A Reason To Believe


With Chris Chambers coming to town on Sunday, I thought it might be a good idea to do a quick, “where are they now” segment to give all Miami Dolphins fans a reason to believe.  

Here is a look at the trades since 2002 and what those players are doing now vs. who the Dolphins have in their place…in most cases, there is no one left in their places.

2002 through 2003 were compliments of Dave Wannstedt.  2004 belongs to Rick Speilman.  2005 through 2006 are all Nick Sabans and of course 2007 belongs to Cam Cameron “Couldn’t” and Randy Mueller.  Guess what happened after that?  Take a deeper look and see for yourself.

 

2002 – For a 7th round pick, the Dolphins acquired QB Sage Rosenfels.  The Dolphins would allow Rosenfels to walk out of Miami a free agent a few years later.  So, where is Sage now?  As part of the Houston Texans, Rosenfels almost became a Viking after GM Rick Speilman tried to trade for him this off-season.  The Texans demanded more than what Speilman was willing to give up.

2003 – The Dolphins shipped a 5th round pick to San Diego for LB Junior Seau.  Miami never would get the Hall of Fame Junior Seau but would get decent service out of him.  Seau of course would retire 2 years later only to join the Patriots.  Where is he now?  Retired.

2004 – The Dolphins would make several moves this off-season that would drive the Phins toward the abyss.  The first trade sent the 3rd pick in round 2 to Philadelphia for QB AJ Feely.  Feely would never make an impact for the Dolphins, at least a positive one, and a short year later would be shipped to San Diego along with a 6th round pick for Cleo Lemon.  Where is Feely now?  Back in Philadelphia after being cut by SD.

2004David Boston.  The Dolphins would send a 6th round pick and former number 1 pick Jamar Fletcher to the Bolts for the muscular WR.  Boston would spend most of his time injured and never make an impact on the team.  Where is he now?  Out of football after being released by the Dolphins a short couple of seasons later.

2004 – Adewale Ogunleye was the bookend Pro-Bowl DE that was holding out for a new contract.  The Dolphins refused to pay it and instead traded the Pro-bowler to the Chicago Bears for a 3rd round pick and WR Marty Booker.  While at the time the trade seemed like a good one, Booker never lived up to his Pro-Bowl potential and Ogunleye is still a force on Chicago’s vaunted defense.  Where is Ogun now?  Still in Chicago starting.  Where is Marty Booker now?  Back in Chicago for one last season, he is not making an impact.

2004Lamar Gordon was trade for after the Dolphins lost their starting RB, Ricky Williams, to an early retirement and drug suspension.  Gordon would be injured before ever making an impact.  The price was the 3rd round pick the Dolphins received for Ogunleye in the Chicago trade.  Gordon would be gone in less than two years.  Where is Lamar Gordon now?  Out of football.

2005 - Patrick Surtain was a fan favorite and perennial pro-bowler who had one year left on his contract.  New HC Nick Saban, without a 2nd round draft pick from the AJ Feely trade a year before, shipped Surtain to the KC Chiefs for a 2nd and a 5th.  The 2nd round pick was used on DE/LB Matt Roth and the 5th on OL Anthony Alabi.  So where are they now?  Surtain is still starting in KC but ask the Chiefs and they are none too happy about the deal.  Surtain has never played to the level he did in Miami and his career appears to be all but officially over in KC and maybe the NFL.  Matt Roth has received much criticism over the last 3 years but it appears that he is finding himself in the Dolphins new 34 defense as a LB.  Anthony Alabi was cut this season by the Green Bay Packers after being signed in the off-season.

2005Cleo Lemon was brought in by Nick Saban and it only cost the Dolphins a 6th round pick and 2nd round trade QB AJ Feely.  Cleo would make very little impact for the Dolphins and his lone win would also be the Miami Dolphins only win of the 2007 season.  He would be a free agent in this past off-season but would not be resigned.  Where is Cleo now?  He signed a rather large contract with Jacksonville as a back-up where he is struggling.

2006 - Daunte Culpepper was coming off a major knee injury that put him on IR in Minnesota the year before.  Nick Saban threw caution to the wind and passed on free agent Drew Brees for the QB with the healthier arm.  Culpepper would spend his only season in Miami injured after game 4.  He cost the Dolphins a 2nd round draft pick.  Where is Culpepper now?  After being released last training camp by Randy Mueller and Cam Cameron, Culpepper signed with the Raiders where his only good game was against the Dolphins in MIami.  Culpepper has “retired” from football after Emailing the media saying no one would give him a fair opportunity to start.  In typical DC fashion, he refused to workout for teams without being told up front he would start.  

2006 - Joey Harrington would QB number 2 for the Dolphins and would throw more touchdowns to the opposition than he would for the Dolphins.  Rather than wait for Joey H to become a free agent, the Dolphins would send Detroit a 5th round draft pick instead.  Harrington would make it through one Miami season before being released.  Where is he now?  Harrington bounced around a bit last year landing with Atlanta and then being released earlier this season.  He signed a deal with the New Orleans Saints a week ago to back up Drew Brees.

2007 – No trade mentioned above had more Dolphins fans screaming bloody murder than the trade of Wes Welker to the New England Patriots.  Still a topic of hot debate a year later, fans have taken sides on two different arguments that neither have resolved.  Would the Patriots have kept the poison pill offer on the table to guarantee the WR 35 million had Miami not accepted the 2nd and 7th round comp package that was offered?  Who knows.  Was it Nick Sabans fault for not signing Welker to an extension the year before?  In any event, the Patriots got a key component of their perfect regular season team last year.  Where is he now?  Still catching ball in New England.

 

  • With the 2nd pick the Dolphins received from New England, the Phins drafted Center Samson Satele who is starting his second season with the Phins.  He started all 16 games last season as a rookie.  Satele’s future is still uncertain, but his play has caught the attention of the HC.
  • The Dolphins used the  76th round pick to select DL Abraham Wright.  Wright is no longer with the team being released this past off-season.
2007 - Long time PK Olindo Mare refused to take an early season pay cut and was traded to the New Orleans Saints for a 6th round pick.  The Dolphins would use the pick on Center Drew Mormino.  Mormino would last one season on IR before being released this past year.  Mare would be cut from the Saints following last season.  Where is he now?  Mare is kicking in Seattle but is not the kicker he used to be and Mormino is out of football due to his injured ankle.
2007 -  Trent Green was brought in as the bridge QB to rookie John Beck.  The Dolphins would give up a 5th round pick for the former KC QB who had come off a season ending concussion.  In week 5 of the Dolphins season last year, Green would suffer another one that would place him on IR.  Where is he now?  The Dolphins released Green when the season was over and Bill Parcells took over the team.  He signed with the St. Louis Rams as a backup and started last week vs. the Bills.  He is now back on the bench behind QB Marc Bulger.
2007Chris Chambers returns to Miami for the first time this weekend after being shipped to the San Diego Chargers for a 2nd round pick.  That pick was used this year on Michigan QB Chad Henne.  Chambers has posted sub par numbers in San Diego and still has not reached the potential many assumed he would.  In the San Diego high-powered offense, Chambers has only caught 8 passes.  While it is still too early to tell on Chad Henne, the trade so far looks to be about even.
2008 – The Dolphins shipped a 6th round pick in 2008 and a 6th in 2009 to the Dallas Cowboys for veteran NT Jason Ferguson.  Ferguson has been a huge asset on defense and is a leader that the youth of this years team look to.  His hard nose play in practice has forced the Dolphins offensive line to improve as well.  For all it’s worth, Ferguson has been a steal for a 6th round pick.
2008 – The Miami Dolphins traded Lorenzo Booker, a 3rd round pick last year by Cam Cameron to the Philadelphia Eagles for a 4th round pick that was used to draft OG Shawn Murphy.  Murphy has struggled much of his time here so far, but the Dolphins brought him in as a project so time will tell.  In Philly, Booker was making early strides in the pre-season, but has found life in the NFL a bit tougher.  He has made no impact for the Eagles thus far.
2008 – The Dolphins needed the above trade to Philly to replace their own 4th round pick, the 1st overall, as they traded the pick to the Cowboys for LB Akin Ayodele and TE Anthony Fasano.  Thus far, the deal looks like a major coup.  Ayodele is performing as a solid starting LB in the middle and Fasano leads the Dolphins in TD’s with 2.  His blocking ability and pass-catching ability has given the Dolphins a big threat that has been lacking for years at the TE position.
2008 – Jason Taylor didn’t want to play in Miami anymore and after a long drawn out off-season of infighting and speculation, the Dolphins finally pulled the trigger on a trade that would send the Pro-bowl face of the franchise to the Washington Redskins for a 2nd and 6th round pick in 2009.  Taylor has spent some time nursing injuries in Washington and missed his first game last weekend ending a consecutive streak that was over 160.  Will this trade be good or bad for the Dolphins when it is all said and done?  Hard to say, the Dolphins miss his leadership on the field, but it doesn’t appear they are missing his play on the field.  What the Dolphins do with their compensation next year will be the final word on this trade.
OVERALL:
The title of this entry is “A Reason To Believe“.  While the majority of this article is giving you little to be happy about and in fact has likely depressed you, the truth is that we are seeing real decisions being made that for once are helping this team form a core of players that will move this team in the right direction.  For all the years prior to 2007, 2008 and simply 2 trades has made a huge impact and big difference.
Gone are the lopsided trades for players that were never an answer but instead knee-jerk reactions.  Replaced by sensible trades that involved young guys who are yet to reach their potential.  The Chris Chambers trade is still a long way from being judged and while many will strike up the argument on Welker, the truth is that Samson Satele can’t be judged yet either.  While we will wait a few years to look at guys like Satele and Henne, we can see the future in guys named Fasano and Ayodele.
It is a different time, a different era, and for once, it appears that the future is a little less dark and unknowing and instead brighter with real reasons to be optimistic and excited.  Most of the above is depressing, but when you look at what one season has done so far…there is a reason to believe.

Dick's Sporting Goods presents "Hell Week":

Tags: AJ Feely Akin Ayodele Anthony Fasano Chris Chambers Jason Ferguson Lamar Gordon Miami Dolphins New England Patriots Patrick Surtain Ricky Williams Samson Satele San Diego Chargers Wes Welker

  • MikeG

    I believe Boston is plaing in the CFL and just went down with an injury (could be mistaken)

  • http://phinphanatic.com Brian Miller

    Thank You G…I honestly did not know that.

  • MikeG

    of all the moves that you mentioned above the two that really burn my asshole is the

    1. Ogunleye
    trade i mean everyone knows defense win championships him and JT could have been dominating Brady the last 4-5 years instead of him burning us with deep balls.

    2. Culpepper over Brees kills me more than any move the phins have done in the last 10-15 years. I know Bree’s ended up in the perfect situation with Bush Colston Shockey but at the end of the day he did it with Gates and LT he’s the key piece to both puzzles because Gates hasn’t but up the same #’s since Brees left.

  • RickyNeverInhaled

    excellent article. keep up the good work!

  • http://www.sheddawgs.com Shed Dawg Mike

    I agree with Ricky…nice write up Brian.  I agree with you as well, that the trades seem  to be starting to make a little more sense over the past few years.  The Culpepper trade was bad but the Surtain for Roth looks good.  The Fergusan trade this year was great and I believe we just swapped 6ths this year and send them our 6th in 09.  And of course the Fasano / Ayodele trade is looking genius at this point and I think will go down as one of our best trades (if not the best) of the decade.

  • http://phinphanatic.com Brian Miller

    Well no secret how Jacked I was about the Fasano trade…IN fact, If I’m not mistaken…I was on air with you when it was announced and went nuts…LOL

  • http://insidetheiggles.com/ Ian – Inside the Iggles

    It’s Feeley. Want to trade for AJ again?

  • http://insidetheiggles.com/ Ian – Inside the Iggles

    Also I don’t agree with your Chris Chambers comment. Last year Chambers had to find his way in the San Diego offense, and finished with 555 yards, and 4 TDs in 10 games. This year with a full San Diego training Camp Chambers already has 196 yards and 4 TDs in 4 games. I think he has played pretty well for them.

  • http://phinphanatic.com Brian Miller

    Ian: First, I don’t think there is a Miami fan alive who cares how to spell AJ’s name…:)  and 2nd:  As for Chambers, he is playing the way he did in Miami…subpar.  Hardly worthy of the 2nd round pick he cost SD last year.  His numbers of 196 and 4 TDs is all well and fine, but he should be posting far more receptions per game.

  • http://3pointdog.com OMAR

    Marty Booker had quite an impact yesterday with possibly the catch of the year in the NFL.

    With the wholesale changes in the front office this year, the Dolphins will begin to build through the draft and become a contender sooner rather than later. Their history of poor drafting seems to have come to an end.