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Perspective about free agency is necessary

Over the weekend the Boston Globe's Greg Bedard noted that the last three Super Bowls champions had only one unrestricted free agent starter in his first year with the team -- combined.

(I'd embed the link but the column is behind a paywall so if you want to see it, go get it. I recommend you do).

Anyway, while that is a very interesting and consequential fact that suggests Super Bowl teams typically grow a majority of their own talent and need their imported talent to adjust for more than a year before succeeding at the highest level, I can see the fact also has the potential to be misunderstood.

Just as what the Dolphins are trying to do this offseason will likely be misunderstood.

The fact suggests rightly that free agents don't immediately bring Super Bowl titles in tow when they sign. Fine. I think everyone gets that. But the next assumption -- that the Dolphins will fail miserably in 2013 because they added eight free agents so far is ridiculous.

Look, Jeff Ireland has spoken to the media multiple times this offseason. So has owner Stephen Ross. And coach Joe Philben spent an hour on the record only two weeks ago.

None have uttered the words, "We're adding free agents this offseason to win the very next Super Bowl and if we don't we're total failures."

The Dolphins aren't adding free agents to win the next Super Bowl. That's not the immediate goal. They're adding free agents to help them win. Period. It's something that hasn't been done in Miami for quite some time and the Dolphins are doing what they can to change course.

The last time the Dolphins put a winning team on the field was 2008. That's a president ago. That's a whole different economy ago. It's been a long time, folks.

And so to criticize them for trying to add talent to a team that desperately needed the infusion is akin to criticizing an athlete for practicing his craft because he might not immediately win a title as a result.

Winning a title is the ultimate goal, yes. But there are goals lower down the ladder of accomplishments the Dolphins will happily chase and consider 2013 a success if they meet -- even if they don't win a Super Bowl.

What?

How about turning in a winning season? How about making the playoffs as a wild card team? How about winning the AFC East? Relevance doesn't just come after winning the Super Bowl.

All of those are viable goals short of a Super Bowl win that would likely feel good to the fan base by the time 2013 comes to a close.

And, unlike that ominous stat about first-year starting UFAs on Super Bowl winners, I can report UFAs do indeed help their teams turn it around fairly quickly when the measure of that turnaround is not a Super Bowl win.

Drew Brees went to New Orleans as a UFA and turned that team, indeed that city, into a winner.

Michael Turner went to Atlanta in 2008 as a UFA and helped that team make multiple playoff appearances. Atlanta, by the way, has no problem adding talent by any means necessary -- trades for veterans, trade ups in the draft, unrestricted free agency, you name it.

When the Giants won the Super Bowl in February 2008, the player who caught the winning TD was UFA Plaxico Burress.

The Arizona Cardinals went to the Super Bowl in February 2009 with UFA quarterback Kurt Warner leading them there.

Jacoby Jones was released by the Houston Texans on May 1, 2012 and signed as a free agent seven days later with the Baltimore Ravens. And that was him making multiple big plays for Baltimore last postseason, including a 70-yard touchdown catch against Denver with 30 seconds to play to tie the game and a 108-yard kickoff return touchdown against San Francisco in the Super Bowl.

By the way, Denver was 13-3 last season and won the AFC West. I'd say UFA quarterback Peyton Manning had something to do with that. 

So what about those facts suggest adding free agents is a bad idea?

Oh yeah, nothing.

Comments

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No TE In The First!!

No T.Austin. (I Never Want Anybody To Flop, But The Only Guy That Will Be More Over Rated Is Barkley!! Austin Is A Good #3 at Most. Austin is This years T.Ginn)

You Don't Draft Slot Wr's In The First!! And You Don't Draft TE's Who Aren't Athletically Gifted In The First!! Either!! Plus, The Fins Will Only Be Using 1 TE Most The Time. Not 2!!

I Would Rather See The Fins Draft A DE!! And That Is Also Moronic, Because The fins D-Line Is A Strength.

Real Legit Possibilities At #12

1-OT
2-CB
3-OLB
4-FS

Oh, and Is K.Dansby Retired? Haven't Heard A Peep From Him Since Getting Cut!! and a lot of Teams Are Still Looking For LB's!! And Dansby Can Play All 3!!

Teams Probably Realized Dansby Throws Games!! Nobody Wants That Kind Of Player!! At Least Not A NFL Team!!

Good story Mando.
There is an underlying pathology with this team that I don't see in other teams: Our drafted players would rather leave than stay here.
And we get nothing for them.

Hater's gonna hate...

GO MIAMI!!!!!

Mark in Toronto, I am more convinced then ever we will not see an O lineman at 12. No way, no how. Jake Long was supposed to be our left tackle for 10 years, 1 st rd pick, where is he?? Darlington said our Draft strategy was "intriguing". Not a word used for taking a Lineman with a high pick. NO, I am convinced we getting a playmaker at 12 totally different draft then in the past.

Bobby,

When was the last time a Punt returner was drafted In The First?

T.Ginn.

And T.Ginn wasn't 5'8".

A Punt Returner Is a Waste Of A 1st Rounder.

Plus, with All The New Rules. Special Teams Will Be Obsolete.

Rendering T.Austin Useless.

Josephus responds...a troll, I think not.

I am a fan of 40 years. PISSED beyond belief over the way this team's tradition has been trampled upon. I am having trouble supporting ownership and I am torn as to whether I just say "screw it".

Fair-weather fan? I think not. I get ON A PLANE and go to home games.

Dashi, Austin is more then a punt returner, he is also a receiver and a weapon. I didn't say that I advocate drafting him, in fact my picks for 12 are Vacarro, Eifert, Anash or Allen. I just think its foolish to not believe Austin cannot play in this league. Dave Megget was smaller then Austin and absolutely was a solid playmaker for 9 years.

Josephus, are only t"tradition" for 40 years has been losing. I can care less about a stinking logo, I can care less what has happened through 40 years. I care about the future and everything Ireland has done excites me to no end right now. If this team wins you can put frills on the uniform and play Justin Beiber all game. Don't care, just win.

These band wagon pats fans are scared the fins are going to wreck them now. while they have recently down grading we have been steadily getting better year in and year out. the fins are now the beasts of the east again.

Haven't You Guys Noticed That The Person Always Complaining Is A Fan Who Has Been A Fan For Over 40 Years!!

Switch It Up. Hit Us With Different Decades So We Know It Is Not You.

You Are Probably Still Mad That Civil Rights Movement Happened 40 Years Ago!!

You Liked How Things Were Before!!

And While We At It. Everything From/In Cuba Is Better.

Have I Said Everything You Are Going To Say, So You Don't Have To Regurgitate All day Under A 1001 Different Names!! Getting More Obscene By The Hour!!

Bobby, that's my hunch too and it will be solidified if we get someone of Winston's stature signed up by draft time.

We've all seen Ireland draft an interior lineman, DT/De, OT, and CB in his tenure so to draft one of those again doesn't scream intriguing to me - just more of the same. I still think we will draft an OT somewhere but it will be a developmental player - someone with high upside that will be ready in a year or two ...

Again, I see guy's with similar gifts as Austin pegged lower in the draft ... Ryan Swope, markus Wheaton, Joshn Boyce. To me he looks just like jacoby Jones out of Clemson to the Raiders a few years back. I liked Jacoby but he was a 4th round pick. but there must be Something About Mary .. err Tavon that has everyone super excited.

The same Boston writer wrote before the free agency period that with all the cap space the dolphins had and draft picks that this was the year they turn it around and they better not blow it. So they have a great free agency period, and then he says "well it means nothing." This is the Boston media M.O. up there in the worst sport media town in the country. If they start ripping the Dolphins moves then they are worried about them. If they say nothing about the Dolphins it means the Dolphins are bad and they are not worried about them. They did the same thing during the 1970's and 1980's when the Dolphins were ripping their heads off every year, and they would always write similar columns. Take it as a good sign that instead of ignoring the Dolphins, they are ripping them, it means they are worried they will be challenged. Also, there is no bigger group of get a life homers than Boston sports media guys, they should all get into cheerleader outfits and go 'yay team." The only team they are critical of up there is the Celtics which is the only team that has a history of winning long term and not just for a five-to ten year period. The Celtics don't kiss the media's behind in Boston, so they give them a hard time.

Also, many have asked why do the media grovel over every move the Patriots make and slam every other team in the league, even though the Patriots haven't won a Super Bowl in EIGHT years. Simple, Bob Kraft is the head of all media operations for the NFL so he is all of their bosses, so they suck up to him, and advance his agenda that the Patriots are gods and everybody else stinks, because he basically runs everything in the NFL. Kraft is a total dirt bag, just ask Wes Welker. The media is trying to help their boss.

When Jason Taylor was thinking of signing with the Patsy/Watsy's before his last year in the league, the national media, in the tank for the Patriots, all praised JT as such a great addition. As soon, as the Dolphins signed Taylor instead, it became Taylor has nothing left and he is done. They are tools and suck ups, and the sports media today is corrupt and juvenile. They are nothing more than fans who write well about their favorite teams and bash the teams they hate or are told to hate. All the fans are wise to think for themselves and tune out the media because they are glorified bar flies.

Bobby,

Stop Bringing Down Expectations.

People Here Are Claiming T.Austin Will Be Even Better Than S.Smith!! Most Are Claiming He Should Go In The Top Half Of The First!!

First Off D.Megget was A RB.

Second, Megget Was Shorter Not Smaller!! Megget Weighed 190!!

Third, That Was 20 Years Ago!! The Average Football Player Is 2-3 Inches Taller And 20lbs Heavier!! Oh, and Did I Forget Faster and Stronger!!

I Keep Going On and On!! But I Won't.

To Me At Best!! T.Austin Can Hope To Be D.Hall.

And That Is Hoping.

Sorry, that should read Jacoby Ford

...Who cares what the pundits say? Seriously. So many Phin fans get their butt periods everytime the team is slighted. Each time anything negative is said. It is this huge conspiracy against the Dolphins. Land the spaceships. Let them doubt, let people say we did this or didn't do that. What does it matter?

Would it change a thing if these moves were validated by the media? If the writings were..Greatest Free agency period ever..Phins to win the Cup...Ireland-Genius. This team, this franchise has been taint of the league for 20 years. Until this team wins consistently. Everything that is done here is going to be questioned. If that hurts your feelings, or your pride. Or you find it unfair.. time to put the big boy pants on and worry about something that is consequential.

Writers, or F.A.G.S(football anaylist guys) writing stuff that doesn't reflect well on the team..Who cares.

DD, same thing is going on up here in Toronto about the Blue Jays. because the team made some major moves this offseason ... the talk radio guys are just yearning for the approval of the ESPN guys that we will win it all like that means anything.. Saying there is prejudice against Canadian teams, no respect, blah blah blah. This morning a whole segment was dedicated to the 42 'experts' opinion on ESPn and how only 19 or 20 of them predicted the Blue jays to win the AL East. Goes on in every market.

By the way .. one fo those "experts" picked the Yankees to win the division ... yikes.

...I agree with Dashi..I would be shocked if Austin was the pick at 12. No way in fact. I wrote a post yesterday explaining why I thought Austin may be the key to the mid rounds..IMO Austins value to this team is that teams behind us may think 12 is the cutoff point to grab him...That is you want him. Anything pick 13-? is the range. So Perhaps Austin does play a role in this draft. But not as our 12th pick.

I am torn between OL, DE...I am really starting to think that one of the guards is going to be the pick. Especially if the draft plays out like the online sites think. I would be all for taking the BPA..IMO that player will be one of those 2 guards..Even over the last tackle. So today.

The reason I think De comes into play is that we still could use a complimentary pass rusher. Now I know I have argued that Vernon is that guy..Perhaps he is. We also know that the d-line is the strength of this team. But if you can add real depth to a strong point on your team..You do it..Go NYG strategy that you can never have to many pass rushers.

12-4

DE and OT the only 2 positions not improved through FA.
We should draft an OT in round 1, but value will not be there because Joeckel, Fisher and Johnson will be off the board.
Therefore DE in round 1 is a must: there is some value and Wake is 30 years old already. OT, CB, TE in the next rounds

.Mark in Toronto.. There will always be someone who picks the Yankees. They have the "street cred" built up over the years. That even when it is plain and clear they will stink..Someone takes a bite. The Phins haven't been good enough. Same with the Jays..The Jays look great on paper..I'm sure they will be competitive, even beat the Yankees, and the Red Sox. But they haven't been relevant since the skydome was the coolest thing on Earth..(I went there in High School the first year it was open..Blew me away then)
My point, and I think you understand what I am trying to say(my opinion).These predictions, these ratings of free agency signings. They don't mean anything as far as winning games goes. So we overspent. Yup we did, and we signed good players. Should we have done nothing with that money? It all comes back to winning. A soon as this happens. we will be able to do no wrong. Until it happens..We will be the whipping boys.

GO Phins to the wins!

This is what makes sense. I see Miami trades up, it will be for Fisher and possibly Millner. No one else.

I really see them trading back at 12. Which I'm fine with me. I really think a lot of teams will come calling.

Grimes looks like a huge upgrade over SS, even with a torn achilles. I was not high on Grimes' bandwagon but I think my Dolphins signed him to the right contract. If he booms -like every DolFAN hopes he will- he is going get his big long-term contract next year.

I think alot depends as to whether Winston, McKinnie, or Albert is signed at OT; then, CB, DE ,WR needed:
if anything should ever happen to Wallace, Ireland needs a WR with speed for backup.

DD,

Agreed.

We shouldn't waste time worrying about what 1 talking head thinks, And DT@11:39 brings up a good point. Kraft has some clout in the League.

My Problem is you guys would rather Talk about T.Austin at #12, Instead of C.Patterson. A Real Wr!

We have A BIGGER NEED AT RB!! But you guys would rather draft Austin at #12!! Than E.Lacy!! Who is a Freak Of Nature!! If E.Lacy Runs A 4.5!! He should be The Pick!! If E.Lacy Runs A 4.4!! He Better be The Pick!!

Or the Fins Hugest Need at the Moment. LEFT TACKLE!!

LT Needs to be Answered with 1 of the first 3 Picks this draft.

2 Positions the Fins Need To Address with the First 3 Picks. LT and CB.

The Fins Are Set To Go BPA In The First. Preferably An OLB That Can Rush The Passer and Cover TE's. Misi Is Also On His Last Year.

1-OLB or BPA
2-CB
2-LT
3-TE
3-RG
4-FS
5-RB
5-K

Agreed DD, 100%

Tyler Eifert, Chance Warmack or Kenny Vaccaro...Any of those 3 guys and I'm happy...

To Me At Best!! T.Austin Can Hope To Be D.Hall.

And That Is Hoping.

Posted by: Dashi
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Yeah well you are most likely still calling Wes Welker a system receiver. Guess what! guys can make it who are shorter if they have quickness and acceleration, good hands so that they become first down machines. Austin will have to put some muscle on but one can not teach his talent.

F/A can be a great tool, if the FAs jump into the fray and play like the coaching staff directs, team rules, good character is a must, none injured. Discounting Grimes.
None of the FAs signed have any character problems, and no off field problems.
I havent felt this good about the Dolphins in 10-15 yrs, maybe longer. I understand the tale will be in the won/loss record, maybe. To reach a super bowl, a team must have talent, have no injury problems during the season, must have some breaks. And the team must have a "lights out", knock'em out defense.
The new rule of a RB not lowering his head during a tackle could lose a super bowl for any team getting there, then we'll see how good or not good this idiotic rule this is. These idiot rules started with the idiot horse collar tackle.

I've never been a fan of trading up or down in the draft but this year I don't see the value in trading up to try and take an OL. I keep seeing everyone say that J. Martin will not be able to handle the left side, but he did it in college and he only had a couple games last year to start on that side, I think that he will only get better. The speed of the game will slow down for him and I'm sure they have been working on his foot work, now in no way am I a professional when it comes to evaluating these players but the phins have eleven picks I think they should take the best player at twelve and keep all of their picks , everyone keeps saying that this draft is deep in OL,DL, and DB, so they should pick up some OL in later rounds and find that diamond in the rough.

I'm hearing rumors that the Dolphins may already be in talks with the Browns in order to move up in the draft. With an early run on O-lineman expected, that could be what they're targeting. Hopefully, Ireland has decided to anticipate the runs on certain positions in this years draft so as not to be left behind this time. That really is his only weakness that I see in his drafting. There's absolutely no reason for Miami to not have a great draft this year (except for Ireland dropping the ball).

According to Gil Brandt of NFL.com, Ryan Tannehill would of been the first overall pick in this year's draft...People are quick to say Tannehill is a bust, but let's see what he does now that he has a few weapons at his disposition...I really liked what I saw last year...This guy has awesome mobility and a great arm...Can't wait for th regular season to start...

at his disposal* sorry...Doing 2 things at once..

We are all obviously guessing as to what the team will do in the draft. So here are my guesses based upon the current roster.

I see this coming down to LT. They have too much invested in THill not to protect him well. I don't think that this team is really confident in Martin as the full time LT. Listening to comments from Ireland and Philbin I just don't hear them saying "Yes, Martin is going to be our LT." Without that definitize proclamation I think they are still unsettled with LT and that is a glaring issue entering the draft.

So, assuming they don't bring on McKinnie as a FA or Winston (which would really show they want Martin as LT) I think they will TRADE UP and take one of the three top rated LT's in the draft. They have plenty of picks to utilize for such a trade and I feel confident they can fill other needs (CB, DE, TE, DT, RB, S) with their remaning picks.

I konw LT is not sexy but I think they addressed WR well in FA and they don't have to worry about being sexy in round #1 any longer.

Raiders got Flynn...

So T.Austin Is A Good Route Runner?

T.Austin Has Good Hands?

Dashi Could Care Less!! Austin is Short!! My Point Is He Is Small And Short!!

Being Short Just Limits Him To The Slot. BEING SMALL is What Limits Him To Special Teams!!

I Can Name At Least 5 Wr's In This Draft With Legit Size and Speed Who I Would Pick Before T.Austin. With R.Swope Being #6.

Picture The Offense Some Of You Want!! 2 TE's!! And 2 Wr's!! Wallace and T.Austin!! Think About It.

Dashi's Offense, Or What Philbin Is Trying To Install!! Makes A Lot More Sense!! 1 TE!! 3-4 Real WCO Wr's!!

What Is A Real Wr? Or A WCO WR?

J.Rice
T.Owens

6'2" 200+!! Real Good Route Runner!! Real Good Hands!! Catches With His Hands!! Not His Body!!

Wallace-6'0" 200
Hartline-6'2" 200
Gibson- 6'0" 205

All Fit This Prototype To Some Degree. At Least The Physical Portion.

Even R.Matthews-6'0" 210

Yet, T.Austin Looks Like A Dolphin To You!!

Should Dashi Keep Going?

#12 And Matt Moore For The Browns Pick?

Or J.Thomas?

IMO, all the great things Ireland has done this FA will be tempered down with ANY OL pick at 12. 5 years of OL picks early has got is nowhere. Pick OL later and groom these guys. 1,2, 3 lets talk playmakers.

Montreal, I said that about Tannehill a couple of months ago and promptly scoffed at. Tannehill would clearly be the best QB in this draft and would go #1 - no doubt. I mean Alex Smith was passed over for Tannehill LAST year. And condsidering how much better he is than what we all thought last year - why wouldn't he be the #1?

Dashi...I think it would more than that...Just my opinion of course..

For those who hate Tannehill... some light reading...

http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap1000000156327/article/brandt-ryan-tannehill-would-be-this-drafts-no-1-pick

i think that more than 1 team will want to trade up to 12 for Austin or maybe another player. we may have 3 second rounders and or 3 third rounders. as long as we get a stud still in round 1.

Sign Winston move Martin over. Sign McKinnie cheap, plug him in to LT. I don't care. Just don't trade up or pick OL early

GO PHINS 2013!!! If we beat the Pats twice this year then every FA pick up was worth it!!!

Mark...Exactly...Couldn't agree with you more...Big year for Tannehill though...No more excuses...

Raiders taking Flynn impacts the Fin's draft as they will not be taking Geno Smith and now will take another position that would likely be a 'need' or 'opportunitiy' for the Fins.

Bryce Harper just jacked one out of the yard in his first AB of the season...And this guy is 20...Fukkkin scary...Watch this kid's numbers in September..Barring injury of course...

MLB is TERRIBLE

Zip you pie hole bobby you are clueless bud

palmer got what he wanted going to zona

Montreal, yep, no more excuses. Training wheels are off and he will have a competent or excellent offensive player at every position out there. He has to take te reins this year. 3,700 yeards 20TDs and 10INTs is the absolute, absolute minimum for this guy this year. Anything less barring injury and start scouting 2014 QBs ..

Bobbyd likes to play madden and thinks he can just throw WR all over the field and have no one blocking worth a crap. Get a clue dumbshyt.

Trade for Palmer has to be one of the worst moves in NFL history. Gave up a 1st + 2nd, got no production and get a low (6/7th) in return.

as a devoted DOLFAN of 43 years i just wanted to take this time to say... THANK YOU!, thank you Mr. Ross, for bringin in some badly needed talent, thank you for spending your money to make our team better and making a real effort to do so by not just signing a mike wallace but the plethora of other players you have brought in. this was the right thing to do, many years of big name coaches trying to build through the draft yeilded sub par teams and dwindled the fan base. this is exactly what the fins needed, an influx of very talented players to compliment the talent that philbin and sherman will draft, the players they selected last year are quality players and this year will bring even better selections. i love the new helmet design, it's really going to be a special season, it is plain to see that miami has definately turned the corner. this has been the best offseason in years, and the draft isn't even here yet.. can't wait for september. thanks again.

Dusty, is that done? I knew that was the rumour - Carson to Zona. Fitz must be happy. Say what you want about Palmer in Oakland but his #s were not horrible and that organization was a mess. With Kolb, Carson, Flynn, and Alex Smith playing musical chairs ... any doubt no qbs will go in the top 10??

If we sign Winston we won't be picking a OL with 12th pick. I think we will then pick one in the sec. or third rd. CB or DE should be our first pick, or trade down and draft a TE. That could give us another sec. rd. pick depending on how for back we trade to. Trading up will cost us a 2 or 3 rd. pick and I think we should keep those picks because there's good players in the later rds.

CommonSense, EXACTLY...What a bad trade...No wonder the Raiders pick in the top 8 every freakin year...

yes carson to zona done deal

Mark, his numbers weren't that bad as you pointed out, but they gave up WAY TOO MUCH...My God...

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