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No. 1 Dolphins free agent must re-sign? Brian Hartline

The most important Dolphins free agent for the team this offseason? You could argue Randy Starks. Some believe it is Jake Long, although I totally disagree there. Other think Sean Smith, although I see him as very inconsistent and wonder how he'll react to getting paid.

Nope, I believe it's receiver Brian Hartline.

As I write in my column in Sunday's Miami Herald, the Dolphins cannot have a second consecutive season in which they lose wide receiver talent. They need to add at that position and, frankly, Hartline is a certainty while players such as Mike Wallace and Greg Jennings are not.

The fact is neither we nor the Dolphins know exactly what will become of Wallace and Jennings before free agency begins. Yes, they're slated to be UFAs. Yes, they would add talent to Miami's needy offense.

But we cannot be certain they'll be available because free agency doesn't begin until the middle of March. And teams have a window during which they can sign their own free agents. And most good teams don't lose their good players.

So no one knows if Wallace or Jennings will be availabe. The Dolphins do know Hartline is a good player and is available now. My column lets Hartline talk about his feelings on returning to Miami and how he'd feel if the Dolphins don't re-sign before the start of free agency.

Hartlne, by the way, agrees with me that Miami can't be losing WR talent and hoping to get better. 

“As a football guy, to get rid of your leading receiver in back-to-back years. I think that would be tough," he told me. "It’s tough to do. And I understand, they’re in a tough situation and I’m not in a position to say how to do it. I don’t do that. That’s not my job. But that’s hard to do as a franchise if you want to build something. If it costs a little more than you expected, well, that’s the nature of the NFL sometimes.”

A lot of fans often get caught up in the free agency trap of arguing about what a player is not. We all know Hartline is not a No. 1 receiver.

But good teams focus on what players are. Hartline is a good No. 2 wide receiver and if he's you're No. 3 you have a stellar WR corps.

What else is Hartline?

He can play any WR position because he knows them all. He's good in the locker room. He isn’t high-maintenance. Yes, he had one instance where he got frustrated with a coach who was asking him what he saw on the field and because he had already explained himself previously and still the ball wasn’t coming to him, Hartline shut down and simply didn’t talk.

But that was one passing moment this year. He doesn’t jack up the quarterback on the sideline. He doesn’t threaten to punch coaches if they don’t get him the ball, as one previous Dolphins receiver did in 2010.

“I was wrong but you have to let how to handle it,” Hartline said. “I understand now that  I was acting hard-headed because it was a game situation. I was frustrated. It happened once because it’s a passionate sport. But it won’t happen again. It was wrong because you need to learn how to handle it. I didn’t blow up on anybody but wasn’t helping anybody so I’ve learned from that.”

Hartline wants to be signed by the time free agency opens. The ball is in Miami's court. Once free agency begins the ball is in Hartline's court.

“You know, I tell you what, if I do go elsewhere, I’ll tell you what I told Jeff [Ireland]: If we get to free agency, as much as you guys interview me, I’m going to be interviewing you," Hartline said. "Like we’re 7-9. How do you see us getting better? I want to know, too. I want to win. I need to win. That’s what I’d do with other teams, too. I’m going to interview them as much as they want to interview me.

“I want to see myself buying into wherever I see myself at – here, there, wherever. Once I buy in, I’m all in. I want don’t want to be doubting people. I know there are trusts that build over time. But as much as they’re buying into me, I’m buying into you.”

Whatever happens -- whether Miami signs Hartline before free agency or not -- the receiver understands the next couple of months will be busy.

“It’s going to hectic," he said. 

 

 

 

Comments

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Can we trade our Chris Clemons for Seattle's Chris Clemons? Thier Chris Clemons has 11 sacks. LOL...

falcons choke like always

darkoak,

Just a few years ago the Falcons had homefield advantage througout the playoffs. They were beaten.

Aloco,

Your argument against Welker is actually the best. Brady does make receivers around him look great which is why the QB position is so important. That is why I disagree with YG and others in wanting to spend Fitzgerald money on Wallace. Bowe is a great receiver but without a good QB in KC he put up mediocre numbers this year. Then only WRs that you give that type of money to is Calvin Johnnson, Fitzgerald, and Andre Johnson. In the case of Fitzgerald and C. Johnson their teams had worse records than the Fins.

It is all about the QB. If Hartline or Bess were in NE they would put up great numbers. Our future is tide to Tannehill. If he is a franchise QB, he will do like Brady and make others around him look great. Great pint again ALoco.

ALoco,

Just that some here are lucky they have computers and even know how to navigate thier fingers around a keyboard. LOL...

They are a better team now. They have a tough well coached defense and two #1 receivers. They will be tough this year.

ORLANDO,
THANK YOU FOR THE KIND WORDS ........

THERE'S A JOKE HERE IN BOSTON WHICH SIMPLY SAY ,(( EVERY OL PLAYER ON THE PATS TEAM SHOULD SPLIT HIS MONEY WITH BRADY ))........

What a great, in whats turning into defensive game. Im picking winner of this game as my nfc sb favorite.

Great game by both teams so far. Will come down to the wire. Already both rookie qb' creating a "classic" nfl playoff game.

Both qb's today playing against very good defense.

This game looks like it will be won on turnover, 1 great play by either qb, or a great td run by a rb.

Could also be 1 great punt return.

Next team scores more than likely wins this game. If Seattle doesnt score at all Redskins win!

must be nice to find these 2 rookies, unreal

If I wasnt already a dolfan, I could easily become a fan of one of these two teams playing right now.

I think this game will come down to Seattle's gimpy kicker.

YG,

You proved your knowledge of football when you compared Tannehill to Luck. Luck is big time player in this league and the fact that the Colts went from 2 wins to 11 proves it. You take a look at one stat (completion percentage) to say that he will be an average QB. You don't look at the fact that he wins games and that he threw 4400 yds and 23 TDs. All of the experts around the NFL are saying that this kid is going to be great and that he is the best QB prospect since Elway. You need to respect other people's opinions.

You want to pay 10-15 million for Wallace who I think is a #2 receiver and so do the Steelers as they are just going to let him walk. I think that Welker is a #1 receiver and that is what he has been for the Patriots. He led them this year in yards (1344) and receptions (118) and is headed to he pro bowl. To me that is a #1 receiver and that is my opinion. Respect my opinion like I respect yours. None of us are experts here or we would be employed by an NFL team.

That might be the game winning play!

wow skins have to put cousins in rg3 cant move at all

either way sea big time sb fav for next year. if they get homefield look out

Yup I agree Dusty. They won't though until Shanahan sees RG3 come off on a stretcher.

Orlando,

The biggest holes in your argument is you improve the wr corps not 1 iota. You bring in Welker to add with Hartline Bess. Neither opens up the underneath for Welker.

Bess is a slot wr too. Hartline may even pay greater dividends if we had legit #1 and #2 wrs, and put him into the slot. Basically youre handcuffing us with 3"slot wr's, while not even drafting a wr either.

I guess you expect Moore and Reshard Wallace will "magically" become 31 and #1 wr's.

Hell Im fine with not signing a fa wr. But we still would have to draft 2 wr's within the firts rd. Hartline/Welker/Bess as our 3 best wr's wont scare a dc in in the league. They only look like a scary 3-way combination alone.

Please dont post to me again. LOL...

I believe that we're watching the nfc championship game right now today!

game over

GAMEOVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

shanahan u idiot. dr andrews gonna rip him in media

LOOKS LIKE GRIFFIN SPENDS THE ENTIRE OFFSEASON REHABBING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

sad ending to great game. what futures these guys have

Called it unfortunately Shanahan will ruin RG3.

RGIII could be finished.

THE COUSINS ERA BEGINS................................

RIGHT NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ALoco,

You are right about Brady making others around him great. That is why more than ever in this league it is all about the QB. The key to the fins' success will be Tannehill. It is not about all these high priced diva receivers that everyone wants to bring in. YG does not read posts completely; I said Hartline, Bess, Welker, rookie (Steman Bailey in 2nd or 3rd round), Mathews, and Binns. I also said go after Dustin Kellar TE in FA, and draft Zach Ertz with the 1st 2nd round pick. Again, it is all about Tannehill to make those around him better. I am not in on paying 10 to 15 million for a diva receiver that has not proved that he is worth it.

BTW- Stick a fork in the redskins. I really like this Seahawks team and think that they will upset the Falcons next week.

THIS GAME IS A MASTER PIECE ON HOW .;;;; A SELFISH COACH LIKE SHANAHAN DESTROYS THE CAREAR OF RG3.........AND NOT HINKING OF THE FUTURE ..

A MASTER PIECE ,,,,

RG3's Biggest Problem!!

Mike Shanahan is His Coach!!

This Guy Has Never Cared About His Players!! Only Cares About Winning!!

But At What Cost?

...Damn...That looked muy mal. I hope Griffen is going to be ok.

And that's why I don't want an RG3 or Russel Wilson.
They will have very short careers in the NFL
Give me an Andrew Luck or even a Tannehill

SHANAHAN LOOKS LIKE THE DEVIL ..

TIME TO SEE WHAT CURT "JOE MONTANA" COUSINS HAS. LOL...

Russel Wilson WOWZA!!!!!!

Great job Shanny! What a horrible decision to keep RG3 in the game after the third. He couldn't run because of the knee, couldn't plant to make a throw, and we could all see it. Why Shannahan left him in is a mystery. TERRIBLE coaching decision. Cousins could have won the game for them.

On a side note I would like to thank Jeff Ireland for not even entertaining the thought of signing Zack Miller and giving Tannehill a TE who can get open and catch everything thrown anywhere near him. Egnew was the smart way to go. Pfffttt

This is why no player is worth that many picks.

AND HERE COMES "JOE MONTANA" COUSINS! LOL...

COUSINS > TANNEHILL

RG3 IS THE WORTH OF MANY PICKS........SHANAHAN IS THE DEVIL,,,

YG,

You have a good point in saying that we would not be a potent offense with Hartline, Bess, Welker, and Bailey but I am also saying add Dustin Kellar and Zach Ertz. We would improve our defense by drafting Dion Jordan with the first pick. Our offense would still improve with the additions of Welker, Bailey, Kellar, and Ertz. Our offensive line would also impropve with resigning Long and adding Levitre (Guard). Welker for 6-7 million allows you to also add Kellar and Levitre and also keep some of our own free agents like Long, Hartline, Smith, and Clemmons.

'JOE MONTANA" COUSINS!!!!!!!!!!! LOL...

Zack signed there in 2011. Tannehill wasn't here yet, but we still needed to upgrade at TE and more than a few of us wanted to go after him.

COUSINS WAS A GREAT COME FROM BEHIND QB IN COLLEGE. LETS SEE IF IT HOLDS UP IN THIS GAME. LOL...

Phions78,

Almost everything looks like an upgrade to Fasano in the passing game. LOL...

Hopefully, The Way The Redskins Treat RG3!!

WILL TEACH EVERYBODY!!

Just Because T-Hill Could Run!! Doesn't Mean He Has To Run!! Sherman is Bringing T-Hill Along JUST FINE!! Nevermind That He Actually Cares About T-Hill!! As A Person! Not Just a Player!!

And Philbin doesn't Like To Play Injured Players!! You Can Get Really Hurt!! Playing With a Injury!!

You Teach Your QB to Play The Position!! Not Run The Option! At The NFL LEVEL!!

Shanahan has been Known!! To Destroy Players!! A la Sporano!!

Shanahan Is The Most Selfish Coach In The NFL!!

Rhino, I was just thinking the same thing. I really liked him coming out of college. He may actually be better than Tannehill.

Rg3 and Wilson are both better than Tannehill so enough bashing though guys. Why would Shanhan go for it on 4th and 14?

IM RIDING SEATTLE ALL THE WAY TO THE SB.

BUT BRADY OR MANNING IS TAKING HOME THIS YEAR'S SB TROPHY.

Darkoak I agree, Welker will be highly sought after. And yes we can add that to an already long list of reasons he won't be coming back to Miami.

COLTS FANS WILL BE HATING LIFE IF MANNING WINS THE SB. AND YOU GUYS THINK WE WERE HATING LIFE WHEN WELKER LEFT. LOL...

ALSO, IT WOULD BE THE FIRST TIME IN NFL HISTORY THAT "BROTHERS AT QB"(ELI AND PEYTON) HAVE WON BACK TO BACK SB'S. LOL...

..Actually the second time..Thr brothers were back to back MVPS..Colts over Chicago..NYG over NE..

welker is getting franchised, they have already said that

I agree. I like Seattle as my darkhourse too and love this kid Wilson. Their defense is stout too and they have Lynch at RB. They are also playing their best right now.

NFC Championship GB vs. Seattle and SB Seattle against the Patriots.

COLTS COULD HAVE HAD AT LEAST 1, IF NOT 2 MORE, SB RUNS LEFT IN THEM HAD THEY KEPT PEYTON AND THAT TEAM TOGETHER.

NOW THEYRE LEFT HOPING ANDREW LUCK WINS AT LEAST ONE SB OVER A 10-15YR CAREER.

DD, THX FOR THE CORRECTION. LOL...

The only reason the Seahawks won is because Shannahan is an idiot of gigantic proportions. They played an entire half against a QB who couldn't run or throw. The Skins were doing whatever they wanted before Griffins knee acted up.

The Hawks are a horrible road team and Wilson WILL NOT outplay Ryan. Done deal, Falcons will easily win.

I like Denver over NE simply because Manning's already seen "every single thing " Bellichik can throw at him, and already passed the test.

Also, rthe Broncos maybe the best "overall" defense in the afc. They have two pass rushers who will really get after Brady too. Dummerville and Von Miller.

The Broncos just seem to have everything required to beat Bellichik and Brady. Peyton Manning, Dummerville/Miller.

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