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Hester or not, Dolphins can use return competition

Devin Hester apparently is going to have a decision to make soon.

The former University of Miami standout who happens to also be a former Chicago Bears Pro Bowl returner is apparently noticing his market in free agency is heating up and he has a decision to make.

 

So, yes, with God's help Hester is going to decide where he'll be playing in 2014. He told the South Florida Sun-Sentinel last week he'd like to play for the Dolphins. I'm certain if a paper in 30 other NFL cities had been asking, he might have told them he'd like to play for their teams as well.

It's called marketing.

I suppose that's why he's visiting the Atlanta Falcons today and has other visits set up as well.

Yes, Hester back in town would be good for him. But it's also about the right money and there is no knowing what kind of value the value conscious Dolphins would put on a 31-year-old returner.

But I will say this ... The Dolphins should put some value into improving their return game because last year it took a something of a step backward.

The Dolphins averaged 21.3 yards per kickoff return last year and that was 26th in the NFL. A season earlier, in 2012, the Dolphins averaged 27.1 yards per kick return and that was No. 3 in the NFL.

Marcus Thigpen saw his kickoff return numbers drop from 27.4 yards per return in '12 to 22.5 yards per return last season.

On punt returns the Dolphins went from 11.2 yards per return in 2013 to 7.8 yards per return in '13 and that meant a drop from the sixth best return unit in the league to 23rd. And again, Thigpen's stats suffered in direct parallel to the team's.

Thigpen averaged 7.8 yards per return last season with 20 fair catches. He averaged 12.2 yards per return with only six fair catches in 2012.

And Thigpen, who had a kickoff and punt return TD in 2012, didn't score on either a kickoff or punt return last season.

Hester?

He averaged 27.6 yards per kickoff return, which ranked him sixth in the NFL last season. And he averaged 14.2 yards per punt return, although he only had 18 of them with 11 fair catches.

Now here's the rub ...

How much would Hester expect from the Dolphins? Or anyone?

The last time he signed a new contract was 2010 when he got a four-year, $21.956 million deal from the Bears. That was a different time and different set of circumstances.

The Dolphins aren't likely to pay anywhere close to that because, well, Hester's not 26 anymore, they don't value him as a wide receiver as the Bears did back in the day, and the team has approximately $19,185,752 of salary cap space as of Monday afternoon.

Also, Thigpen is cheap by comparison. He's only scheduled to make $570,000 in 2013.

So whether Hester is a fit and whether the Dolphins value him enough to outbid other teams for him is the question.

But as to Thigpen, there is little question.

The team will either replace him or bring in some competition for training camp. If he wins the competition, great.

If Thigpen cannot win the competition, the same relatively inexpensive salary that makes him so attractive also makes him a target. Because if the Dolphins cut him before the start of the regular season, they will carry only $2,500 in dead money.

Comments

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Yeah Finnegan should have been paid the vet minimum. They could have signed one of the Cromartie boys, but no they went for the bad boy. Philbin talks of high character guys etc, what BS.

I still think Finno will be better than he was with the Rams and an upgrade on Carroll, but Philbin must have ZERO faith in most of Irelands picks.

50:1 odds of winning the super bowl, same as before free agency. Same as bucs and browns as per mando's tweet., WE CAN DO IT, HAHA!!!

At least we spent less than them .. as if that's any kind of consolation.

Id take a young WR in the draft late or a fast KR?PR cast off. Cut Thigpen and only sign Hester for the minimum with insentives. If Hester really wants to play for the Dolphins so much he should be happy with PRP.

Its become a QB league with more passing every year. The WR's have more space via the rules and the game has opened up. The lines dont matter that much in todays NFL.

50:1, what a joke, I'd give us 100:1 odds. After the draft that wont change much unless he land a serious play maker on our offense, the most likely would be to land a franchise RB.... can you think of anyone... my friend ???

Mark..that would be ideal.

I honestly get the feeling we're going to draft a bunch of o lineman then at least 3 viable starters will become available come the second week of training camp

1000 to 1 is more like it. LOL

Garn79

At this point, for one to say "I'm a believer in Hickey" is FAR PREMATURE. That's saying there's "SUBSTANCE" to base it upon.

Right now, Substance is "unavailable". What if the top 2 fa signings go down to injury before 1/4 ways into the season? Plus, we haven't even seen his drafting skills yet.

By 2014 season's end, we'll all know whether or not its ok to become "HICKEY BELIEVERS". Blind faith is just that, "BLIND FAITH". Exactly what you presently have.

bucs a great bet at 50-1 will win div

What odds would you give Philbin leading a team to a Superbowl win ???

Id give you at least 300-1.

Anyone that wants to bet the Dullfins at 50-1 to WIN the SB....I'LL BOOK THAT BET! LOL

I could see Hickey trading our 2nd and 3rd rounders to move up to take an o lineman. And guess what? If the trade partner is bs'n us then we have no choice but to believe them because WE ONLY HAVE TWO FARKING STARTERS!

If you guys are looking at a potential special teams guy look for Greg Reid of Florida State. He got kicked off the team for violations a couple years ago. He will probably go 7th round or undrafted. Youtube the guy and his hit on Lattimore he is an interesting prospect that will be dirt cheap.

special teams guy? really

Forget SB, Ross will NEVER have a winning season.

Tannehill had 3 gms max in 2013 where he actually had, "franchise qb type performances".

He had about 4 to 5gms where he looked "efficient
caretaker". 3to 4gms max of "plain caretaker".

Then 4 to 5gms he was simply "horrible" and played "down to the level of the qb's" he faced.

Our 8-8 2013 record is a direct mirror of Tannehill's play, however, talent level(both sides of the ball) was a partial reflection too.

REALISTICALLY, no matter how much talent(both sides of the ball) we need add around Tannehill, "HIS LEVEL OF PLAY" needs to "DRASTICALLY" rise to ever be a serious "CHAMPIONSHIP CONTENDER" too.

The greater the level of Tannehill's play "ARISES", the "LITTLE LESS" he needs to be surrounded with, in terms of "NUMBER OF PRO BOWL QUALITY OF PLAYERS". The less his caliber of play rises, the more "pro bowl quality of players he will need to be surrounded with. Both sides of the ball.

Tannehill's play needs to take a "QUATUM LEAP" in 2014. That's no lie.

Tannehill is a poor excuse for a pro QB

Look Thill will never be a franchise QB. At best he is a game manager like Chad P, Griese, Bradshaw etc. No deep arm accuracy, but other possible talents that could be used to loses us games, we shall see what he does with a real LT and better couple of o-linemen. If he gets a powerback to become the leader of this O then he can be second fiddle to that man. Thill isn't a leader or a franchise QB, but he could become a top 16 QB. We should be looking at bringing in a QB in the 4-5th rounds, depending on who is left to develop under Lazor, if anything this gives Philbin more time to distance himself from Thill as Irelands guy.

By 2014 season's end, we'll all know whether or not its ok to become "HICKEY BELIEVERS". Blind faith is just that, "BLIND FAITH". Exactly what you presently have.

Posted by: SAM I AM | March 18, 2014 at 04:49 PM

I get your point & perhaps believer is a poor choice of words But my point is I am taking his word on his football ideology which happens to be mine also. (Regardless of what dynamics of NFL has changed over last several yrs if feel this ideology still holds true) Not trying to push any kind of Hickey cult agenda or anything..

As I said at end of post (based on certain criteria) I would reserve judgment till then..

"If Hickey misses on this draft, I'm gonna be pissed, if the ShaFinnegans doesn't work out I'm gonna be pissed, if the Oline isn't working by wk6 I'm gonna be pissed. If Jordan doesn't get figured out I'm gonna be pissed. My gut tells me Mitchell was the right move but if not I'm..wait for it..gonna be pissed. If Wallace isn't fight'n for balls(as he said he needs to work on) I'm gonna be pissed, if don't see some dynamic play calling by wk3..you get the idea.

Till then I'm gonna reserve judgement, too many variables to get into & some I'm certain none of us are even aware of.."

Posted by: Garn79 | March 18, 2014 at 04:28 PM

My one problem with the Phins free agent moves this off season is.... After the locker room problems last year and the final two game meltdown. The biggest need i saw was finding and adding leaders. I agree we are a young team and should find young ascending players. I don't see any of the guys that we signed fitting that role. A couple of veteran guys could help. As far as Hester i don't know but i do know a rally good kick returner can make the difference in the out come of at least two games a year. That would have put us in the playoffs.

brickhouse kick returners rarely even get chance to return kicks anymore

MARCO. I BET STARSHINE AND MINTY AR YOUR FAVORITE MY LITTLE PONIES!!! I LOVE THEM ALL ESPECIALLY MOON BEAM AND SUNNY!!

YAAAAAAAYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Look Thill will never be a franchise QB. At best he is a game manager like Chad P, Griese, Bradshaw etc.

Posted by: Marco | March 18, 2014 at 05:26 PM


Griese and Bradshaw were 2 of the best to ever play the game. Get a clue!

Marco is such a little Miss Prissy Pants.

Griese and Bradshaw were 2 of the best to ever play the game. Get a clue!

Posted by: Marco is a Moron | March 18, 2014 at 05:53 PM

What a Dolt you are. To of the best to play the game... ha ha, I dont have to throw any insults at you, you make yourself look an a-hole with commmnet like that one... ha ha. Check out the QBR's and their stats you fool. They played on awesome teams with the best coaches in NFL history, go back to your Mall job Bill.

I WON EVERY ARGUMENT WITH EVERYBODY HERE YESTERDAY!

AGAIN I WILL SAY THAT THERE IS NO CITY CALLED TAMPA BAY! TAMPA BAY IS WATER!!! NOBODY LIVES THERE EXCEPT FISH AND SHRIMP!!!

BUT SOME OF YOU PEOPLE ARE STUPID IDIOTS WHO THINK THE CITY IS CALLED TAMPA BAY BECAUSE THE BUCCANEERS GAVE THEMSELVES THAT STUPID NAME IN 1976!! IF YOU EVER TOLD SOMEONE YOU WERE "GOING TO TAMPA BAY' THEN YOU ARE A FOOL AND AN IDIOT UNLESS YOU MEANT YOU WERE GOING FISHING!!!

IT SHOULD BE JUST PLAIN TAMPA BUCCANEERS. IF THEY DAD DONE THAT AT THE BEGINNING YOU WOULD ALL THINK IT SOUNDED NORMAL AND GOOD AND THAT 'TAMPA BAY' WOULD SOUND STUPID!!!

GO TAMPA BUCCANEERS!! NO MORE TAMPA BAY!!!!

Me no speak English ..................pst we don't need. An aging returner

Ryan is an emerging quarterback he is a star in the making

I am a hickey believer we can do it

Walmart and Sams club are a natsi like cult they should be arrested how they treat people

Been telling posters for year, something's truly wrong with this Dashi character. WOW, now he unendingly won an argument he did not win(excepted in his own distorted eyes) and.... wait for it.... wait for it....

"NO ONE HERE CARES ABOUT BUT HIM."

Is this cat related to Incognito?


I am a hickey believer we can do it

Posted by: Marc from nj | March 18, 2014 at 06:34 PM

You spewed the same nonsense about Ireland for 6 years. Your opinion is less than worthless.

@Marco,

Griese and Bradshaw are HOFers.....just so you know.

Oscar is that you

I also loved chad henne before he stunk up the joint

What I do know is that there is a natsi group in this country and they are running Sams clubs

Griese also becaome "PRO BOWL" qb, long after his SB trophy hoisting days were over.

What Griese did after the SB trophy days were gone is what "SOLIDIFIED" his induction into the hof.

If based on those two SB champioships "ALONE", there's a "STAGGERING CHANCE" Griese would "NOT" be a hof qb, and would only be remembered as the guy that qb'd the Dolphins SB championship teams. Not as a hof'er to boot.

Boycott all that is walmart

Yes Marco is a complete moron. Comparing Tannebust to 2 HOF QB's? HILARIOUS!!

Yup Bob Greise sure was a great leader he was so smart out there

Tannehill will become a probowl quarterback

Posted by: Mark in Toronto | March 18, 2014 at 04:36

MIT,

That is not a good draft...give it back..

Tannehill will become an Arena league backup.


Tannehill will become a probowl quarterback

Posted by: Marc from nj | March 18, 2014 at 06:54 PM


Or he can become a "CAREER COACH KILLER" being kept as a starter.

Unshockingly, thus far, his brief pro career is in exact same pattern as his collegiate career.

"Not bad enough to quickly replace, not good enough for headcoaching job security."

Tannehill had 3 gms max in 2013 where he actually had, "franchise qb type performances".

He had about 4 to 5gms where he looked "efficient
caretaker". 3to 4gms max of "plain caretaker".

Then 4 to 5gms he was simply "horrible" and played "down to the level of the qb's" he faced.

Our 8-8 2013 record is a direct mirror of Tannehill's play, however, talent level(both sides of the ball) was a partial reflection too.

REALISTICALLY, no matter how much talent(both sides of the ball) we need add around Tannehill, "HIS LEVEL OF PLAY" needs to "DRASTICALLY" rise to ever be a serious "CHAMPIONSHIP CONTENDER" too.

The greater the level of Tannehill's play "ARISES", the "LITTLE LESS" he needs to be surrounded with, in terms of "NUMBER OF PRO BOWL QUALITY OF PLAYERS". The less his caliber of play rises, the more "pro bowl quality of players he will need to be surrounded with. Both sides of the ball.

Tannehill's play needs to take a "QUATUM LEAP" in 2014. That's no lie.

Posted by: SAM I AM | March 18, 2014 at 05:03 PM

Lots of Jersey sales

Arrrrrr

Posted by: "Idiot" Post of the Year | March 18, 2014 at 07:06 PM

So are you now admitting you're your mother's greatest sorrow? The truth will set you free, congratulations!

tre mason will not fall to us. first rd to OL and he'll be gone by the time we pick in the second. Carey from Arz. or Hill from LSU will be there in the sec. or maybe in the third rd. Both are good backs. Mason wasn't even talked about until Alburn started blazing a trail to the N.C game. I'm not sayin hes not a good RB, just think there are better.

Yawn!!

Any draft that shows us taking a defensive player or TE in the first round is just plain stupid...

Oh and did I mention how I feel about another rookie RB

Not even the GM's know how any draft pick will turn out, yet the fans endlessly blabber away about their mock picks they like as though they are certain of their value.

Nothing is more useless than mock draft chit chat. Let the draft play out and then see if the reasoning seems reasonable

It's a sink or swim yr. for Tannehill. We really should look to draft a later rd. QB..... maybe Murray from GA. or Mettezenberger from LSU. A.J Mccarriens might fall Quite a bit too.

Go Denver!

Go Patriots!

Sproles in Chip Kelly's offense

WOW

Go Eagles!

Johnathon Martin may get a ring the is season w San Fran

We have the only coach in NFL history that needs cue cards to give a post game victory speech.

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