Dec. 23, 2012; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins running back Reggie Bush (right) celebrates his touchdown with teammate wide receiver Brian Hartline (left) during the second half against the Buffalo Bills at Sun Life Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
As most of you may know by now, Brian Hartline and the Miami Dolphins have reached an agreement on a brand new contract. Over the course of the next five seasons, Hartline will receive nearly $31 million with $12.5 million of it being guaranteed according to a source. For Hartline, this is his biggest payday as a NFL player. The only question that has yet to be answered is, is Brian Hartline worth six million dollars a year? My answer: No, and I’ll tell you why I think that.
Don’t get me wrong, Hartline is a good quality receiver in the National Football League. In his four years as a Dolphin, Hartline has been as consistent as they come, constantly making nice catch after nice catch. Despite his playing ability, I think that six million dollars is a bit pricey. In his career, Hartline has 183 receptions for a total of 2,753 yards and six touchdowns. If you average his career numbers, Hartline will have just over 45 catches per year, with 688 receiving yards and a little more than one touchdown per season. Now I understand that Hartline had a tremendous year last season as the Dolphins lead receiver as he was able to eclipse the 1,000 yard receiving mark for the first time in his career, but in my opinion, I think the Phins might have overpaid just a little bit. In my opinion, I would not pay Hartline six million a year, even though he was arguably our best offensive player last season. If you look at Hartline’s game log last season, you would see the inconsistency from Brian. Despite having over 1,000 yards, Hartline only had three 100 yard games. His best game came against the Arizona Cardinals where he caught twelve balls for 253 yards and one touchdown; however, in the three weeks following that game, Hartline only caught 11 balls for 100 yards, including zero reception, zero yard game against St. Louis. Along with his inconsistent play last season, Brian simply could not find the end-zone. The only touchdown Hartline had was on a play where the defense completely blew their coverage as well.
I’m not saying Hartline is a bad player and I’m not saying I don’t want him in a Dolphins uniform. What I’m trying to say is the Dolphins might have paid him a little too much. However, it is understandable why they gave him six million because if they didn’t, they would lose him to free agency, which would put them in a deeper hole offensively. That’s the thing about this time of year. If you want someone on your team, chances are you’re going to have to overpay.
With Hartline being locked up for the next five seasons, the Miami Dolphins have to go out and get another receiver to compliment him. If the Phins can get a legitimate number one receiver such as Mike Wallace or Greg Jennings I think Hartline can end up being a very good player for the Dolphins for more than just one season. Hartline in my opinion isn’t a number one guy, but if the Dolphins can find a way to get a big time receiver on this team whether it’s via draft or free agency, this offense will dramatically improve over the course of the next few seasons.
Thanks for Reading!