Does the name Jerome Messam ring a bell? Do you recognize the name at all? If you are a follower of the Canadian Football League you would. Messam was the number one CFL running back in 2011 and if all the rumors are true, he will be a Miami Dolphin by Monday morning.
According the Edmonton Journal who cite both Jeff Ireland and Edmonton Eskimos General Manager Eric Tillman, Messam has agreed to fly south to Miami and play his next season in the NFL. Another report says that the deal is not final yet and that Messam has yet to put his signature on the paper. For the Dolphins, Messam would be an immediate plus to the Phins running back corp.
Joining the speedy and elusive Reggie Bush and the middle-man Daniel Thomas, Messam would give Joe Philbin the bulldozing up the middle runner that the team is lacking. Although it will be argued that Daniel Thomas was supposed to fill that role. The signing would almost certainly end the stay in Miami for Lex Hilliard who is scheduled to be a free agent.
While Messam runs with abusive power on the field, he tends to do the same off the field as well. Messam has been noted for his off-field issues and also broke a fellow teammates jaw in an altercation. However, his stay in Edmonton was not marred by any on or off-field issues and he was awarded the CFL’s Most Outstanding Canadian Player in 2011 rushing for six TD’s and 1,057 yards.
On the surface, the touchdown totals and the yardage pales in comparison to the NFL’s routine rushers eclipsing the thousand yard mark each season. In Canada, the teams play 18 games as opposed to the 16 in the NFL. However, to put it into comparison, Messam is the first running back in the CFL to eclipse the thousand yard single season mark in 12 years.
For the Dolphins, going to the well in Canada is nothing new. Jeff Ireland and Bill Parcells made former Canadian star DE Cameron Wake a Miami Dolphin household name and an NFL Pro-Bowler. The signing of Messam will allow the Dolphins to concentrate on other areas of team needs in free agency and the draft. Many speculated that the Dolphins would pursue free agent Green Bay runner Ryan Grant due in part to his history with Joe Philbin.
UPDATE: Thanks to one of our informed Canadian readers, the 1,000 yard statistics is referring to an actual Canadian born player and not just a CFL player. As well as the award for “CFL’s Most Outstanding Canadian Player”, that award is given to Canadian born players only. Appreciate the heads up on that Jeremy16!