he's not worth it. Hartline is awesome, I'm sure NE would love to have him.

Hartline has 1 TD this year and 3 100+ yd games. and 6 TD's over 4 years....that's not production you can't live without.

Hartline would be even better if there was more of a threat on the other side - thats what others will pay for too.

What a surprise Yeatman is inactive today. Why do you keep a player who has been inactive for the last 104 weeks on the team?

So the post at 11:28 was allowed to pass? The post discusses sleeping with black men.

Posted by: Phins78 | December 02, 2012 at 11:38 AM

He's saying this is taboo!!!

Is Egnew active yet?

That Was A Good Article Today Mando.

Thanks For Pointing Out! Hartline and Drew Rosenhaus Think He Is The Same as Jordy Nelson. What are They Thinking?

Hartline Is a Good Player. But Nothing Special.

Starks Problem is Odrick. Everyone's Favorite Bust Might Make it OK to Get Rid of Starks. Like How U Pointed Out, Thomas and Miller Make it a Easy Decision Not To Bring Back Bush.

And Drafting Might Be The Way To Go With the New CBA. Some Might Not Like it That Way. But This Team NEEDS to Stay The Course.

The price ONLY goes up for mediocrity if you pay for it. Hartline has an avg of 1.5 TD's per year receiving that's even with Marshall on the team. I really couldn't believe it was that low until I looked at it.

dadsmithwest - you are correct, but teams will pay for it.

Sad but true.

I think at where this team is it's hard to have any 'sure things' that should be back. I know it won't be popular but the only guy I'd bring back for sure is Long. Yeah I've hard the argument over and over....whatever. This plan of moving guys around and drafting a RT is flawed. So let's agree to disagree. I'd like to see Smith and Hartlin back....BUT AT THE RIGHT PRICE. I like Hartline and I thjink he's a gamer but I don't quite put him at the same level, despite what the stats say. I don't believe you pay your WRs big money. WRs don't win Championships....QBs and good defence do. Not saying we don't have a need there but I'm not into throwing big money at Harline or anybody else. If Hartline has visions of getting rich, SEE YA LATER! We can draft a kid or two and a guy like Jennings, who I don't believe will cost big money. There will be other options too, so while I think it's a priority, we'll figure it out.


His numbers aren't spectacular but he's been clutch since we drafted him. He rarely drops a pass and even when we bring in a #1 WR hartline will probably still be Tanny's go to guy on 3rd down. But yeh, he's not elite, he should be paid like a #2 WR.

As for today's game, we have to be able to run the ball. Great that Miller's active....how about using the f8cking guy some time?

Only hope is that the Pats are flat coming off a ten day break, having played last Thursday. If not then the game might get ugly.


Lily Aldrege, HOT AS HE11.


Hartline will be OK in a Group. He Did "GREAT" for a 4th Round Pick. BUT HARTLINE ISN'T DYNAMIC! Dashi Will Only Bring Hartline Back At The Right Price. And For Only 3 Years. Nothing More.

The Ways Things Look. Long is The Only Sure Thing. And HERE IS THE KICKER! LONG MIGHT ACTUALLY GET PAID LESS WITH HIS EXTENSION. Unlike the OTHER GUYS. Starks and Smith. Are on that 2nd Level Of Needs. Fasano and Hartline Are the 3rd Level. And Clemons, Bush and The Rest are GONE!

The Hartline situation pretty much illustrates Ireland's inexperience as a gm. An overabundance of trial an error.

Hartline's a 4th rd draft pick. Meaning he came cheap. Though he never put up huge numbers except in only one area(YPC). An experienced gm has gotta know that's a player you make a contract extension on before his current cheap contract expires.

Or else you end up in a conodrum. Didnt Ireland do the same painting himself into a corner with Soliai?

If you see these type bubble performers showing signs of any sort of rise in thier play. Give them extensions while extending them is always cheap. If you've made a mistake, you can always cut them.

Irelands almost always seems to be the biggest author of all of his greatest problems in Miami. Then the team and fans nust suffer.


I totally disagree, YG. I think Ireland has a good handle on what he wants to pay Hartline, as it fits in the team's budget. I think Hartline's off the opinion that he's worth more. So one of three things happen. One, Hartline hits the FA market and some team overpays for him. Two, he lessens what he wants and gets a deal done in Miami. Three, Ireland decides that he's just not worth it and goes in another direction. Regardless, I don't want my GM overpaying for talent. Guys will argue that we overpaid for Dansby and Marshall, but the truth is we NEEDED guys like that. I don't believe Hartline is that kind of guy. Understand I want him back, but I'm not in favour of this guy being overpaid. No way, no how!

I'd sign Long and Starks first then work on the other guys at the right price with incentive laden contracts. Unfortunately, the team needs a healthy turnover of players to get better and with all the contracts that expire this year that will happen.

Looking at The Many Holes.

Dashi is Starting to Look at a More Conservative Approach in The OffSeason.

Meaning We Might have To Stick With These LB's For 1 More Year. DANSBY NEEDS TO RESTRUCTURE HIS DEAL THOUGH!! Burnett is OK for What he is Getting Paid. And Misi Is Developing.


So I Expect the Fins To Address These Needs In the DRAFT AND NOT FREE AGENCY. And with 3 Picks In The Top 50! The Fins Should Be able to Find a FS, A CB, And a WR!

They Can Address The LB's Early The Following Year. Even Though I Would Try And Take one in The Second or Third Round at Least This Year. A.Brown from KSU. Or OgleTree From UGA.

Cheapskate Ross wont pay for good players.

At the end of the day, sometimes it's the move your GM DOESN'T make that needs to be considered in the grand scheme of things. With a finite number of dollars to spend it's vital that GM don't make dumb moves (looking at you Albert Haynesworth, Michael Vick, Chris Johnson and Laurent Robinson).

Let's find some common ground here. Can we all agree that the Dolphins mediocrity is not the fault of Jeff Ireland?


Tell us what WR would have put up huge numbers on THIS team over the last few years with all the changes and lack of talent? I'm not so sure Fitzgerald would have looked like a pro-bowler on this team during the Sparano years.

NO! Ireland must go!

I think Ireland has done well this year. I liked his draft and hiring of Philbin.


Thats just what Armando was just talking about. Creating more holes should Hartline walk. How can we ever be a good team if every year we create more holes than we can possibly fill in one offseason. This is happening to far to reguglar.

At this pace, we should be penciled in for a sb appearance around 2030, if we're lucky.

Craig, extending a player before he truly warranted of it isnt really overpaying. It's only practice of, paying a little more now, so you dont have to pay them a lot more later.

We would have Soliai for peanuts right now had Ireland done this with him. Had Soliai been given a 3yr extension before his play had really risen. He would be making half as much as he's presently making now. Plus, we wouldnt be negotiating a new contract with him until after the 2013 season and we would know it isnt adamant to pay him huge bucks then because we've swithed to the 4-3 defence. Wouldnt have had to franchise either.

So under Ireland's present strategy we're overpaying even more. Noway Soliai is worth the huge dollars he's being paid as a dt. Nt maybe, but surely not as a 4-3 dt.


Dashi Will Have To Respectfully Disagree. Soliai Was Stuck In Limbo Land. Was HE GOING TO BE GOOD Or WAS HE GOING TO SUCK!!


Jake Will Sign When The Time Comes. But JAKE IS THE ONE WHO DECIDES.


Dear Mr Omelet,

I refuse to respond to a poster that calls himself an edible product. Just placing you on notice I wont be answering any posts you direct to me Mr overabunce of cholesterol on the brainiac. LOL

Ireland's already spoken with Hartline's agent (to the guys who are saying sign him at the "right price"). They were stuck at a lower price, and now Hartline's "worth" in the eyes of his agent has gone up.

Again, 1 TD in 11 games. He can easily be replaced. If he won't accept my terms, I let him walk without a question.


I say you renegotiate these bubble players to resign them on the cheap. Worst case scenario, you cut them. Samething you do when signing a guy to big money and he underperforms. Just that my way is far cheaper to part with them.

YG doesn't have a valid rebuttal, so instead he is just holding a grudge over my comments last night ;)


It's risk/reward. Soliai on this team is a God send but what if he'd eaten himself out of a job? How comfortable would you be with him on the team under a huge contract. You'd be calling Ireland every name in the book.

So let me just understand your logic.....going INTO this season what would you have paid Hartline? Understand this is by far his best year and he's been hurt in the past. So what kind of contract would you have given him BEFORE this year? To me, as much as I like him, he's just another guy. I like the effort he gives and the fact he comes to play every Sunday but by no means is he elite. He's a guy I'd want on my team but you don't overpay for guys like that. If he gets greedy let him go. We're 7-9, 6-10 and 5-6 the last three years with this guy. He's HARDLY a difference maker.

YG may not want to respond anymore to dashi either, for dashi is a japanese soup base that is infested with preservatives and artificial flavors.

Is a WR only judged by the TD's thrown his way? Don't the yardage that leads up to others scoring count for anything?

Is a WR only judged by the TD's thrown his way? Don't the yardage that leads up to others scoring count for anything?

Posted by: Mark | December 02, 2012 at 12:52 PM

The answer is that the only thing that matters on this blog is YG's gassy opinion. LOL.

Wouldn't be surpred in the LEAST if the Dolphins let most of these guys walk. We're following the Packers model now guys and the Packers don't overpay for top tier talent. Does it mean a step backwards? Yep. But who cares! It's short term pain for long term gain and I'm on board with it.

I don't agree Craig, all your talking about is replacing players, what we need is to build depth.

I'm stuck on the philosophy of taking a chance and being great rather than playing it safe and being good. Hartline just isn't special. Hartline is not great, is not a #1 and we have Bess and Matthews who needs to get some opportunities.

Would Hartline be special with Brees or Rodgers or Brady or Manning throwing to him? Think about that.

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