- Fins keep season alive Cam Wake's sack/safety in OT preserves the Fins victory and season
- Fins lose control in 2nd half Dolphins lose a 14 point lead and the game to the Patriots
- Fins trade for OT McKinnie Miami sends a late round conditional pick for OT Bryant McKinnie
- Fins let one get away Caleb Sturgis last second FG goes just left and the Fins lose 26-23
Re-sign Jake Long and Randy Starks? Forget it.
Jeff Ireland has planned the work. It’s time for him to work the plan.
The Dolphins have the second youngest team in the NFL, a potential franchise QB in Ryan Tannehill, a projected $46-$47 million in cap room, and 5 of the first 82 picks in the 2013 NFL Draft.
WR Brian Hartline should be the only “must” among the Dolphins 11 Free Agents impending Free Agents following a 74-catch, 1083 season at 26 years old. Hartline’s camp likely will ask for the same $5-$7 mil/year contract that Pierre Garcon, Mario Manningham, Robert Meachem, Josh Morgan, and Laurent Robinson signed for last off-season. Robbing Tannehill of his go-to guy in Hartline will be counter-productive to building the skill positions. It’s simple: losing Hartline will require replacing a player of Hartline’s caliber.
Several Dolphins FA’s are in limbo. RB Reggie Bush and CB Sean Smith are likely on the outs given their expected price-tags, but could return for the right price. QB Matt Moore, OT Nate Garner, DT Tony McDaniel, FS Chris Clemons would be valuable re-signings under the right circumstances as well.
But LT Jake Long and DT Randy Starks? Absolutely not. Not for any price. Don’t even talk about it.
Re-signing Jake Long in a best-case-scenario will cost $7-9mil/year for the next 5-7 seasons. Ireland prepared for Long’s departure in drafting Martin in the 2nd Round last season instead of addressing more pressing needs at DE and WR. Martin will earn $1-1.5 mil/season for the next 3 years to return to his natural LT spot. Re-signing Long devalues the overall purpose of drafting Martin in the 2012 NFL Draft.
I like Randy Starks. What’s not to like? The 5-year, $21-million dollar contract he signed in 2008 was a bargain. He has excelled as both a 3-4 DE and 4-3 DT under three different Defensive Coordinators. He had his first NFL sack in his first NFL game before he was even old enough to drink a beer. But? Re-signing Starks through 2013 and 2014, even at a bargain price, also requires the same two-year commitment to playing Jared Odrick out of place at DE. After the 2014 season, the Dolphins are likely to lose both Starks and Odrick to Free Agency. Odrick is younger, bigger, stronger, cheaper, and had more sacks and tackles for loss than Starks over the last two seasons. Re-signing Starks devalues the selection of Jared Odrick with the #28 in the 2010 NFL Draft.
Look… if this were Major League Baseball where it’s a simple question of “do you want the guy or not?”, it’d be a different story. But this is the NFL. There are rules here.
Jeff Ireland has only a certain amount of dollars to establish the future of the Miami Dolphins, and those dollars should be spent on playmakers on a team that currently lacks them. Jake Long and Randy Starks would be counter-productive to those efforts.
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Thanks for reading,
Brian Catanzaro @BrianCat13