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Stream of consciouness about ... everything

After yesterday's press conference to announce the modernization of Sun Life, I was talking to a some Dolphins officials when one of them brought up the point that the push to get the public funding portion of this deal would have been much, much easier if the team on the field was better.

No doubt about that.

The 49ers won an ballot measure for funding of their new stadium right after going to the NFC championship game last year. The Heat got their new arena on the heels Pat Riley coming to Miami, promising a parade down Biscayne Boulevard, and trading for Alonzo Mourning and Tim Hardaway. Yeah, the team was in the middle of a 61-win season when the measure was approved so nice timing.

The Jets and Giants got their new digs amid multiple AFC Championship game appearances by one and a Super Bowl title by the other.

The Atlanta Falcons, by the way, are really good these days so they're going to get a new stadium.

Good things happen off the field when good things happen on the field, folks. Politicians are more prone to jump on bandwagons. Fans are more apt to accept team requests for, say, a bed tax increase that doesn't really affect them anyway.

Unfortunately, the Dolphins are making this request right smack in the middle of the team's worst four years. Ever.

The team's current four-year string of losing seasons and failure to make the playoffs is the worst in club history.

And that brings me to this:

I just found another reason the Dolphins should be aggressive, big players in free agency and alike this offseason.

Look, I know it's bad policy to make football moves for the sake of helping the business side of the organization. But the truth is the Dolphins football moves have been hindering the business side for years now.

Why do you think the stands haven't been full and owner Stephen Ross has had to swallow hard and pay for his own tickets the last few years?

This offseason, which starts in mid-March, is an opportunity to help both the football side and the business side. If, unlike the past two years, the Dolphins can identify two, perhaps three bigtime free agents that are worthy of rich contracts instead of shopping for bargain basement dolts that end up cut or on the roster's margins, that might also help the effort to get the stadium modernized.

I grant you the tether between both issues is frail. The Dolphins need action from the Florida legislature and Miami-Dade government before the South Florida Super Bowl bid goes to an NFL vote in 18 weeks.

But free agency begins in nine weeks.

If Miami can play big and play to win the first few days of free agency when the prized players go anyway, that might sway some elected officials while also, you know, improving a roster that sorely needs the upgrade.

Understand me. My priority is the roster. That was proven Monday when I didn't ask any questions at the stadium presser. Even Ross kidded me about how quiet I was. I was quiet because I'm more a football and big picture guy than a micro stadium question guy.

I care about the product on the field more than the field itself.

But I've also seen how the stadium doesn't help deliver any sort of homefield advantage. I've seen how uncomfortable the place can be. I travel around the NFL and understand Sun Life is aging compared to other facilities that have come on line.

So I make room for the idea that success on the field can lead to success off as well.

By the way, Ross also busted my, um, chops about telling him which free agents I want signed. He apparently read my GM Salguero plan and wanted names.

I told him I would get him names of guys I want.

(Yeah, that will get tossed in the garbage).

Names not withstanding, I want to remind you of the philosophy I believe the Dolphins should follow this offseason: Go big!

Don't shop at K-Mart. You get marginal guys looking for bargains. The past couple of seasons have proven that. And the last thing the Dolphins need to do is add more marginal talent to a 7-9 team. The club would be better served not adding free agents than signing cheap, broken ones that will be competing to play special teams.

The Dolphins need difference-makers, folks. Yes, find them in the draft, by all means. That should be the nucleus to the team. But please, please, please don't avoid them like the plague in free agency or if they become available in trades.

Premium players cost premium money or picks. Anthony Gonzalez did. Robert Griffin III did. Peyton Manning did. Pierre Garcon did. Brandon Carr did. Aqib Talib did. And that was just last season. The NFL is filled with players acquired through free agency or trades that made a difference for their new teams, contrary to what the Dolphins said last week.

Wes Welker, Anquan Bolden (which I advocated for over Brandon Marshall in 2010), Jared Allen, Julius Peppers, John Abraham, Drew Brees, Vincent Jackson (another one I advocated for), Greg Olsen (another one I advocated for), on and on. All went to new teams as free agents or via trade and made an impact.

The Dolphins need to identify two or three such guys this offseason and do work.

Hint, Mr. Ross: WR Mike Wallace. DE Paul Kruger. TE Martellus Bennett (yeah, how about signing a former Cowboy that can make some plays). This off the top of my head. And assuming they're available, which is still to be seen.

I say identify two bigtime signings. And go get them. And then add somebody else that maybe thought himself a big-money guy but whose market has come back to earth. I believe Greg Jennings may find himself in that market.

Comments

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Nicely put Mando. Mr Ross... Mando is 100 percent correct. I've been a Dolfan since my dad suggested I be one when I was in Miami diapers. Dan Marino, Clayton, and Duper showed me the way. It was exciting football back then. The last 10 years here have been terrible. I have a son that is starting to get into football now..I'd like to be able to talk him into being a Dolfan like my dad did...help me out here... Because my son last year said how come the QB doesn't stay on the field as long as the other teams QB? It was a hard question to answer as to why our offense was so "offensive".

It is only a game.

It is only entertainment - like sitcoms, checkers, and solitaire.


This all rates 0 on the scale of things important.

It's a nice release from reality kind of like away using a movie...if you can't see that Fry, then I'd hate to be in any room with you.

Cowkila, sick, warped name, who'd want to be in a room with you?

Nice new home digs would be great, but the product is what matters most. Next year is 10 wins or bust!!! Simple as that.

Well Armando I like your passion. WR Mike Wallace, DE Paul Kruger and TE Martellus Bennett would be great. I doubt that Wes Welker would come back to Miami. He will most likely sign for less to finish his career with his friend and QB Brady.

Totally agree. No Mike Wallace, NO STADIUM!!!!!!

"I was talking to a some Dolphins officials when..." huh?

Who is Anthony Gonzalez? You mean Tony Gonzalez or the Ohio State bust?

Terrible article.

Mando is right on. Number one off season priority get some weapons that can light up the scoreboard. WR's, TE's and a different #1 RB. There are lot of people putting all their eggs in the Wallace basket and I don't know that it will be just a matter of money.

You look at the playoff teams and Miami is hopelessly behind them. Coach is a nice guy, but not innovative or aggressive, RT is not a work in progress, he just a better placeholder than we've had, we have no bruising running back and swiss cheese defense. We are years out of the running.

I agree ....in fact that would be no different than when Miami brought in Manny Fernandez back when shula took over or just before he got there .......they brought him bcuz of his name ....to help with Hispanic population of Miami identity with the DOLPHINS ......and I might add yesterday was the 40th anniversary of 17-0 ...............j/s..................

Bargain basement dolts to some; acorns to others.

So the basis of the article is "winning solves everything"? So the seats in SunLife will get filled if we win, makes it easier to get public funds for stadium renovations if we win? So put in place a team that can win today while building for the future. Sign a few big names that will contribute now while building through the draft. I know its obvious but it hasnt happened. Weve got the cap room and the picks. I mean Mr. Ross has to know even at some point no matter how many times he purchases tickets to show the game, which they make more money off of anyways, that diluting the fan base over and over is a receipe for disaster.

If they do this, hopefully each side of the roof is retractable, or otherwise mobile so that they can control the shade and make sure it only covers the fans.

Also, noticed in some pictures that the grid pattern of the structure can introduce grid shadow effects on the playing field which might be distracting to viewing the game. Hope they consider these things. 4 separate adjustable structures would solve them.

So I trust Stephen Ross will be giving half of the new revenue from these renovations to the city/state? I'm guessing no. The idea taxpayers should foot this bill is absurd. They already pay for the surrounding infrastructure. Let the wealthy pay for their own businesses; the public should not be subsidizing already wealthy private interests.

FAs that work in one Team do not necessarily work on another Team. That should be the main criteria here in selecting a FA this year. Mike Wallace is a wonderful, speedy long threat receiver but neither does he have Big Ben down here throwing him the ball, nor does he fit in our present O system.

It's not hard to agree that fixing the product on the field would be better than fixing the field but doing the latter is easier than the former. Simply bringing in big names, spending large sums in FA on other team's players, has proven more a recipe for disaster than success.

The Dolphins large salary cap will be used mostly to re-sign the team's own UFAs. If not, many more holes will be created. This must not happen if one is to field a competitive team in 2013. Remaining cap money needs to be used wisely, not splurged on big names. As Ross said, you do not throw money at problems and expect to be successful.

There are many young, highly rated OTs and CBs available in this year's UFA. Fill 2-3 holes with solid players for less than the cost of 1 big name variable. Improve OL and defensive backfield in FA and concentrate on DT/DE, WRs and TE in the draft. The team's extra picks for 2013 will prove more beneficial that way.

As a last note, Ryan Tannehill is not a proven commodity. He may play better next year; he may play worse. It's a surer bet that he plays better behind a functional OL with a good running game than he will behind a makeshift line with no running game. Flinging the ball downfield with a hope and a prayer to newly signed big names is not a winning strategy.

Good stuff Mando,

I agree identify your biggest needs which is PLAYMAKER (WR), TE, Cornerback, DE, FS and look at the the best free agents from each. Identify a superstar at the PLAYMAKER position and pay whatever it takes to land him and by him I mean Mike Wallace personally. The second biggest need to me is TE because without more help Tannehill will never show us what he is capable of or if he is capable with any sort of objectivity.

So identify your top 3 at each position and then identify your top 5 overall and land at least 2 difference makers. My vote Mike Wallace and if possible a trade for JerMichael Finley as Mando has stated before. If the Finley trade is a pipe dream then go after the best secondary player available.

Gregg Jennings, hurt and all, would make more sense for us as a FA Wr. He plays in a system = to Ours + Philbin is thoroughly familiar with him. More sense still, would be acquiring the best TE available that fits our Philosophy.

So throwing money at a problem DOES work?
Actually I think you just solved the problem with the United States infrastructure, educational system, poverty and healthcare.
Dude, you are awesome.

billcale, that's a tired old argument. And that line of "simply bringing in big names..." being a failure is an old wife's tale. Everyone uses the Washington Redskins as their example. They had the absolute WORST organization during those years. The inexperienced Owner was calling the shots. He had a yes man GM who's NOT respected around the league and didn't know ANYTHING about putting together a team just spending his money as he said. And they had a carousel of HCs changing things every couple of years.

There are far more teams that HAVE been able to acquire top name talent and have it pay off (Mando named just a few). No one's saying just spend money. But on a team lacking PLAYMAKERS, you're idea to bring in more role players will not help. Maybe they'll be 8-8 at best. No, this team needs to go big or go home. Not only grab a talented FA (or 2), but they need to TRADE UP, NOT DOWN for picks if need be to get a higher-rated draftee (like the Falcons did for Julio Jones when they already had Roddy White).

The holes are obvious to everyone. We now have the HC and system that CAN win games in this league. Our defense is pretty good and can be the backbone of a Playoff-caliber team. We need to SCORE POINTS. And you don't do that with role players, you do that with PLAYMAKERS!

I would go after Kruger hard (doubt they let him go), he's now the Ravens #1 pass rusher.

The Voice of Reason- Oscar.

There are wonderful, speedier than Mike Wallace(100 m champs) WRs in this year's Draft. The Irish Man knows it, I know it, Everybody knows it. And that's not counting Watkins. Amazing!

I barely finish to read this boring article, as usual by Salguero, who writes his letter to Santa Claus, too late ...or too soon, asking for better players and a great stadium.
He should write a letter demanding Ireland to be fired, instead. What a coincidence, the worst four years, according to Salguero, correspond precisely the time Ireland has been in charge of the Dolphins management.
The Dolphins should move back to the Orange Bowl, that stadium really made an impact on visitor teams.

DC; there's time for that. 2013 is not a Superbowl year for the Dolphins. I'm trying to argue a strategy that's sensible and fits within the team's new philosophy -that it takes time and brains to make a champion.

It seems to me that you are overlooking that the team needs to sign many of its own FAs while steadfastly insisting that the team only needs a few big playmakers. In my opinion, if the team does not sign its own FAs, there will not be a core of good players -defense or offense - for which the big name players can offset.

He might not hit on every Player, but it will be the most exciting Draft that Ireland has ever conducted.

billcale is a very sensible Man, also.

Good point seekerone,I would also have concerns on the proposed structure. How does a open trellis design keep fans dry and how much sun does it actually block and how many months would pass before it starts to rust and lose it's appeal and how strong of a hurricane would it take to blow those very lengthy spans in to the new seating?

Paul Kruger? You think the Raven are really going to let him walk. C'mon, They are losing Ray Lewis.

But I get the point, and I agree.

I can take all the disappointments that Life brings, at least I've been able to do it up to now. But I don't think I could live without the excitement that a new problem brings into My Life.

There are some huge Monster DEs a la JJ Watt in this years Draft, also. Unbelievable.

Mando before you start getting everyone all excited by throwing all these names out why dont we wait to see who is available. A lot of these guys will be resigned or franchised by the time free agency opens.

I believe the Dolphins should target no less than 7 new starters for the upcoming season.

I also believe we should and will end up with two 1st round selections this year. We could move back with our 1 and up with our two 2's and get two real nice players.

This is fun! but I'm tired of sucking.

2 WR -- Jennings or Wallace plus draft picks
2 OL -- G Jared Cook from Buff is great plus mid round pick or two
TE -- Free agent Jared Cook or Bennett. None in the draft class makes my toes tingle
DE -- Free agents Cliff Avril or Micheal Johnson or draft Jordan or Werner
CB -- Draft Milliner, Banks, Rhoades as early round possibilities

Guard from Buff is Andy Levitre no Cook obviously.

Oh wow Ross mentioned you twice during the presser, big deal...if you think he reads your so called columns obviously he doesn't care what you write if he does because you never stay on point of harping on Ireland the real problem. As long as Ireland is GM Miami stinks,last four yeas worst ever, really and who has the GM been Armando...and who is the so called owner of this once proud franchise who keeps him on the payroll and gives him more accolades than a Harbaugh, etc... Which would have turned this team around, yep Ross...a headline day after day should be Ireland not yet fired....

Billcale...

Why in the heck would we spend the MAJORITY of our FA Money on the same guys who have brought us...4 STRAIGHT LOSING seasons...

Even Ireland is smarter than that....hence the reason he hasn't JUMPED @ signing any of this 2n rate talent he he/Parcells bought here in the 1st place...

The ONLY players worth keeping are MAYBE...Bush (he scores TD)...Hartline (he doesn't score TDs)...and Starks (again,...No TDs)....

and I hope Ireland doesn't break the bank for any of them...aside from Bush....

We FIN FANS can NOT continue to covet our own garbage...NO PLAYER on a team that has brought you 4 straiht losing seasons is a must have....

Earth to Armando::::: why is Ireland still GM? Why does Ross keep him around? Why does Ross keep a GM that high quality coaches refuse to sign on because of him, WHY.....Armando WRITE a story that means something not your second hand junk.

We like Starks but he can go. Odrick can move over to DT and we should get a stud free agent DE or use our 1st pick for Jordan or Werner.

Bush is also expendable. Lots of guys can run for 900 yards.

Sorry, I don't subscribe to this point of view. So you go spend lots of money to fill a stadium? Then what?

Winning brings fans....that can't be disputed. Even the Florida Panthers and LA Kings and Anaheim Ducks drew fans.....when they were winning. Everyone wants to be part of a winner. The reverse of that is true. If the product on the field is subpar, people won't come out. We're seeing that in Miami. They're seeing that now in KC and Oakland too.

There's NO correlation to spending money and winning. Weren't we tight against the cap THIS year? How'd that work out for us? And now we're supposed to go all Hellbent and spend? No thanks.

I'll follow the Steelers and Packers models, you know the ones that have ACTUALLY had success. Every dollar you spend on one of these guys is a dollar you can't spend on somebody else. That's why I'm not in favour of re-signing Sean Smith....see ya later!

Just for argument/debate sake,

Wallace averages 1010 yards, 8 TDs, and a career average of 17.2 per reception. Has missed 1 game in 4 seasons. I am hard pressed to think of a faster player in the league besides maybe a DeSean Jackson who is about 30 lbs lighter and 2 inches shorter.

Jennings averages 933 yards, 7.5 TDs, and a career average of 15.4 per reception. He has missed 11 games in the past 2 season and a total of 16 in 7 seasons. Jennings is fast but not elite speed like Wallace.

Advantage - Wallace. Now I know with Jennings injury history you could say his numbers would be higher but he's had 4 seasons where he hasn't played in 16 games out of 7 so you must figure in the injuries into the equation because its part of what you're getting.

Now to compare supporting cast isn't even close. Jordy Nelson, R. Cobb, James Jones, JerMichael Finley and A-Rod vs Antonio Brown, Emmanuel Sanders, a decrepit Hines Ward for a few seasons and Heath Miller. Who wins? Obviously Packers. Now you could make the argument 2 ways here. The first argument is well Jennings has a better cast yet still put up numbers because his skill set demands the ball and he played in a system where its spread around so he is a more complete player. The second argument is that Wallace is the best skill player on his team in a pretty good but far less superior group and still puts up his numbers as well.

Jennings turns 30 in September and Wallace will be 27 at the start of next season as well.

To me it's not even close that Wallace is the better catch in FA. Forget at what price. Miami is $46 M under the cap and the reason is because they don't have enough good players to pay big money too. Wallace should demand 5/6 years around $11 M a year with a little less then half ($20-$25 M) guaranteed and thats fine with me.

Thoughts?

As fans, do we care about a full stadium or a winning team? What come first? Yep....the winning team. If you win, the fans will follow.

So is Armando trying to say the fans will magically fill the stadium again if the team goes and signs Wallace to a $50 mil contract? Did that change things signing Marshall? What if the team goes 6-10 or 7-9 again?

Nope....there's only one way to fill the stadium....WIN. And that doesn't say, 'Spend willy-nilly on FAs'. Be prudent and snart with the money....and of course spend at or close to the cap.

Also Billcale...

You NEVER know when your Super Bowl year is gonna be....

This was suppose to be the Texas SB year...Somebody forgot to tell the PATS...

The Rams came out of nowhere with Kurt Warner...then he did it again in AZ....

Russel Wilson didn't get the memmo that he hd no chance to start....not when they just brought in a high priced FA QB....his IGNORANCE had him within 30 seconds of the NFC championship game....and the loss was due to NO FAULT of his own...

We need to stop putting IMAGINARY CEILINGS on our team....and stopletting the MEDIA tell us hich teams are SB ready...and which aren't.....

Our SB year will come when the FINS are the best coached...and most prepared team in the NFL....couple that with MORE talent (not more of the same)....and a few lucky bounces...and 2013 could be our year....

probably not...but anything is possible...

By the way, I don't get all the Paul Kruger love ALL OF A SUDDEN. Where was this talk 4 weeks ago?

So now we're supposed to go spend heavy on this guy in FA? No thanks. That plan never seems to work out either. Draft a guy in the first round and accomplish the same thing for a FRACTION of the cost.

AGAIN.....not how winning teams do things. First it was Joey Porter, then it was Karlos Dansby. Yep, let's just stick to the model that hasn't worked.

Ah the hot stove is warming up lets get it on dudes . This off season will mold our future for the next 10 years . The sky is the limit time for jeffy shine

Conning people to help you improve your stadium is "a push for public funding".

Too funny!

id prefer michael johnson over kruger anyday

I am stuck between Wallace and Jennings it's a win win opportunity

Kris,
Good point. 'Rebuilding' is an outdated term as it relates to the NFL. The term we should use in Miami is 'reloading.'

Sean Smith is expendable. He is average at best. Not acceptable.
Starks is replaceable. We have depth there. Money better spend elsewhere.
Bush is expendable. I promise Miller, if healthy, will surpass 900 yards.
Fasano should be retained but only as a back up. He's good but not good enough

Hartline is a winner. I want to keep him for sure.

As billcale has pointed out, we cannot just get rid of all the Olinemen and CBs that need to be replaced, for, who will be the backups to their replacement? More sense it makes, if we keep SS, Incognito, Jerry for a Time until we acquire better Players than them, then, they can be the backups, maybe.

Kris: The team will have about $47M in cap money in 2013. Signing the following players will cost about $43M:
Jake Long- $9M
Sean Smith- $6M
Randy Starks- $6.5M
Reggie Bush- $4.5M
Brian Hartline- $5M
Anthony Fasano- 3.5M
Matt Moore- $3.5M
Chris Clemmons- $1.5M
Tony McDaniel- $3M
Nate Garner- 1.5M

Notice that these are mostly starters and prime backups. Who would you let go and who would you sign to replace him while landing some big name FAs? Remember that you need additional money for the remaining 2nd tier FAs that the Dolphins have and money for the draft.

Clearly there are some things you can do restructuring some contracts and letting some guys go. I do not see how you keep the team competitive, as last year's was, AND sign big names. Show me how, please.

I would start by signing a wr either one
Then go after Dustin Keller or martilious Bennett at te
Then Andy levitry og
That should be our starting point.

The problem Oscar's statement @ 9:54 is this....

NFL PLAYERS don't usually take PAY-CUTS so they can be back-ups on the team they are currently playing on...as of now...they are recieving STARTER MONEY...and it pays the BILLS nicely...

Do you really thinkthey will just sign here a DEPTH...and NOT seek out a RAISE elsewhere....I don't....I'm sure it rarel happens...and WHEN it does...its not with a perrenial loser...its with a YEAR IN..YEAR OUT CNTENDER....

So that scenario seems HIGHLY unlikely....

Yeah, billcale, some of those on that list will perish beginning with Long as we have his replacement already.

The hell with our own free agents maybe resign a few at a discount price none would be huge loses its time to change our talent base we need play makers , difference makers none of these guys matter all that much

Steve Ross is done playing games it's time to get our franchise back where it belongs . We are primed for a big jump

But Oscar, we don't yet have his replacement's replacement, do we?

Billcale...

FA is played out EVERY YEAR....and I am sure Ireland should have @ minimu a 2 YEAR plan....just like we know who is a FA on our team and around the league...so does he....he also get info on who could be trade bait...and what they can be had for.....

I am not gonna try and pretend that I know what is going thru Irelands mind...but I think the writing on the WALL tells us that if he TRULY COVETED MOST of those guys on you're list...they would ALREADY be signed.....

They will MOST likely hi the market...and when they do...the price for the majority will go UP....the time to sign them was DURING the season...or before....Ireland LOW-BALLED LONG, BUSH and HARTLINE (that we know of)....and who knows who else....

my bold prediction look for a new roster in 2013...

and why shoudn't we....most of those guys TOGETHER have been worth 6 or 7 wins a year...you know what you got....why not try someting new....

this team blows.
it is light years away from competing.
if ross doesn't get the upgrades.
say c ya phins
goin to la. and wgaf.

Kris,

Do you believe in moccasins?

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