The Indianapolis Colts cut safety LaRon Landry five minutes ago. And not one Miami Dolphins fan has asked me on twitter (@ArmandoSalguero) if their team will be interested in signing the player.
What's the matter with you people?
That move by the Colts will signal the first of many cuts NFL teams, including the Dolphins, will make of veteran talent between now and the third or fifth or seventh day -- depending on the language of individual player contracts -- of the new league year, which begins March 10.
(Multiple players, including Mike Wallace, have clauses in their contract that stipulate teams must pay out a bonus or guarantee monies in the contract by the third-fifth-seventh day of the league year. This clause is meant so teams and players can have certainty because it is rare for a team to pay out guaranteed money for that year and then cut that player. Most of those type of players are cut before the guaranteed money deadline, which is always early enough that they can make themselves available by free agency -- a protection of sorts for them).
But I digress.
The point here is teams in the coming weeks will be finalizing their plans for cutting or keeping players that are under contract. Those decisions are often unveiled to player agents at the Indianapolis Combine, which is scheduled for next week.
So by next week, you'll start to hear of veterans under contract about to get cut.
For the Dolphins the list of signed players whose future with the team is unresolved include:
LB Dannell Ellerbe.
CB Cortland Finnegan.
OL Nate Garner.
WR Brandon Gibson.
WR Brian Hartline.
WR Rishard Matthews.
OL Shelley Smith.
WR Mike Wallace.
LB Phillip Wheeler.
DT Randy Starks.
All these players are signed for 2015. But for salary cap or other reasons the team must decide whether or not to cut ties in the coming weeks.
Some cuts, it must be noted, may take longer because the players don't have any contract clauses forcing Miami to action now and the team wants to wait until after June 1 to break ties for short-term salary cap benefits.
The problem with such cuts is the team doesn't typically want those players in the offseason conditioning program our at OTAs or minicamps because if they suffer a significant injury, the team could be on the hook for paying them.
Anyway, back to the safety issue ...
The Dolphins need to find a player to pair with Reshad Jones, who last season played great after his four-game suspension. Jones was simply one of the best safeties in the game once he came back. The only reason he wasn't in the Pro Bowl is because he was not eligible because of the suspension.
But the Dolphins need another safety. Louis Delmas was injured last year and is not signed for 2015.
I believe an easy, relatively inexpensive answer is right there -- under the Dolphins' proverbial bottlenose.
Wilson is an unrestricted free agent in 2015. I believe the Dolphins would be wise to re-sign him now, if possible, to maybe a two-year deal worth $4-$5 million. That would be a raise for Wilson from the $1.4 million he earned last year and it would be a savings for the Dolphins from the $3.5 million they paid Delmas last season to be their starter.
Wilson wants more? Well, then let him go into the market and see what a mid-tier safety gets.
That's the business side.
On the football side, the reasons I like Wilson at safety are two-fold: He's tough. He's good in the locker room. He's a downhill player. And he's simply better at safety than at slot corner where the Dolphins have been playing him the past few years.
Safety Jimmy Wilson I can handle.
Slot corner Jimmy Wilson not so much. Poor.
The Dolphins need to address that slot corner spot and perhaps Jamar Taylor is the answer there.
And, yes, I know defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle has spoken about how much he likes Wilson at the nickel cornerback spot. But the metrics do not backup up the plaudits.
Wilson was the No. 94 graded cornerback in the NFL out of 108 according to ProFootballFocus.com. That is, um, not good.
But at safety, where Wilson started the first four games while Jones was suspended and the final three games after Delmas was injured?
Wilson was the No. 34 rated safety out of 87, according to PFF. That's not all-star material but that is solid. And with added experience and good coaching, Wilson, who will be 29 in June, may get better.
And what about Landry or re-signing Delmas?
Landry was 39th in the PFF ratings of safeties. Delmas was 51st.
Wilson was better.
Jimmy Wilson is a safety. If he and the Dolphins are smart, he can get a sizeable pay increase this year, stay with a team he knows in a place he knows, be a starter, and the Dolphins can fill a need while paying $1-$1.5 million less to upgrade the position from a season ago.