Number 1…Brandon Marshall…oh wait sorry this isn’t “that kind” of article. The Miami Dolphins are facing a very interesting off-season ahead of them. When the league new year kicks off in March, the Dolphins will likely have more cap space than any other team in the NFL and it’s realistic to believe that Stephen Ross is going to go all in. He needs this team to turn it around. Opening up his wallet will do that and he knows it.
The fact that on Sundays, there is more empty seating that just about any other stadium in the NFL speaks volumes of the holes this team has. Obviously there are free agent options as well as draft options. There are also options on the inside. As in players Miami currently has that can step up and play. That’s a conversation for another time though. Today, I want to look at ten players the Dolphins have on their team that they don’t really need.
Whether by saving money, creating more cap space, or blowing a large portion of it, the Dolphins have a few players that shouldn’t be back come September.
Reggie Bush – I like Bush. Snicker all you want perverts. The truth is Reggie is an exciting athlete who can break a long run anytime he touches the ball. The issue however is that he is not a true North/South runner and spends far too much time dancing behind the line of scrimmage instead of outright hitting the holes regardless of their size. Get him outside and he can do wonders but he isn’t a running-back when he is split out. Bush is in a contract year and thus far, a new deal hasn’t been talked about. It’s not known what kind of contract Bush and his agents will be searching for in the off-season but if he re-signs with Miami I would be surprised if it broke the bank. For the right price? Sure, but I’m no 100% sure what the right price is.
Jake Long – It’s pretty easy to write Long’s name here and I’m certain that most of you reading this expected him to be on here. So why put him way up top? Reality is setting in for Long and it doesn’t look good. He has missed time now the last three years and last year he finished the season off the field. Like Bush, Long is in a contract year and it is rumored that he will still seek elite LT money despite the injuries and the lack of production. Long will be a 10 – 15 million a year LT in the league and that money can buy you a lot more. Making matters more interesting is the play of rookie Johnathan Martin who has taken his spot. In the two games he has been there, he seems to have a strong grasp on his natural position.
Anthony Fasano – Fasano is probably my 3rd favorite player on the team right now…he has dropped a few as he was my most favorite player for several years after joining the team. The problem is that while he is an absolute “blue-collar” TE he simply can’t be consistent enough to warrant millions. In the years since he has arrived, he simply hasn’t brought much to the Dolphins bottom ranked TE position. QB’s have a big part of that as do the systems that a TE plays in. Regardless, Fasano is nowhere near an elite talent at the position and while it pains me to say it, is a player I do not believe needs to be in Miami.
Nolan Carroll – If anyone believes that he adds something to the Dolphins defense, I would like to know that is. A warm body to get beat by average WR’s or that player that the NFL needs to highlight in their examples of improper technique that will draw a flag. While Reshad Jones has taken major strides in his role as a safety, Carroll hasn’t developed as fast or even as well as he should have at this point in his career.
Randy Starks – This one pains me. Mainly because I really am on the fence with this one. Starks will be a free agent and is still under the age of 30. Beyond hope I want to believe that he will sign a contract similar to the one that Paul Soliai signed last season. I don’t know if that will be the case and if he is asking for too much it might be a good idea to let him go. We know that as an edge rusher, Jared Odrick is not going to get it done, but he could slide down into the spot vacated by Starks and perform very well if not as good. If the Dolphins are looking to make a splash in free agency with “play-makers’ they will need money. Spending it on player you can replace ties some of that up. But if Starks is willing to accept a team friendly deal, I would bring him back in a heartbeat!
Sean Smith – Smith is all talk and little to no substance. Yet he is a good guy in the locker room. Unfortunately to win you need to be a good guy on the field. Smith was early on but he tends to fall out of position far too easily. The Dolphins may not have to pay him a whole lot given the lack of production he has had this season. The issue here is that the Dolphins are already in need of a starting corner opposite Smith. Free agent Richard Marshall showed very little in the short time he was playing before his injury but the Dolphins may believe he is a better option under contract than Smith is asking for a new one. Especially when you still need a cover corner regardless of what you decide.
Dan Carpenter – Another tough decision to make but let’s face it, Carpenter isn’t hitting on all cylinders these days. No this is not about the missed FG’s that “could” have won games way back in September. This is more an issue with the team needing to direct their spending. The Miami Dolphins need to find key “core” players and while it could be argued that Kicker is a core position of need, they tend to be easier to replace. While it may sound that I want him gone, that is not the case. In fact for most of the players on this list that would not be the case. But if I’m trying to right a ship that is still hung up on the reef, I’m cutting what I can to buy more oarsmen to get me off that reef.
Richie Incognito – When it comes to attitude no one has a bigger one that Cog’s. There is nothing out there that intimidates this guard. He has every ounce of killer instinct you want to have on your offensive line. Unfortunately, he is becoming more and more a liability in the rushing game on this side. He has slowed considerably on his pulls and is getting beat more often off the snap. Perhaps that could be a result of playing next to Jake Long who has struggled this year but whatever the reason is, Cog’s is not making forward strides in his game. We all know that fixing an offensive line is not an easy task, we have been doing it for years. However if you look at the current line of scrimmage, the team is taking on a more athletic look and Cog’s may not have a role their. Love his attitude but he needs to play at a level that matches it.
Karlos Dansby – He is way overpaid in my opinion. Is not a leader on or off the field for this team and his apparent lack of realization regarding his surroundings tell me he ins’t one hundred percent aware of what is going on around him. He has criticized the front office, criticized the direction of the team, and still runs his mouth about being an elite LB despite the fact he can’t make the Pro-Bowl. Adding to all of that non-football stuff is the fact that Dansby simply isn’t a game changing football player. He seemed to be in Arizona but the Dolphins did not buy that production. Dansby asserts that he is a leader but leaders lead not only by example but by standing up and making the players around him take accountability for their mistakes. When has Dansby done that in Miami? If I were a betting man I would say that KD is bored and tired in Miami. I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if he wanted out. The Dolphins have struggled to find a suitable LB to lead this teams defense and unfortunately, in my opinion, they didn’t on one with KD either.
Your Opinion – Who do you think the Miami Dolphins can do without? Ireland, Philbin, and Ross are not acceptable options.