|Do something will ya?!|
I understand the Dolphins this offseason aren’t spending big bucks and are taking a totally different approach this free agency period. I have no problem with that either and I think it’s a smart approach, but with that said the Dolphins are making fixing the issues they have way to difficult and there are some easy fixes that I don’t understand why they aren’t taking at this point in time.
The Dolphins have 5 glaring holes on this team. In no special order they are, Guard, Running Back, Cornerback, Linebacker, and Defensive End. You can argue with the signing of Andre Branch that defensive end is no longer a need but in this league you need all of the pass rushers you can get and I know I am in the minority but I don’t trust Cam Wake. I think Wake at his age (34) and coming off this injury is done, washed up, and on the downside of his career. He won’t be the same player ever again and if you get 15-20 snaps out of him in a game consider the Fins lucky. I don’t even think he will give us that much next year.
Now, you can’t fix every one of these needs in one offseason. The Dolphins are rebuilding, I get it. They don’t want to use the term “rebuilding” but that’s what they are doing. And they should, again no issues with that. But, the Dolphins are going to need some Band-Aids to patch-work some of these holes to get them through the 2016 season and be a respectable team. So, what are the 2 easiest holes out of the 5 I listed above to fix; well its simple, running back and guard. If I am running the Dolphins I want to go into this draft not wanting to worry about having to take a running back or a guard at all unless something falls out of the sky and into their lap. These are 2 positions the Fins can fill via free agency relatively cheap by getting a vet on a one year deal to just hold them over for this upcoming season and push off as a “must need” to next offseason.
At running back letting Lamar Miller walk I agree with. The CJ Anderson deal was a good one and Miami did there best with that and honestly few if anyone thought Denver would match, but they did so we move on. So where do we go from here? The flirtation with Chris Johnson was baffling to me. A 30 year old RB coming off a broken leg, uh, why? I know I want a guy who is a Band-Aid on a 1 year deal but he wouldn’t have been atop my list. With guys out there like James Starks and Ronnie Hillman I think Miami should be targeting one of those. They better fit Miami’s vision in my opinion and have proven to play big in big spots and in big games, and on a one year deal they will play motivated to have a big year so when they hit the market the following year they will get a big contract. Those are the types of guys Miami should be targeting. Now, maybe they will in the coming days after being spurned by Chris Johnson today, but the question we have to ask is…why didn’t they target these guys first and why were they flirting with old injured running backs like Chris Johnson? You also have to ask yourself, we are now on Plan “D” at the running back spot, why hasn’t Miami brought in like 3 or 4 guys for visits already and now they should be sending out offers instead of dragging this out? Are we asleep at the wheel here? (UPDATE: After this story was published the Miami Herald is reporting the Dolphins have reached out and shown interest in RB James Starks and are talking with him.)
Next, the guard position. Look, as Dolphins fans we have seen this song and dance before where the front office totally ignores the position and puts way too much faith in bad players like Billy Turner, Dallas Thomas, and Jamil Douglas. Those three guys can’t play in this league. I don’t need to see any more of them to know that. If the Fins are banking on any one of them to do anything then this franchise is hopeless. I can understand again the Fins didn’t want to break the bank for a guy like Alex Boone, I get it. He got a deal nobody saw coming and Fins didn’t want to pay that much for a guard. But the Fins have to do something and signing an old broken down tackle coming off a major injury who has never played guard before and expecting him to solve this issue is beyond stupid. I mean its really really stupid. Like 2 + 2 =9 stupid! Jermon Bushrod is an old back-up tackle at best these days if he is even healthy. Again, the Fins cant’ fix every hole on their roster. Go sign a vet guard on a 1 year deal (there are still a lot of capable guys out there) and take the need to draft a guard off the table entering the draft completely.
Miami can’t fix 5 positions in this upcoming draft but they sure as hell can fix 3 of them! Get a Band-Aid at running back, get a band aid at guard. Go into the draft and double down on CB’s, LB’s, and pass rushers. You hope you correct those positions this offseason and then next year, you aren’t tied to any RB or high priced guard and you re-evaluate where you stand at those positions and move forward. It’s so simple but Miami is letting the market of any quality guys dry up and they are sabotaging their season in March and its painful to watch. No rational Dolphins fan is expecting the Fins to make a playoff push this year, but I don’t want to see a 2 or 3 win team either and that is the path they are headed down. That’s not being overly negative that is being realistic.
I know there will be a Dolphins fan or two out there right now saying….“have patience, its only March.” Look in the NFL the window to add talent is very small. You have about 2 weeks in March then 3 days in April at the draft. With free agency the real “talent” dry’s up in about a week and after that you have old broken down players trying to hold onto their NFL career or just filler/role players at best who can’t be banked on to make an impact on a team. Right now the RB market is drying up quick and the guard market isn’t far behind. If Miami leaves all of these holes and goes into a draft with 5 glaring weaknesses and having to hit on every pick just to put a competitive team on the field next year, wow that is a gutsy approach. Back to “having patience“….any “fan” who tells you to have patience is someone who doesn’t get it. As Dolphins fans we have sat through over 15 years of horrible football, we have patience. We have put up with a ton. We have been patient too long and its time to stand up and be vocal to hold the people in power accountable. Nobody is asking the Fins to go out and overpay for crap players but for the love of god the Fins have over $20 million in cap space and are ignoring capable players. I understand the Fins are now in the business of “compiling compensatory picks” but again, you can’t not add guys hoping in a year from now we get a few compensatory picks. Chris Grier has been in Miami when the Dolphins have wasted 2nd and 3rd round picks on guys like Pat White, Dallas Thomas, Michael Egnew, and Patrick Turner. Yet now we are going to grab comp picks so the guy who had a huge say in those draft picks can have an extra 3rd or 4th round selection? Give me a break. Sure, I would love to have a few compensatory picks but not at the risk of letting proven capable, not overly expensive free agents. So a 3rd round comp pick gets pushed back to a 5th because we signed someone, who cares? In the big picture that’s nothing!
As I said, I like the new approach of not overpaying for guys the Dolphins have taken. Kudos to Grier, Tannenbaum and the rest of the front office. But you can’t be scared stiff where you don’t want to pay fair market value for guys either. It’s time for the front office to get off their asses and do something!