Well the Miami Dolphins are all over the Media these days and unfortunately none of it is really any good. Miami has missed out on landing names like Jim Harbaugh and Jeff Fisher for the coaching job, that was actually tempting to some like John Gruden and Brian Billick. Then they did a knock up job attempting to land the infamous Peyton Manning and managed to send Matt Flynn running for Seattle after being the obvious choice for Joe Philbin’s offense. Offensive tackle Eric Winston and Pats standout defensive end Mark Anderson leave Miami without contracts after visits even though they would have immediately filled needs and upgraded the line on both sides of the ball.
Maybe they are just too expensive, or maybe just too well known. Other then players that were drafted into the team like Jake Long and Mark Pouncey and Vontae Davis most of the players on the Phins roster are undrafted, signed from another team or picked up because they were cheap.
For example, as much as I love Devone Bess and I think is one of the greatest slot receivers in the NFL, and his contract shows it, he was undrafted free agent. In other words no one thought he was good enough to play in the NFL, or at least pay him to play. Obviously he proved everyone wrong and is one of the few strong points on the offense.
Matt Moore did an amazing job last year but that was after not being resigned in Carolina.
Reggie Bush as famous as he is, was pushed aside for a younger bigger back in New Orleans.
Steve Slaton had an amazing rookie year and then was plagued with fumbles and got cut in favor or two stronger backs.
Brian Hartline was a fourth round pick. Yeremiah Bell was signed in the 6th round. Nolan Carrol was drafted in the 5th round and the list goes on and on.
Other then Long, Pouncey and Davis there are no other players that the Phins drafted in the 1st round. Bush was drafted by the Saints in the 1st round not Miami. Even though some of these players have played well past their expectations and done outstanding jobs for the team, for the most part many of the Phins picks have not been so great. It seems that they are comfortable saving money and going after cheaper players that might be average instead of spending a little dough on players that are almost guaranteed to produce.
The defense overall is actually well paid and decently staffed(other the free safety, d-end/outside backer) and have decent sized contracts. The offense on the other hand has 2 or 3 players that earn good paychecks but are surrounded with sub par players. Even the signing of Bush was a chance because of his history of injuries. No one expected him to hit a 1000 yards, and point in fact he didn’t finish the season going down with a knee injury in week 15. GM Jeff Ireland is content with building the team around average players as long as he saves money. Miami has turned into that last option for players that can’t get deals anywhere else but want to play in the NFL. Apparently it doesn’t even matter if your that good as long as your cheap and can play, i.e. Mark Colombo, Art Hicks etc.
As a result of poor contracts, bad press and a losing team, quality players are avoiding the Phins like a plague. Ryan Clark’s comment today,”Nobody wants to go to Miami” is unfortunately very true. But why would they? Why would Manning or Flynn want to come to Miami when they know they can get more money somewhere else? Winston, Anderson, Smith, and the other players that have come and gone to Miami for work outs and negotiations have all probably thought the same thing. Quality players deserve quality money for quality play. As long as Ireland continues to sign average players, with below average pay they will continue to get average or below average play. Mr. Ross wants to sell tickets and win games, then sign some star power on the field and not the owners box.