Dolphins Focused on D, Thigpen to be Traded also?


The Miami Dolphins dealt Greg Camarillo to Minnesota this afternoon for Benny Sapp, as reported by the Dolphins organization.  It was a big move from several aspects: trading away a veteran player who is a good possession-type receiver and acquiring a veteran cornerback.  But clearly, the Dolphins are still focused on D.  My thoughts on Tyler Thigpen though are just speculation for now.  But let’s start by taking a look at this first trade.

Sapp is apparently known for being a tough, no-nonsense hitter.  And you can bet that is what attracted Mike Nolan and the Dolphin administration to him.  That said, the Dolphins could have sought any position in exchange for Greg Camarillo, so why cornerback?  Well with Will Allen facing some knee problems recently, at least this will add depth to the roster.  But more than that: this adds talent and experience to a young defensive backfield and comes from one of the top NFL Defenses in the league, the Minnesota Vikings.

It has been reported that:  “In just seven starts for the Vikes in 2009, Sapp recorded 40 solo tackles, six deflected passes, and two forced fumbles.”  (courtesy, Bleacher Report).

The Miami Dolphins stated of the trade, ”

Meanwhile, Sapp has six years of experience and started seven games for the injured Antoine Winfield last year after Winfield. He spent his first four seasons in Kansas City with the Chiefs and the last two with the Vikings. In 2008 he had 22 tackles and two interceptions and last season he ended with 44 tackles (40 solo) six passes defensed and two forced fumbles.

“I think you get a guy that has some position flexibility,” Sparano said. “He’s played corner and started games at corner in this league, played a large number of plays last season, played in some playoff games and also plays inside in the nickel. So I think he has a little bit of position flex that way and he’s a special teams player as well. I feel strong enough that the addition of this player will help our football team so I’m just glad that we were in this situation get a player that we think can help our team.” [courtesy, Miami Dolphins . com]

Here are the career stats on Sapp, courtesy the Vikings site.

Defense Stats

As you can see, Sapp had possibly his best year last year with 40 solo tackles.  He is not a backup-type player.  Question is, who will get bumped to make room on the starting lineup for him?  Sapp is 5′ 9″ and 190 lbs.  He has been covering receivers from every NFL team and doing it well for years and is approaching 30 years old next year in 2011.  Seems like a great acquisition.  He will not only play for the Dolphins, he will start.  And my guess is that he will bump Sean Smith and play opposite Vontae Davis. But possibly, he will even be featured as a Kick Returner as he does have experience playing well on Special Teams.

This is a good move for the Dolphins, no question about it.  And especially so with the young developing receivers showing good skill: Marlon Moore and Roberto Wallace in particular.  In review of game film from the Jaguars game, Moore looked athletic and determined and this was great to see.

Other Analysis: The next roster cuts will get down to September 4 — Rosters cut down to 53 player maximums.  September 9 – 2010 NFL Kickoff.  Who will be the next ones to be dealt or cut?  My guess is Pat White will be included and recently Armando Salguerro seemed to agree on his postings.  Seems to be a foregone conclusion.  But I will add one more possibility: Tyler Thigpen is being showcased for a possible trade.  I believe this is possible because he is simply too valuable to sit behind Chad Pennington as a 3rd String QB and right now could garner a 3rd or even a 2nd round draft pick or a proven player.  He is playing well but will never move up to a starter with the Dolphins.  But he would be an excellent backup QB for a team needing this – and let’s face it, there are many needing one right now.

Your thoughts?  Too incredible to be believed?  Too terrible to be contemplated?

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-Bert Smith