So the Miami Dolphins are reportedly interested in defensive end Chris Clemons in free agency, according to multiple reports.
And my immediate reaction is, why?
It's not that Clemons isn't a player. I mean, he was in the NFL last year. It's just that he hasn't been a good, reliable player for a couple of years and hasn't been a really good since maybe 2012. So this would be significant news if it were four years ago.
But, sadly, this is 2016. And Chris Clemons is 34 years old.
And he'll be 35 during the season.
And while some bigger, stronger defensive ends can play into their mid thirties, the smaller ones often start to break down and lose their explosion and that's the thing that typically made them effective because, obviously, it wasn't overpowering size or strength.
Clemons is a 6-3 and 255 pound defensive end.
He had three sacks last season for the Jacksonville Jaguars but only one in the final eight games of the season. Indeed, he had only five tackles the final eight games of the season. He was also the worst edge rush defender in the NFL, per ProFootballFocus metrics.
Clemons was a big free agent addition in 2014 for Jacksonville but has been such a flop, a team with $63 million in cap space cut him to save $3 million. By the way, if you look at Clemons' stats, you see he had eight sacks in '14. You should recognize three of those came in one game against an Indianapolis offensive line that was missing three starters, including both starting offensive tackles.
Obviously, Miami's interest would be to kick the tires on Clemons as a situationational pass rusher. Isn't that what Cameron Wake was supposed to be at age 34 and coming off a season-ending Achilles' injury?
Seems Miami's plan to play Wake sparingly is changing on the fly because the team's hopes of landing a younger DE such as William Hayes fell through when Hayes re-signed with the Los Angeles Rams.
So Miami's staring DEs will be 34-year-old Wake and 31-year-old Mario Williams. And the guy off the bench could be 34-year-old Chris Clemons if Miami offers him and he signs.
Look, free agency is not yet a week old and teams are already shopping at the clearance rack. I get that. But there's a difference in shopping for a bargain, and shopping for a 34-year-old defensive end who has not been productive in quite some time. What is the point in that aside from wishing for an improbable career comeback year?