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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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Craig, the problem with your scenario (to follow the Steelers/Packers method) is we're not the Steelers/Packers organization. First off, they have a history of CONSISTENTLY drafting playmakers and elite talent. Our history is almost the exact opposite. Second, they've had stability at the most important position on the field for over a decade. Again, complete opposite with us. They have well-defined, time tested systems (including coaching stability). We do not.

For us to do what they do, it will take YEARS! And this organization doesn't have years (in the eyes of the fan base). By the way, the Steelers are getting old and didn't make the Playoffs this year. They will learn very quickly the NFL has changed. You don't have years to build a team, the timeframe to succeed is now shortened due to FA.

I'm not saying just willy-nilly go get all the best FA's. But we OBVIOUSLY (like Kris is saying) need a new mix of players. The current roster IS NOT WORKING! Bringing in a mix of talent via FA AND the Draft is the way to go. Taking yourself out of one avenue to acquire talent is a loser's proposition. For this team. At the state they are in.

Building via Draft means Ireland has to hit on playmakers with every pick in 2013. Anyone who believes he has a proven track record to be able to do that is living in a dream world.

Kris, there is a thought going around the NFL these days that says you take care to not sign impending FAs before their contract year as to avoid bonuses and such. This way teams get the rollover effect for the following year's cap. Ireland might have this in mind?

Anyone who wants Jeff Ireland to succeed should realize it's asking next to impossible for him to find all the talent we need via the Draft. That's too much to ask ANY GM.

True, billcale, but we just need to find his replacement now. Patrick Brown, Jerry, a lower round pick?

Patriots seem to do fine with a mix of drafted talent and FA. Not sure why people aren't using them as an example of how to win.

Billcale....

I am not nearly knowlegeable enough about the CAP to know if that is his thinking or not...

What I do know is that Ireland Resigned Trunsick about 3 weeks ago....most likely his affect would have been minimal...so it neither proves or disproves the theory....

However...

It tells me...that if both sides WANT to get a deal done before the start of FA....it is entirely possible...

Well the others sound good but I'm not into Martellus. He's big but not so sure about his speed. He will get you the first down but his td production is below average.

I want someone dynamic at the position. Someone who can not only block but can get open in the seam, outmuscle dbs, and make tough diving catches. That someone is Zach Ertz and he most likely will be available to us in the second but if you have to trade back into the first you do it,,,,,please.

Use that free agent signing on a CB, draft the TE.

belli + brady = 1.
phins + bills + jets = 2,3,4.

I think the biggest impact on FAgency has been made by the limitations imposed on Rookie salaries. In our case, you get a very talented rookie like JMartin that filled in well except for his last Game for Long last Season, you can better let Jake go along with his big salary. Same with all the other Teams in the League. So you can expect excellent FA Players but at enormous salaries. Hmm...

Dullphins fishing for free money? How pathetic?

Oscar, Jerry could turn out to be another Donald Thomas... but when? There are many highly rated, young OTs in UFA. I think we should get one.

when jj goes 2 the pats.
lol

Kris, there is a thought going around the NFL these days that says you take care to not sign impending FAs before their contract year as to avoid bonuses and such. This way teams get the rollover effect for the following year's cap. Ireland might have this in mind?

Posted by: billcale | January 15, 2013 at 10:15 AM

bill, I'm pretty sure theres just rocks in Irescums mind! HAHA

We just need an adequate backup, billcale, we have the #1 already.

bill, Jerry could turn out to be another Daniel Thomas? YIKES!!

Oscar, RT AND LT?

I wish I could say the same about Lamar Miller, that he is the #1 ahead of Bush but I did not like the Ginnish behaviour he exhibited at times last Season + I distrust the U Players attitude of now.

When JJ goes to the Pats. Ahuyck ahuyck ahuyck . Your posts are bad, just useless wastes of time.

Nothing like the not so veiled threat of "if you stupid taxpayers don't give me money, I am going move the team." no more welfare for BILLIONAIRES.
The Herald is guilty of pushing for every sports team bilking the taxpayer for under used and over promised economic disaster stadiums. Yet, they constantly opposed casino gambling for forty years.

I'm talking about LT only, billcale. RT will be solved next year. You yourself have stated that all that needs to be fixed around here cannot be done all at once. I agree.

BOYCOTT THE FINS UNTIL IRELAND IS FIRED! NO MONEY FOR A PERENNIAL LOSING TEAM! WE'RE SICK AND TIRED OF LOSING! HELP MAKE THE CHANGE!

Neils ghost get off your soap box. The tax money would come from a $1.10 increase in the taxes people pay on a hotel stay. How is that going to effect you in any way?

Sure, Neil. Sports sell newspapers, somebody winning at one of those electronic one-armed bandits, won't.

The Dolphins need playmakers first and role players second. Without the playmakers (who can take time to develop when drafted), a team has no chance. This past weekend, the fewest points scored by any team was 28.

The Dolphins scored over 24 points in games only twice the entire season (against Raiders and Jets).

The Dolphins have drafted poorly for a long time. Just during the Parcells/Ireland rebuild (and a rebuild of the rebuild), the drafts are full of busts and missed opportunities.

The entire 2008 draft has resulted in not a single player currently signed for the 2013 season. Jake Long was excellent the first two or three years. He has declined sharply since then and is, at best, average today. The 2008 draft was a disaster.

The 2009 draft was better with Hartline, Clemmons, Smith, and Davis (who was traded for a 2nd round pick in 2013). Even so, Hartline, Clemmons, and Smith are not elite players.

The 2010 draft resulted in one excellent player - Jones. The rest are average at best.

The 2011 draft resulted in a good center, but at a cost of the highest draft pick EVER used on a center. Thomas and Clay do not appear do be headed to the Hall of Fame at this point.

The 2012 draft resulted in a major project at QB, a prospect at LT, and possible future starters at RB and DE. It also resulted in the arrival of a unique TE - Egnew.

The Dolphins missed on much better QB, WR, CB, and TE prospects during these drafts. The over-investment in the OL did not result in the unit being elite; in fact, it's well below average. The defense is not able to stop an elite passing attack or an elite running game.

Five drafts resulted in two very good to possibly elite prospects (Pouncey and Jones). There is some average talent in other positions and there are two or three prospects. Tannehill could be good and he could also be the biggest bust of the 2012 draft. Given how far behind he is compared to other young QB's, one can only hope his struggles are due to a lack of experience.

As a Dolphin fan, I have very low expectations of the upcoming season. I respect that others have a different view.

Do I have Fun with you People or what? All well intentioned, of course.

Mr. Ross Checked Mando!! (Add, Whatever Laugh You Want)

Thank God, Ireland Is The GM!!

Bill Cale Great Break Down On The Pending Free Agents! The Way I See I The Fins Only Need To Keep 3-5 Of The Free Agents!!

Jake $8-10
BH $4-5
SS $6-8
RS $7-9
CC $2-3

$27-35M, Out Of $47M in Cap Space! Giving The Fins Anywhere Between $12-20M To Spend!!

The Fins Need To Cut

Dansby $8.6
Marshall, If We Resign S.Smith $5.7
Incognito $5.4
Carpenter $3

$22.7M, Let's Round It Up To $23M with Some Other Scrub Getting Cut!!

$35-43M, To Spend On New Players!!

The Fins Should Only Go After Key FA's!!

OG
LB
FS
DE
TE

If The Fins Resign Hartline!! WR, Will Not Be A FA Need!! They Can Draft Wr's High!! If They Take Care Of Most of Their Needs In Resigning & FA!! You Know! The Lines (LT,OG,DE,DT) , The Secondary (CB, FS), And 2 Real 4-3 LB's!

On The Draft with The First 5

1- BPA
2a- WR
2b- TE
3a- WR
3b- LB/DE (But More Of A OLB Than A DE)

So T-Hill Can Have An Offense Which To Grow With!! And The Defense Will Be Younger and Better Suited For The 4-3!!

Ross pays more attention to the stadium and the logo then he does to winning. The worst owner in sports?

Ross, build a winner and you'll get your money! Stop begging for handouts!

On The First Pick!

Best Player Available!

What If E.Lacy is Still Around? Or Te'o Happens To Fall To The Fins! Or A J.Jones, or The OLB from A&M!! C.Womack!!

DO NOT TRADE DOWN!!

At #12 We Can Still Get Pretty Good Value!!

A Border Line Top 10 Guy!! But Fell, Cause A Couple Teams In The Top 10, Went Need Over Value!!

Once again, if we cut Dansby, who do we have to replace him that can make 120+ tackles a year from the MLB position? Please, try to read other posts here.

Ross is WORSE then Loria. No money for losing.

The way Ireland has drafted, one would almost expect him to trade a couple of draft picks for the new logo. Of course, that would be cheaper than another Egnew. Just kidding.

Neither do I expect a SB next year, Sigh, just a better Team. With our schedule, lets say 8-8.

8-8 sounds about right Oscar. I wish for better but...

Again Shula 73 = no clue... There's the business side of football and the football side. Mr Ross is taking care of the business side and has vowed a winner on the football side.
I think someone else posted this before but when he came in he was tied with BP staying or if he let him walk how that would effect teh franchise. BP walked and he said he has transitioned into running both sides.

Reward the Dolphins for stinking? Ross has a lot of nerve.

120 tackles isnt that hard to obtain when your front 4 are taking on the blocks and the RB's are fed to you lol

I see some good debate going on today amongst passionate fans. That is fantastic! I want to weigh in with how I think the team should handle this offseason.

Current Free Agents to address (assuming billcale is correct):

Jake Long- $9M - Sign for no more than $9m per yr
Sean Smith- $6M - Don't sign
Randy Starks- $6.5M - Don't sign
Reggie Bush- $4.5M - Sign for $5.5m
Brian Hartline- $5M - Sign for $6m
Anthony Fasano- 3.5M - Sign for $3.5m
Matt Moore- $3.5M - Don't sign (cheaper vet back up)
Chris Clemmons- $1.5M (don't sign)
Tony McDaniel- $3M (sign for $3.5m - $4m)
Nate Garner- 1.5M (sign for $1.5m)

Current cost of these players = $44m
Proposed cost of keeping my players = $33m
Use the $11 million to find to solid playmakers to fill your needs.

See my next post for my ideas on Offense and Defense.

Qudos to Billcalle for breaking that down..

almost wanting to let Long walk unless hes more around the 6 million mark which would be a home town discount
Randy walks
Fasano walks (i think i read an article that stated they werent resigning)
Moore walks
Clemmons walks

Well, if it is that easy, matty, you might want to apply for the MLB position, at minimum salary, of course.

Per my prior post...I have $11million after resigning my priority Free Agents already on the team. I have #1, 2 #2's, 2 #3's, 4, 5, 6, 7 in the draft. Assuming no trades and no draft pick trading this is what I would do.

My moves with existing free agents keeps the nucleus in place on Offense:
All three OT's (Long, Garner and Martin)
Our #2 WR (Hartline)
Our #1 RB (Bush)
Our #2 TE (Fasano)
THill, Bess, Pouncey, Incognito, Miller, Clay as FB

On Offense Fins would still need:

- #1 WR & #1 TE - Need playmakers in FA or Draft (I prefer FA)
- Use Devlin + lower cost VET for backup QB.
- Use 4th Rnd pick for G competition for Jerry.
- Use late 6 or 7 round pick for short yardage RB to
complement Bush and Miller.

I believe that if I were Hartline, I would test the FA market before signing with the Dolphins. The 49ers, Seahawks, or Patriots might want his services.

It's also that JMart is not comfortable at RT and not to be trusted in that position.

BOYCOTT THE FINS UNTIL IRELAND IS FIRED! NO MONEY FOR A PERENNIAL LOSING TEAM! WE'RE SICK AND TIRED OF LOSING! HELP MAKE THE CHANGE!

There won't be a vote. Citizens don't have a choice in the matter. I just read an article that crunched some numbers. 300 to 400 million dollars is infused into the local economy annually when you are able to host bowl games, super bowls, concerts, etc.

Politicians if you haven't noticed like money, so do regular citizens, the ones who are actually being effected by lost bids. The stadium as it stands can not host these events. No one wants to play at sun life under the current model. They are choosing better stadiums. The area will lose more money by not doing the deal and that won't sit well with local politicians.

The legislature will vote what they feel is best for local economic growth. That's all this is about. So.go.ahead and get your rantings and ravings out of your system. The Dolphins haven't received one penny from the public in over two decades I believe while the other teams continue to take. Conversely the Dolphins have done the most out of all of the local sports teams for their surrounding communities. The local politicians see the benefits of this project even as some of public continue to bury their heads in the sand.

Finally, we need to address the Defense.

My approach to Free Agency keeps the strength of our offensive line in place:
- Get rid of Starks but move Odrick to DT full-time and keep McDaniel as solid rotation player.
- Moving Odrick reinforces need to get a pass rusher in Free Agency or Draft to complement Wake (I assume draft and would use pick #1 or #2)
- Getting rid of Clemons and Smith reinforces DB's are my main priority on Defense and in the Draft.

My plan calls for Free Agency to be used for resigning players and filling #1 WR and #1 TE with the remaining $11m (I think that's possible).

If that happens we would use the bulk of the draft to improve the Defense. Use picks 1,2,2,3,3,5 and 7 all on defense. Use them to get DE, 2 CB's, 1 FS and 2 LB's.

It would be a young, fast, hard hitting defense. It might take 2 years for them to come together. But it sounds a bit like what the Pats just did the past 2 years with all their draft picks.

It is true that few WR rookies make a huge impact upon arriving in the League. Great Vets are far preferable. But, I have a feeling, and this is only a feeling, that there 2-3 rookies WRs to be drafted that could make an immediate impact on the Game, a la Russell Wilson. These Athletes nowadays are different animals.

Oscar,
thats like saying its a great feat to earn 1000 yards for a RB in the NFL playing 16 games..
For me its not easy as Im not an NFL athlete but for a professional.. 120 tackles/16= 7.5 if thats good enough for someone paid the amount of money he is then ok.. Id much rather have a Mayo or Willis..

Boycott, no more money for the stadium you mean. Has nothing to do with the team. And by saying no money for the stadium you aren't screwwing Ross. He's a self made billionaire and will die a billionaire. You're only screwing the surrounding area out of a secure future.


I believe that if I were Hartline, I would test the FA market before signing with the Dolphins. The 49ers, Seahawks, or Patriots might want his services.

Posted by: Sigh | January 15, 2013 at 11:21 AM

Sigh,

Hartline to the Seahawks could be something interesting.

Sure I prefer Willis over Dansby, matty, but whats done is done. Tell me how to undo it without harming the Team more so.

Well, it's been pretty good and civil the interchange but I must prepare my Lunch. Later.

SO APPARENTLY WE ARE GOING TO DRAFT THE OC FROM ALABAMA.

Sounds like a good plan to me. Obviously we should take the best 'Bama player at whatever position who's available at each draft slot.

Men among boys.

Sigh is totally correct. Post of the decade.

The bottom line on players is none of those listed except Bush are game changers. I,,,,sign Bush and let the others test free agency. If the offering prices from other teams is too much, as in they want to break the bank for players that can't help a team to a .500 record, let them walk. The list of names is easily replaceable, especially if you have all the extra money from not signing them.

That's way too much money to tie up in mediocre players. And let Hartline go.somewhere else. People keep acting like hes the next Wes Welker but it's not even close. Wes is a grinder and a true teammate. Hartline is a diva with maturity issues. He's a finger pointer and the freakin guy can't out jump or out muscle anyone. Doesn't get open in the end zone, screams when he doesnt get the ball. Let him go play with Marshall again, two big cry babies.

The winning factor is sigh, sigh is yesterdays gone forever, yesterdays gone forever is aloco, who just called his own garbage post the post of the decade. Hope this helps.

"I just read an article that crunched some numbers. 300 to 400 million dollars is infused into the local economy annually when you are able to host bowl games, super bowls, concerts, etc."

I would read such articles with a large salt shaker. Go to City-Journal and do a search on public improvements such as sports teams and convention centers. They often fall fall short of the promises made by political leaders and 'crony' capitalists (as opposed to real businesses competing in a free marketplace).

"The legislature will vote what they feel is best for local economic growth. That's all this is about."

Political leaders only focused on economic growth? Then why do we have so much over-regulation, excess taxes, and 'crony' capitalism? All such political actions lower economic growth. This stadium project is about welfare for a man with billions.

Ross can fund the improvements himself. He can then rent out the stadium for concerts, bowl games, and the like and earn his investment, and any profits, back. He doesn't want to take the risk. In short, he was to privatize the profits (he keeps them) while socializing the risks and losses (the taxpayers and tourists).

If the city/county invest in the stadium improvements, then they should, at the least, get an ownership stake. Hundreds of millions to a man who has billions? What's wrong with that picture?

I did not mean for my post at 11:57AM addressing the stadium to be negative or disrepectful of the views of those that support it. Just offering a contrary point of view. ;)

Until the number of departing free agents falls below the number of draft choices we have each season we will continue to decline in talent overall.
True a few positions might be upgraded but overall we will be less talented year after year.

Example: If Bush, Long, Hartline, Starks & Smith leave via FA and we replace them with say Wallace plus 4 draft choices how much better off are we?

Posted by: jpao | January 15, 2013 at 11:20 AM

My plan would use:

1st rd--------- WR
2nd rd--------- TE
2nd rd--------- WR
3rd rd--------- T/G
3rd rd--------- G/T
4th rd--------- CB
5th rd--------- RB
6th rd--------- RB
7th rd--------- RB

FA's

Andy Levitre
Brandon Albert
Jarius Bird----- FS
Quinton Jammer-- CB

I would be happy to land both Brandon Albert and Andy Levitre in FA. Yeah, screw the fa wr's altogether.

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