Are The Dolphins Doing Enough?

It’s a valid question.  One that has been asked for some time actually.  Since 2002 the Miami Dolphins have rarely spent tons of money on top free agents.  Even back in the days of Dave Wannstedt albeit because our cap situation prevented it.  Under Cameron and Mueller the biggest FA was Joey Porter and that almost looked like a horrible waste of money.  So once again we spend the first weekend of free agency asking…

“ARE THE DOLPHINS DOING ENOUGH”

 

Last year fans of the Phins watched as some of the top guys left the market while the Phins bought names like Smiley, Torbor, Wilford, and Starks.  This year, the Phins have bought names like Berger.  That’s it.  Sure the Phins shored up some of their holes by re-signing (thats for you Joe!) key free agents of their own.  Carey, Crowder, and of course Yeremiah Bell.  They also landed street FA Gibril Wilson the day before FA started.

Still, you look around the rest of the AFC East, not the NFL, and you wonder if the Phins can really compete.  Yes we thought the same thing last year but at some point the changes that are being made in NY and NE has to make them better.  In NE we find that once again they will have a boat load of picks on day 1 of the draft.  4 at present count.  1 first and now 3 2nd’s with the Matt Cassel trade.  So the Patriots are getting younger quick and filling not only holes but the youth movement is securing there depth for the eventual departure of their older veterans.

In New York a different approach has brought in some of the top talent at their positions, albeit at a premium cost.  Last season NY brought in Al Faneca, Damian Woody, Calvin Pace, and a few others.  This year they have already landed LB Bart Scott and are the likely landing spots for Corey Ivy and Jim Leonhard.  The Jets still have some issues on the offensive side of the ball though.

For Miami however it’s a different state.  They have yet to address their offense line outside of Berger and in doing so are believing that either Berger can and will beat out Samson Satele for the starting center spot, a very big upgrade need or challenge last years rookie Donald Thomas who himself is still a big question mark outside of the injury recovery concern.  

There is still no hit WR which Tony Sparano calls a luxury instead of a need and while the RB’s are pretty much set with Brown, Williams, and Cobb, it’s apparent that none will do much outside of the “WildCat” unless the offensive line drastically improves.  So has the offense gotten any better?  The answer to that is no.  Not even close.

On defense it’s worse, much worse actually.  Sure Channing Crowder will be back and enter his second season in the system at interior LB but the defensive line is still anchored by aging Jason Ferguson and two still unproven DE’s in Merling and Langford.  Questions still remain at the outside LB spot opposite Joey Porter who has questions about his stamina as well and the other middle LB spot that appears to be Akin Ayodele.

In the secondary is where the real problem is.  Aside from CB Will Allen, the Dolphins have no one to play the position.  The depth is nothing special either.  The Phins did lock up to safety’s that should make the deep secondary stronger but the lack of a corner is very troublesome especially when you look at Allen and realize that while he is serviceable he is no longer in his prime and will need replacing in a year or two as well.

Free agency is only 3 days old and the big name movers have punched their tickets to financial freedom and now the prices begin to drop some as the mid-2nd tier guys and lower start to get looks.  It’s here that the Dolphins will shop.  Walmart instead of Macy’s or Kohl’s.

With the draft still almost 2 full months away, the Phins will have 3 day 1 picks to find their future gems.  With the team needing a legit center, only two stand out as first day picks and both are round 1 talents. Max Unger and Alex Mack.  The team needs a big time corner and they are usually off the board in round 1 as well.  Defensive LB’s are usually plentiful but the top 3 guys are projected to be off the board before Miami picks at 25.  

What do the Dolphins address first?  LB if one is there and bypass the only solid up front centers, or a center and miss possibly the chance at a top shelf LB?  Do they miss out on both and turn to CB or do they draft a tall speedy WR and address the rest with their round 2 picks.

The regular season schedule is one of the toughest in the NFL next year, the Dolphins may not find 11-5 as easy as they appeared to find it last year.  With holes still popping through the roster there seems to be more questions than answers.  The Dolphins are still in the process of a rebuild and roster turnover is expected and the lack of big name talent is expected as well as the team follows it’s plan to build this team through the draft.  One winning season, one division title doesn’t change that.

Expectations are high for this team regardless of the schedule and the changes being made elsewhere in the AFC East.  And it’s because of those expectations that we ask that same question again, “are the Dolphins doing enough?”

Perhaps, perhaps not.

Topics: 2009 NFL Free Agency, Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, NY Jets

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  • josh

    Hey man your totally right, i dont think were doing near enough to win 8 games next year. teams will be running and passing all through are defense, and then are offense will get the ball and do nothing because we hav no playmakers besides ronnie brown.

  • PHINS FAN

    DONT WORRY THE TUNA WILL MAKE US GREAT
    DONT DOUBT THE FINS

  • Matt Ubriaco

    the phins definitely need to sign a free agent corner or two.  i’m all for drafting one as well, but we can’t draft 3.  how about dre bly or leigh bodden.  bly is more of a stop gap, but bodden could be one long term solution.  i know all the talk is about LB or C, but I really believe the phins need to go with Hakeem Nicks at 25.  the guy is over 6 feet, plays physical, has the best hands in the draft, and wants the ball and delivers when the game is on the line.  I’ve already read several articles by so called experts saying he will winde up being the second best receiver to come out of this draft after crabtree of course.  then i’d go with sean smith(corner from utah) with first pick in round 2, then a LB with second 2nd round pick and then a center like eric wood in round 3

  • joe

    my self i think if there is no great corner at 25 i do belive the center should be number one, i don’t think we should draft a wr on till the 2nd day. lets face it i love our record was last year, but lets be honest we where not even close to 11 and 5 team. i think we got better this week no dought resigning curry and bell was a must. berger is a god pick up for 2 reasan he is bigger aand better cener if not a great back up, our saftys are set last year it wasn’t. i do believe the only resan we signed crowder be couse tuna knew we wouldn’t out bid the yucky jets for scott go fin’s

  • jon

    The sky is not falling. 

    With a bunch of guys from an 11-5 team looking for big contracts we have maintained, gotten a large quality/age upgrade at free safety and signed a promising pass rushing OL in Wake.  The only negative is that we haven’t resigned an average-to-good corner soon to hit the north side of 30.

    We still have enough room for two quality starters and an extra 2nd in the draft.  And this team is purposefully young.  Overall it would have improved going into next year in any event, and then we get to add in the improvements of the draft.

    We can get into relative moves by the Jets as they sell their future or the Pats as they try to maintain an aging team with admittedly smart moves but the Phins are on a track unlike any we’ve seen in a decade.

  • http://www.sheddawgs.com shed dawg mike

    You guys are cracking me up!  How can anyone possibly say with any certainty that 11-5 is going to be much tougher this year?  Sure, we may go 5-11 but we also could go 13-3.  You guys say we are not doing enough yet if we were overspending like the Jets (and yes they are WAY overspending) you would be the same ones criticizing that as well.

    How many times do you have to see teams blow their wad on FAs only to have it bite them in the ass!  You guys are complaining about holes in the roster and free agency is only 3 days old.  Yes we need players but I think I will wait to see what transpires over the next 6 months before I start to speculate on how we can possibly keep up with the pats and jets.  Last time I checked we WON the AFC East after a 1-15 season.  I don’t think Parcells and company suddenly forget how to build a team after the champaign bath in the meadowlands!

  • http://phinphanatic.com Brian Miller

    Well Mike, 

    I’m glad that this little gem of an article is stirring up the thought process…LOL.  The question is a legit one and one that many fans are asking which is the purpose of the entire piece as a whole.  As for the toughness of the schedule, that part was derived solely from the fact, and yes I mean fact, that next season we play a much tougher schedule than we did this year.  Not the first place schedule, but the opponents themselves are tougher.  It’s that 4th year of rotation that pits us against teams such as Carolina, and the AFC South.  
    As for spending, no, I for one do not think we should be blowing the kind of money at players like the Jets are, but perhaps we should be doing a little more than we are…it’s a fair question.  The issue at hand is what is more?  Overspending on self-over valued free agents?  Trading players to obtain more picks to build through the draft?  Shoring up a few holes with veteran leadership but at a discounted price?  
    Everyone has their opinions on what should be done, but no one has answers on what good it will do…hence the question of the entire article.  I’m glad it stirred this stuff up…:)
  • volsnascar21

    I would like to see us go for Ray Lewis, and possibly Marvin Harrison.  Until you win it all, you never are good enough.

  • http://phinphanatic.com Brian Miller

    While I wouldn’t be against Lewis, I want nothing to do with Harrison.  Way over priced for a 37 year old who has completely lost more than just a step.

  • Built4Glory

     I like the approach that has been taken by the trifecta.  They are still in the midst of a rebuilding process.  Last years surprise success did not change what they had in mind for this franchise.  I am all for sticking to the plan of building through the draft, and adding depth and role players through FA.

     Every year it seems the Redskins break the bank in Free Agency and every year they are home watching the Super Bowl.  

     

  • volsnascar21

    Do you think Miami should take a look at Warner or is he too old now?  Just curious more than anything.  They almost won the super bowl.  

    Brian, who would you like to see the dolphins sign in fa and trade for?

  • Rob H.

    Hey guys, just relax. Bill ” the big tuna ” , knows exactly what he’s doing.  he’s not going to over spend for a FA that is in his 30′s and only has a few short years left.  He is going to pick up a few            “diamonds in the rough ” in the mid to late rounds of the draft, and if he can’t address the needs in FA, he will do so in the early rounds of the draft. I think we should go WR, CB, OLB/DE, C, 1,2,2,3 . And if not that then go CB, WR, OLB, C, DT.  Our defense is suspect at the CB position and we got burned for some big plays early in the year, so by getting a great cover corner and a good rush LB in the first two rounds, that should make our defense way better.

  • http://phinphanatic.com Brian Miller

    First to Voles…NO we don’t need Warner at all.  

    Second I completely agree that this team is still rebuilding and I expect it to continue at least through another off-season.  That may or may not have the same record response we had last year…that’s o.k.  We needed to fix this team and that’s what they are doing…spending tons of dough on FA is not going to make this team a winner and competitor for years and that’s what we need.  The Jets are playing a win now approach and we all know that more than not doesn’t work.
  • hawk9810

    I wouldn’t mind if we went CB,OLB,CB,C with our 4 picks. I know we need a reciever but not as bad as we need help in the secondary!!  I would still like to see us pick up another OL in free agency, can never have enough OL..

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