The Dolphins were a very active team in free agency this past offseason and added many new pieces to this roster, especially on offense, and specifically at wide receiver. Tyreek Hill, Cedrick Wilson, Trent Sherfield, River Cracraft, Braylon Sanders, and DeVonte Dedmon, to name a few. Then they also drafted Erik Ezukanma as well in the fourth round.
You combine all of that with Jaylen Waddle, Preston Williams, and Lynn Bowden Jr, and one would think Miami has more than enough wide receivers going into training camp.
NOT SO FAST MY FRIEND
The Dolphins on Tuesday signed veteran free agent wide receiver Mohamed Sanu, and I think it caught the NFL world by surprise. And there are many ways to look at this signing and read into it.
TRAINING CAMP BODY?
Usually, when you think of a training camp body, you think of the team signing a younger player or a little-known player who comes in and fills out a roster spot in the summer, so the team has enough players to complete a practice. Maybe they will surprise and open some eyes, but it’s unlikely they will win a roster spot. If they prove something, maybe they earn a spot on the practice squad.
Sanu is not that kind of player. He has been in the league for ten years and is a respected veteran who, when he was younger, had some very successful and productive seasons in Cincinnati and Atlanta.
I don’t believe you sign someone like Sanu to come in for a few weeks only to cut him; it doesn’t pass the smell test.
THE COACHING STAFF ISN’T PLEASED WITH THE DEPTH OF THE CURRENT GROUP?
Clearly, Miami is pleased with the top three wide receivers they have in Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle, and Cedrick Wilson. After that, though there are many players, is there quality depth?
Preston Williams has been in Miami for a few years but is always injured. And this coaching staff has no ties to him at all. Plus, after all of his injuries, is he the same player he was in 2019 and 2020?
Lynn Bowden Jr is a fan favorite, but he was a 3rd round pick by the Raiders, traded before he even played a preseason game for them, played a little as a rookie in Miami, and missed all of last season with an injury. Again, this coaching staff has no ties to him. Maybe McDaniel, Wes Welker, and Frank Smith don’t “see it” with Bowden and don’t view him as a fit.
Erik Ezukanma is a 4th-round draft pick, and you don’t see 4th-round draft picks as rookies at the wide receiver position step in and be contributors. The staff may see him after mini-camps and such as a “project.” I mean, it can happen where a 4th round pick at that position is a contributor in year one, but it’s rare.
Then you look at guys like Sherfield, Cracaft, Sanders, Dedmon, and such, and that group is totally unproven in the NFL. Maybe one hits and becomes a contributor as a receiver, but then again, after mini-camps and such, perhaps the staff hasn’t seen enough and is worried about the depth at receiver.
Needing to fill a need, they turned to Sanu, and I kind of get it.
Sanu has had ties with this San Francisco coaching staff for the past two seasons.
He played three games with SF in 2020 and eight in 2021.
They know him; he knows them.
And when making an addition to a position in late July, that is what you want, someone who will have a general understanding of the playbook and can come in and get up to speed right away.
— DolphinsTalk.com (@DolphinsTalk) July 26, 2022
COULD SANU STICK IN MIAMI?
Yes. YES, YES, YES!
Again, his best days are behind him; he has been in the league for ten years and bounced around a lot the past few.
His last “good” season was 2018 in Atlanta, which seems like ages ago in the NFL.
But Miami isn’t expecting him to be a starter or even a #3. They will view him as competing for the 4th or 5th receiver spot. Usually, those spots go to guys who also play special teams, but not always.
To me, this move is a clear sign that Lynn Bowden Jr and Preston Williams will be pushed in training camp. I think those two, along with Sanu, are fighting for one roster spot, and with the Sanu signing and his ties to this coaching staff, I would make him the clubhouse favorite as of today.