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Salguero overview of Dolphins free agency

Regular readers of this blog will remember I reported last week that free agency for the Dolphins is going on hiatus for bit while the focus shifts to the draft. Yes, there are caveats in that hiatus but those are explained in the post.

Well, that means the bulk of Miami's free agency haul is over for 2013.

The Dolphins signed eight free agents, re-signed four of their own free agents, and cut or let six other starting-caliber free agents walk.

So I want to tell you what I think of all this.

I want to do it one time

I want to do it on the record.

I want to do it so that come future days when free agents boom or bust, you know how I stood on each player. (I'm doing this because fans have short memories and those that follow me here or on twitter often say I advocated something I did not or failed to stand for something that I actually did.)

I'm not saying I'm always right. Obviously not. (You read my stuff so you know that's not true). But If I'm going to be wrong, I want to do it on my own (dis)abilities and not with anybody's help.

This should also give you forum for agreeing or disagreeing with me.

Here we go:  

SIGNINGS (contract details in parenthesis)

WR Mike Wallace (5 years for $60 million with $27 million guaranteed): I stood up and advocated for this one and reported on this one to the point of being nauseating. The Dolphins had to do this. The team had no deep threat and had shown precious little ability to add a deep threat this past decade -- remember Ted Ginn and Clyde Gates -- in the draft. So Miami had to overpay. Yes, this is overpaying. But that's what people do for a Rolls Royce. Wallace has averaged 8 TDs a year for years. He's rarely injured. He has never been a problem in the locker room. The Steelers wanted him back but couldn't afford him. That all suggests he's going to be a great addition. And that's what I think he'll be. I wanted him on the Dolphins as much as anybody. I stand by that. We'll see.

LB Dannell Ellerbe (5 years for $34.75 million with $14 million gtd.): Ellerbe said it himself, he thought he was going to be the heir to the Ray Lewis middle linebacker job in Baltimore. So on the surface that seems like a great get if outstanding GM Ozzie Newsome and the Super Bowl Champion Ravens thought that highly of Ellerbe. Except, well, they didn't. They let him go. Yes, they had cap issues. But it didn't stop them from adding Elvis Dumervil. So that gave me pause. Then this: The Baltimore Sun reported that at points during his time with the Ravens, Ellerbe was late to meetings, late to practice and liked to party -- a lot. I'm going to give him the benefit of the doubt and believe it was early on and not something he dealt with lately, because the Dolphins assured me, "we did our homework," on all the free agents before signing them and part of that was knowing how they would conduct themselves off the field and around South Florida. Miami addressed the linebackers to "get more physical" and have the defense make more plays, according to GM Jeff Ireland and head coach Joe Philbin. Me? I'm not sold. I don't see linebackers in the 4-3 being the huge playmakers in the NFL they once were. The game often creates mismatches against them. The offenses often throw right over them. So I'm not overly excited about this move.

LB Phillip Wheeler (5 years for $26 million with $13 million gtd.): If Wheeler were coming out of college, I'd look at him as a one-year wonder. Remember that two years ago, the Indianapolis Colts let him walk and he signed a one-year deal with Oakland for $700,000. Yes, the Dolphins liked him last year and wanted him on the team but he wanted to pursue a chance to start so he went elsewhere. So yes, the Dolphins saw something in Wheeler not many other teams did a year ago. But now they see something in him at a price no other team did. Can he do in 2013 as well as he did in 2012? Indeed, can he be a contributor and playmaker -- remember the Dolphins added Ellerbe and Wheeler to make plays -- the next three years or so? I have to see it.

CB Brent Grimes (1 year for $5.5 million with $3 million gtd.): I love this pickup because it adds a stable, experienced, professional, high-caliber cornerback that will be an upgrade to Miami's defense at corner if ... he's healthy. Grimes is coming off an Achiles' tendon tear. His rehab is reportedly doing well (he's doing the reporting). But in the depressed cornerback market, Grimes had to settle for a contract that forced him to prove he's returned to the Pro Bowl caliber player he was in 2011. If he does, he's a great signing. If he doesn't, he didn't break the bank. Grimes will be hungry because utlimately he wants a long-term deal. The question, again, is health. I like this signing very much.

TE Dustin Keller (1 year for $4.25 million with $2.25 million gtd.): Here's another player that was injured most of last year and had to settle for a short-term deal to re-prove his value. So the Dolphins get a hungry player in a contract year who will be playing inspired for himself and certainly for the opportunity to stick it to his former team, the New York Jets. That's not what I like most about Keller. I like that finally the Dolphins have a legitimate pass-catching threat at tight end. In that department, Keller is an upgrade over Anthony Fasano. Yes, the blocking won't be as good. But Keller is willing. That's important. And this is what I like most: Keller comes from an offense that had multiple offensive coordinators the past couple of years. He comes from an offense with a bad quarterback. And yet, he was productive when healthy. So in an offense that is more stable, with a quarterback that promises to be better than Mark Sanchez, I expect better production. This is a solid signing. I like it.

G Lance Louis (1 year for $1,603,750 with $100,000 gtd.): Bargain shopping, the Dolphins hope they strike gold here. Louis was perhaps Chicago's best offensive lineman last year before he blew out his knee. If he can return to that height by training camp, John Jerry will be out of a starting job. If he doesn't, the Dolphins can basically cut Louis with minimal risk. The middle ground is Louis provides veteran experience and can be an experienced backup on the cheap. I like the signing more than the player. The contract is the thing here. Solid job.

WR Brandon Gibson (3 years for $9.78 million with $3.75 million gtd.): Gibson reminds of a Jeff Ireland receiver. Not fast. Not quick. But big and physical. I get it. There's something to be said for that. Me? I like speed. Speed at X, Y and Z. If you're going to spend over $3 million a year I would have preferred some speed be part of the deal. My problem? I looked at the available players and the only one I would have liked was Darrius Heyward-Bey. And he's a problematic reclamation project who signed a one-year deal. The Dolphins obviously decided going with experience was more valuable than dipping into the vast pool of draft eligible receivers that come with promise but no NFL experience. I get it. But do I love this signing? Meh. Let me say this: Instead of signing Gibson, I might have added to the TE corps and solved it. I would have gotten Brandon Myers to go with Keller and drafted a wide receiver to groom. Instead, the Dolphins may end up drafting a tight end. Let's see who produces more in 2013 ... Gibson or Myers.

DT Vaughn Martin (2 years for $4 million with $750,000 gtd.): Ireland loves his defensive line. He believes it is a staple of the team. An anchor. He wants to keep it strong. But the Dolphins needed to address the tackle sport because Tony McDaniel played too high in the 4-3 and was often injured and simply didn't fulfill his role. So the club moved on from him and got Martin. This is a bargain signing. Martin is a solid player. But he will have to get used to the 4-3 because he's been a 3-4 DE the past couple of years. That means a growing period. Is this an awesome signing? No. Is this a solid addition? Probably so. Good work.

Re-signings

WR Brian Hartline (5 years for $30,775,000 with $12.5 million gtd): First off, why the extra $775,000? I know Hartline would have taken $30 million. And this deal was signed at a time the Dolphins were still bidding against themselves. So somebody cost owner Stephen Ross some money on that. Aside from that, Hartline is a good player who has already established some chemistry with quarterback Ryan Tannehill and some presence in the locker room. It's good to keep your own good players. It's bad to be a receiver needy team and let your top receiver go two consecutive years. So the Dolphins had to do this deal. Thing I like most about this? If Hartline and Wallace stay healthy, the Dolphins can put two speedy wide receivers on the field at the same time. And you know how I feel about speed, right?

DT Randy Starks (franchise tender signed for $8.45 million): This rental makes sense. Starks is very, very good at what he does but you don't want to commit four or five years to a 29-year-old interior lineman. The Dolphins approach with Paul Soliai was similar and they ended up cutting his tender in half the follwing year down to $6 million a year on a multi-year deal. Don't be surprised if Starks' price goes down next year and Miami gets him cheaper. The fact is also the Dolphins had salary cap space to fit the franchise tender under the cap so no biggie. Good job.

OL Nate Garner (3 years for $4.875 million with $700,000 gtd.): Not every signing involves a star. You have to have role players and Garner is a good one. He can play both guard and tackle in a pinch. He's cheap. He's experienced and has rarely been overwhelmed by the stage. Garner is also good people. He's good in the community and he kepts his mouth shut, which coach Joe Philbin loves. No issues with this re-signing.

S Chris Clemons (1 year for $2.75 million with $1 million gtd): Clemons wanted a longer deal after being the starter much of the past three seasons. But he's a solid player. That's the extent of it. He's not been a consistent playmaker. He's not been a major issue. Just solid. The Dolphins want to upgrade at safety but one cannot upgrade at every single position over one offseason. So the team is standing pat here this year and could upgrade in the future. Logical move. 

The "losses"

LT Jake Long to St. Louis: He went to the Rams and I shrug. Look, he's a very good player when healthy. But his health is a concern. And even when he is healthy, he's not a cornerstone that will lead any team to the Super Bowl. No left tackle is that, frankly. The best left tackles, the hot left tackles don't carry teams. They are along for the ride. The Ravens won the Super Bowl last year with Bryant McKinnie playing left tackle. McKinnie had been out of shape and out of the loop the entire season until he finally got playing time in the playoffs. So what does that tell you about left tackles? Are they valuable? Yes. Should they be at the top of your salary cap structure? Put it this way, Joe Thomas is a great left tackle and more consistent than Long. He's at the top of Cleveland's salary cap. How's that working them? Playmakers should be at the top of your cap structure. Not the grunts. And certainly not the grunts with lingering injury issues.

MLB Karlos Dansby: He was solid. But he was hired to be great. He was hired to an $8 million a year contract to make plays and disrupt offenses and change games. He didn't. He was merely solid. And if he'd been making $2 million a year instead of four times that, that would have been good enough. But he wasn't. This is a case of Dolphins cutting ties because Dansby wasn't part of the problem, but neither was he part of the solution. What does it say that Dansby still hasn't been signed by anyone?

OLB Kevin Burnett to Oakland: He was cheaper than Dansby but he wasn't cheap. He was just one grade above solid. But again, he didn't make big plays, either. He didn't cause many fumbles or step in front of passes for interceptions. He was a player other players respected. But he's 30 and he wasn't about to get any better. Interestingly, the Raiders recovered from their loss of Phillip Wheeler by signing Kevin Burnett, completing what effectively was a trade of players. The Dolphins paid a much bigger salary for the exchange. Wheeler will have to be a consistent playmaker to make it worthwhile for the Dolphins. We'll see.

TE Anthony Fasano to KC: He did a lot of little things well but did nothing extraodinarily well. He was solid. He was a 7-9 tight end. The Dolphins needed to upgrade and while their blocking at the position may be worse today, I perceive their pass-catching will be better. And, I remind, it is a passing league.

Sean Smith to KC: He wasn't a system fit in Miami. He was at his best in press situations against big, physical receivers. So he had good games against Larry Fitzgerald and A.J. Green. But he seemed lost the entire rest of the season. He gave up first downs as if that was the assignment. And he didn't make plays. Just did not. It was uncanny. The Chiefs believe he'll be great in their system and they tampered focused on Smith early to get a deal done. I believed the Dolphins made a mistake trading Vontae Davis. I don't think letting Smith walk was a mistake.

Tony McDaniel to Seattle: I'd be surprised if McDaniel makes that team.

[Update: Reggie Bush (how could I forget): He was a good player. He worked hard, played hard and was a good citizen. Nothing like what I thought when he got here. But he'll be better off in Detroit and the Dolphins will be better off without him because Lamar Miller will be just as good, if not better, if he stays healthy. And Miller will do it while earning 10 times less money. I would like the Dolphins to draft a running back on draft Saturday, however.]

Comments

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Regarding Davone Bess,

I think he has been disappointing ever since Henning departed as OC. His hands haven't been as good and even Sparano called him out as someone that needed to prepare better. Yes, Sparano, the guy that never called anyone out and even stood up for Columbo, called out Bess. I think that's telling.

Wow, YG, Bailey in the slot! Let's hope. Later.

If Hartline and Wallace stay healthy, the Dolphins can put two speedy wide receivers on the field at the same time. And you know how I feel about speed, right?

Did you call Hartline fast? your joking right? Not going to call him slow but he is a average WR in the speed department.

Yeah, it's telling, Gang, that Sparano is a dumbasss.

Dansby consistently showing up to camp overweight is probably why he doesn't have a job right now. That's a huge red flag to his commitment to the game and being a starter in any team's defense.

He seriously overvalues himself and thinks the regular season is the vehicle used to "play his self into shape". I mean, if youre the best lb in the game, why bother with the small details of being in shape prior to the start of training camp.

The Dolphins had one of the best d-lines in football in 2012. Dansby still wasn't great. Can you imagine how exposed he would be playing behind a mediocre to avg d-line? These must be some of the questions gm and dc's around the league are now asking theselves.

Even as we speak, Dansby's probably still not in start of training camp shape. Dansby probably still doesn't have much of a clue. Such a shame, because if he were truly commited to the game, he would be as great as he always claims to be.

This is why Dansby should not be cut any slack!

Oscar, if you want power backs I'd look at Le'Veon Bell or Michael. Miachael being and A&M, i'd expect him to be drafted if he's on the board in the last half of the third rd or later.

Reggie Bush is a class act and in an ideal world with limitless cap money I'm sure he'd still be a Dolphin. But NFL teams don't have that luxury and as such you have to make tough choices and prioritize where you spend.

From Miami's perspective, I'm sure they feel they have a younger, cheaper, and potentially more explosive option in Miller. It's a reasonable assumption, too, given what he has shown thus far.

Guaranteed? No. But sometimes you have to trust your instincts and take a little leap of faith in these matters to free up money to be spent elsewhere---as they have done.

I'll miss him but totally understand their position on this. You can't have EVERYTHING, fellas.

Orlando @ 1:08 ... I agree 100%. Cleveland has no QB, Arizona has no QB despite one having a great WR and the other an OT .. both stink b/c of their QB play ... bottom line

I believed the Dolphins made a mistake trading Vontae Davis. I don't think letting Smith walk was a mistake.

I salute you on this one!
Long, I think you help convince me however, I disagree on LB Dannell Ellerbe as I believe him to be a very good (great) LB. Think you hit everything else on the head

Dear Mr. Salguero

Hartline : wouldn't sign unless his mustache got paid that's why the extra 750 k.

Dansby : Over paid metro-sexual, just look in his man purse. Pore cleanser, facial scrubber, skin softener.

Karlos Dansby hosted more Avon parties then he had game changing plays.

Players used to spit on Channing Crowder and he was tougher then Dansby.

Sean Smith : Couldn't hang onto soap on a rope in a prison shower if his ass was on the line.


My 2 cents


Soiled :)


Little known fact about brandon Gibson ... born in Germany ... military kid I assume... perhaps more of that Philbin personality he likes.

You know in Vaughn Martin the Canadian, you will get a tonne of character :)

This whole thing on Fasano not being that great a pass catcher...what team have people been watching who say this? His problem wasn't his ability to catch...it was that he vanished for weeks at a time then would have a huge game. He was always making acrobatic catches (like the one in the Miami @ Jets game that gave us the AFC EAST Championship) and the one last year on the edge of the endzone.

Short memories up here.


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« Brady's doing it, but Tannehill and his WRs working also | Main
Salguero overview of Dolphins free agency

Regular readers of this blog will remember I reported last week that free agency for the Dolphins is going on hiatus for bit while the focus shifts to the draft. Yes, there are caveats in that hiatus but those are explained in the post.

Well, that means the bulk of Miami's free agency haul is over for 2013.

The Dolphins signed eight free agents, re-signed four of their own free agents, and cut or let six other starting-caliber free agents walk.

So I want to tell you what I think of all this.

I want to do it one time

I want to do it on the record.

I want to do it so that come future days when free agents boom or bust, you know how I stood on each player. (I'm doing this because fans have short memories and those that follow me here or on twitter often say I advocated something I did not or failed to stand for something that I actually did.)

I'm not saying I'm always right. Obviously not. (You read my stuff so you know that's not true). But If I'm going to be wrong, I want to do it on my own (dis)abilities and not with anybody's help.

This should also give you forum for agreeing or disagreeing with me.

Here we go:

SIGNINGS (contract details in parenthesis)

WR Mike Wallace (5 years for $60 million with $27 million guaranteed): I stood up and advocated for this one and reported on this one to the point of being nauseating. The Dolphins had to do this. The team had no deep threat and had shown precious little ability to add a deep threat this past decade -- remember Ted Ginn and Clyde Gates -- in the draft. So Miami had to overpay. Yes, this is overpaying. But that's what people do for a Rolls Royce. Wallace has averaged 8 TDs a year for years. He's rarely injured. He has never been a problem in the locker room. The Steelers wanted him back but couldn't afford him. That all suggests he's going to be a great addition. And that's what I think he'll be. I wanted him on the Dolphins as much as anybody. I stand by that. We'll see.

LB Dannell Ellerbe (5 years for $34.75 million with $14 million gtd.): Ellerbe said it himself, he thought he was going to be the heir to the Ray Lewis middle linebacker job in Baltimore. So on the surface that seems like a great get if outstanding GM Ozzie Newsome and the Super Bowl Champion Ravens thought that highly of Ellerbe. Except, well, they didn't. They let him go. Yes, they had cap issues. But it didn't stop them from adding Elvis Dumervil. So that gave me pause. Then this: The Baltimore Sun reported that at points during his time with the Ravens, Ellerbe was late to meetings, late to practice and liked to party -- a lot. I'm going to give him the benefit of the doubt and believe it was early on and not something he dealt with lately, because the Dolphins assured me, "we did our homework," on all the free agents before signing them and part of that was knowing how they would conduct themselves off the field and around South Florida. Miami addressed the linebackers to "get more physical" and have the defense make more plays, according to GM Jeff Ireland and head coach Joe Philbin. Me? I'm not sold. I don't see linebackers in the 4-3 being the huge playmakers in the NFL they once were. The game often creates mismatches against them. The offenses often throw right over them. So I'm not overly excited about this move.

LB Phillip Wheeler (5 years for $26 million with $13 million gtd.): If Wheeler were coming out of college, I'd look at him as a one-year wonder. Remember that two years ago, the Indianapolis Colts let him walk and he signed a one-year deal with Oakland for $700,000. Yes, the Dolphins liked him last year and wanted him on the team but he wanted to pursue a chance to start so he went elsewhere. So yes, the Dolphins saw something in Wheeler not many other teams did a year ago. But now they see something in him at a price no other team did. Can he do in 2013 as well as he did in 2012? Indeed, can he be a contributor and playmaker -- remember the Dolphins added Ellerbe and Wheeler to make plays -- the next three years or so? I have to see it.

CB Brent Grimes (1 year for $5.5 million with $3 million gtd.): I love this pickup because it adds a stable, experienced, professional, high-caliber cornerback that will be an upgrade to Miami's defense at corner if ... he's healthy. Grimes is coming off an Achiles' tendon tear. His rehab is reportedly doing well (he's doing the reporting). But in the depressed cornerback market, Grimes had to settle for a contract that forced him to prove he's returned to the Pro Bowl caliber player he was in 2011. If he does, he's a great signing. If he doesn't, he didn't break the bank. Grimes will be hungry because utlimately he wants a long-term deal. The question, again, is health. I like this signing very much.

TE Dustin Keller (1 year for $4.25 million with $2.25 million gtd.): Here's another player that was injured most of last year and had to settle for a short-term deal to re-prove his value. So the Dolphins get a hungry player in a contract year who will be playing inspired for himself and certainly for the opportunity to stick it to his former team, the New York Jets. That's not what I like most about Keller. I like that finally the Dolphins have a legitimate pass-catching threat at tight end. In that department, Keller is an upgrade over Anthony Fasano. Yes, the blocking won't be as good. But Keller is willing. That's important. And this is what I like most: Keller comes from an offense that had multiple offensive coordinators the past couple of years. He comes from an offense with a bad quarterback. And yet, he was productive when healthy. So in an offense that is more stable, with a quarterback that promises to be better than Mark Sanchez, I expect better production. This is a solid signing. I like it.

G Lance Louis (1 year for $1,603,750 with $100,000 gtd.): Bargain shopping, the Dolphins hope they strike gold here. Louis was perhaps Chicago's best offensive lineman last year before he blew out his knee. If he can return to that height by training camp, John Jerry will be out of a starting job. If he doesn't, the Dolphins can basically cut Louis with minimal risk. The middle ground is Louis provides veteran experience and can be an experienced backup on the cheap. I like the signing more than the player. The contract is the thing here. Solid job.

WR Brandon Gibson (3 years for $9.78 million with $3.75 million gtd.): Gibson reminds of a Jeff Ireland receiver. Not fast. Not quick. But big and physical. I get it. There's something to be said for that. Me? I like speed. Speed at X, Y and Z. If you're going to spend over $3 million a year I would have preferred some speed be part of the deal. My problem? I looked at the available players and the only one I would have liked was Darrius Heyward-Bey. And he's a problematic reclamation project who signed a one-year deal. The Dolphins obviously decided going with experience was more valuable than dipping into the vast pool of draft eligible receivers that come with promise but no NFL experience. I get it. But do I love this signing? Meh. Let me say this: Instead of signing Gibson, I might have added to the TE corps and solved it. I would have gotten Brandon Myers to go with Keller and drafted a wide receiver to groom. Instead, the Dolphins may end up drafting a tight end. Let's see who produces more in 2013 ... Gibson or Myers.

DT Vaughn Martin (2 years for $4 million with $750,000 gtd.): Ireland loves his defensive line. He believes it is a staple of the team. An anchor. He wants to keep it strong. But the Dolphins needed to address the tackle sport because Tony McDaniel played too high in the 4-3 and was often injured and simply didn't fulfill his role. So the club moved on from him and got Martin. This is a bargain signing. Martin is a solid player. But he will have to get used to the 4-3 because he's been a 3-4 DE the past couple of years. That means a growing period. Is this an awesome signing? No. Is this a solid addition? Probably so. Good work.

Re-signings

WR Brian Hartline (5 years for $30,775,000 with $12.5 million gtd): First off, why the extra $775,000? I know Hartline would have taken $30 million. And this deal was signed at a time the Dolphins were still bidding against themselves. So somebody cost owner Stephen Ross some money on that. Aside from that, Hartline is a good player who has already established some chemistry with quarterback Ryan Tannehill and some presence in the locker room. It's good to keep your own good players. It's bad to be a receiver needy team and let your top receiver go two consecutive years. So the Dolphins had to do this deal. Thing I like most about this? If Hartline and Wallace stay healthy, the Dolphins can put two speedy wide receivers on the field at the same time. And you know how I feel about speed, right?

DT Randy Starks (franchise tender signed for $8.45 million): This rental makes sense. Starks is very, very good at what he does but you don't want to commit four or five years to a 29-year-old interior lineman. The Dolphins approach with Paul Soliai was similar and they ended up cutting his tender in half the follwing year down to $6 million a year on a multi-year deal. Don't be surprised if Starks' price goes down next year and Miami gets him cheaper. The fact is also the Dolphins had salary cap space to fit the franchise tender under the cap so no biggie. Good job.

OL Nate Garner (3 years for $4.875 million with $700,000 gtd.): Not every signing involves a star. You have to have role players and Garner is a good one. He can play both guard and tackle in a pinch. He's cheap. He's experienced and has rarely been overwhelmed by the stage. Garner is also good people. He's good in the community and he kepts his mouth shut, which coach Joe Philbin loves. No issues with this re-signing.

S Chris Clemons (1 year for $2.75 million with $1 million gtd): Clemons wanted a longer deal after being the starter much of the past three seasons. But he's a solid player. That's the extent of it. He's not been a consistent playmaker. He's not been a major issue. Just solid. The Dolphins want to upgrade at safety but one cannot upgrade at every single position over one offseason. So the team is standing pat here this year and could upgrade in the future. Logical move.

The "losses"

LT Jake Long to St. Louis: He went to the Rams and I shrug. Look, he's a very good player when healthy. But his health is a concern. And even when he is healthy, he's not a cornerstone that will lead any team to the Super Bowl. No left tackle is that, frankly. The best left tackles, the hot left tackles don't carry teams. They are along for the ride. The Ravens won the Super Bowl last year with Bryant McKinnie playing left tackle. McKinnie had been out of shape and out of the loop the entire season until he finally got playing time in the playoffs. So what does that tell you about left tackles? Are they valuable? Yes. Should they be at the top of your salary cap structure? Put it this way, Joe Thomas is a great left tackle and more consistent than Long. He's at the top of Cleveland's salary cap. How's that working them? Playmakers should be at the top of your cap structure. Not the grunts. And certainly not the grunts with lingering injury issues.

MLB Karlos Dansby: He was solid. But he was hired to be great. He was hired to an $8 million a year contract to make plays and disrupt offenses and change games. He didn't. He was merely solid. And if he'd been making $2 million a year instead of four times that, that would have been good enough. But he wasn't. This is a case of Dolphins cutting ties because Dansby wasn't part of the problem, but neither was he part of the solution. What does it say that Dansby still hasn't been signed by anyone?

OLB Kevin Burnett to Oakland: He was cheaper than Dansby but he wasn't cheap. He was just one grade above solid. But again, he didn't make big plays, either. He didn't cause many fumbles or step in front of passes for interceptions. He was a player other players respected. But he's 30 and he wasn't about to get any better. Interestingly, the Raiders recovered from their loss of Phillip Wheeler by signing Kevin Burnett, completing what effectively was a trade of players. The Dolphins paid a much bigger salary for the exchange. Wheeler will have to be a consistent playmaker to make it worthwhile for the Dolphins. We'll see.

TE Anthony Fasano to KC: He did a lot of little things well but did nothing extraodinarily well. He was solid. He was a 7-9 tight end. The Dolphins needed to upgrade and while their blocking at the position may be worse today, I perceive their pass-catching will be better. And, I remind, it is a passing league.

Sean Smith to KC: He wasn't a system fit in Miami. He was at his best in press situations against big, physical receivers. So he had good games against Larry Fitzgerald and A.J. Green. But he seemed lost the entire rest of the season. He gave up first downs as if that was the assignment. And he didn't make plays. Just did not. It was uncanny. The Chiefs believe he'll be great in their system and they tampered focused on Smith early to get a deal done. I believed the Dolphins made a mistake trading Vontae Davis. I don't think letting Smith walk was a mistake.

Tony McDaniel to Seattle: I'd be surprised if McDaniel makes that team.

[Update: Reggie Bush (how could I forget): He was a good player. He worked hard, played hard and was a good citizen. Nothing like what I thought when he got here. But he'll be better off in Detroit and the Dolphins will be better off without him because Lamar Miller will be just as good, if not better, if he stays healthy. And Miller will do it while earning 10 times less money. I would like the Dolphins to draft a running back on draft Saturday, however.]

Posted by Armando Salguero at 11:15 AM | Permalink

Comments

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Looks good to me

Posted by: Marc from nj | April 08, 2013 at 11:28 AM

..Armando..Good piece. The one free agent signing that I did not like was Gibson..You said it. An Ireland receiver. We all know that those guys have been doo-doo pie here in Miami. The signing of Lance Louis? The only thing I knew about him was seeing him called for Holding in a game V Geen Bay..

The shocker to me was Ellerbee. Nobody saw that coming(I know Dashi spent a lot of time on Dansby, I'm just saying nobody had Ellerbee on a list of free agents that they though we would sign)..The linebackers have a chance to be good this year. I think we may even draft a guy in the 2nd or third round to compete with Misi.

Posted by: DarrylDunphy | April 08, 2013 at 11:30 AM

Nice job by Jeff Ireland but still a mediocre roster at best, only a handful of good players nobody great #ers-51-2-5-17-11-94-96-91 the rest of this team really blow
!! Ireland better draft playmakers not the usual fat a** linemeh Jeffrey boy is notorious for doing !! Jeff just get the damn job done on 4/25-4/27 no more excuses Mr.Jeffrey Ireland no excuses anymore just get the job done !!

Posted by: mace taggart | April 08, 2013 at 11:34 AM

Not a bad assessment but I think the Ellerbe/Wheeler combo will surprise many. They both play with a tremendous motor and are much more physical than Dansby/Burnett.

Posted by: Eddie | April 08, 2013 at 11:35 AM

IMO, the Dolphins must be looking at a Pass Rusher or CB with their first round pick. IMO, a trade down is possible and then Trufant is the pick.

Posted by: Eddie | April 08, 2013 at 11:37 AM

Uh hummm DD, I believe I trumpeted for Ellerbe long before free agency but didn't think it was a need and thought it wouldn't happen. But as far as being a fan .. nobody thumped harder for this guy than me. I loved the baltimore trio of Williams, Kruger, and Ellerbe and wanted one at least real bad.

Posted by: Mark in Toronto | April 08, 2013 at 11:46 AM

..Mark..Yeah. I remember. I was on his train as well. especially after that Denver game(playoffs).. I just don't remember anyone who seriously thought Ellerbee was a guy we would sign. When we did, as much as some of us knew what we were getting. I was surprised.

Posted by: DarrylDunphy | April 08, 2013 at 11:51 AM

I've noticed a lot you guys in here really loves mediocrity maybe it's because this franchise has been i n mediocrity mode for nearly 30 years now it's understandable !!

Posted by: mace taggart | April 08, 2013 at 11:53 AM

This alone makes Dansby for Ellerbee pretty much a wash and a huge cap savings at the same time. Eve4n if Ellerbee is just plain "Karlos Dansby", in the least, its a "HUGE" cap victory.

As for Wheeler, I can see the concern. However, based on last season, his 5th, he shows signs of entering into his prime. Although Burnett was cheaper than Wheeler, Ireland's rolling the dice that as a cheaper "combo package" Ellerbee/Wheeler are cheaper and will have a greater playmaking impact.

As a whole, the Dansby/Burnett combo were more expensive than the Ellerbee/Wheeler combo. However, when examining playmaking impact, its really tough to argue against the switch.

Posted by: Yesterday's Gone 4Ever! | April 08, 2013 at 11:53 AM

12-4

Posted by: Tim Couch Hath Spoken, and All Saw the Light. And the light was good. | April 08, 2013 at 11:55 AM

I like Gibson because he is as close to an Anquan Boldin type reciever as we were going to get. The fast recievers may have spread the field in the super bowl, But strong hands and a bad attitude won the game.
I like Bess, but he is not going to take the ball away from many safties.
If we can find a way to make Egnew angry and turn him into a Gronkowski, we will go far.

Posted by: Just football | April 08, 2013 at 11:56 AM

Mark,

Sorry man, I think Dashi was MUCH louder on Ellerbe than you. Just how I remember it.

Not sold on the linebackers we added. Younger and faster doesn't mean better. Let's see how it all plays out. If they're better I'll have no problem admitting it. Ireland didn't upgrade the TE position the way I wanted it. He can do something about that in the draft. I douby he will.

He gets an A- from me for his efforts so far and if he kills in the draft I'll have no problem giving him an A+.

Posted by: Craig M | April 08, 2013 at 11:58 AM

DD, the only reason I didn't think Ellerbe would happen was because of the $6M in dead money attached to Dansby's contract this year but Dawn Aponte being the brilliant number cruncher she is (gotta love those numbers people!!!) found a way to upgrade the position and not have that dead money be an issue cap wise.

Sure the cash outlay for making the swap was significant but not the cap impact. Got to give it up for Mr. Ross for putting the money out there. Good thing about having a billionaire owner is he doesn't need one cent from this team. He is a fan first and foremost and will put the proceeds from this business back into it anytime which we can't say about certain teams like Buffalo for example. There are a lot of Wilsons that depend on Bills money to pay their lavish lifestyles...

Posted by: Mark in Toronto | April 08, 2013 at 11:58 AM

UHm, Dashi was more down on Dansby than he was up on Ellerbe as far as I remember. I didn't think Dansby was the devil like Dashi did but I did think Ellerbe was all world and an upgrade on the majority of ILbs in this league.

Posted by: Mark in Toronto | April 08, 2013 at 12:00 PM

Agreed

Bush 15 TDs in two years.
Hartline 2 TDs in the last two years.
Anybody who believes Hartline is worth $10
mil more is completely and utterly daft.

Never mind upgrading LBs when they weren't the problem or signing Brent Grimes and crossing your fingers that he might actually, ya know, get on the field, rather than say Tracy Porter. And let's not forget that all of the guys who left were guys Fireland brought in. Dansby, Burnett, Sean Smith, Jake Long, Reggie Bush, Fasano. Just two weeks until we get to watch him redraft for the same positions he's been trying to fill since he got here. Chris Berman used to say, "nobody circles the wagons like the Buffalo Bills".

Well, nobody spins their wheels quite like Fireland and the Dolphins. He's guaranteed to botch the draft. He does every year.

GM SOD,

Hartline is fast. He runs the 40 somewhere in the 4.4's. I think something like 4.45. so he's plenty fast enough.

However, consistently gaining separation isn't always a speed issue. It could be initial burst, which causes late separation. Problem with late separation is the qb may already be eating the football by the time the wr gets open.

It also could be that some wr are more fast than quick.

I hope they upgrade FB with Lonnie Pryor. Lane became a disappointment

I disagree letting Vontae was a mistake. Just like his college scouting report, a ton of talent, 2 tons of headache.

A guy like Vontae needs to be at least perennial pro bowler to make it a squash in the wash. Anything less, and the latter outweighs the former.

We all know that Vontae falls in the "anything less" category. Failing to make even 1 pro bowl in 5yrs(4 in Miami, 1 in Indy) is all of the evidence needed.

Letting Davis go was not a mistake. He's easily replaced with a corner, though slightly less talented, but 10 times the commitment. You still get Vontae Davis type seasonal numbers. 3-4 picks a year.

With Vontae, the headache far outweighed the visible talent and production. Good riddance!

Vontae Davis revealing Sean Smith and the KC "potential tampering", was like final nail in the coffin, Vontae Davis is a complete idiot.

Vontae is like a supercharged nascar racing machine and a child in the driver's seat.

A BIG KEY TO GETTING OPEN IS NOT SPEED IT IS SETTING UP THE CB WITH A FAKE, NOT LETTING HIM GET POSITION. THE CB IN THE NFL ARE JUST AS FAST AS RECEIVERS. IT IS ALL IN THE MOVES....

GM SOD,

Hartline is fast. He runs the 40 somewhere in the 4.4's. I think something like 4.45. so he's plenty fast enough.

However, consistently gaining separation isn't always a speed issue. It could be initial burst, which causes late separation. Problem with late separation is the qb may already be eating the football by the time the wr gets open.

It also could be that some wr are more fast than quick.

Posted by: Yesterday's Gone 4Ever! | April 08, 2013 at 01:53 PM

Problem is he doesn't play that fast. He looks like a 4.5 guy. I been saying it for a year "I could cover him like a blanket". If I can say that I don't want you on my team.

I would hate to be in a bar room brawl with Vontae Davis as my friend. On any given day he would:

A. Help me
B. Run away and leave me
C. Steal my money while Im knocked out cold
D. Help the enemy whup my ass

Please delete my comment from
Posted by: GM SOD | April 08, 2013 at 01:46 PM

IMO Mando
I agree with you on almost everything but Hartline a speedy WR
Don't think so, over payed, wheeler might be a one year wonder plus this team always had problems covering TE in this league I hope both those LB work out but something tells me not this year it takes time to work together think what the other guy is thinking cohesiveness takes time. Grimes great signing he'll be back he is good plus some will emerge from one of those CB in camp
Clemons suck doesn't make plays I hope they draft a play
Making hard hitting safety, I say first 4 picks should be OT to protect Tannehill body guard that's whats I call it than TE safety pass rusher speedster WR or RB. Than CB and the best available play makers. In my humble opinion.

Obviously the proof will be in the pudding but I like EVERY single move on paper. I'm happy with the guys we kept, I'm happy with the guys we got, & I'm VERY happy we let the under performing players leave.

When you consider how much Bowe & Harvin & got paid I don't think Wallace was overpaid. Do I think the top tier WR's are overpaid in general??? Absolutely but it is what it is & this was the going rate for the top WR's available.

The one player I believe we overpaid for was Ellerbe. He only started 7 games last year & has only started 14 games in 4 years with the Ravens. Do I think he's a good player??? Maybe. He played well on the Ravens defense last year but there are some other pretty good players that might have helped him look better than what he is. I'm just saying that's a lot of money for a guy who only came on the map this year. Regardless of what people may think Wheeler is a more proven player than Ellerbe. Wheeler stood out as the best player on the Raiders defense which wasn't very good last year.

i liked most of the moves, but the gibson signing made no sense and the lbs are unproven and overpaid

i liked most of the moves, but the gibson signing made no sense and the lbs are unproven and overpaid

i liked most of the moves, but the gibson signing made no sense and the lbs are unproven and overpaid.

GM SOD

Everyone here knows I ranted for days on the Hartline resigning. But after rethinking the my position, it makes little sense to create another hole needed filling. Yes, we signed Wallace, but Hartline walking paints us into a corner of having to draft wr 1st or 2nd rd.

With what Ireland has done this offseason, we're really not painted into a corner, as to where we are forced to go into any particular direction with the 1st pick of the draft. Not even OT, we can trade for Albert, or if the coaching staff feels Martin is sufficient in their oline system. It give flexibility to what they can try and do at RT.

The combination of things accomplished so far has just created so much more flexibility in the numerous directions we can now go in this 2013 draft. Its not just about Hartline.

i liked most of the moves, but the gibson signing made no sense and the lbs are unproven and overpaid...

GM SOD

Everyone here knows I ranted for days on the Hartline resigning. But after rethinking the my position, it makes little sense to create another hole needed filling. Yes, we signed Wallace, but Hartline walking paints us into a corner of having to draft wr 1st or 2nd rd.

With what Ireland has done this offseason, we're really not painted into a corner, as to where we are forced to go into any particular direction with the 1st pick of the draft. Not even OT, we can trade for Albert, or if the coaching staff feels Martin is sufficient in their oline system. It give flexibility to what they can try and do at RT.

The combination of things accomplished so far has just created so much more flexibility in the numerous directions we can now go in this 2013 draft. Its not just about Hartline.

GM SOD

Everyone here knows I ranted for days on the Hartline resigning. But after rethinking the my position, it makes little sense to create another hole needed filling. Yes, we signed Wallace, but Hartline walking paints us into a corner of having to draft wr 1st or 2nd rd.

With what Ireland has done this offseason, we're really not painted into a corner, as to where we are forced to go into any particular direction with the 1st pick of the draft. Not even OT, we can trade for Albert, or if the coaching staff feels Martin is sufficient in their oline system. It give flexibility to what they can try and do at RT.

The combination of things accomplished so far has just created so much more flexibility in the numerous directions we can now go in this 2013 draft. Its not just about Hartline.

i liked most of the moves, but the gibson signing made no sense and the lbs are unproven and overpaid...

i liked most of the moves, but the gibson signing made no sense and the lbs are unproven and overpaid...

Posted by: We Need Playmakers | April 08, 2013 at 02:21 PM

Ellerbe did to much last year to have it over looked. Overpaid yes, but I say it will be worth it. The Guy plays with a passion for the game dansby and others lacked. Ellerbe did play behind a HOF in RAY. Kinda hard to get on the field with him in your way

Posted by: We Need Playmakers | April 08, 2013 at 02:21 PM

Ellerbe did to much last year to have it over looked. Overpaid yes, but I say it will be worth it. The Guy plays with a passion for the game dansby and others lacked. Ellerbe did play behind a HOF in RAY. Kinda hard to get on the field with him in your way

Posted by: We Need Playmakers | April 08, 2013 at 02:21 PM

Ellerbe did to much last year to have it over looked. Overpaid yes, but I say it will be worth it. The Guy plays with a passion for the game dansby and others lacked. Ellerbe did play behind a HOF in RAY. Kinda hard to get on the field with him in your way

Posted by: We Need Playmakers | April 08, 2013 at 02:21 PM

Ellerbe did to much last year to have it over looked. Overpaid yes, but I say it will be worth it. The Guy plays with a passion for the game dansby and others lacked. Ellerbe did play behind a HOF in RAY. Kinda hard to get on the field with him in your way

Keep re-posting the same s h i t!! Real funny!

lol

Posted by: Yesterday's Gone 4Ever! | April 08, 2013 at 02:28 PM

I understand that and don't criticize the move (too much) I would rather let Hartline walk than commit to him. I would draft 2 WR in the 2nd and maybe the 4th (Daft is deep this year and we have picks). I don't think having a chemistry with the QB is good enough that what practice is for (Iverson voice, Parctice?!)

Anyone who knows anything knows that the NFL i all about offense, offense, offense - go back and look at the scores of the playoff games and SB last year. The winners and the losers are in the 30's - EVERY GAME. Draft another WR - the guy from Tennessee looks good to me and lets get this offense moving. It was painful last year - Tannehill needs WRs who can catch a 15 yard pass and take it all the way. That is how these QBs get the big numbers in todays game. Just like mando said - LBs are a thing of the past. It is going to be like schoolyard football soon - one QB and 11 receivers in the pattern.

Anyone who knows anything knows that the NFL i all about offense, offense, offense - go back and look at the scores of the playoff games and SB last year. The winners and the losers are in the 30's - EVERY GAME. Draft another WR - the guy from Tennessee looks good to me and lets get this offense moving. It was painful last year - Tannehill needs WRs who can catch a 15 yard pass and take it all the way. That is how these QBs get the big numbers in todays game. Just like mando said - LBs are a thing of the past. It is going to be like schoolyard football soon - one QB and 11 receivers in the pattern.

Posted by: Yesterday's Gone 4Ever! | April 08, 2013 at 02:28 PM

I understand that and don't criticize the move (too much) I would rather let Hartline walk than commit to him. I would draft 2 WR in the 2nd and maybe the 4th (Daft is deep this year and we have picks). I don't think having a chemistry with the QB is good enough that what practice is for (Iverson voice, Parctice?!)

Anyone who knows anything knows that the NFL i all about offense, offense, offense - go back and look at the scores of the playoff games and SB last year. The winners and the losers are in the 30's - EVERY GAME. Draft another WR - the guy from Tennessee looks good to me and lets get this offense moving. It was painful last year - Tannehill needs WRs who can catch a 15 yard pass and take it all the way. That is how these QBs get the big numbers in todays game. Just like mando said - LBs are a thing of the past. It is going to be like schoolyard football soon - one QB and 11 receivers in the pattern.

Posted by: Yesterday's Gone 4Ever! | April 08, 2013 at 02:28 PM

I understand that and don't criticize the move (too much) I would rather let Hartline walk than commit to him. I would draft 2 WR in the 2nd and maybe the 4th (Daft is deep this year and we have picks). I don't think having a chemistry with the QB is good enough that what practice is for (Iverson voice, Parctice?!)

Anyone who knows anything knows that the NFL i all about offense, offense, offense - go back and look at the scores of the playoff games and SB last year. The winners and the losers are in the 30's - EVERY GAME. Draft another WR - the guy from Tennessee looks good to me and lets get this offense moving. It was painful last year - Tannehill needs WRs who can catch a 15 yard pass and take it all the way. That is how these QBs get the big numbers in todays game. Just like mando said - LBs are a thing of the past. It is going to be like schoolyard football soon - one QB and 11 receivers in the pattern.

WTH is going on here?

WTH is going on here?

This blog's on crack

WTH is going on here?

This blog's on crack

They caught Fatty Parcells changing into Hubert Ginn. HoHo!

GM SOD,

That's the beauty of this thing. Ireland can pretty much do anything he likes in this draft without having to be "pressed" into doing any of them.

Upgrading and drafting entirely out of need are 2 different beasts. Plus you cant predict exactly how a draft will go or who'll be available. If we had to draft a #2 wr out of need its not guaranteed that guy would be a productive wr his 1st season.

After paying a guy(Wallace) 12 million a year, you don't want to be forced into drafting a wr 1st rd just to hope he quickly adapts to the #2 wr hole created by allowing Hartline to walk.

Does this make any sense to you? At least to me it does.

Time to go while the herald IT dept works on this blog.

Can anyone here tweet Armando to have the IT dept work on this blog?

Time to go while the herald IT dept works on this blog.

Can anyone here tweet Armando to have the IT dept work on this blog?

Time to go while the herald IT dept works on this blog.

Can anyone here tweet Armando to have the IT dept work on this blog?

Good post, Mando.

Good post, Mando.

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