Submission: 17


By: C.L.

Dolphins should pass on Atogwe

Admit it.  We’re greedy.  But, that’s not a bad thing.  Back in March, Miami had weak links at four primary positions: FS, WR, ILB and NT.  At the time, Dolphin fans (myself included) were salivating at the idea of Ryan Clark, or Antrel Rolle in the Miami backfield to fill the FS gap.  Either would have been a HUGE upgrade over the disappointment that was Gibril Wilson.  Parcells and Co. made a run at both, and wisely declined to break the bank.  Enter Karlos Dansby.  Enter Brandon Marshall.  Bank broken.  Marshall’s deal ($47 million) is the richest for a WR in NFL history, and Dansby’s ($43 million) was the richest for an ILB until Patrick Willis’ new contract trumped it earlier this month.  That’s $90 million invested in 2 players.  No criticism here – I LOVE both additions.   Both players instantly turn key positions of need into positions of strength.  That’s money well spent, and two weak links solidified.   Randy Starks is the 2010 solution at NT, and while the release of Jason Taylor and Joey Porter opened a new can of worms at OLB, Koa Misi and Cameron Wake will get a crack as their successors.  So, what about that pesky FS hole?

O.J. Atogwe is available for the right price, but I’m not salivating anymore.  There’s no doubt he can be an impact player.  Over the last 3 years he’s averaged 78 tackles and 5 INTs per season.  He’s a good, solid safety who’s been in purgatory on a terrible Ram team.  He will also come with a hefty price tag.  It wouldn’t be as large as Dansby’s or Marshall’s deals, but bet on the fact it wouldn’t be very far off.  He’s not Ed Reed, or a young Brian Dawkins, and he shouldn’t be paid like he is. The Dolphins have already picked up two of the biggest single season acquisitions in the team’s recent history. Let’s not forget we may have a looming situation at RB in 2011.  My thought on Atogwe?  Pass.

Why not see what we have in Chris Clemons, Tyrone Culver, and rookie Reshad Jones this season?  Give them a chance to battle it out in training camp and let’s see their potential.  None may be a long term answer.  That’s fine.  Regardless, the FS spot is already an improvement from last year. Realistically, every hole on a roster can’t be fixed in one offseason.  (Go ahead and try Jets – let’s see how that works out a few seasons from now)  Miami has done well this spring.  The O-line has been upgraded with the additions of Incognito, Proctor and Jerry.  The receiving corps has the potential to reach a new level with Marshall.  The secondary will be better with the return of Will Allen, paired with the fact that Smith and Davis have a year under their belts.  Assuming Starks can fill the void at NT, the defensive line has improved as well.  The team still has a long way to go.   But, if Clemons, Culver, or Jones can prove to be at least a serviceable starter – it’s a win.  Hopefully the rest of the chips that make up the roster will fall in place and the long term FS situation can be addressed next year.  Not a bad outlook in my opinion.