The Miami Dolphins apparently have a leak in their offices, or someone is getting creative with their interpretations of questions they are asking their Miami sources. It appears that on the front of free agency, Jason Brown does seem likely to be a target of the Dolphins, while T.J. Houshmandzadeh is simply a rumored interest.
When it comes to Brown, it’s perfect sense. He is young and well regarded in the NFL as a bulldozing center. At 320 pounds Brown is the type of player that the Dolphins brass prefer to anchor their offensive line. A “close” friend of Brown’s has stated that Jason likes Miami and will consider any offer he receives. Brown will likely receive a contract in the 40 million dollar range. The going rate these days for Olineman with talent.
The obvious question is what to do about incumbent starter Samson Satele. He could be traded or retained and moved to guard to compete, but even at 290 pounds, Satele is more a finesse player than a mean road grader. If the Phins do try and trade the center, they could receive a 3rd or a 4th round pick for him, or package him to move up in the draft should that be their desire. If the Phins do in fact land Jason Brown, Samson Satele will have a short future in Miami.
It’s no secret that the Dolphins need to open up their offense and WR is the first place that the fans and the staff look towards to see improvement. Last year the Phins found a gem in Greg Camarillo as the number 2 WR. Camarillo is a possession receiver who until his season ending knee injury was Chad Pennington’s favorite target.
The Phins also have Ted Ginn on the outside who has shown flashes of being good but his inconsistency is the only thing consistent about his game. In the middle Brandon London and Davone Bess have improved and showed that they have the make-up to become contributors, but both are very young.
So enter the name T.J. Houshmandzadeh. T.J. was not franchised by the Bengals who decided to use the tag on place kicker Shayne Graham instead. T.J. will hit the free market should he decide to no accept any offers thrown his way prior to the start of FA, by the Bengals. Something he is not likely to do.
So is T.J. really on the radar of the Dolphins? As reported by NFL Networks’ Adam Schefter? I don’t think so. T.J. will initially seek a larger deal. A final contract if you will. He is primarily a possession receiver but can stretch the field. The problem with the Dolphins and T.J. is finding the place to fit. Housh is in his early 30’s and the Phins have been getting younger the last two years. While it is possible to see the wide-out come to Miami, his contract demands will be the deciding factor in anything the Phins do on that front with him.
There are not a lot of options at the WR position in this year free agency but there are options in the draft and the Phins are expected to use one of their first 3 picks on one come April. Still the team needs a veteran leader in a very bad way and while names like Lance Moore and Miles Austin are younger and cheaper than a guy like Housh, neither hold the veteran experience that Housh does.
Still, is it enough? Is experience enough to entice the Dolphins to make a play on a free agent player that could teeter either way on the success meter? I think the Phins would be better served with youth.