Today we give you our 2nd writers submission for our staff writer contest. This article comes from MV. Please feel free to vote on the subject after the article.
” Will the Dolphins enter a bidding war for Atogwe? “
With Parcells and Co. entering the third year of their regime and Parcells notoriously not staying with a franchise for more than five years, the Dolphins are making exciting moves this off-season to make a real push for the post-season. That being said, arguably the weakest spot on Miami’s defense in 09 was that manned by Gibril Wilson, who was supposed to be a big hitter and stout against the run (didn’t see it), but more often that not looked lost in coverage and consistently allowed opposing TE’s and WR’s to get behind him in coverage, allowing chunks of yardage at a time. With restricted free agency set to begin June 1st, will the Dolphins enter a bidding war for the most talented coverage S in free agency or are they happy with what is currently on the roster?
This brings us to what we currently have at the position and if that player can be a successful quarterback of the secondary for this Year Three push. Battling of the position is 2010 fifth round draft choice, Reshad Jones, last year’s fifth round selection, Chris Clemons, and Tyrone Culver. First, let’s start out with Jones. Jones is a bit tight in the hips and runs upright, but the guy has a knack for the interception and hits a TON. Clemons also is a hitter and has excellent speed (4.40 in last year’s combine), but is lost at times with the ball in the air, as was witnessed last year. And Culver, who is actually a nice player and valuable reserve, but if were to be an impact player would have been one by now. Aside from Jones, who is a bit of a project, the coaching staff has had time to evaluate the other two players, which begs the question: Is either of these players starting material, much less the impact player the Dolphins need at FS to make a serious push for the playoffs this year?
With the Rams on the hook for 110% of last year’s franchise salary or 6.976 million for one year, it appears they will allow Atogwe to test the market. For Miami to win Atogwe’s services, they will have to come hard and strong with a big offer much they way they did with Marshall (4 yrs/47 million, 24 million guaranteed), and Dansby (5 yrs /43 million, 22 million guaranteed) with many other interested teams in the mix, notably the Eagles, Bears, Seahawks and the 49′ers. What Atogwe brings the Dolphins is what the other three on the roster presently lack. A proven track record for making plays and coverage ability, and an unquestioned top five rating throughout the league for free safeties. Antrel Roll’s signing with the Giants earlier this off-season, (5 yrs, 37 million, 15 million guaranteed) will no doubt set the market for Atogwe, who is of similar age and status. Do not bar out a late sign and trade much like what we saw of Marshall if Miami wants Atogwe enough. Noting the interest they had in Rolle and the interest they showed in Atogwe last off-season, I would not be surprised to see Miami make this move to complete this secondary.