The Miami Dolphins will announce today that they have signed former Arizona 6th year pro LB Karlos Dansby. Dansby will take over Channing Crowder‘s spot in the middle while Crowder moves to the spot left empty when the Phins cut Akin Ayodele.
Dansby will become the highest paid “non-qb rushing” LB in the league. A 22 million dollar guarantee kicks off a 5 year deal worth 43 million. Dansby is the first high-profile free agent signing by the Dolphins “trifecta” of power and is the big LB that Bill Parcells has been looking for.
Dansby is a solid run stopping LB who has the ability to put pressure on the QB as well as drop into coverage. He comes to Miami at a time when the team is over-hauling a defensive unit that struggled last season.
Here is what the rest of our writers think of this signing:
Patrik: I think that this is a solid signing for a number or reasons. First of all it provides much needed help to the middle of the defense. Dansby is a big, physical middle linebacker who has a knack for making plays, an element that is much-needed in this Dolphins defensive unit. Dansby is a winner, he comes from a good team where he was the leader of the defense. He has experience in the 3-4. All in all, Miami may have paid a little more than what was desirable, but they needed to go out and make this move.
It’s also good because the rest of the division is getting better. The Jets started by trading for Antonio Cromartie and the Patriots have been active in early discussions with a number of players. Miami can’t stand pat this offseason and after jettisoning some payroll it was good to see the Dolphins make a strong first move towards retooling.
And finally it adds some clarity to the Dolphins draft situation. Miami probably isn’t going to be taking Rolando McClain. Though the possibility still exists (and would give Miami one hell of an interior) other needs will in all likelihood have to come first. Now Miami can look at Sergio Kindle or Brandon Graham on the outside or hope for Dez Bryant, or they can trade down and get more picks and attempt to nab a safety. Free agency is still young, but things just got a hell of a lot clearer.
AJ: This is a huge move for the Miami Dolphins. They final got a guy who can be a leader on the defense for years to come and they have a guy who can help with coverage in the middle of the field which will therefore help our safeties. Most of our defensive woes were the pass in the middle of the field, It didn’t help that we had Gibril Wilson back there but it also didn’t help that our linebackers were so bad that Gibril had to try and cover the deep and underneath pass.
With Dansby signed the Dolphins may look to trade down if they don’t feel an extreme need to draft Dez Bryant or they feel its too high for Dan Williams or Jason Pierre-Paul. The Dolphins can now step aside from going after another middle linebacker unless Bill Parcells and Co believe that Channing Crowder isn’t good enough for them but with the recent release of Joey Porter and with Jason Taylor getting up there in age we need to find another outside backer whether thats through the draft, trade, or free agency. It might be best to find a Outside linebacker in the draft. Out of Jerry Hughes from TCU, Sergio Kindle from Texas, Brandon Graham from Michigan, Jason Pierre-Paul from USF or Ricky Sapp from Clemson, I believe that one of them is going to be a Dolphin coming in April.
Shane: As Patrik and AJ already mentioned this is a huge signing for Miami. Many debates have flown around message boards about the Dolphins top priority. It seems with the signing of Dansby the Trifecta revealed what they felt the top priority was. Dansby gave Miami the first shot to make an offer and The Trifecta was not going to let him leave Miami without a signed contract. Kudos to the trio, wait we have to say Quad now, because I have no doubt that Nolan had a big say so in not only bringing Dansby in but the release of Porter, Wilson and Ayodele. As Mando stated in the Herald this morning Dansby is the new face of the revamped Miami defense now we will wait and see how they mold the rest of it.
As already mentioned this drastically changes how Miami is looking at the draft. Well, let me rephrase that, this changes how the people outside of the know look at the Dolphins draft strategy. If Renaldo McClain and Brandon Spikes were on Miami’s board, they have probably been dropped way down or removed all together. I would think the top priority now is OLB. I think both Brandon Graham and Sergio Kindle fit the bill for Miami at SOLB. Those might be the sexy names, but this is a very deep draft for OLB, and Miami may look at moving back in round one and gaining extra picks. If they were to drop back in round one and gain an additional second round pick someone like Sean Weatherspoon, Ricky Sapp, Everson Griffen, or Jason Pierre-Paul could be names at the top of Miami’s draft board.
Free agency is far from over, and I am sure Miami will make a few more minor splashes and as they do it will continue to shape the draft.