Crowders' Comments Point To Free Agency
By Brian Miller
Channing Crowder appears more and more likely to hit the open market. Crowder has been a 4 year starter for the Miami Dolphins since his rookie season. Last year he was second on the team with 113 tackles but that was obviously not enough to secure his roster spot and a new contract this year. If Channing Crowders’ comments are any indication, free agency will be the catalyst to his ego.
When Crowder was asked about his future at a recent charity softball game, he had this to say about his meetings with Bill Parcells and Jeff Ireland.
"“They said, ‘Well, we want to see what your market value is, and see where it goes from there, So hopefully it does get real, real high and they have to match something high, but we’ll see when free agency comes around.”"
Crowder is one of 5 remaining free agents that Dolphins must decide on by this coming Friday. Safety Yeremiah Bell, considered to be a higher priority than Crowder has not publicly commented on his status or the teams intentions. Andre’ Goodman and Renaldo Hill along with center Al Johnson are the others.
Crowder is not a Bill Parcells type LB. He is not a freak and is more a product of the system than a game changer. Consistently Crowder has made tackles beyond the line of scrimmage rather at the point of attack. his first step is often a half-step back before shifting side to side rather than staying in place to quick read the offense.
Crowder is serviceable and in the former Phins schemes, would have excelled at what the team asked him to do. Injury is another issue that plagues the LB. A knee injury in college dropped his stock when some projected him as a late 1st or 2nd round prospect. The Phins drafted him in round 3. Over the last two seasons, Crowder has missed time due to injury. Two seasons ago his year was finished when he went on IR and last season Crowder battled a nagging injury late in the year, when the team needed him most. He did however miss only one game.
Crowder is not a bad player by any means and no one questions his talent or drive to excel. Still, he doesn’t seem to fit the scheme being implemented and struggles at times. As the defensive Captain, he shouldn’t struggle with anything.
With free agency less than a week away, Crowder will get the opportunity to see if other NFL teams value him more than what the Dolphins do. Crowder was “insulted” by the initial contract proposal from the team which caused his team of negotiators to back away from talks. Presumably they have not resumed. While it’s up for interpretation, Crowder does apparently believe that his value is much higher, and depending on the readers’ take to his comments, a bit bitter as well.
"“They did have the whole season to re-sign me, and they really didn’t want to talk about anything, so maybe they didn’t like me as a player or whatever it was,” Crowder said. “If they want to get into a bidding battle with somebody, that means they really didn’t want me anyway.“I want to play football next year, and I’m confident I can play in the NFL, so I’ll play football next year and hopefully it’s with the Dolphins. But if it’s with somebody else, I know I can play football. They had the first crack at it and they dropped the ball, so we’ll see what other teams do. It’s their loss.”"