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Dolphins #28 Miami Dolphins
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Dolphins Pulse

Dolphins... bury heads in the sand
Ouch! Week 1 sucked.

We lost two more defensive starters. ( I'm considering NCB Oliver Smith a starter ) for aprox half the season. We go into week 2 without almost 1/3 of our defensive starters.

Due to the injuries the team today cut veteran DE Chandler Jones. The move saves the team $8.86M this season. The cut allowed the team to sign a couple of injury replacements and gives them a bit more room to make moves if they need to.

SS Tommy Johnson signed a 5 year deal worth $7.25M with $2.85M in signing bonuses.

RE Deandrew Paulson
signed a 1 year deal worth $1.46M with a $560K signing bonus

As far as week 1 goes, rookie RB Leonard Fournette rushed for 114 yards on 18 carries and had a touchdown. The bad news however was the Bills RB Riddick Owen ran for 249 yards on 27 carriers with an amazing 3 TD's.

Onto week 2, there's not much else to say. Crying or Very Sad

NCB Oliver Smith- Broken wrist out 7 weeks

SS Bernie Freeman- Torn Shoulder out 9 weeks

LOLB Danta Fowler
- Torn Shoulder- out 9 weeks

Forum Discussion (by B_Mellon on 03/15/2017) Replies - 1 :: Views - 32
Dolphins- Preseason injury update
The Dolphins are currently 2 and 1 this preseason but the big news regards an injury. Starting LOLB Dante Fowler broke his collarbone in preseason game #3 versus the Texans. It's expected that Fowler will miss just over half the regular season. This means the team will more than likely not place him on season ending IR. They will more than likely change from the 3-4 defense they were going with to a more popular base 4-3 defense. According to internal reports MLB Angelito May will more than likely fill the LOLB duties while Fowler is out.

To fulfill roster requirements the Dolphins signed un-drafted rookie LOLB Zack Pembrook formerly of the Nebraska Corhuskers to a 3 year deal worth $2.19M with a signing bonus of $840K.

GM Mellon was quoted today as saying the team plans to rest the majority of it's starters in preseason game #4 versus the Titans.
Forum Discussion (by B_Mellon on 03/01/2017) Replies - 0 :: Views - 15
Dolphins- more roster moves
The Dolphins welcomed some familiar faces to today’s practice. Pictured below is World Wrestling Entertainment’s (WWE) Paul Wight, aka “The Big Show”. Wight, a team fan and personal friend of GM Mellon’s stopped by to greet the team and share a couple laughs.



The team announced a few roster moves today. These moves are expected to be some of the last ones as the 2022 roster and starting lineup is going to be decided soon.

RT Ryan Clady- formerly of the GZL Broncos and Saints
Clady will fill the RT spot this year. While team officials realize there’s a great chance Clady retires after the upcoming season they would welcome him to stay another year or two.
Clady was signed for 3 years at $27.42M with a $10.95M signing bonus. This year’s salary will be $7.78M

RB Webster Kay- formerly of the GZL Chiefs
Kay will be the Dolphins returner. The team had a severe need for a kick and punt returner once CB Gilbert became one of the starting CB’s and releasing his return duties.
Kay was signed for 5 years at $7.4M with a $2.9M signing bonus. This year’s salary will be $1.08M.

CB Daymond Van Dyke
- formerly of the GZL Packers
Van Dyke will be the teams #5 CB. This was a low cost, low risk depth move.
Van Dyke was signed for 5 years at $5.1M with a signing bonus of $1.85M. This year’s salary will be $730K.

OLB Angelito May- formerly of the GZL Saints
GM Mellon brought another one of his former players over from New Orleans. OLB May is expected to be moved to MLB and fill the MLB #2 role when the team lines up in a 3-4 defense. May is on the final year of his rookie deal. It will be interesting to see what May and the Dolphins do after this season. The team gave up two 3rd round picks for May and a 5th round pick so it’s expected that May will be here for more than just one season.
Forum Discussion (by B_Mellon on 02/15/2017) Replies - 0 :: Views - 25
Draft Skew Review & Roster Moves
Post Draft Review: The Skew
Well the dreaded skew has come and the Dolphins realize their 2022 draftee’s true GZL attributes. The results are as follows:

Pick 4.05 TE Brecht Schmidtt
Noticeable attributes: -3 SPD (65) | 0 STR (75) | 0 AWR (49) | 0 AGI (68) | -3 ACC (61) | 0 CTH (70) | +2 JMP (73) | RBK 0 (70) | PBK -3 (61) | STA 0 (76) | INJ -3 (78) | TGH +2 (73) |
Comments: Schmidtt wasn’t going to set the GZL TE reception or yardage records but we were hoping his strength and blocking skills would have increased. We are going into the tail end of the preseason concerned about our TE’s. We were and possibly still are looking at Schmidtt as our possible starter going into week1.

Pick 4.12 WR Mateo Meyer
Noticeable attributes: -1 SPD (87) | -2 STR (58) | 0 AWR (54) | 0 AGI (92) | -1 ACC (88) | -1 CTH (76) | +2 JMP (94) | STA +1 (68) | INJ 0 (80) | TGH 0 (83)
Comments: Meyer’s stamina is going to limit the number of plays he will see. Even though Meyer’s speed, acceleration, catch and strength took hits he’s still a somewhat athletic 6’2” WR who can jump. We will take that with a middle pick in the 4th round.

Pick 6.23 DE Michael Swann
Noticeable attributes: -3 SPD (75) | 0 STR (75) | +1 AWR (58) | 0 AGI (70) | +2 ACC (76) | +3 CTH (55) | +2 TKL (78) | +3 STA (86) | INJ +3 (71) | TGH +2 (86)
Comments: Dolphins GM was intrigued by DE Swann’s skew. Swann isn’t going to rack up many tackle for loses or sacks this year however he has middle of the road attributes in almost every category. Is he a superstar, absolutely not however GM Mellon believes Swann will fill the role of backup DE very well for someone picked near the end of the 6th round.

Pick 7.09 FS Marco De La Rosa
Noticeable attributes: +2 SPD (92) | +1 STR (61) | +1 AWR (54) | -2 AGI (84) | -3 ACC (82) | -2 CTH (43) | -4 JMP (76) | 0 TAK (56) | -4 STA (83) | -1 INJ (81) | +1 TGH (91) |
Comments: Things were looking great at first as De La Rose saw an increase in speed, strength and awareness but then he saw a big decrease in agility, acceleration, catch and jump. This 7th rounder was looking like a 3rd or 4th rounder at first but he ends up looking like a career special teamer.

Pick 7.13 CB Brad Torres

Noticeable attributes: 0 SPD (89) | +1 STR (49) | 0 AWR (56) | -2 AGI (90) | +2 ACC (86) | -3 CTH (43) | 0 JMP (90) | +1 TAK (52) | +0 STA (76) | +5 INJ (95) | 0 TGH (89)
Comments: Nothing special here. Torres will be a depth filer at CB.

Pick 7.23 OLB Ethan Lewis

Noticeable attributes: -2 SPD (75) | -2 STR (74) | 0 AWR (71) | 0 AGi (76) | 0 ACC (73) | -3 CTH (59) | 0 TAK (78) | 0 STA (85) | -1 INJ (88) | +5 TGH (84)
Comments: GM Mellon is happy with Lewis even though he lost 4 points between speed and strength. The Dolphins front office believes Lewis will be able to fill the spot of a backup OLB and special team player.

Pick 7.27 LT Elllis Atiba
Noticeable attributes: +2 SPD (54) | -2 STR (87) | +1 AWR (61) | -2 AGI (47) | +2 ACC (67) | +4 STA (90) | 0 INJ (84) | +0 TGH (86) |
Comments: It’s pick 7.27 so nothing special was expected. GM Mellon has no issues with Atiba being the 4th OT.

Pick 7.32 “Mr. Irrelevant” DE Sam Barrera
Noticeable attributes: +1 SPD (80) | +1 STR (70) | 0 AWR (59) | +3 AGI (79) | -2 ACC (68) | +1 STA (81) | +1 INJ (92) | +3 TGH (83)
Comments: “Mr. Irrelevant” had a very good skew. GM Mellon was very pleased to see Barrera’s results. It’s believed Barrera will make the Dolphins final roster.



Final Roster Moves:

It was expected for GM Mellon to trade 2020 draft pick QB Patrick Towels earlier in the preseason. Things didn’t work out that way and for a short while it looked as if the Dolphins would perhaps go into the season with Towels as their starter. That all changed when GM Mellon made a trade for QB Nick Foles from the Kansas City Chiefs. Towels found his way onto the New Orleans Saints as a recent trade saw him be moved for the Saints 2023 3rd round draft pick and backups OLB Huey Olmstead and TE Theo Huxley. This move allows the Dolphins to bring in a couple players GM Mellon is familiar with to fill out the 2022 Dolphins roster.

It’s rumored that GM Mellon is tinkering with his roster in an attempt t bring in a GZL Icon. This player despite perhaps entering what would most likely be his last season in the GZL, would bring a great deal of leadership to the Dolphins. Chances are this move simply cannot be done due to financial resources but rumors are that GM Mellon could be letting one the team’s defensive starters go.

BREAKING NEWS:
We had heard rumors that the Dolphins were shopping CB Darius Slay. A trade for Slay was made all but impossible when the team traded QB Russell Wilson due to the large cap hit Wilson and Slay each had attached to them. Tonight we’ve learned the Dolphins have placed CB Slay on GZL’s Amnesty list. The Dolphins will have to eat $1.21 M of Slay’s bonus as the amnesty clause allows for a max of only $10 M to be waived. Slay’s future in Miami had been in doubt due to the team matching CB Justin Gilberts RFA offer from the Rams.
Forum Discussion (by B_Mellon on 02/12/2017) Replies - 0 :: Views - 17
Dolphins Draft Weekend
Dolphins Draft Weekend

Thursday Feb 3rd: 11 PM
Pick 1.3

The Dolphins, as expected drafted LSU running back Leonard Fournette with the 2nd pick of the 2022 GZL draft. GM Mellon gambled as he traded off a very good running back in Latavious Murray plus additional picks to be in position to drat Fournette. In addition, the team signed GZL Icon and Legend RB Mark Ingram to mentor Fournette.



Pick 3.32
GM Mellon and GM Pearce of the Denver Broncos agreed to a trade. Miami sends pick 3.31 to Denver for WR Matt Johnson and Denver’s 6th round draft pick (6.32). Johnson will be expected to be in the running to fill Miami’s WR3/slot receiver role.


Saturday Feb 5th:
Pick 4.5
TE Brecht Schmidt
Schmidt isn’t going to break any speed records. He won’t catch a ton of passes and he’s not going to accelerate down the field quickly. What we expect from him though is to hold his own on the blocks he does make. He was drafted for his excellent run blocking and we hope he won’t let us down.

Pick 4.12
WR Mateo Meyer
We are happy to get a big bodied, 6’2” receiver with this pick. Meyer won’t be a superstar but we expect for him to hold down our #5 WR spot for at least a couple seasons.


Sunday Feb 6th:
Pick 6.23
DE Michael Swann
GM Mellon was happy to see Swann available this late. While Swann doesn’t seem to do any single things great he seems to possess the ability to do multiple things with average ability therefore should make an adequate backup at LE.

Sunday at 3PM:
GM Mellon and GM Stanley from New Orleans agreed in principle to send QB Patrick Towels to the Saints for the Saints 2023 3rd round pick, LOLB Huey Olmstead and TE Theo Huxley.


6.32
DE Scott Moore
Moore is flashy, agile, quick or even overly smart. He’s strong. That’s his specialty. It’s not expected for him to have to rely on it much as his playing time will scarce. Moore is expected to be the #4 DE when the next depth chart comes out. It’s possible that Moore could see action at DT or even move to that position next year or even this year if the Dolphins trade DT Williams

7.9
FS Marco De La Rosa
At this point in the draft this was a depth chart pick.

7.13
CB Brad Torres
GM Mellon likes to carry 6 CB’s and Torres will the #6 CB spot.

7.23
OLB Ethan Lewis
GM Mellon was impressed by the awareness of Lewis. The team hopes his potential awareness holds true after the draft.

7.27

LT Ellis Atiba
This was another depth chart move. Atiba will serve as the #3 OT

7.32
DE Sam Barrera
With a potential shakeup at DT which could see recently drafted Scott Moore move from DE to DT GM Mellon decided to end the 2022 GZL draft by choosing DE Sam Barrera.
Forum Discussion (by B_Mellon on 02/03/2017) Replies - 2 :: Views - 35
Miami Dolphins Pre Draft Free Agency
The Dolphins signed four players in the pre draft free agency phase. All four players will be backups with one of them, RB Mark Ingram perhaps filing a more important mentor role. (*Update: SS Richards is MIA.)

RB Mark Ingram |32 years old| – 3 years $12.09 M with $3.09 M signing bonus | Year 1 salary $3.29 M
Ingram is a shell of his former self. Many have said he’s one of the top 3 RB’s in GZL history. His role with the Dolphins is yet to be official but is expected to be that of a mentor to HB Leonard Fournette as long as the Dolphins do in fact select Fournette with pick 1.2 in the 2022 GZL draft. Ingram could also play some at FB since he has outstanding pass blocking skills. His run blocking skills are mediocre but GM Mellon believes they are good enough to get by.

ROLB Toby Ferguson |23 years old| – 5 years $7.1 M with $2.8 M signing bonus | Year 1 salary $1.04 M
Ferguson will fill the backup ROLB spot. While not a superstar GM Mellon thinks Ferguson could play a decent role on special teams and not embarrass himself or the team if needed to take a few snaps at one of the LB positions during a game.

SS Malcom Richards
|21 years old| – 5 years $4.6 M with $1.8 M in signing bonus | Year 1 salary $670 K
GM Mellon liked Richards size. He also believes Richards will be able to provide adequate ability at either safety position should either of the starters need to come out for a few plays. *According to a recent Miami news report, Richards is MIA. As of 2AM Richards nor his agent was unavailable for comment.

RT Kent Schwartz |24 years old| – 5 years $4.1 M with $850 K in signing bonus | Year 1 salary $530 K
This move was made for depth purposes only. If the Dolphins find themselves needing Schwartz to step into the starting lineup things would have went very, very badly.
Forum Discussion (by B_Mellon on 02/02/2017) Replies - 0 :: Views - 19
Dolphins Swimming in a Sea of Money
Match Eligible Free Agency
Some Dolphins are getting paid!



It’s come as no shock but three of the four of Miami’s Match Eligible Free Agents are getting paid very well.

CB Oliver Smith

The only match eligible Dolphin not to be signed to an offer sheet was CB Oliver Smith. GM Mellon is vry glad of this. Smith is a 26 year old 6’1” CB who has 92 SPDm 90 AGI, 91 ACC, 90 JMP, 60 STR and 61 TAK. He’s been Miami’s DCB for the past three seasons. If push came to shove and the Dolphins could not afford to match Justin Gilbert GM Mellon was not going to be afraid to have Smith play the NCB spot. Smith’s contact will be $15.75M for 4 years with a $2.56M bonus. ($2.95M in year 1, $3.51M in year 2, $4.21M in year 3 & $5.08M in year 4)

RT Da’Rel Brandt
When GM Mellon first came to the Dolphins he was hoping to be able to re-sign Brandt with the idea of him moving to LG this season and brining in a veteran like Ryan Claddy. That idea is out the window now that Brandt has signed an offer sheet with the Raiders. The offer will be matched the Dolphins though. Miami’s front office personnel is waiting on the exact contract details. It could be a 1 year deal worth $9M.

DE Canton Larsson
The Dolphins financial books are a opened a bit more after Larsson was offered a 5 year deal worth $50M and a $20M signing bonus by the Saints. ($7.32M in year 1, $8.31M in year 2, $9.61M in year 3, $11.29M in year 4 and $13.47M in year 5) The Dolphins plan as it related to Larsson never involved the idea of having him suit up for another GZL team. The Saints offer will be matched making it a step closer to assure Larsson plays his entire GZL career as a Miami Dolphin.

CB Justin Gilbert
If the Dolphins books were being stretched with the signing of DE Larsson they will bursting at the seams with the idea of matching Gilbert’s offer of $61.5M ($24.6M signing bonus) from the Rams. ($9M in year 1, $10.22M in year 2, $11.82 in yer 3, $13.88 in year 4 and $16.58 in year 5) This is a very tough match for the Dolphins. Gilbert was the Dolphins NCB and KR. In most cases it would be unheard of for a team to match this kind of offer for a NCB however Gilbert younger than the two CB’s in front of him on the Dolphins depth chart. Those players are Tyrone Booker who is 28 and Darius Slay who is 29. As previously mentioned GM Mellon would have no problem sliding CB Oliver Smith into the NCB slot if the team were forced to lose Gilbert. With that being said though the team put itself in position to be able to match an offer for Gilbert and until recently it looked like that’s what was going to happen. This one could go either way and could very well come down to what GM Mellon would want to do versus what he knows he should/needs to do.
Forum Discussion (by B_Mellon on 01/28/2017) Replies - 6 :: Views - 59
More waves in Miami
GM Mellon has been a busy man this week. Dolphin fans thought trading Icon QB Russell Wilson would be the biggest shakeup however the Dolphins and Vikings agreed in principle to a huge trading multiple draft picks a start player. This trade has not been passed by the GZL’s executive trade committee yet.

Dolphins are rumored to have agreed to send:
Pick 1.11 (draft chart value 1250)
Pick 2.13 (draft chart value 205)
Pick 2.15 (draft chart value 195)
Future 5th (draft chart value 20)
RB Latavious Murray (Picked 1.26, draft chart value for 1.26 is 700. Does this mean Murray is worth 700-800 ?)

Vikings are rumored to be sending
Pick 1.2 (draft chart value 2600)
Pick 6.2 (draft chart value 26)
Future 3rd (draft chart value 100)

This is a huge trade, one that GM Mellon is nervous about. He did not want to give up RB Murray as multiple teams have inquired about him. There’s an extremely creditable source saying that GM Mellon is targeting LSU running back Leonard Fournette with the 1.2 pick. Many, actually most GZL GM’s will say 1.2 is too high to draft any RB however GM Mellon wants to take this chance. Many say he’s never gotten over the fact of losing out on RB Ezekiel Elliott when the Jets took him 1.1 in 2020. Mellon wasn’t going to wait around and potentially have Fournette get drafted by someone else. Again this has to pass through the league first but the Dolphins are ready to make Miami Fournette’s new home.

In other roster news the team has announced:

Restricted Free Agent LG Marvin Zohar has restructured his contract for 5 years at $9.24 M with a signing bonus of $1.22 M over 5 years.

CB Tyrone Booker has been placed with the franchise tag meaning he will make a cool $15.77 M this season. The Booker family will be eating well this year.

WR Jordan Matthews has resigned with the team. Contract deals are as follows: 5 years totaling $37.82 M with a $7 M signing bonus. While the Matthews family may not be eating as nice as the Bookers, they won’t be starving.

The following players have been declared as match eligible:
CB Justin Gilbert (5 years)
LE Canton Larsson (5 years)
RT Da’Rel Brand (4 years)
CB Oliver Smith (4 years)

GM Mellon is unsure what will happen with these match eligible players. The next couple of days should be interesting.
Forum Discussion (by B_Mellon on 01/24/2017) Replies - 1 :: Views - 21
GM Mellon makes a splash with a huge Dolphins trade
GM Mellon makes a splash with a huge Dolphins trade

It’s rare for GM Bryan Mellon to make a move this big but late Saturday night / early Sunday morning he and GM Gary Cohen of the Kansas City Chiefs agreed to a huge deal involving two QB’s and draft picks.
The Dolphins send GZL Icon QB Russell Wilson to the Chiefs for whom GM Mellon and the Dolphins organization hope will also be a future GZL Icon, QB Nick Foles.



Wilson has passed for 25,398 yards as a Dolphin (he had a cup of coffee with the Titans in 2015) and has also thrown 167 touch downs for the team. His position as a team leader and mentor will be missed. At age 32 Wilson has plenty of more seasons left in the tank. Sending Wilson alone was not enough to bring the younger Foles to Miami. The Dolphins had to send the 13th pick in this year’s draft as well. GM Cohen of the Chiefs agreed to send the Dolphins their 4th round pick to complete the deal.
On the surface it probably seems as if Mellon and the Dolphins paid too much for a still somewhat unproven Foles but Foles has agreed in principle to restructure his contract. Rumors coming out of Miami are that the new deal will be for $55 million with a $21 million signing bonus over 7 years. This will see Foles get a raise of aprox $2 million this year and agree to what comes out to be a team favorable contract over the next 6 seasons. Even ith Foles expected $2M raise this season his contract will be aprox $8.5 million less than Wilsons. The team will be able to address it’s glaring free agent need with this savings. It will be a huge waste of money though if GM Mellon is wrong and Foles doesn’t pan out.



In a move which isn’t ground breaking Mellon and Saints GM John Stanley have agreed to swap DE’s. Chandler Jones who is on the final year of his contract will be following GM Mellon to Miami as Demetruce Pair will be going to the Saints. Mellon is familiar with Jones from his time in New Orleans and even though Mellon put Jones on the trading block last year values the DE greatly.



It’s expected Jones will hold down one of the DE until a young player is brought in which could perhaps occur with the 11th pick in this year’s draft. Jones comes with a cap number of $8.86 million which is $3.03 million more than Pair will be paid this year. The Dolphins also agreed to send the Saints their 5th and 6th round picks while the Saints will be sending the Cowboys 6th and their own 7th round pick to complete the deal.

GM Mellon had been speaking to a couple teams about trading for a TE. Those talks have seemed to have been smoldered. New rumors and suspicion Mellon and the Saints may be looking to move up in the draft. It’s expected this may have something to do with the preparing to lose star players at CB, DE and perhaps OT via match eligible free agency.

Forum Discussion (by B_Mellon on 01/22/2017) Replies - 0 :: Views - 22
Dolphins welcome GM Mellon- busy 1st day
The GZL Miami Dolphins welcome new general manager Bryan Mellon. Mellon comes to Miami by the way of New Orleans. Mellon’s time in The Big Easy with the Saints wasn’t spectacular however it wasn’t a total failure either. His overall record was 17 wins and 20 loses for a .460 winning percentage. GM Mellon has been known for a great deal of loyality to his team and players. He was quoted as saying, “Leaving the Saints was a tough decision. I wish our record would have been better but I truly believe we built a team that can win. I will miss the players but for me personally I felt like I just needed change. I wish nothing but the best for the Saints organization. With that said however my attention is now fully focused here in Miami. I’m now committed to helping the Dolphins get back to their GZL historical winning ways.

The most immediate area of attention for GM Mellon will be the Dolphins free agency situation. The Dolphins have 15 free agents which includes 7 restricted free agents and 8 unrestricted free agents. Of the restricted free agents GM Mellon is most interested in looking to bring back RT Da’Rel Brandt. If Brandt finds himself back in Miami he will most likely switch to LT as Laremy Tunsil is expected to move to RT this season. The number and quality of unrestricted free agents is more of a concern. Several starters are unrestricted free agents. This list includes starting TE Josse Williams, starting WR1 Jordan Matthews, starting LE Canton Larsson, starting CB1 Tyrone Baker plus nickel and dime CB’s Justin Gilbert and Oliver Smith.

Rumor has it that GM Mellon has already reached out to the agents of CB Tyrone Baker, WR Jordan Matthews and LE Canton Larsson. It’s thought one of these players will be re-signed while another one will be given a franchise tag. The tough choice is who the team is going to looking at as possibly leaving if a possible deal from another team isn’t matched. Ownership has requested for GM Mellon to assure each player’s agent that being franchise tagged is a compliment and not a negative condensation. There will be no effort to trade whoever gets tagged.

GM Mellon and other front office officials were busy today. So far a total of 7 players have been released. A summary of each is as follows:

WR – Ricardo Lockette (34 years old , 86 ovr)
Lockette is a GZL veteran who has totaled over 10,000 yards in his career. He’s had five 1000 yard seasons plus another two seasons where he fell just short of 1000 yards with 991 and 993 respectively. The sad truth though was that Lockette at the age of 34 lost 5 points off his speed, agility and acceleration attributes since the 2020 season. This move saved the Dolphins $7.46 M this year but does come with a hit of $1.07 M towards the 2023 season.

WR – Hank Shields (31 years old , 78 ovr)
Shields was released ahead of an attribute decline. The release saves the team $3.69 M this year but comes with a hit of $900 k next season.

FS – Albert Jefferson (29 years old , 81 ovr)
Jefferson was scheduled to make $3.02 M this year. GM Mellon thought this was a bit much to pay the 29 year backup. The team will have a $370 k hit next year but again the move saves $3.02 this season.

RT – Ethan Cornell (29 years old , 72 ovr)
Cornell wasn’t scheduled to make a ton of money this season but GM Mellon thinks the team could bring in a young player to backup the starting tackles. This moves saves the team $1.69 M with a hit next year of $420 K.

RB – Dan Dugan (30 years old , 67 ovr)
Dugan may very well be at the end of his GZL career. At the age of 30 years there’s many younger players waiting in the wings. The former 6th round pick up to this point has played his entire career with the Dolphins. He’s totaled 14 tocuh downs but also 13 fumbles as part of his 502 career carries. The move saves the team $1.36 m this year with just a $200 k hit next year.

MLB – Fareed Abdullah (23 years old , 52 ovr)
Adbullah has age on his side however he’s simply not the type of player GM Mellon prefers. This release saves the team $790 k and comes with a hit of just $160 k next season.

FS – Osvaldo Norris (23 years old , 74 ovr)
Norris had a salary of $1.62 M this season. GM Mellon thought this was more than he needed to pay someone who was 3rd on the free safety depth chart. The move frees up the $1.62 M with a hit next year of just $200 K.

These seven releases saves the team a total of $19.63 M this season with a total hit of $3.32 M next season. It’s not expected for the team to see much movement in the way of players being traded to other teams. The only real possibility right now is QB Russell Wilson. GM Mellon is well aware of that fact that Wilson hasn’t completely statistically lived up to the high hopes of the Dolphins organization however he is well aware that Wilson did bring the team a GZL championship. At 32 years of age Wilson has plenty left in his tank. It’s just as much of a possibility that GM Mellon restructures Wilson’s contract and keep him on to mentor 23 year old QB Patrick Towels as it that he’s moved to another team.

GM Mellon will entertain the idea of trading for a starting TE, a wide receiver, young DE and a DT.

Forum Discussion (by B_Mellon on 01/17/2017) Replies - 0 :: Views - 17
Dolphins Training Camp
Previous Season Recap
In simple terms 2019 was a season to forget. After making the Superbowl in 2018 we obviously suffered the hangover from that loss and couldn't keep a steady game going. Whilst we were only 2 games behind our 2018 record (falling from 10-6 to 8-8) it was the rise of the rest of the AFC East teams that did us in, even though it took only a 9-7 record to clinch the division. Had we manufactured at least 1 more win our fortunes would have been different, as our 5-1 divisional record was superior to both the Patriots and Bills (3-3 a piece) which would have slotted us into a playoff berth. Unfortunately losing 4 out of our last 6 games, including a pivotal week 14 clash against the Bills led to our demise. 3 of those games were lost by 3 points and the other by 5, so we had plenty of chances but failed to finish. Poor redzone offense and the inability to score, let alone get touchdowns killed us in a couple of those games, whilst the overriding theme was lack lustre second halves or the lack of defensive hustle. If we can't execute in the home stretch when you need positive momentum to carry you into the playoffs then we'll be hard pressed to match our divisional rivals in future.

From the player stats Russell Wilson was average leading this team, barely completing 50% of his passes for 19 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. With barely over 1 touchdown per game we need more out of Wilson if he wants to justify his massive contract as he hasn't been showing the potential we signed him on for. With Le'Veon Bell rushing the ball when he got the chance (1325 yards off 272 attempts, 4.87 ypc and 5 touchdowns) we just aren't getting enough scoring from our main weapons. We were ranked 24th in the league for scoring (21.6 points per game) which barely topped our defensive work of 21.2 points per game allowed. Dan Dugan actually was the surprise packet on offense, running in 7 touchdowns to outshine Bell in the scoring stakes.

Defensively the most outstanding stat would be Darius Slay deflecting 28 passes versus 31 allowed. Rarely do you see such a tight comparison in these numbers from starting corners and is a remarkable difference from Tyrone Booker's 24 deflections versus 54 catches allowed. With only 12 total team interceptions,2 being the most to a single player, we ended up as 5th worst in the league for takeaways, only 1 better for sacks at 6th, but faired well in redzone defense (6th). 3 players also shared the highest sack number of 5 which shows we put in a lot of team work to get the job done and don't rely on stars to save our bacon, however much like the offense we need some true leaders to step up and make a name for themselves each year to lift this team to the next level.

To finish the season off management negotiated with star corner Darius Slay on a contract extension. Whilst Slay was in the final year of his rookie contract the team had put him on the trade block to see if the interest was high enough to move him. Whilst a small number of teams expressed interest (even to the point of thinking about offseason talks) it became apparent that the best course for us and Slay was to work a 7 year extension onto his current terms and secure his services for the long term. His speed and awareness is a valuable commodity in this league, especially on a 6'0" corner and even though we have Justin Gilbert backing him and Tyrone Booker up, having the firepower of top end talent like Slay on the roster is a big part of our defensive scheme.

Offseason Transactions:
A lot of work has gone into this trading off season as we juggle a precarious cap situation along with a fortunate high draft pick that isn't a result of a bad season by us. Whilst it's hard to see some of our drafted talent head for a new team it becomes the reality of managing a franchise that we have to face this eventually when our previous decisions catch us up. Our first saving grace for the offseason was the retirement of Aaron Rodgers who immediately freed up $8M in cap room and avoiding starting this period in the red. With limited but important re-signings required and a bevy of draft picks to sign we had to move early to get our cap situation into a position that we wouldn't miss out on any important pieces failing to observe the league restrictions. As such the below transactions and trades were enacted towards that goal.

Trade #1: HB Le'Veon Bell & WR Ulysses Moore
After the drafting of Kevin White last year we had plenty of options at wide receiver, meaning that Moore was considered the odd man out when it came to playing time. He'd be sitting at #4 on the depth chart and it seemed a shame to waste his talents and value essentially riding the pine. He garnered a lot of interest once he hit the market with offers beginning in the late first to early second range. We felt he had more value then that based solely on his drafted position, but when combined with the lack of a comparable player in the draft class he is well worth more. Carolina countered their first offer with pick 16 which we were on the verge of taking until the Browns stepped in with multiple offers and counters, showing their determination to acquire his services which led to a final deal.
Bell on the other hand is a bitter pill to swallow as he's a move we've been force to make due to cap reasons. His salary in excess of $7M became a logical situation to move compared to our other options (such as CB Booker with an $8.5M cap hit), but it became a case of whether we could get our estimated value in return due to being in the last year of his contract, having already played 5 years and not being rated highly for field awareness and his ability to hold onto the ball. A few teams should passing interest but didn't really make any offer until the Browns combined their trade talks of Moore with Bell, incidentally providing value and a nice out to our current cap situation with a future pick in the deal.

Trade terms were as follows:
Browns send - 1.26, 2.01, HB Montee Ball, Future 1st
Dolphins send - WR Moore, HB Bell
2 picks in the top 33 (for an equivalent pick value of 1.10) for Moore was an exceptional return from our perspective and will allow us to address other positions of need with potentially 2 starter level players. Ball provides an adequate replacement for Bell and the future 1st helps extend our season with multiple picks or picks not our own to keep our development potential high.

Trade #2: Move up the draft
Still looking to work angles on our cap situation we floated the notion of moving up in the draft from any of our picks to the community and received an answer from Seattle. GM St. Marie was looking to consolidate a bevy of late round picks so were able to move our last 2 picks (5.10 and 4.18) for pick 3.27. 8 of our total 9 picks are now in the first 3 rounds which we feel is a good position considering the talent level of this draft.

More Transactions: RFA Tenders + Resigns
RFA Tenders:

First move was to place tenders on all required RFA's and bring them back. Whilst the team had 4 total RFA's it was decided to only present offers to 2 of them, P Pat O'Donnell and CB Peter Elliston. Both of these players fill in required roster slots and give plenty to this team. O'Donnell even worked in a contract restructure to further his time in Miami. WR Barry Franklin and DT Roger Parks were both waived under these conditions to help with cap.

Exclusive Resign:
Ricardo Lockette has spent the past 5 years in Miami after taking a generous free agent offer to move from Baltimore. He has been a solid contributor to the team and we feel that even in his twilight years he can provide what we need at wide receiver with his 6'2" frame and still blistering speed. He now has the opportunity to continue as a Dolphin for the next 3 years and really lead other young receivers like Jordan Matthews and Kevin White into the new era.

Exclusive Restructure:
With a lot of cap manipulation in effect it was continuously important to bring down every salary that we could. We had both MLB Hugh Harmon and HB Le'Veon Bell in the last year of their current contracts so it was a tough call on who would get the extension as the other was likely to be traded to help free up further cap room. Both have provided a valuable service to this team but in the end it was decided that Harmon was much harder to replace with top end quality so he was given a 5 year extension to continue his good work.

Match Eligible Resigns:
TE Jordan Cameron and QB Mark Cameron were both placed under match eligible conditions and neither received a bid from another team. Jordan will return as our starting tight end for another 2 years whilst Mark is currently facing the prospect of the being the only back up to Russell Wilson after Aaron Rodgers retirement, and has 5 years to make something of the job.

Draft:
Dolphins went into Draft Day with a total of 9 picks, 2 in the first round and 4 in the second. With the 2nd and 26th picks, they planned to draft future starters at required positions and the rest would be a collection of best player available (and possible starter material) and depth required players as these contracts would push them to the edge of the salary cap.

1.02 - LT Laremy Tunsil - Would anyone be surprised to hear that after just 1 pick into the draft we were already cursing the Jets for taking our guy? Yes we envisaged picking HB Ezekiel Elliot here but were thwarted the minute the draft started which caused a severe panic in the back rooms as we re-sorted our draft board to find the appropriate player to take. Tunsil comes in with athletic ability only matched by 9 others in the league, all of 9 who can't compare to his strength alongside it. He is a massive upgrade over Zohar (a 3rd round pick from last year) who was plugging a gap as the best available at the time and will be a great addition supporting the passing game and the newly reformed running game.

1.26 - HB Latavius Murray - When we failed to secure Elliott at pick 2 we almost knee jerked into a Murray pick right away, but luckily we restrained ourselves and made the smart choice and fortune favoured us as 24 picks later Murray was still around to retain the fat back style back in Miami. He lacks elite acceleration and strength, but that shouldn't be an issue when you're 6'3" and start with 230lbs, 70 awareness, 86 carry and 85 break tackle (most higher then Le'Veon Bell after 5 years) there are many upsides we can consider having him and Montee Ball in the backfield.

2.01 - OLB Aeneas Pope - We originally saw a nice defensive tackle just waiting to be chosen as this pick came around. Unfortunately the Jaguars finally woke up from their nap and made their missed first round picks so no Robert Nkemdiche for us but instead we find ourselves with a talented 6'3" 240lbs outside linebacker who may challenge Shyrone Mills for the starting spot on the right side. Pope starts with decent awareness (72) and tackle (83) which we hope can contribute alongside his 79 strength to be a tackling force. Given our prevalence for a hybrid defensive scheme he may become suited for a switch to the inside to work alongside Harmon.

2.18 - C Thiago Jackson - Jason Kelce isn't getting any younger and finding a half decent center is a tough job, but we feel that Jackson has the right level of athleticism to fill these shoes when we move on from Kelce. This wasn't a dire need but a pick of value to find the best player available.

2.20 - DT Brian Jombowski - We needed another defensive tackle to meet roster requirements and Jombowksi gives us another big unit in the middle but has enough athleticism to not suck in our 4-3 schemes. At 340lbs and 93 strength he has the tools to get started and with a little work can pressure Brandon Williams for the starters spot.

2.30 - QB Patrick Towles - Insurance at the quarterback position is never a bad thing and with a low level of talent to consider putting on the field we made the decision to draft Towles as our third level insurance policy for Russell Wilson. He won't blow anyone away with his 63 awareness, 92 power and 85 accuracy but at least he won't stink the place up in case of a double catastrophe.

3.18 - FB Jamar Hughes - With old man Charles Scott finally losing a step we were looking to add his heir apparent, but had already missed out on 2 opportunities from the second round. As we thought drafting a full back in the 2nd was way too early we paid the price on some higher talent, but Hughes still gives us a full back with some speed, size and ability carrying the ball whilst not being underdone in the blocking department either.

3.27 - K Willis Croteau - Dan Carpenter is getting up there in age and is in a contract year, so why not add the best kicker in the draft to take his place? Already at 92 kick power and 90 accuracy, he can make those extra points with ease whilst not being a complete waste taking field goals. He may spend the year on kick off duties to better hone his skills but he can be a long term player here.

4.14 - FS Osvaldo Norris - We were after some depth at the safety position and started seeing our targets drop off the list. Luckily Norris was still lurking and we can only hope he proves to be better then he's already shown.

Roster Cuts:
To free up some important cap room in this tight financial offseason, OLB Brian Rolle and DE Russell Rodriguez were both released. Both players were only filling depth positions and their departure helps free up a much need $5M in cap space for other offseason signings.

Training Camp:
We have a few positions that may result in training camp battles as some young players look to establish themselves on this team. With young blood stretching the depth at wide receiver, outside linebacker, half back, full back, corner back and kicker there is no room for complacency on this team.
Even though Ricardo Lockette was resigned he still needs to fight for his spot against Jordan Matthews and sophomore Kevin White. White has being going great guns in camp and is showing a greater turn in speed and acceleration as he tries to live up to the hype of his high draft pick. Preseason may help us to determine how these 3 will line-up come opening day, but the versatility and flexibility that can come from this depending on the match-up is a great asset.
Whilst growing star OLB Dante Fowler has again put in some work on his own speed and acceleration, rookie Aeneas Pope has been following him closely, picking up his own speed game as well to put pressure on Shyrone Mills for the right side spot. Mills tallied a lot of tackles for los last year but hasn't been able to register more than 1 sack in 4 career years. Pope's greater strength may be a defining factor, especially when in a 3-4 base.
With last year's starter gone it's now a two way battle between 2 new players for the starting half back role. Rookie Latavius Murray is shaping as the favourite for this position, especially with his speed increase, added bulk and improved injury resilience. Plus you also don't draft a guy so high and not give him every chance to start from day 1. Ball showed last year that he can achieve well from the #2 spot and we hope that carried over here.
Charles Scott knows a thing or two about blocking for a runner, but he's not as quick as he once was and rookie Jamar Hughes is shaping as a new era of full back in Miami. There's not a whole lot separating these two so it'll be a tough call.
With Darius Slay, Tyronne Booker and Justin Gilbert at corner we have plenty of depth and what looks like a set hierarchy, but you can never discount the vigour of youth as Gilbert is looking to unseat one of the other 2 to get a shot at starting. Whilst there is no immediate need to swing a change here if someone underperforms we may throw Gilbert into the mix to change it up.
Dan Carpenter is in a contract year and the signing of rookie Croteau may see the end of his time in Miami. Croteau has been working on his kicking technique which has resulted in a stronger leg action and power which puts Carpenters job in jeopardy. We may settle for a year of working out the kinks in Croteau's style to improve his accuracy.
In other areas of training camp we've seen LT Laremy Tunsil up his weight in an effort to provide a more solid frame for blocking in the GZL. 320lbs gives him a more robust and powerful frame to hold his own on the left side. MLB Hugh Harmon has also been working on ways to avoid hitting the injury list, knowing full well that his loss would be a big blow for this team.


Upcoming Season Predictions:
After last season failure to perform we're looking for the retooling of our roster to bring a spark back into the team. We've added some nice talent to improve ourselves with only the departure of Le'Veon Bell being the biggest hang-up we can face. Hopefully Murray and Ball will fill that void while the rest of the team synergy is relatively intact from a starter's perspective, along with the positive addition of Laremy Tunsil to up the blocking game all round. Injuries did hurt us in the run home last year and we hope a little more depth will now see us overcome any such future obstacles and keep us in the race now that the AFC East is heating up. We'll need Russell Wilson to step up in his game this year as his 2019 stat line does not cut the mustard in Miami and we'll need his best to overcome the new challenges our divisional rivals have included in the race for the crown. The Bills have wrought some massive changes to their offense and will be a tough act to beat if Stafford can get going whilst we still have to battle it out with the Patriots, who have upped their running game with Giovani Bernard, and we still fear what the Jets can be capable of once Jonathan Higgins clicks into gear, so the season is a crap shoot at best and any predictions are a waste until some semblance of play has been established.
Forum Discussion (by B_Harbinger on 01/05/2016) Replies - 0 :: Views - 13
Dolphins Training Camp
Previous Season Recap
Around the same time last season, Dolphins management made one move that changed the course of this franchise. They had decided to trade for and bring back QB Russell Wilson. It was clear QB Glennon's disappointing season forced the team to make drastic changes at QB. Teams that had young, franchise caliber players demanded multiple 1st round picks to even start a conversation. Look at the price that Buffalo and Oakland paid to get their guys.

Everyone knows this is a QB driven league, it usually starts and ends with them. When these guys started finding new homes, GM Harbinger didn't panic. He waited till the market slowed down and all the hype died. Then, he reached out to Tim Nissen and struck a fair deal to bring back a very good QB. Most people still have their doubts that Wilson can be the guy due to his height, it didn't seem to matter in Miami.

His physical stature is uncommon for a franchise QB but so was Drew Brees'. Brees won a Superbowl and there is no reason why Wilson can't do the same. He is entering his prime (27years) and is already very smart (99 awr). He has decent Throw Power (92THP) and is improving his Accuracy (92THA currently). Additionally, he took a bad Miami team to its first division title since 2013.

No one except Miami's organization and its players expected such a quick turnaround. It wasn't pretty at all times, but the most important fact is that they got the job done. Their goal was to win AFC East and then take a game by game approach in the playoffs. A lot of people didn't validate Miami as a legitimate playoff contender, claiming that AFC East is the weakest division in football. That may be true record wise, but the division is full of talented rosters and GM's. To add more perspective, Miami's 8 losses were by a grand total of 37points, averaging to less than 5ppg. 4 of those were by 3points or less.

Once the playoffs rolled around, almost everyone picked Miami's opponent, regardless of who it was. But GM Harbinger and Coach Ken Wisenhunt believed they were the better team. Dolphins came out on top 22-7, it really wasn't as close as the score indicated but Broncos made a valiant effort to keep itself in the game. Next week's opponent was a team without its star QB, however, they've learnt how to play well despite his absence. First half of the game was a close contest but for anyone that watched it closely, saw Ravens put together consistent effort across all sides of the ball, which eventually led to a lot of points.

Until this game, Miami had one of/if not the league's best passing defense. Depending on who you ask, you will get differing opinions but numbers don't lie. Opposing QBR is (IMO) the best indicator of a good defense. Miami led in this category, allowing only 3529 yards all season, 17TD's to 25INT's and holding other QB's to an average QBR of 58.79. Unfortunately, all that didn't matter much as the Ravens had a better gameplan and simply outplayed Dolphins on Offense/Defense/Special teams.

Season ended a week earlier than they had hoped but it wasn't all for nothing. Due to making the playoffs, they got extra progression points which were applied to their young players. There's still a lot of holes in the roster that requires upgrading of talent, and those changes will come, more on that later on.

Offseason Transactions:
After trading back for Russell Wilson, his only goal was to lead this team to the playoffs and he did just that. The AFC East Division Champs (barely) took care of business just enough to put themselves in the playoff race. After a tumultuous rookie season, coach Whisenhunt decided to bench QB Glennon and make Wilson the started.

Statistically, Wilson had is his best season and will continue to get better. Last year, the team focused on improving his Awareness and this upcoming season, they will focus on improving his Accuracy. While he is already 27 years old, this is his 4th season only, 1st as a starter. Additionally, he led the team past the Wildcard this season and the management strongly feels that he is the long term answer at QB.

As such, the team rewarded him to a 7 year monster deal. His total salary is $61.44M with $24.57M in guaranteed money. There is no more QB controversy in Miami because the team also agreed to trade QB Glennon to TB. The trade has been accepted by both parties and is pending league approval.

Trade #1: QB Mike Glennon
Along with this, came the departure of QB Mike Glennon. He was no longer the go-to guy in Miami and the team felt it would be best to ship him off. TB has always been a fan of him and are happy to have gotten him. TB offered a 1st to acquire him.

With no backup QB to groom, the team started its search of another young, talented QB that was buried in someone’s depth chart. After negotiating with a few teams that showed interest in putting their guys on the Trade Block, Miami struck a deal (1 of 2) with Chicago to bring QB Mark Cameron. He is physically gifted, but will take some time to come up to game speed. Miami’s hope is to invest in him for the next 2-3 seasons at which point they feel he will be capable of starting if required. The trade only cost them a 4th round pick, which would have fetched a backup player anyway and a with lack of talent depth in this draft class, they felt trading for Cameron would be the best move.

Trade #2: CB Sean Smith
In trying to improve the team, GM Harbinger has decided to make some roster changes, most notably the trade of Superstar CB Sean Smith. As everyone knows, throughout his career, CB Smith has been one of the more physically talented players at his position. What he lacks in top speed, he makes up in Height, Strength and Awareness. Miami has seen other talented CB's come and go but this trade came as a surprise to fans. Smith had been on the Trade Block since their season ended, but the fans never understood why. He was the most efficient CB last season and was very instrumental in making Miami one of the top Defenses.

GM Harbinger met with a few press reporters and had this to say. "I'd like to thank Sean for being the ultimate professional both on and off the field. He was a true Superstar for us and always put the team first. I'm saddened to say that we have decided to part ways with him. We agreed to put him in a good situation and I know that he's happy to be going to another team led by a talented GM/Coach. On behalf of all of us, we wish him the best."

The trade terms were as follows:
Packers send - Future 1st, 3.26
Dolphins send - Sean Smith, 2.25, Future 5th

There were several offers ranging from 1st to late 2nd round picks. Additionally, with a team friendly contract, he was an excellent trade bait. Ultimately, both he and Ben sat down, figured GB had the best offer both for the Miami team and Sean himself.

How this trade works out will remain to be seen. Losing Smith definitely adds CB as a position of need going into the draft, we'll see if the team decides to acquire one via trade or draft a young player. Both Slay and Booker are now the team's starters and they'll have a lot of challenges ahead of them.

Trade #3: FS Bernie Freeman
In the past two seasons, Dolphins drafted 3 Defensive Backs. CB Darius Slay, CB Tyrone Booker and FS Sergio Fields. Expect them to have CB Smith's replacement via trade or draft. The only position untouched was SS, until now. Today, they announced a trade with Seattle to bring in FS Freeman and RG Gonzalez.

Freeman is a physically gifted player, who is young and talented. Seattle's asking price was a 1st but Miami didn't want to give that up. Instead, they added Gonzalez for depth, who has a cheap long term contract and will decide to move Freeman to SS, while investing points to develop him. If they can get him to progress as quickly as they did the rest, can you imagine this back field 2 seasons from now? Trade terms are shown below:

Rumor has it, the team lost out on acquiring speedster WR Titus Young by just a couple of hours. So, they are back in the market for a WR.

After these recent moves, the team is still equipped with FIVE 1st round picks (13,17,19,23,25) and TWO 3rd round picks (19, 26). They're looking to improve the following positions to create more roster competition: WR, HB, DT, DE, OL, OLB, CB.

Trade #4: ROLB Shyrone Mills
Miami traded its 23rd and 25th picks for future 1st rounders because it couldn’t sign all of those players had they been drafted by the team. Additionally, they traded one 3rd to acquire ROLB Shyrone Mills from Chicago, exact trade details are shown below.

Trade #5: Additional Depth
Additionally, the team traded it’s 6th round pick to pick up 3 7th rounders and acquire more roster depth in case of injuries.

With the departure of CB Smith, as of now, there is no replacement for him yet and the CB depth looks a little thin. GM Harbinger is wasting no time in trying to improve the overall depth and roster competition at the weaker spots.

More Transactions: RFA Tenders + Resigns
RFA Tenders:

First move was to place tenders on all 3 of its RFA's and bring them back. Out of the 3, HB Dugan and WR Shields are both in the midst of restructuring their contracts. Rumor has it, the team wants to lock them up for 7 years and it is only a matter of time. Neither player nor their agent was available for comments.

Exclusive Resign:
As always, GM Harbinger feels it's best to reward his own players. LT Gary Richardson's contract expired at the end of last season. There have been several talks back and forth from both sides and they finally agreed to a term sheet. Richardson, in his prime, will come back to the team for 5 years. Exact details aren't known yet, but his Total Salary will be just shy of 30M with a Guaranteed Bonus of under 10M.

Draft:
Dolphins went into Draft Day with a total of 9 picks, 3 in the first round. With the 13th, 17th and 19th picks, they planned to draft future starters at required positions and the rest of them were for roster depth. Out of the FIVE 7th rounders, expect only a few to be signed and compete for an actual roster spot.

1.13 – CB Justin Gilbert – Overall consensus is that Dolphins got one of the steals in this draft. Normally he would be a top 10 pick but this draft was so top heavy, that he slipped through the cracks. Dolphins are lucky to have him and he will instantly get a chance to start.

1.17 – LE Canton Larsson – Miami had him rated as the 3rd best DE behind Clowney and Donald. Carson is athletic enough to play DT in 4-3 and DE in 3-4. He is decent enough to play DE in 4-3 as well. Look for the team to put him in various positions and expand on last year’s defense.

1.19 – WR Jordan Matthews – He was a best WR left and it was a need. Rumor has it Miami fielded several offers for this pick but none were good enough to trade it away for. Instead, they acquire a tall, strong WR that can be a starter with some playing time and progression points. He will never be a burner but that doesn’t mean he won’t make plays. Look for him to be often compared to WR Marlon Brown, whom the team would have drafted, had he been available.

3.32 – P Pat O’Donnell – Due to an offseason blunder, Punter was a position of need for this team. Instead of signing a veteran who would demand a decent amount of money, the team decided to use this pick on a rookie instead. He’s got good raw talent and comes in with 86 Accuracy and 94 Kick Power.

There’s really no need to talk about the remaining players unless the team is desperately trying to acquire GZQ. All that has to be said is that they’re purely depth chart fillers and some might even make it past Rookie
Signings.

Roster Cuts:
To make additional cap room and fill the roster, they decided to release veteran CB Clarence Mitchell. His release means there is no CB left on the roster from 3 years ago that is capable of starting. The team was planning on letting him play out his contract but with the addition of CB Gilbert, they felt it was best to let him pursue Free Agency in hopes that someone else comes calling.

Training Camp:
This year’s training camp battles should mostly be on the defensive side. Offensively, rookie WR Jordan Matthews will be tried out at all 3 (1,2,3) spots. Yes, it is not a mistake, the team will put him in with the starters to see how he performs. Most likely, he’ll end up at the #3 or #4 spot.

Defensively, LE Larsson will immediately start at the left end position in a 3-4 scheme and be moved inside for 46/4-3 schemes. This team doesn’t shy away from trying out all schemes to see what works best for them. There seems to be more competition at the OLB spot with a variety of options to go with. In a 4-3 defense, look for more speed and in 3-4 defenses, look for them to go with the Big/Strong LB’s.

While front 7 is predicted to have 2 new starters, most of the change comes from within the secondary, which was top notch the past two seasons. CB Sean Smith’s departure immediately thrusts CBs Booker and Slay into the top two spots and barring any injury/bad play, NCB is Gilbert’s to lose.

Biggest competition and indecisiveness is at the SS position. Long time starter Tyler Sash has never had to compete for his job until now. After an embarrassing playoff performance, the team decided his spot was no longer safe and brought in a young, athletic FS from Seattle. He has raw potential that will be relied upon from time to time. Whether or not he can step into the new role and help effectively has yet to be seen.

Special Teams wise, rookie Punter is the only one on the roster who can kick, so there shouldn’t be any doubt as to who will be the team’s starting punter.

Upcoming Season Predictions:
This is definitely the hardest to predict. Looking at the roster and changes that have been made so far, the overall talent level has improved, despite losses of CB Smith and Mitchell in the secondary. FS Sergio Fields who was having himself a great year had a long term injury and missed half the season. He will be back in full strength and the team is hoping he can stay healthy and take the next step this season. Offense should be better with the team’s focus now on improving Wilson’s accuracy, which at times was piss poor. Defense will lose half a step but expected to be in top 10. Everything loops back to the passing game. Whether or not Wilson is worthy of his monstrous contract has yet to be seen, but if there was ever a time to prove himself, this is it.

Overall, all teams in the division improved, most notably New England Patriots. End season predictions are as follows:

Bills: 10-6
Patriots: 9-7
Dolphins: 9-7
Jets: 6-10
AFC East Champions – Bills
Forum Discussion (by B_Harbinger on 07/09/2014) Replies - 3 :: Views - 55
Dolphins - flashback to last season
Around the same time last season, Dolphins management made one move that changed the course of this franchise. They had decided to trade for and bring back QB Russell Wilson. It was clear QB Glennon's disappointing season forced the team to make drastic changes at QB. Teams that had young, franchise caliber players demanded multiple 1st round picks to even start a conversation. Look at the price that Buffalo and Oakland paid to get their guys.

Everyone knows this is a QB driven league, it usually starts and ends with them. When these guys started finding new homes, GM Harbinger didn't panic. He waited till the market slowed down and all the hype died. Then, he reached out to Tim Nissen and struck a fair deal to bring back a very good QB. Most people still have their doubts that Wilson can be the guy due to his height, it didn't seem to matter in Miami.

His physical stature is uncommon for a franchise QB but so was Drew Brees'. Brees won a Superbowl and there is no reason why Wilson can't do the same. He is entering his prime (27years) and is already very smart (99 awr). He has decent Throw Power (92THP) and is improving his Accuracy (92THA currently). Additionally, he took a bad Miami team to its first division title since 2013.

No one except Miami's organization and its players expected such a quick turnaround. It wasn't pretty at all times, but the most important fact is that they got the job done. Their goal was to win AFC East and then take a game by game approach in the playoffs. A lot of people didn't validate Miami as a legitimate playoff contender, claiming that AFC East is the weakest division in football. That may be true record wise, but the division is full of talented rosters and GM's. To add more perspective, Miami's 8 losses were by a grand total of 37points, averaging to less than 5ppg. 4 of those were by 3points or less.

Once the playoffs rolled around, almost everyone picked Miami's opponent, regardless of who it was. But GM Harbinger and Coach Ken Wisenhunt believed they were the better team. Dolphins came out on top 22-7, it really wasn't as close as the score indicated but Broncos made a valiant effort to keep itself in the game. Next week's opponent was a team without its star QB, however, they've learnt how to play well despite his absence. First half of the game was a close contest but for anyone that watched it closely, saw Ravens put together consistent effort across all sides of the ball, which eventually led to a lot of points.

Until this game, Miami had one of/if not the league's best passing defense. Depending on who you ask, you will get differing opinions but numbers don't lie. Opposing QBR is (IMO) the best indicator of a good defense. Miami led in this category, allowing only 3529 yards all season, 17TD's to 25INT's and holding other QB's to an average QBR of 58.79. Unfortunately, all that didn't matter much as the Ravens had a better gameplan and simply outplayed Dolphins on Offense/Defense/Special teams.

Season ended a week earlier than they had hoped but it wasn't all for nothing. Due to making the playoffs, they got extra progression points which were applied to their young players. There's still a lot of holes in the roster that requires upgrading of talent, and those changes will come, more on that later on.
Forum Discussion (by B_Harbinger on 07/05/2014) Replies - 4 :: Views - 50
Dolphins make some roster moves
In the previous article we mentioned CB Smith's departure. As of now, there is no replacement for him yet and the CB depth looks a little thin. GM Harbinger is wasting no time in trying to improve the overall depth and roster competition at the weaker spots.

RFA Tenders:
First move was to place tenders on all 3 of its RFA's and bring them back. Out of the 3, HB Dugan and WR Shields are both in the midst of restructuring their contracts. Rumor has it, the team wants to lock them up for 7 years and it is only a matter of time. Neither player nor their agent was available for comments.

Exclusive Resign:
As always, GM Harbinger feels it's best to reward his own players. LT Gary Richardson's contract expired at the end of last season. There have been several talks back and forth from both sides and they finally agreed to a term sheet. Richardson, in his prime, will come back to the team for 5 years. Exact details aren't known yet, but his Total Salary will be just shy of 30M with a Guaranteed Bonus of under 10M.

Trades:
In the past two seasons, Dolphins drafted 3 Defensive Backs. CB Darius Slay, CB Tyrone Booker and FS Sergio Fields. Expect them to have CB Smith's replacement via trade or draft. The only position untouched was SS, until now. Today, they announced a trade with Seattle to bring in FS Freeman and RG Gonzalez.

Freeman is a physically gifted player, who is young and talented. Seattle's asking price was a 1st but Miami didn't want to give that up. Instead, they added Gonzalez for depth, who has a cheap long term contract and will decide to move Freeman to SS, while investing points to develop him. If they can get him to progress as quickly as they did the rest, can you imagine this back field 2 seasons from now?

Here are the trade terms pending league approval:
Seattle sends -
FS Freeman
RG Gonzalez
6th round pick

Dolphins send:
2.17
3.13

Rumor has it, the team lost out on acquiring speedster WR Titus Young by just a couple of hours. So, they are back in the market for a WR.

After these recent moves, the team is still equipped with FIVE 1st round picks (13,17,19,23,25) and TWO 3rd round picks (19, 26). They're looking to improve the following positions to create more roster competition: WR, HB, DT, DE, OL, OLB, CB.
Forum Discussion (by B_Harbinger on 06/14/2014) Replies - 0 :: Views - 21
Dolphins fans stunned at the departure of CB Sean Smith
In trying to improve the team, GM Harbinger has decided to make some roster changes, most notably the trade of Superstar CB Sean Smith. As everyone knows, throughout his career, CB Smith has been one of the more physically talented players at his position. What he lacks in top speed, he makes up in Height, Strength and Awareness. Miami has seen other talented CB's come and go but this trade came as a surprise to fans. Smith had been on the Trade Block since their season ended, but the fans never understood why. He was the most efficient CB last season and was very instrumental in making Miami one of the top Defenses.

GM Harbinger met with a few press reporters and had this to say. "I'd like to thank Sean for being the ultimate professional both on and off the field. He was a true Superstar for us and always put the team first. I'm saddened to say that we have decided to part ways with him. We agreed to put him in a good situation and I know that he's happy to be going to another team led by a talented GM/Coach. On behalf of all of us, we wish him the best."

The trade terms were as follows:
Packers send - Future 1st, 3.26
Dolphins send - Sean Smith, 2.25, Future 5th

There were several offers ranging from 1st to late 2nd round picks. Additionally, with a team friendly contract, he was an excellent trade bait. Ultimately, both he and Ben sat down, figured GB had the best offer both for the Miami team and Sean himself.

How this trade works out will remain to be seen. Losing Smith definitely adds CB as a position of need going into the draft, we'll see if the team decides to acquire one via trade or draft a young player. Both Slay and Booker are now the team's starters and they'll have a lot of challenges ahead of them.
Forum Discussion (by B_Harbinger on 06/13/2014) Replies - 6 :: Views - 61
Dolphins Restructure QB Russell Wilson
After trading back for Russell Wilson, his only goal was to lead this team to the playoffs and he did just that. The AFC East Division Champs (barely) took care of business just enough to put themselves in the playoff race. After a tumultuous rookie season, coach Whisenhunt decided to bench QB Glennon and make Wilson the started.

Statistically, Wilson had is his best season and will continue to get better. Last year, the team focused on improving his Awareness and this upcoming season, they will focus on improving his Accuracy. While he is already 27 years old, this is his 4th season only, 1st as a starter. Additionally, he led the team past the Wildcard this season and the management strongly feels that he is the long term answer at QB.

As such, the team rewarded him to a 7 year monster deal. His total salary is $61.44M with $24.57M in guaranteed money. There is no more QB controversy in Miami because the team also agreed to trade QB Glennon to TB. The trade has been accepted by both parties and is pending league approval.
Forum Discussion (by B_Harbinger on 06/09/2014) Replies - 0 :: Views - 19
Dolphins making a play for the division title
:
2015 Miami Dolphins Season Recap

Record: 3-13 (4th place in the ACF East)

The Miami Dolphins appeared to be ready to rebuild going into the 1st quarter of the season and surprisingly came away with 2-1 lead. Playing their division rival Buffalo Bills for the 2nd time in 2 weeks, the team was very excited and looking forward to the rematch. Unfortunately, Bills took care of business and this was a start to a losing season. Dolphins would see the next 12 out of 13 games result in a loss and eliminated the team from post season play with plenty of games remaining in the season.

Team Offensive MVP: HB Le’Veon Bell continued to get better as the season progressed. He performed better as the season went along and Week 11 was his best performance as he rushed for 136 yards and 1 TD against the Arizona Cardinals. Through Weeks 11 – 17, he averaged 88 YPG and 4 TD’s. For the season overall, he amassed 1181 yards and 6 TD’s and will continue to get better. Look for Miami to keep pounding the ball with him.

Team Defensive MVP: MLB K.J.Wright shared the spotlight with rookie MLB Hugh Harmon in a 3-4 Defense and still finished 5th in the entire league in tackles, 16 of them for a loss and added 3 INT’s. This is the 3rd year in a row he accumulated over 100 tackles in the season and look for him to continue making progress. At only 26 years old, he has a very bright future ahead of him.

The offense was ranked 11th, in the league, in passing, and 31st in the league in rushing. They were in the middle of the pack for T.O.P and struggled to convert on 3rd down, with a 33% completion rate. Because they were 25th in total yards, defense had its hands full and luckily performed much better than the offense.
 
The defense was best in the league in passing yards allowed but they were the worst at rushing yards allowed. Additionally, they were 31st in the league in points per game allowed, which put a lot of pressure on the rookie QB Mike Glennon and HB Leveon Bell. Even so, they created turnovers, good for 10th in the league and held opposing QBR’s to 76.5, good for 15th in the league.
The outlook If the team can improve is pass offense and rush defense, look for them to be competitive. Additionally, they have a league high 5 1st round picks which can be used to overhaul the roster with young talent.
---------- ---------- ---------- ---------- ---------- ---------- ---------- ---------- ----------

PRE-DRAFT ROSTER MOVEMENT

Holding onto 5 1st round picks, Dolphins were relatively quiet and didn’t make much noise. They saw several talented QBs change destinations but weren’t interested in making a big splash. They only traded for two players and moved some of their 1sts as it got closer the draft.

Preseason Releases/Trades:

FS Chris Clemons – Release
The Miami Dolphins announced that Chris Clemons will no longer be with the team. The 30 year old starting FS was always mediocre in his play and was rumored to be frustrated with his role in the defense. By releasing him, the team saved almost 3million in cap space.
WR Deon Butler – Release
In a salary cap move, WR Deon Butler was released after originally signing a 3 year deal and having played for 2 years. He was the team’s 4th WR and only had a total of 28 catches for 373 yards and 4 touchdowns. 

LOLB Cory Greenwood - Release
In a salary cap move, LB Cory Greenwood was cut by the Dolphins today after 6 years in the league. He played all 6 seasons with the team and was never more than a depth chart filler in case of injury. He has the physical tools but lacked game awareness, which never helped increase his playing time.

HB Louis Rankin – Release
In a surprise move the Dolphins broke off contract talks with Louis Rankin, shortly thereafter a team press release claimed excessive demands from his agent were to blame. He was never more than a depth chart filler and was cut to make room for other running backs.

DE Demetruce Pair – Trade
The Saints and Dolphins spent a few weeks working out a trade for DE Pair. He immediately fills a void that is very much needed on the Defensive Line. Although his strength his average, at 285lbs, with good Agility for a big guy, he is expected to come in and help on the run defense. More importantly, the new coaching staff believes he gives them flexibility switching between 3-4 and 4-3 defensive schemes.

QB Russell Wilson – Trade 
In what might be considered as the surprise move that no one saw coming, QB Wilson was brought back to the team that drafted him, after trading him only 1 season away QB Wilson is ready to start after having been in the league just 3 seasons, and having started for only 21 games. He is already a mentor at 26 years old with 93 awareness and has decent throw power. He is expected to continue working on his throw accuracy to become a better player. This shows that the new coaching staff is very aggressive and wants to win now instead of waiting for Glennon to develop.

Preseason Additions:
There were only 3 additions to the team, as part of fulfilling depth chart requirements mandated by the league. DE Russell Rodriguez, C John Wood, and RG Kyle DeVan were all signed to 1 year contracts and depending on their play, they could be resigned in the offseason. Don’t expect any of these players to start but an injury to a starter can quickly change that. Two out of the three were starters as of last season, so it’s not for a lack of talent that they won’t be starting. Expect them to push starters to work harder than ever before as no one’s job is secure.

2016 Draft
1.3 CB Tyrone Booker – Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good. That’s exactly how the Miami Dolphins front office felt when Atlanta Falcons decided to draft OT Michael Millen. In other drafts, Booker could have easily been the 1st overall pick but for some reason, he fell to the Dolphins at 1.3. Well, it’s really not that hard to believe because OT Millen is arguably the best OL that this league has ever seen. Still, since when are OT’s worth more than CB’s? Although not Elite, CB Booker is very good and will only get better. Look for him to compete for the #2 spot.

1.23 FS Sergio Fields – Ranked #2 on their draft board, the team felt it was best to draft a player of need instead of trading away the draft pick. Dolphins missed out on WR Rick Urban at 1.18 when the Cowboys jumped ahead and drafted him 1 spot ahead. This led the team to trade away their 18th pick for future picks. Then, they saw OLB Oliver Nixon get drafted, again 1 spot ahead. This really frustrated the team but instead of trading back, they looked to take the next best player of need. Sergio Fields is physically talented and just needs to work on improving his hands/agility. He will be the immediate starter at FS for the team.

3.12 OLB Chris Freeman – Definitely a position of need and a good value pick. He has above average speed, agility and acceleration. For a rookie, his 79 tackle is pretty good as well. Even more impressive is that he’s a 3rd round pick. He has good height and size and needs to work on his strength/awareness. The team is loaded with LB’s, although many around the league think their OLB’s aren’t worth a damn. Coaching staff is very impressed with LB Brian Rolle’s speed and Pedro Frank’s strength. Look for Freeman to get a chance to start but most likely settle for the 2nd/backup LB spot. Once his awareness improves, he will be a solid player.

3.18 LT Da’Rel Brandt – Short on Offensive Linemen, the team decided to draft this athletic OT. Given where he was drafted, people might not expect him to be a starter. However, make no mistake, he will eventually start, if not for this team, definitely someone else. His attributes across the board are very similar to LT Gary Richardson and with more playing time/training camp focus, he will be a good starter in this league.

4.32 MLB Riddick Battle – Again, another quality backup physical talent wise. He has to hit the books hard to improve awareness, and is in a great position to develop sitting behind LB’s K.J.Wright and Hugh Harmon. Those are two of the better LB’s in this league and he is lucky to be learning from them.

5.12 WR Darren Mitchell – This was a major position of need and the Dolphins came up short. Mitchell is nothing more than a 4th WR, maybe 3rd. He has very good hands for a rookie and for someone coming out in the 5th round. Look for him to compete on special teams and 4th WR. He will get more playing time than originally anticipated due to lack of WR depth on the roster.

2016 Outlook / Rookie Evaluation:

Russel Wilson was brought back for a reason and the team is soaring with high expectations. Anything short of a playoff spot will be considered a failure. If you actually take a close look at this team, they have tremendous starters at 90% of the positions. Only holes that are a question mark are OLB and Safety. They expect to fight, compete and win this division, although it won’t be an easy task. Superstar QB’s such as Rivers and Luck have joined rival teams and rookie sensation Higgins will be tough to play against in a few seasons.
I see 2 players worth considering… Higgins is ready to be the face of the franchise while Perkins will require some grooming before being handed a starting role.

Offseason Training and Conditioning & Training Camp
2016 - [1.03] CB Tyrone Booker
Training Camp = SPD +1 [93]
OffSeason Training & Conditioning = + 5 INJ [93]
2016 - [1.23] FS Sergio Fields
OffSeason Training & Conditioning = + 5 INJ [86]
2016 - [3.18] LT Da’Rel Brandt
Training Camp = STR +1 [87]
OffSeason Training & Conditioning = +10 lbs [313]
2015 - [1.07] HB Le’Veon Bell
Training Camp = SPD +1 [90]
2015 - [1.24] QB Mike Glennon
Training Camp = THP +1 [94]
2013 - [3.02] QB Russell Wilson
Training Camp = AWR +1 [94]

2016 Miami Dolphins Projected Starting Roster

Offense:
QB Russel Wilson - NEW
HB Le’Veon Bell
WR Ricardo Lockette
WR Kevin Ogletree
WR David Clowney
TE Jordan Cameron 
LT Gary Richardson 
LG Tony Ugoh 
C Jason Kelce
RG Kyle Long - NEW
RT Jake Long

Defense:
LE Adam Carriker 
RE Demetruce Pair - NEW
DT Brandon Williams
DT Jared Odrick
MLB K.J. Wright
MLB Hugh Harmon
OLB Pedro Frank
OLB Brian Rolle - NEW
CB Sean Smith
CB Tyrone Booker - NEW
CB Darius Slay
FS Sergio Fields - NEW
SS Tyler Sash
Forum Discussion (by B_Harbinger on 01/07/2014) Replies - 0 :: Views - 23
Dolphins Training Camp
Last Season:
Last year was supposed to be part of the 3 year plan to win a championship but things changed quickly, for the worse. Miami’s upper management was very disappointed about the quick playoff exit and they wanted a plan, another one with a future in mind. Ben Harbinger didn’t budge, however, hoping it was the year his vision came to fruition. For whatever reason, the team didn’t play with the same sense of urgency and played lethargically in the season opener. Defense did its job but Steelers were just too good for the Dolphins. After the disappointing start, the team rallied off two wins against quality opponents: NewYork Jets and Tennessee Titans, which turned out to be 40% of their win total for the entire season. After an early bye in the 4th week, they were facing division rivals NewYork Jets in a rematch and were looking forward to their 3rd win of the season. Eli Manning couldn’t do much and went out of the game in the 4th Quarter during the final minutes. Youngster Russell Wilson unfortunately threw a game ending interception and Jets ran out the clock. This was the start of a 6 game losing streak. The final straw was their game against the Giants, Manning’s former team.
GM Harbinger quietly searched around for a trade partner and found Saints, who were barely winning with Tebow as their Quarterback. At the time, both teams agreed to trade as it looked like the best course of action for these two franchises. This was the start to a Russell Wilson , which came earlier than expected. He was supposed to be on the bench until next season and was immediately proclaimed the starter. In his first game as the team’s leader at QB, he completed 63% of his passes, while throwing for a measely 145 yards with a 2:1 TD:INT ratio before getting injured for the game. Jason Campbell came in but he couldn’t do much and the team lost by 1point at the end. Ben Harbinger again decided to make another change and after a few conversations, agreed to deal superstar WR Chris Matthews to seattle for TWO 1st round picks and WR Kevin Ogletree. In hindsight, Seattle probably would not have made this move. Newcomer Ogletree was better than expected, as he and Wilson quickly developed a chemistry that translated into 513yards and 3TD’s over the next 5 games. In Ogletree’s 2nd game as a Dolphin, he hauled in 9 catches for a whopping 234 yards and 2 TD’s. This was also Wilson’s best game by far, throwing for 406 yards while completing exactly 60% of his passes and throwing 4TD’s against 2INT’s, which also happened to the team’s 3rd win so far.
Week 10 brought upon another major change when the team agreed to Amnesty their best CB Antonio Cromartie. They didn’t want to risk not getting proper compensation and had verbally agreed to a trade with Wade Pearce’s Broncos. There was some confusion initially as to the agreed upon offer and the actual bid, but things were sorted out by both GM’s on the side. Credit goes to Wade Pearce for being a stand up GM and person and agreeing to send the appropriate compensation even though the league could not officially account for the original mistake. By this time, it was evident that this team was moving in a completely different direction. However, there was a lot of optimism around the facility as they had acquired an unheard of Five 1st round picks. Without much else to play for, they ended the season on a 5-11 record.

OFFSEASON:
With the team depleted at almost every position, they entered the offseason with needs at WR, CB, DT, DE, LB, and HB along with depth. The following players were retained –

RFA – All 5 RFA’s were offered contracts and both LB’s K.J. Wright + Brian Rolle’s contracts were restructured accordingly. These LB’s signed 7 year deals respectively and will stay with the team for the foreseeable future.

Exclusive Resign – SS Tyler Sash was brought back with a new 5 year deal.

Exclusive Restructure – C Jason Kelce’s services were retained and the team restructured his contact to a 7year deal.

Franchise Tag – After using it on RT Jake Long the previous offseason, they felt none of the free agents were worthy of it.

Match Eligible FA’s – This was a very critical phase for the already depleted team because they retained the services of many role players here. QB Jason Cambell and CB Fabian Washington were two of the integral players who played a key role last season when the starters went down with injuries. NCB Orlando Scandrick, who was consistently developed was also brought back. For the record, LB Jon Alston was almost let go, but was brought back because of the lack of options available at that point in time.

Interests – In the match eligible phase, Ben Harbinger quietly but steadily scouted other team’s players that were eligible to be bid on. Prior to this period, GM Harbinger inquired about LB Martez Wilson (Lions), LB Dennis Lewis (Steelers) and WR Ricardo Lockette (Ravens) with any serious interest. There were several other players that had the team’s interest, but the above three players were focused targets. There were a lot of conversations between GM Harbinger and GM Riddel, but the two GM’s didn’t see eye to eye when it came to his value. Ben moved onto the next best MLB available in his mind and had a tentative deal in place for Dennis Lewis. The team planned on executing their pre-draft FA phase based on the assumption that Lewis was a Dolphin. However, in the final few hours, Arizona GM Adarsh Patel swooped in and offered a “supposedly” better 2nd. This however was not true because, Ben Harbinger was ready to offer Miami’s future 2nd round pick, which will end up being a better pick than the Cardinals 2nd. Mr. Hughes felt otherwise and agreed to trade Lewis to Arizona.
Now the team’s focus turned to Tier 2 LB, Rick Jones from the Cleveland Browns. They made a relatively aggressive offer and Cleveland decided not to match the offer sheet. However, the real prize of this phase was WR Ricardo Lockette. Dolphin’s management was considering offering 1.16 at one point to secure this WR. With almost $50M to spend in FA, they offered Ricardo an unmatchable contract and only time will tell how it turns out. The team was ecstatic as soon as they found out GM Gaspar would not match this offer.

Pre-Draft FA
Still needing help on the defensive side of the ball, they decided to acquire the services of DE’s Matt Shaughnessy and Adam Carriker along with LB Pedro Frank. These three were part of the FA’s that fit the mold of players GM Harbinger was looking for. They also required help at WR and bid on David Clowney, a veteran speedster who will immediately help the team’s future QB. Now that the roster was filled with more talent, Ben knew exactly what to do in the draft. However, his plan truly didn’t come to fruition until the day of.

DRAFT
Oh boy was this day busy. Until the draft had started, the team was planning on acquiring the best CB, HB, WR and LB with the following picks: 1.7, 1.9, 1.14, 1.16. A few hours before the draft, Dolphins decided to pursue offers for WR Brandon Marshall who was only envisioned to stay for another season before being demoted or traded. Within minutes of posting him on the block, Packers GM Kevin Mullendore inquired the asking price. With nothing concrete in mind, Ben had asked Kevin to make him an offer and after a while, Kevin came back with an offer Ben couldn’t refuse. Another 1st round pick was added and all of a sudden there was a chance of drafting another star player. Ben, however was reluctant to draft 5 young player who would all need to be developed, so he started looking to trade for future picks. The team actually had other draft picks at the end of the season but because of so many trades, they lost track of the exact transactions, so we will just skip to draft day trades.

Draft Day Trades:
Packers | Dolphins – Brandon Marshall ironically joined former teammate WR Chris Matthews

Dolphins | Jaguars – Dolphins trade with Jaguars for future picks, which in hindsight would have been dealt to Titans or held until draft day.

Dolphins | Giants – Surprising move which ended up seeing a young, talented QB Russell Wilson leave town.

Packers | Dolphins – Offseason trade that was agreed upon a long time ago, this fetched the team a future 1st for current year’s 2nd.

Redskins | Dolphins – Another trade where the team moved its 1st for future picks.

Buccaneers | Dolphins – This trade played a very important role, 1.24 was used to acquire QB Mike Glennon.

Draft Strategy:
QB Kendall Irving – it was a tad bit late before the team finally decided to trade for 1.1 and acquire the services of this Franchise QB in the making. So, they settled on a tentatively agreed trade with SF 49ers to move up to 1.2 and draft him if and only if he were available. However, as Houston Texans made announcement to keep 1.1 and draft their player, GM Harbinger immediately knew that he lost out on the opportunity to draft Irving. Crazier things have happened, so he still kept the offer on table, seeing as how he didn’t have anything to lose because the trade was contingent upon Irving’s availability.

Hindsight – Dolphins eventually made an offer that the Texans would have accepted had it been a day or two earlier. It will be interesting to see how Paul Willis handles having two (contractually) heavy QB’s on the roster going forward. My guess is that QB Terrence Bennett will be Amnestied for a 1st round pick in exchange.

Draft Selections:
1.7 – HB Le’Veon Bell: Him and Bronze Pittman were considered to be the best Running Backs in this draft class by many. Bell was ultimately chosen over Pittman because of his size, strength and break tackle. With some development points invested in him, 3 years from now, he will show the rest of the league why Bell was chosen over Pittman.

1.9 – MLB Hugh Harmon: This was a slightly confusing choice because rumors out of the building are that Ben Harbinger and the rest of the management team didn’t see eye to eye on this. The team’s newly acquired LB’s, along with the re-signings of LB’s Rolle, Wright already put the team at 4. They could have switched Pedro Frank to inside LB and drafted an OLB, however, the team realized Harmon can come in and start right away. This will prevent Pedro Frank from taking an awareness hit and have him come off the edge. Although not very fast, he’s extremely strong for an OLB (79 STR), which could offset his battles at the L.O.S. or against opposing TE’s.

1.14 – Darius Slay: This was the result of Ben Harbinger overplaying his hand and taking a huge risk. Coming into the draft, Slay was higher on the draft board, but something changed on the day of. The team looked closely at CB Cobrani Rogers and had decided to move him slightly ahead of Slay. They anticipated Packers possibly taking a CB at 1.10 after having passed on that position with their earlier pick and were hoping for them to draft Slay. However, Kevin Mullendore had a different idea and ended up drafting Rogers at 1.10. Although slightly disappointing, Dolphins were happy overall to have drafted a talented CB.

1.16 – With QB’s Bray, Glennon, Wilson, Manuel, Jones and Nassib still in the mix, Ben Harbinger was extremely reluctant to sit here and draft one of them. Although the team needed a Franchise QB, the team felt it didn’t need to reach for one. Instead they traded this pick to the Buccaneers, acquired a 2nd round pick and moved back to 1.28.

1.28 – As the draft progressed, 2 of the remaining 5 QB’s were gone and there were rumors out of Tampa Bay that Anthony Fernandez who was huge fan of QB Glennon was considering drafting him, even though it wasn’t a need. This was enough to trade up again with the Buccaneers to 1.24 and draft the #2 QB, Mike Glennon. GM Ben Harbinger was equally as excited about QB Tyler Bray but since he was gone, the team didn’t want to take a risk and lose out on Glennon.

1.24 – QB Mike Glennon: Tall, good THA, good THP, and a deceptively quick 1st step (60 ACC). Ben Harbinger loves physically talented QB’s, but recently decided to look at attributes slightly differently. Although not exact science, he believes the best QB to be extremely tall (who doesn’t), have 94-95THP, 99 THA (of course), 65-70 ACC and 60-65 SPD, both of which Glennon is on the lower end of the spectrum. Time will tell how these factors play out, assuming good progression for Glennon.

2.16 - LT Kyle Long: Very athletic Tackle who can play Guard position as well as both sides of the field. With Miami’s Tackles already in their prime and their Guards again, look for them to add some weight and strength to this player and possibly even start him during the season. 87 Strength might be a little too weak for a starting OG but we’ll see if the team decides to shuffle around the offensive live a little bit.

2.23 - DT Brandon Williams: This was probably the most surprising pick of the draft. Going in the general consensus was that DT Oberst and DT Oham will split time at the Nose Tackle spot. However, as the draft went along, along with some advice by other GM’s, Ben Harbinger decided to gamble and draft this monster. Competition is always a great thing and when you have a rookie who can come in and challenge the existing players, expect good things from the DT position, regardless of who’s starting.

6.32 – SS Albert Jefferson: Extremely strong for a safety and has fairly decent attributes across the board for a 6th rounder. He has lower than expected agility and with 3 years of development, he can start for Chris Clemons who will be in his 30’s by then. All in all, he’s a good bench player and will be eased into a starting role.

7.19 – LT Ethan Cornell: Not much can be said about him, he’s a solid player considering where he was drafted and will probably never get to start unless the team decides to invest heavily into developing this raw, talented player.

Post Draft FA:
The team would like to fill out the roster by looking for quality depth here. QB, TE, OL and DE are probably positions of need at the moment. Don’t expect anything fancy.

Position Battles:
QB – Glennon will be the starter from Day 1 and like most rookie QB’s, he will struggle early on but will get better as he develops. The general theory is that you need to wait 3 years before judging whether or not a player is a bust, and 3 years from now, Glennon will be one of the best QB’s in the entire league.
HB – Le’Veon Bell will come in and be expected to carry the ball 20-25 times a game, he does need some improvement across all facets of his game, but expect him to get over 1000 yards and 6TD’s this season.
WR – Kevin Ogletree, Ricardo Lockette, and David Clowney will be the team’s incumbent starters, although not necessarily in that order. 4th place WR will be awarded to the winner of Kenneth Moore and Deon Butler.
TE – Jordan Cameron will be the starter for a long time to come. He is the only offensive player who has been here the longest and is expected to be Glennon’s best friend for the unforeseen future.
OL – Expect the team to shuffle players across the board in hopes of figuring out the best players that can protect the rookie QB. Although Kyle Long is not ready to start immediately, expect the organization to make changes with the future in mind.
DE – Two positions will be fought by 3 talented players and who the starters are not known yet. Expect Odrick to have an edge over the FA pickups but Adam Carriker and Matt Shaughnessy are no slouches. They will compete extremely hard and only time will tell who the starter are.
DT – Brandon Williams, Frank Oham and Carson Oberst will rotate for the NT spot, and they are all capable of filling the role well. In case of injury, they won’t miss a beat at this spot, which is important because the defensive tone is set right here.
LB – Hugh Harmon will play #2 MLB alongside KJ Wright and will make a very good combo, probably one of the most athletic pair of starting MLB’s in the league. OLB spots will be fought between Pedro Frank, Rick Jones and Brian Rolle. One of these players will also fill in for #3 MLB in case of injury.
CB – Darius Slay will immediately fight for the NCB spot with Scandrick and Washington. Two of these three players are expected to get lots of playing time, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see a balance based on the WR matchups.
S – No change here and the team is expected to develop Albert Jefferson in hopes of having him take over for Chris Clemons, when the time comes.

2015 Outlook:
With additional depth and quality talent, the Miami Dolphins are expected to take a huge step in the right direction. There will definitely be hardships as the offense gets adjusted to rookie QB and HB, but they have been surrounded by experienced WR’s and a veteran OL. The same could be said on the defensive side, DL is stacked with talent, probably the best they’ve ever been. Same with LB’s, they have big, fast, strong guys who can hit the hole and also cover side to side. Secondary is a bit weak but Fabian Washington should be able to handle his own man.
Bottom line is, this team is more dangerous than the one that showed up last year and because of the depth, they can play both 4-3 and 3-4 defensive schemes, which wasn’t the case last season. Expect the defense to share a heavy burden and keep them in games just enough to have the offense pull out victories.

Prediction 7-9


Word Count: 3,106
Forum Discussion (by B_Harbinger on 07/05/2013) Replies - 0 :: Views - 19
Past, Present and the Future: GM Ben Harbinger
1) Thanks for taking the time to join us Mr. Harbinger. Let’s get right down to it. Describe what last year was like after taking a hiatus from the lingering Superbowl loss?
a. Thanks for talking to me. Time off was great. It took my mind off things, and the loss still hurts. More so because we got away from our style of play and that solely falls on my shoulders. To this day I still hope for an opportunity to play Mr. Mullendore in the Championship, but they were the better team and deserved to win. Right now, my focus is getting this team to that level of play again.

2) You took over a team that was built by someone else and there was some confusion as to why GM Gaspar was replaced, what do you make of that?
a. As I understood it, the team put a timetable on Joe’s decision to come back and he was unable to be reached before the deadline. I was offered the job and accepted it, but Joe got back soon after and this cause some confusion. I had actually offered to back out and look for employment elsewhere but Joe was kindly enough to move on and eventually take on the Baltimore Ravens job.

3) The team had just won its first division title, it had a very talented roster with a mix of players in their prime, why did you change it all up?
a. I’ve already talked about this a lot so I won’t delve into it too much. To give you a brief summary, I wanted to win now, not 3-5years down the road. When there is an opportunity to acquire a talent like QB Eli Manning, you do what you can to at the very least try and get him. We were lucky enough to have talent that brought us both Eli and Antonio as our cornerstone players at those positions. Rest is history, everyone knows how it all played out.

4) Now that you’ve mentioned it, we’ll transition into the last season. You guys got off to a great 7-0 start, but them stumbled soon after and barely snuck into the playoffs. Do you think there was a lack of urgency that led to this?
a. There is no one reason but I will say this, we took several teams by surprise and eventually they caught on to us. We didn’t make adjustments well enough at the time to come out on top. Also, when you have new players, it takes a while for them to all come along and be on the same page. I never lost confidence in our team to get the job done. Our offense found its rhythm back in the playoffs but our defense couldn’t do the same in the 2nd half against SD.

5) Looking through the offseason, it looks like the same team from last season, why haven’t you made a big splash to bring in more talent?
a. When you have a team that almost went to the AFC Championship game, you don’t just mess with it. Our problem last year was depth at key positions. Because of salary cap trouble, we are in a similar situation again but things are looking good going forward. We added CB Fabian Washington to play NCB and possibly take over in case (god forbid) one of the starters gets injured. He is a veteran who is still a force to be reckoned with. Second year QB Russell Wilson is starting to come along nicely. He took back to back sacks on a critical drive against SD that ended up costing us the game but he’s learnt from it. He’s learning very quickly from Eli and will probably be our starter as soon as next year.

6) Speaking of which, it seems you guys shopped around several veteran players this offseason. At one point or another, Eli, Antonio, Jake and Chris were on the block. What was your thought process?
a. Well, we’re going to do whatever is in the best interest of our team. If that means trading one player to acquire young talent for future, we will do that. This is a business and people are getting paid 7 figures to do their jobs. No one’s job is safe and everyone has to earn their pay check. There are no moral victories under this management/ownership. Those days are gone, we have high expectations of ourselves and our players. We expect to deliver a championship to our fans and this city, it has been long enough. This team is perfect right now because we have young talent infused with veterans. Eli and Antonio are on their final years of great play and will eventually be replaced by young players, they understand that. That’s why you see us grooming Wilson and Scandrick behind the scenes. Our LB’s are young and talented and they will only keep getting better. I absolutely HATE to rebuild, thus the mixture of youth and veterans. It’s no secret, a lot of great GM’s do that. However, there are those that wait too long and have no choice but to completely tear up the roster. We are always aware of that and keep on our toes so as to not fall into the same trap.

7) Rumors are circling that Eli Manning was almost a Packer. Can you shed some light on this?
a. I wouldn’t quite call it that. We have been contacted by several teams through the entire offseason and the latest one with the Packers was the same. They inquired about Eli and we talked about some things. Eventually we felt the offer was not good enough for us to pull the trigger on. I owe it to this team and the players to give them another chance this year to go get us that trophy. We’ll see how things play out once the season starts. We won’t make any rash decisions and have absolutely learnt from our mistakes in the past.

8) What are some of the mistakes that you’re talking about?
a. Just the fact that we probably should have gotten a feel for the team before dismantling it so much. There’s always doubt on the back of your mind if you’ve made the right decision but that’s what I’m paid to do. I make the hard decisions and have to live by them and learn from them. I’m not saying we made a mistake necessarily, but there will always be doubts every now and them. The only thing you can do to avoid that is to look forward and not make the same mistake twice.

9) There was an article recently that predicted you guys to be the bottom dwellers of this division for years to come, do you have any comments?
a. We usually don’t pay any attention to those kinds of stuff because we understand it’s an us against the world concept to a certain extent. People always have opinions and everyone has a different one. We believe in ourselves and what matters is what we think of ourselves. I will say this though, there is no quit in this team and we’re going to put up a fight, no matter who’s on this roster. We have added extremely talented GM’s and players in the last two years and it will come down to execution. The team that plays consistently well for 60minutes and executes w/o any flaws deserves to win. It will be awfully fun to compete against these guys. “To be the best, you’ve gotta beat the best.”

10) Last question, make a prediction for your team.
a. I don’t like to do that, don’t believe in making some statistical prediction of wins and losses. Our first goal is to win this division by any means necessary, no excuses, no explanations! Once we’re in the playoffs, everyone understands that it’s a new season all over again and we will take it one game at a time, as cliché as that sounds. The ultimate goal, as is for everyone else in this league, is to win it all and we will do our best to achieve that. Thanks for having me on the show.
Forum Discussion (by B_Harbinger on 01/11/2013) Replies - 2 :: Views - 43
Miami Dolphins disdain Frankie P. Soft
What follows is a good interaction with Ben Harbinger today at his Tuesday presser. Bob Smith asked if Harbinger has seen evidence of his team getting complacent or soft. Harbinger unloaded this answer which is either brilliant or not.

“We’ve seen no evidence of that. We’ll be quick and alert for any signs or evidence. There’s a guy that walks around by the name of Frankie P. Soft. Frankie Soft’s about a four-inch guy who sits on your shoulder and talks right into your ear. If we see or hear any evidence of him being on the premises we’ll act quickly and decisively to get him out of here.”

Ben Harbinger had to go out of his way all season to keep his Miami Dolphins focused following big wins, even inventing a fictional character to get the message across to players.

Now Frankie P. Soft is back.

Only this time, players are on the lookout.

Coming off a 24-17 victory at the Houston Texans, the Dolphins (8-2) are taking a more active approach to guard against complacency heading into Sunday's game against the New England Patriots (4-6) at Sun Light Stadium. Or, as Miami prefers, a 4-inch character who tries to sneak into team headquarters and disrupt preparation.

Harbinger joked Tuesday that Soft showed up a few weeks ago before practice but "other people noticed it first." He said experience with winning, which is no longer a surprise for a team that went 12-4 last season, has taught his players Soft "might be lurking" at all times.

"We want to prevent that," said cornerback Antonio Cromartie, who played for New England in 2012. "Even coming off a win like we did last week, we pretty much erased all that. We understand that coming forward that he'll continue to come in here."

Maybe no more so than this week.

Miami starts a stretch of four of six games at home against the confident Patriots, who make the cross-country trip after defeating the red hot Steelers in New England. The matchup also comes after the Dolphins played one of their most effective passing defensive games of the Harbinger Era, too.

The dominating defensive performance kept the Texans out of the red zone for most of the day and re-established the Dolphins as one of the GZL's elite, erasing memories of that 13-23 loss against New York in Week 10 that is suddenly looking like a blip. If Miami wants to stay among the league's best, players understand they need to stay focused.

"A lot of guys really don't like Tuesday practice," Cromartie said. "You're still sore from the previous game. There's a lot of clutter and information from the previous game we have to get cleaned up. But even on a day like today, we have to make sure we're ready."

Helping the Dolphins focus this week is looking at the missed opportunities at Houston. And even in such a victory, there were still noticeable miscues.

Chief among them: the still stagnant passing game.

Eli Manning completed 9 of 20 passes for 140 yards with one touchdown and one interception. But he only completed 2 of 6 attempts beyond 20 yards, and the deep-threat has remained absent.

Meaning once again, Soft could be present.

"You only seem to be as happy as your last game," Manning said. "As a quarterback, it's always, 'I could've done better' or 'What are the throws I could've made' or 'What could I've done differently?'

"The bottom line is getting the win. Obviously, it was a great win. Looking to get better and move on toward the Patriots."
Forum Discussion (by B_Harbinger on 10/10/2012) Replies - 4 :: Views - 59
Miami Dolphins Training Camp Report
Offseason:
Things didn’t end quite so well for the Miami Dolphins last season. The team had its first winning season since HC Gaspar took over but an early exit from the playoffs left him extremely irate. It was quite evident that he was disappointed, to say the least, with the team’s performance against Cincinnati Bengals. His contract negotiations fell through when he conveyed to the management that he needed more time to think about his return. He wanted more control in the organization’s transactions and personnel moves and also wanted to be one the highest paid coaches ever. Additionally, he was taking a long time (longer than the proposed deadline) to make a decision to try and figure out a solution. To end this drama, Miami Dolphins Management team decided to move on and thanked Mr. Gaspar for his services.

During this time, they have been talking to retired coach Ben Harbinger. For those that don’t know him and/or don’t remember him, he was the Oakland Raiders coach for 09-10 seasons. He took a team led by QB Cassel to the Superbowl only to lose to Mr. Mullendore’s Greenbay Packers. That loss was taken to heart so much so that Coach Harbinger decided to move on from football entirely. However, you don’t just move away from something that you love dearly and have been doing for the past 8 years of your life. It didn’t take much convincing to bring him back on board, especially with a team that was ready to win now, and more importantly set for the future.

The 2012 Miami Dolphins had everything you look at in a team, stars at almost every position, QB Chad Henne, DB’s Sean Smith and Vontae Davis, WR Brandon Marshall, LB Karlos Dansby, HB Ronnie Brown to name a few. The process was fairly simple, Coach Harbinger was not looking for the extra bills and whistles in his contract, he just wanted to win. He’s had a good career but is still searching for a Championship Ring. Having been to the biggest game in this sport 3 times, but not winning has raised doubts about his coaching style under pressure. Nevertheless, Mr. Ross and his executive team wanted the veteran coach and they got him.
During a team press conference, Mr. Harbinger had this to say, “First of all, I’d like to thank the Mr. Ross for giving me this opportunity to come back into the league with open arms and allowing me to try and accomplish the one thing that is lacking in my career, to win a championship. Let me be clear, we are looking to win and win now. We are not in rebuilding mode or transition phase, whatever you want to call it. I have already spoken to the players and the rest of the executive team, we’re all on the same page and I will do whatever it takes to get that roster assembled.”

Quick Recap of 2012 Season:
Well, there’s not much to say, Joe Gaspar had an amazing season end bitterly. After having dominated almost all season long, the offense looked gimpy and Henne never looked worse under pressure. However, QB Henne put up amazing numbers despite being out for most of the 2011 season, unfortunately, it didn't mean much with an early playoff exit.

2013 Offseason Transactions:
Acquisitions:


GM/HC Ben harbinger – Veteran coach, tremendous experience, been to the championship game multiple times but has never won, some people say he’s the Lebron James (until now) of Football.

QB Eli Manning – You trade a young QB like Henne after he had a career breaking season? New coach must be insane, but it does make sense, Eli only has a few more years left and he’s ready to put a team over the hump. Henne is good, but with 81 awareness, he is not ELIte.

HB Pierre Thomas – Very similar to HB Ronnie Brown, adds much needed depth and experience at the position.

CB Orlando Scandrick – Similar to (the now departed) CB Vontae Davis but with limited experience. Only 25 years old, so there’s a lot of room for improvement, will compete for a starting position.

CB A.J Jefferson – Young, talented but very raw. He will compete with CB Scandrick for that starting position but only time will tell. This is a star driven league and injuries can occur at any time. It is always good to have depth and QB/CB positions and the Dolphins now have that with this acquisition.

CB Antonio Cromartie – Star CB that fills the void of CB Vontae Davis. At 6’2” with his combination of speed and quickness, this gives the Dolphins a much feared secondary. Both their CB’s are tall and fast and can cover the best of them. The best part is they got him away from a division rival. This acquisition will definitely help GM Harbinger play an ultra-aggressive style of defense.

CB Fabian Washington – Super fast CB, high awareness with 3 more seasons left in the tank to be a good Nickel/Dime cover guy (even with regression). This might put CB Scandrick’s starting position in jeapordy, but a decision has yet to be made. With this acquisition, does any team have the height/speed/depth at WR’s to overcome this secondary?

LB Arthur Parker – Fast, big OLB who will most likely start from day 1. This, along with the fact that there is no MLB so far will confirm that A.J. Wright will be moved inside. Brian Rolle will assume the starting position on the other side and this will give the team much needed athleticism at all 3 positions. However, with limited experience and awareness, how their running/passing defense will be affected has yet to be determined.

MLB Martez Wilson – Young, talented MLB who had a breakout year last season. He will be assuming the starting role alongside LB Wright who has been practicing at the MLB spot so far. Although young, he has the most experience in this LB group and look for him to be a great mentor both on and off the field.

Departures:
GM/HC Joe Gaspar – Veteran coach, built the team from ground up and took them to a 12-4 season in just 3 years, but it was time to move on and he now has another talented, young QB to install a prolific offense with in Joe Flacco of the Baltimore Ravens. If the teams matchup in the regular season, be sure to watch this game because Mr. Gaspar will bring everything he’s got to show why letting him go was a mistake.

QB Chad Henne – Amazing season, one of, if not the best QB’s last season, put up excellent numbers, elevated the offense to another level in the regular season, but postseason was a different story. Having never been there, he wasn’t his usual self, making erratic decisions and playing conservatively. But with someone who has the patience to coach him, he will come back stronger and better than before.

CB Vontae Davis – Athletic, young, strong, highly experienced, but traded. This one might seem a little bit confusing but it was needed to add depth, which also brought along some other nice young CB’s, so, not a bad deal.

LB Koa Misi – Extremely talented LB, but when there’s a chance to upgrade to an Elite QB and you can afford to give up an LB in exchange, most GM’s would take the chance. Plus, this gives other LB’s K.J. wright and Brian Rolle a chance to compete for the job.

CB AJ Jefferson – GM Harbinger only wanted one young CB to groom and thus decided to ship him off New England as part of a trade that brought in Antonio Cromartie. He will most likely get to start at the 2 or 3 seed on their roster and should be a good CB with a few years of experience and training camp under his belt.

CB Fabian Washington – Just as fast as he came, he was sent off to Detroit in exchange for MLB Martez Wilson. He was rumored to be the NCB with Scandrick playing the dime but he never stood a chance. Apparently his attitude rubbed off many executives in the wrong way after being late on the 1st day of training camp, which led to his quick departure from the team.

RFA Tenders:
TE Jordan Cameron – Inked to a 7 year deal, he is one of the more complete tight ends that can put up pro bowl numbers, cheap and good for depth.

DT Jared Odrick – Although a little undersized, this young man is a force to reckon with. Very quick first step along with good speed, we shall see how he will be used more effectively. Similar to DT Richard Seymour from 2010 Oakland Raiders.

LB Cameron Wake – What’s not to love about him? He’s big, fast, quick and strong, everything you look for in an LB. Unfortunately for him, he didn’t mesh well with new GM and was quickly shipped off to New England. Look for him to avenge this situation when the Patriots meet up against his former team.

LE Marcus Howard – Young DE with tremendous talent, but buried on the depth chart because of a new defensive philosophy allowed him to be a valuable trading piece. With the right coaches and players around him, he will create havoc for opposing linemen/QB’s, good thing he is out of the division!

FA Additions
DT Frank Oham – Big, Strong nose tackle that will allow the defensive coordinator to employ a 3-4 defense with Jared Odrick at one of the DE positions. He’s fairly athletic, given his size but with a pea sized brain, how fast and how much information he can grasp is the biggest question. However, as long as he is smart enough to take on two OL and fill up the hole, look for the surrounding cast to do some damage.

New HB – Will compete with Pierre Thomas for the starting position entering the season. Team is also going to add a cheap/low talented HB as a depth chart filler, he will almost certainly never see any action, barring injuries of course.

Draft:
3.2 QB Russell Wilson – The Dolphins could have gone in multiple directions with this pick but chose to select a young QB who will sit behind Eli and learn. Instead of picking a player at a position of need, they went with BPA approach. This is a rather surprising but excellent move because it gives this franchise a QB with future potential who will not be rushed into the starting lineup. Learning behind Eli will be one of the greatest gifts Mr. Wilson could ask for and hopefully he takes advantage of this opportunity. Although his arm strength is lower than what GM Harbinger looks for in QB Talent, it can be improved in training camp by +3, eventually putting him at 92THP, right about the time Eli is going to retire.

5.16 DE Cam Johnson – Rumor has it that the Dolphins were keen on picking DE Trevor Guyton, but didn’t anticipate him being picked up only a few picks earlier. With him off the board, they quickly reverted to plan B and drafted this young man. He is not overly athletic/strong, but is very adept at making the most of his skills. From a skillset wise, he is purely a pass rusher, given his weight, speed, and quickness and will most likely be a depth chart filler for now.

What these transactions mean:
Let’s go into a few more details to understand why the team was broken up at the most important positions:

To acquire a top 5 QB in the league, the team gave up, two 1st round picks, QB Chad Henne, LB Kao Misi. Wait a minute, Chad Henne was arguably the best QB last season, why would you pay a lot more to get someone who’s 4 years older. Well, last year’s playoff performance and his overall durability were major concerns, but more importantly, Eli is a top 5 QB who is ready to lead any team to a Championship. If you recall from his press conference, he was not messing around, the team gave up youth and future for the next 2-3 season’s window of opportunity. All the teams that won Championships had great/elite Quarterbacks – Phillip Rivers, Aaron Rodgers, Ben Rothlisberger – enough said.

Ok, if that’s the philosophy, why trade CB Vontae Davis, who at 25 years old is already at 89 AWR. As mentioned before, this wasn’t an actively pursued trade, it was carefully thought about and decided. This brings two CB’s who are still good and will be great a few years down the line. You take a small downgrade at one position, add depth at DB, at HB and acquire a future pick, it’s a win – win situation. Plus CB Scandrick is ready to start.

Bottom line, this team is built to win within the next 2-4 seasons and looks to have young/developing talent for the aftermath of current veterans in their prime.

Training Camp/Position Battles:
QB – No competition here, Eli will participate but only for the sole purpose of getting in sync with his new teammates.

HB – No competition here, Pierre Thomas will get reps with the 1st team to get familiar with the rest of the team. Apparently the team is currently in negotiations with multiple HB’s who are talented enough to compete for the starting job, we don’t know who these players are just yet.

WR – Competition between Hixon and Matthews for the #2 spot, right now Matthews has the edge but that can change any time.

TE – Jordan Cameron will assume the starting role after 1) Restructuring to a 7year contract and 2) trading away Jimmy Graham.

OL – No competition, last year’s starters will practice to mesh with Eli and Pierre. Superstar OT Jake Long has agreed to accept the team’s Franchise tag offer while negotiating a long term offer.

DE – This is the most complicated of all, Mr. Harbinger likes to run multiple schemes and different sets from 3-4, 4-3, 46, Cover 2. There might be times where you will see DT Jared Odrick at LE/RE.

DT – Right now, it belongs to Jared Odrick and Jason Jones respectively, but that can change. Again, to add depth and competition. Look for the team to add another DT, in addition to Frank Oham to plug up both Nose and Under Tackle spots while Odrick moves outside.

OLB – Rolle and Arthur will assume the starting positions at Outside Linebacker spots.

MLB – Karlos Dansby has yet to sign a contract, rumor has it that the team will bring him back for one more season because of his leadership, gameplay and depth but it hasn’t happened yet. If he’s not back with the team, look for K.J Wright and newly acquired Martez Wilson to compete for this position.

DB – Newly acquired CB’s Scandrick and Jefferson will compete for the starting spot, Scandrick has the edge right now but it can change depending on the week/matchups.

Special Teams – K and newly acquired P will try and improve from last season.

Other News:
The team used up its Exclusive Restructure for 2013 to sign RG Chris Snee to a 3 year deal, this move improves the salary cap by 4-5 million approximately.

Upcoming season Predictions:
Coach Harbinger is determined and ready to win now. He has put together a tremendous roster (which he inherited) but made some upgrades of his own. The team has very few holes, mostly at LB/DL and maybe one or two OL, so look for them to employ a B.P.A approach in the draft.

In terms of FA, the team has plenty of cap space and depending on what they do with OT Long/LB Dansby, they could be major players. Look for them to also be one of the aggressive teams in Match Eligible phase if someone catches their eye.

Offense will be great, possibly even better than last year, but that’s all talk until the job gets done. Defense is more of a concern with two new DB’s, but the team still has veteran Shawntae Spencer and the improved safeties. DL will be enforced with bigger, stronger players, so look for them to be good, atleast at stopping the run.

Overall, this team WILL make the playoffs, whether it’s a WC spot or Div victory is the only question, barring injuries of course.
Forum Discussion (by B_Harbinger on 07/12/2012) Replies - 0 :: Views - 21
Dissecting the roster -- worth giving up the future?
Let’s go into a few more details to understand why the team was broken up at the most important positions:

To acquire a top 5 QB in the league, the team gave up, two 1st round picks, QB Chad Henne, LB Kao Misi. Wait a minute, Chad Henne was arguably the best QB last season, why would you pay a lot more to get someone who’s 4 years older. Well, last year’s playoff performance and his overall durability were major concerns, but more importantly, Eli is a top 5 QB who is ready to lead any team to a Championship. If you recall from his press conference, he was not messing around, the team gave up youth and future for the next 2-3 season’s window of opportunity. All the teams that won Championships had great/elite Quarterbacks – Phillip Rivers, Aaron Rodgers, Ben Rothlisberger – enough said.

Ok, if that’s the philosophy, why trade CB Vontae Davis, who at 25 years old is already at 89 AWR. As mentioned before, this wasn’t an actively pursued trade, it was carefully thought about and decided. This brings two CB’s who are still good and will be great a few years down the line. You take a small downgrade at one position, add depth at DB, at HB and acquire a future pick, it’s a win – win situation. Plus CB Scandrick is ready to start.

Just as we thought the roster was set, Dolphins made an intra-division trade that brings in star CB Antonio Cromartie. This move came as a surprise because of his price tag. Not only did the team give up its best LB Cameron Wake, but they also gave up P Durant Brooks, DE Marcus Howard and a future 1st round pick. As replacements, they get the slightly less talented (albeit not too much of a downgrade) in Punter and Defensive End.

This really puts the roster very thin at LB leaving them with players that have little to no experience. Additionally, the Defensive line is thin as well. However, with CB Shawntae Spencer and HB Ronnie Brown being released, the team has around $7 million in cap room to work with.
Rumors are that the team has bid on a few Match Eligible FA’s to fill positions of their needs and will towards drafting a DL/LB in the 2nd/4th rounds. Who they bid on will not be known yet, but acquiring some veteran LB’s is the most critical need at this point.

Bottom line, this team is built to win within the next 2-4 seasons, still have all (but 1.24) of their draft picks.
Forum Discussion (by B_Harbinger on 07/02/2012) Replies - 2 :: Views - 29
ClusterF*ck in South Beach - Fresh Blood
Acquisitions:

GM/HC Ben harbinger – Veteran coach, tremendous experience, been to the championship game multiple times but has never won, some people say he’s the Lebron James (until now) of Football.

QB Eli Manning – You trade a young QB like Henne after he had a career breaking season? New coach must be insane, but it does make sense, Eli only has a few more years left and he’s ready to put a team over the hump. Henne is good, but with 81 awareness, he is not ELIte.

HB Pierre Thomas – Very similar to HB Ronnie Brown, adds much needed depth and experience at the position.

CB Orlando Scandrick – Similar to (the now departed) CB Vontae Davis but with limited experience. Only 25 years old, so there’s a lot of room for improvement, will compete for a starting position.

CB A.J Jefferson – Young, talented but very raw. He will compete with CB Scandrick for that starting position but only time will tell. This is a star driven league and injuries can occur at any time. It is always good to have depth and QB/CB positions and the Dolphins now have that with this acquisition.


Departures:

GM/HC Joe Gaspar – Veteran coach, built the team from ground up and took them to a 12-4 season in just 3 years, but it was time to move on and he now has another talented, young QB to install a prolific offense with in Joe Flacco of the Baltimore Ravens. If the teams matchup in the regular season, be sure to watch this game because Mr. Gaspar will bring everything he’s got to show why letting him go was a mistake.

QB Chad Henne – Amazing season, one of, if not the best QB’s last season, put up excellent numbers, elevated the offense to another level in the regular season, but postseason was a different story. Having never been there, he wasn’t his usual self, making erratic decisions and playing conservatively. But with someone who has the patience to coach him, he will come back stronger and better than before.

CB Vontae Davis – Athletic, young, strong, highly experienced, but traded. This one might seem a little bit confusing but it was needed to add depth, which also brought along some other nice young CB’s, so, not a bad deal.

LB Koa Misi – Extremely talented LB, but when there’s a chance to upgrade to an Elite QB and you can afford to give up an LB in exchange, most GM’s would take the chance. Plus, this gives other LB’s K.J. wright and Brian Rolle a chance to compete for the job.
Forum Discussion (by B_Harbinger on 07/02/2012) Replies - 4 :: Views - 39
In with the new, out with the old
Things didn’t end quite so well for the Miami Dolphins last season. The team had its first winning season since HC Gaspar took over but an early exit from the playoffs left him extremely irate. It was quite evident that he was disappointed, to say the least, with the team’s performance against Cincinnati Bengals. His contract negotiations fell through when he conveyed to the management that he needed more time to think about his return. He wanted more control in the organization’s transactions and personnel moves and also wanted to be one the highest paid coaches ever. Additionally, he was taking a long time (longer than the proposed deadline) to make a decision to try and figure out a solution. To end this drama, Miami Dolphins Management team decided to move on and thanked Mr. Gaspar for his services.

During this time, they have been talking to retired coach Ben Harbinger. For those that don’t know him and/or don’t remember him, he was the Oakland Raiders coach for 09-10 seasons. He took a team led by QB Cassel to the Superbowl only to lose to Mr. Mullendore’s Greenbay Packers. That loss was taken to heart so much so that Coach Harbinger decided to move on from football entirely. However, you don’t just move away from something that you love dearly and have been doing for the past 8 years of your life. It didn’t take much convincing to bring him back on board, especially with a team that was ready to win now, and more importantly set for the future.

The 2012 Miami Dolphins had everything you look at in a team, stars at almost every position, QB Chad Henne, DB’s Sean Smith and Vontae Davis, WR Brandon Marshall, LB Karlos Dansby, HB Ronnie Brown to name a few. The process was fairly simple, Coach Harbinger was not looking for the extra bills and whistles in his contract, he just wanted to win. He’s had a good career but is still searching for a Championship Ring. Having been to the biggest game in this sport 3 times, but not winning has raised doubts about his coaching style under pressure. Nevertheless, Mr. Ross and his executive team wanted the veteran coach and they got him.

During a team press conference, Mr. Harbinger had this to say, “First of all, I’d like to thank the Mr. Ross for giving me this opportunity to come back into the league with open arms and allowing me to try and accomplish the one thing that is lacking in my career, to win a championship. Let me be clear, we are looking to win and win now. We are not in rebuilding mode or transition phase, whatever you want to call it. I have already spoken to the players and the rest of the executive team, we’re all on the same page and I will do whatever it takes to get that roster assembled.”


*Everything mentioned above is for fictional purpose only.*
Forum Discussion (by B_Harbinger on 07/02/2012) Replies - 2 :: Views - 41
Dolphins Look For Some Breathing Room
Miami (AP) -- After a big win against division rivals the New York Jets, the Phins are looking to provide themselves with a little breathing room atop the AFC East. With 3 of the next 4 games against a couple of struggling teams the Bills (x2)and the Chiefs, the Phins can ill-afford to lose any of these game if they want to keep the Jets and Patriots below them. The only way they can do that is if Henne and Brown stay healthy and perform as they have been all season.

Henne is having a breakout season with 15 TD's and only 2 INT's. An amazing TD/INT ratio. Henne is also completing 56% of his passes showing that his arm is more than just a cannon. The ageless Ronnie Brown continues to perform running for over 5 yards a carry along with 6 rushing TD's. It's clear that as long as these two key players stay healthy the Dolphins are set to make some noise in the AFC East this season.

The Jets are in tough with 3 of their next 4 games against fierce competition. Due in the coming weeks are the Texans, Patriots, and the Bucs. The Patriots are also in tough having to face the Bucs, Titans, and Jets in 3 of the next 4. It's clear that the time to make a statement on this division is now for the Miami Dolphins. If they expect to win this division accepting anything less than at least 3 wins of their next 4 would be foolish.

Forum Discussion (by J_Gaspar on 02/29/2012) Replies - 2 :: Views - 36
Are They For Real?
Miami (AP) -- Chad Henne, the former Michigan Wolverine, is healthy again. After such a promising rookie season in 2010, Dolphin fans everywhere believed they finally found a franchise QB after being spoiled with one during Marino’s time here. But 2011 saw Henne succumb to an injury early in the season that would knock him out for the rest of the year. Up until that point, Henne had continued his 2010 form with solid QB play, something the Dolphins have desperately been waiting for. Now, this article isn’t meant to make any Henne-Marino comparisons but merely to provide an inside look at one of 2012’s most surprising teams, the 3-0 Miami Dolphins.



Through 4 weeks of the 2012 GZL season, the Miami Dolphins are atop the AFC East and unbeaten through their first three games. The Phins opened the season against the ‘Manningless’ Colts with a 31-24 victory on the road. “With such a young team it’s important to start off the season on the right note. We finally have our guys healthy again and are ready to show the league that we’re not a team to be overlooked,” said Coach Sparano after the game. It’s clear the Dolphins get a lot of their confidence from a coach who speaks highly of them.

Week 2 would see the Dolphins take on a Jags team that welcomed back Philip Rivers. Rivers had his way against the Dolphins secondary torching them for 376 yards through the air on 26 of 45 attempts along with 3 TD passes. But somehow, the Dolphins methodical mistake free football yielded them the win as Ronnie Brown ran for over 150 yards on the ground and Henne chipped in with 178 yards passing. That, along with a Chris Henry 97 yard kick return was enough to give the Dolphins their 2nd win of the season and left the Jags wondering what else they could have done offensively.

A week 3 win would surely raise some eye brows against the 2-1 Ravens. A win here would mean a 3-0 start just before the Dolphins first divisional game against the hated Jets. Chad Henne had his best game of the season in Baltimore, throwing for over 250 yards on 22 of 33 attempts along with 2 TD passes. “It’s easy when you’re throwing to two monsters over 6’4” who have soft hands and surprising speed. They make my job on the field a lot easier. I just throw it up and watch them go after it,” said Chad Henne after his masterful performance against the Ravens in Week 3. There isn’t anything flashy about Henne’s QB play. While he does possess one of the strongest arms in the league, Head Coach Tony Sparano has done a great job at forcing Henne to be patient and take what the defense gives him.

Up next the Dolphins finally get to have their home opener in Miami and welcome the 2-2 Jets who are desperate for a win to stay in the race. “They’re hungry, we know that, but we’re healthy and confident. It’s our home opener against a division rival after opening the season three games on the road… I won’t have to say much to get our guys hyped up for this one. It's going to get nasty out there,” said Coach Sparano.

Forum Discussion (by J_Gaspar on 01/31/2012) Replies - 5 :: Views - 58
Dolphins Training Camp: 2011


OFFSEASON

Coming into the 2011 offseason the Miami Dolphins were not expected to be very active. Coach Tony Sparano had a meeting with the GM at the end of last season discussing what his plans were going forward. The majority of those plans involved many of the same players who were part of the Dolphins squad in 2010. When the Dolphins struggled after winning 4 out of their first 6 games, Sparano was adamant that this team has the most potential in the league. He said that if the Dolphins were struggling it was because that potential was left untapped and it was his job to get to it.

Knowing how strongly Sparano felt about his squad coming into the 2011 season, GM of the Dolphins, Joe Gaspar, made some minor moves that wouldn't impact the chemistry of the team. Below is a list of the offseason transactions:

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Patriots Send:
WR Domenik Hixon

Dolphins Send:
(3) Dolphins

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Dolphins Send:
LG Richie Incognito
(4) Browns
(2) Dolphins

Giants Send:
RG Chris Snee

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Raiders Send:

C Samson Satele

Dolphins Send:
(4) Saints

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Free Agent Signings:

QB Trent Edwards, 5 year $13.15m (2nd string)
HB Jason Snelling, 5 year $19.25m (2nd string, potential #1)
DT Jason Jones, 5 year $10.05m (3rd string)
CB Will Allen, 1 year $3.05m (dime)
CB Shawntae Spencer, 3 year $15.12m (nickle)

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Restructure:


WR Brandon Marshall, 6 year $32.88m and a $13.14m bonus.

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Recap:

The Dolphins solved their young secondary issues with the signings of veterans CB Spencer and CB Allen. Both players will bring experience to a secondary that was young and lost at times last season. The idea here is that Vontae and Smith are the future while Spencer and Allen help them achieve their full potential while also providing great depth at CB if one of them succumbs to injury.

QB Trent Edwards is exactly what the Dolphins were looking for in an adequate backup in case Henne suffers an injury. Both players have relatively the same level of awareness and accuracy to the point where coach Tony Sparano can feel confident with either of them starting. Henne is still the guy here in Miami, that is not being questioned.

Jason Snelling was an interesting signing in that the Dolphins were in pursuit of a backup HB to Ronnie Brown. They ended up landing a legitimate starter in Snelling who is a more powerful back than Brown with less top end speed. Rumors are swirling that the Dolphins might shop Brown if Snelling produces as a #2 HB.


IMPROVEMENT

The Dolphins have had several players putting in time at the gym and track in hopes of improving their physical attributes. Vontae Davis and Shantae Spencer have been seen running sprints at the Dolphins practice facility against eachother in order to prove who ultimately is the faster corner. Vontae holds the advantage in being a smaller more agile corner while Smith uses his long reach to his advantage being 6'4."

Rookie wideout Chris Matthews has been following the guidance of Brandon Marshall in gripping the football. Matthews has incredible size at 6'5" and if he can become a sure handed wideout he will be difficult to stop. Brandon Marshall has been teaching Matthews a grip excersise in which he uses an egg toss to delicately catch the ball at high speeds without breaking it. Matthews has been seen "egged" on many occassions but Marshall insists this exercise will make him into a sure handed target for Henne to go to.

Newly acquired Chris Snee has been seen with Tony Ugoh and Jason Kelce running blocking schemes at the gym. Snee believes that blocking is all about repetition and you don't necessarily need a body in front of you to block well. Snee has been working with Ugoh and Kelce and getting their feet positioning right while maintaining balance and holding their ground. Snee's guidance is a welcomed additioned to an otherwise in experienced O-Line besides LT Carey.


TRAINING CAMP

While the Dolphins are set on the majority of positons there are still a few undecided position battles going on in the preseason. These include:

Nickleback: CB Spencer vs CB Allen

- To start Spencer has the advantage being 6'1" and slightly quicker. However, Allen has more experience and may see more time in Cover 2 sets. There's no question that Tony Sparano values awareness in his secondary and Allen may just impress him enough to attain that nickleback position.

Strong Safety: SS Sash vs SS Bruton

- Sparano has a soft spot for the relatively undersized and slow footed Sash. Sash is a sure handed tackler and has the ability to wrap up the best of backs. Bruton however, has the size that is so dearly valued by many coaches across the league. At 6'2" Bruton has the ability to knock down many lobs thrown his way. He has decent speed and tackling. This is probably the most significant position battle heading into the season as there is no clear cut player holding the advantage.

Center: C Satele vs C Kelce

- Satele was supposed to be the center after being acquired for a 4th round pick from the Raiders. Underused, Satele has the speed and blocking skills to be a productive center in the GZL. Kelce is a freak of nature when it comes to speed. Scouting reports have Kelce a little undersized and weak but his legs are near league best. Blocking skills will need work as with most rookies but it's believe that Kelce will be the Center come 2011.


Forum Discussion (by J_Gaspar on 06/19/2011) Replies - 0 :: Views - 17
Dolphins: Young, Raw, but Learning


Miami (AP) -- Finishing the season 8-8 in 2010 was no surprise to those who follow the Dolphins. What looks to be an exciting team on paper in terms of raw talent is also an inexperienced team. With that inexperience comes patience if you're standing on the sidelines. Dolphins head coach Tony Sparano has learned to accept the mistakes of his youngsters but in doing so also helps them to avoid making them next time around.

2011 will be a very similar team to the one that took the field in 2010. This is due in large part to the above average play of rookie sensation QB Chad Henne. Henne was deemed to be on his way out of Miami come the offseason but his play down the stretch forced Dolphins management to take their hand off the trigger. The Dolphins were believed to be focused on acquiring an experienced QB to lead this young offense on the field. Players such as Rivers, McNabb, and Cassell were all rumored to be on the Dolphins radar this offseason. However, it seems as though Henne will be staying in Miami until he gives his coach a reason to want to sit him.

Miami is still believed to be interested in acquiring a top level experienced CB to either play along side Sean Smith or man the nickle position this season. Either way, the Dolphins will surely want to add depth to a position that was hampered by injuries last season. Other positions of interest include SS, C, WR, and of course QB depth. While we expect the Dolphins to make some moves this offseason don't be surprised if they remain committed in their youth movement and decide to add to it through their abundance of picks for this year's draft.
Forum Discussion (by J_Gaspar on 05/31/2011) Replies - 5 :: Views - 64
Dolphins End Season Feeling Optimistic


Miami (AP) -- A season that was predicted to finish near .500 is about to be made fact as the Dolphins end their season against the Patriots this week. Standing in 3rd place with an 8-7 record going into Week 17 is no surprise as many experts believed the Dolphins had enormous potential, just not enough experience at key positions.

The Dolphins secondary is still extremely raw although an 18th pass defense ranking isn’t anything to be disappointed about. Sean Smith and Vontae Davis will continue to improve and hopefully form a dynamic corner duo that will shut down some of the league’s best. FS Chris Clemons has tremendous talent but very low on field awareness. The Dolphins hope he can one day be the leader of this secondary.

There’s no shortage of talent on this roster and when you switch focus to the offense you can see why. The Dolphins hold the league’s 8th best rushing attack with the likes of Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams carrying the load for much of the season. At 33 years of age, it’s unclear if Ricky will be back for another season but the Dolphins remain confident with Ronnie in the backfield so long as he stays healthy.

Coming into the season rookie QB Chad Henne was a major concern considering his inexperience. Through his first 3 games Henne threw 4 interceptions and only 1 touchdown pass. Some fans were already calling for Henne’s head as they felt their beloved franchise only needed a QB that wouldn’t make mistakes. Henne followed up those 3 games with a fantastic performance against the Patriots which saw him finish the game with a 110.4 QB rating. It was at that point when Henne gained some much needed confidence. In the last 4 games, Henne has thrown 9 touchdown passes to only 1 interception. He currently holds an 87.9 QB Rating and is among the league leaders in completion percentage at 58.48%. Henne certainly isn’t the same QB that looked lost through his first 3 games of his career. Based on this season’s performance, Henne has certainly made a strong case to the Dolphins management that he can be the leader of this offense.

Forum Discussion (by J_Gaspar on 05/03/2011) Replies - 3 :: Views - 50
Dolphins Stunned In 4th Quarter Loss


Miami (AP) -- Nearly a week after the Dolphins suffered a stunning 4th Quarter loss at the hands of the Chicago Bears (7-3), coach Sparano has been trying to forget what transpired in that 4th Quarter. Leading 19-7 halfway through the 4th Quarter, the Dolphins were content in pounding the rock with Ricky Williams. The Dolphins ran the ball 42 times with Ricky shouldering the workload at 28 carries for 145 yards and 1 TD. Despite Ricky's success on the ground, staying overly conservative might have been coach Sparano's biggest mistake in the 4th Quarter.

Coach Sparano gave the go ahead to run on 3rd and 8 from about midfield halfway through the 4th, but Ricky ended up on his backside in the Dolphins backfield. The momentum was swinging. The Dolphins were forced to punt and the Bears needed only two touchdowns to take the lead. Jay Cutler who wasn't having a stellar game until the 4th Quarter, came out onto the field looking for the long ball. And he did just that. Cutler connected with Johnny Knox who had a 5 yard lead over the slower Al Harris for a 53 yard bomb that pulled the Bears to within 5. Harris who has been a solid veteran for the Dolphins this year just couldn't keep up with the speed of Knox.

This was statement time for the Dolphins. Coach Sparano knew that he hadn't opened things up offensively all game and he certainly wasn't going to do it with 3 minutes to go. Out came Ricky Williams who once again carried the rock on 1st and 2nd down but netting only 1 yard as the Bears rushed everyone to the line. After the Dolphins committed a penalty that made it 3rd and long at the 2 minute warning, Coach Sparano was feeling the pinch on the sidelines. But this time he outsmarted the Bears coaching staff. Sparano ran a 2 HB set that faked it to Ricky and gave the ball to 3rd stringer Patrick Cobbs who ran to the weak side and found a huge opening, 24 yards and the 1st down. The Dolphins had executed that play to perfection and were well on their way to their 6th victory of the season.

Not so fast my friend. With about 1:40 to go the Dolphins ran two running plays before being called for another holding penalty that stopped the clock on 3rd down. The Dolphins, hoping to run out the clock were able to get it down to 15 seconds before having to punt from midfield. In came Durant Brooks who wasn't able to pin the Bears inside their own 20 as the ball sailed into the end zone. The Bears had 10 seconds on the clock to go 80 yards and take the lead. And they did it. Cutler received great protection and found a wide open Devin Aromashodu who isn't known for his speed but was able to take it the distance and give the Bears the lead and win. An improbable victory to say the least but this is why they play the games. Dolphins fans won't soon forget this game as they had this one all but wrapped up with 10 seconds to go.

The Dolphins meet the Raiders this week for their Week 12 game. A loss this Sunday could make the playoffs a far fetched idea. A win and they can put themselves right back in the race. CB Vontae Davis and HB Ronnie Brown are set to make their return in Week 13 which will certainly help in any late season playoff run.


Ricky Williams' 145 yards on the ground wasn't enough for a Dolphins win.
Forum Discussion (by J_Gaspar on 03/26/2011) Replies - 2 :: Views - 31
Dolphins Q1/10 Report


Miami (AP) -- What started out as a promising start to the season has taken a turn for the worse in just two weeks. After narrowly defeating the Bills in a last minute fumble recovery for a TD, the Dolphins have dropped two straight at the hands of the Vikings and the Jets. The Dolphins started out the year running the 46 defense in an attempt to shut down Bills future star RB CJ Spiller. Coach Sparano's defensive scheme worked like a charm holding Spiller to just 53 yards on 20 carries. "Despite their 4th quarter surge we shut down their main guy and that was the goal coming in. Fitz was on today and there was nothing we could really do to slow him down in the passing game when we had 10 in the box geared towards stopping the run." Coach Sparano was pleased with the way his young defense performed in their first game but Week 2 was a different story.

In week 2, Sparano opted for the Cover 2 despite his young and inexperienced defense. That proved to be a mistake as Bruce Gradkowski ripped the secondary apart for 260 yards on 16 completions. "We thought with the Cover 2 that our defense could confuse Bruce and force him into turning it over. What a mistake. I don't know if he enjoys Cover 2 defensive schemes or if we just stink at running it but he certainly looked cool, calm, and collective out there." The Vikings smoked the Dolphins 27-10 in what was a disastrous defensive gameplan.

Week 3 saw the Dolphins back in south beach for their home opener against the hated Jets. There was tons of talk leading up to this one with Coach Sparano and Rex Ryan taking their jabs in the media at one another. Coach Sparano started off discussions in the media, "His guys were cutting through the Pats secondary as if it was Swiss Cheese. It'll be a different story here in Miami, I'll tell you that much. If there's one thing this team will do after a disappointing loss, it's play harder and hit harder." Rex Ryan chuckled at Sparano's outlook on Week 3 by saying, "If anyone's defense looked like Swiss Cheese it was his against the Vikings. When Bruce Gradkowski lights you up for nearly 300 yards passing you know you have a problem. What the hell is he doing running the Cover 2 anyway when his guys look like high school football players out there?" And so it was on.

The Dolphins trailed throughout most of the game with no lead greater than 4 points. "Offensively, we moved the ball well enough to win. We just didn't execute in the red zone. We had 3 red zone trips that resulted in 2 FG's. That aint' gonna cut it." Rex Ryan's response to the Dolphins offensive attack after the game was, "What? That one long rushing TD they had? Is that what you're talking about? C'mon guys, you know as well as I know that we shut down that poor excuse for an offense besides that one play. The game shouldn't have even been that close to begin with."

Needless to say, the game ended on a last second FG by Jets kicker Nick Folk after an unbelievable catch by Santonio Holmes in double coverage. "That catch was unreal. We had Harris behind him with Clemons facing the football waiting for it to land to him. The fact that it went through his hands and Holmes was still able to catch it is unreal to me. That cost us the game right there." It was obvious Coach Sparano was not happy with FS Clemons blunder after the game and he'll likely be in the doghouse until next week's game. "To quote my good friend Dennis Green... We are who we thought they were! And we let them get away with it!"

To make matters worse, the Dolphins learned after the game that CB Vontae Davis will be out for the next 9 weeks with a dislocated elbow. Coach Sparano's reaction after the news was, "We have no speed with our corners. Vontae was the only real speed guy we had out there and now he's out. This will put more pressure on our safeties to help over the top and likely mess with our plans on shutting down the run. I won't lie, we're in trouble here. I'm going to give our GM a call to see if we can bring someone in with speed. This is not good."

Forum Discussion (by J_Gaspar on 01/27/2011) Replies - 2 :: Views - 30
Miami Dolphins Hire GM Joe Gaspar.


Miami (AP) -- The Miami Dolphins have hired Joe Gaspar to take on GMing duties for their storied franchise. The news comes as a bit of shock knowing that Mr. Gaspar had previously been GM for the rival Buffalo Bills. He had expressed his desire to remain with the club as he had grown accustomed to the franchise but they opted for a change. When he received a call from the Miami Dolphins front office just a few months after his departure from Buffalo he was flattered by the level of interest shown in him. After talking it over with family and friends, it was a no brainer, Joe Gaspar was headed to South Beach to bring the Dolphins back to respectability.

On paper, the Dolphins aren't expected to challenge for the AFC East title. They are still a young franchise with some talented pieces. QB Chad Henne, LT Jake Long, and CB Sean Smith are just a few of the great prospects that the Dolphins have acquired through the draft. Joe Gaspar is expected to build around these pieces and have the Dolphins contending again in the next season or two. "We're young but we have talent. Talent that is hard to find in this league. Don't expect any miracles for this season but we will bring our game every week. That's one thing I have always had a keen eye for and that's bringing in not only talented players but players that will bring it each and every week."

GM Joe Gaspar is said to be more concerned with upgrading the defense and bringing in an experienced O-Line to help with QB Henne's development in the next few seasons. The Dolphins do have some spending money and they will look to use that to their benefit this offseason.
Forum Discussion (by J_Gaspar on 12/30/2010) Replies - 0 :: Views - 19

All Team News Stories

At A Glance

DOLPHINS FRONT OFFICE
GM R_Budd
Head Coach Ken Whisenhunt
Offensive Coordinator Pat Shurmur
Defensive Coordinator A.Harris
Special Teams Keith Armstrong
Salary $154.73M
Cap Penalty $18.73M
Cap Room $540K

INJURY REPORT
PLAYER POS OVR LENGTH

AFC East
RNK TEAM W-L-T PCT DIV
#4 Patriots Patriots 2-0-0 1.00 1-0
#13 Bills Bills 1-1-0 0.50 1-1
#15 Jets Jets 1-1-0 0.50 1-1
#28 Dolphins Dolphins 0-2-0 0.00 0-1

DOLPHINS SCHEDULE
WK DATE OPPONENT TIME/RESULT
1 Sun at Jets Jets #15
Lost 13-26
2 Sun vs Broncos Broncos #24
Lost 45-48
3 Sun at Chargers Chargers #14 4:05pm
5 Mon vs Bills Bills #13 9:00pm
6 Sun at 49ers 49ers #29 4:05pm
7 Sun vs Chiefs Chiefs #1 4:15pm
8 Mon at Bills Bills #13 9:00pm
9 Mon vs Jets Jets #15 9:00pm
10 Sun vs Patriots Patriots #4 4:15pm
11 Sun at Rams Rams #3 1:00pm
12 Sun at Raiders Raiders #32 4:05pm
13 Sun vs Seahawks Seahawks #11 1:00pm
14 Sun vs Cardinals Cardinals #21 8:30pm
15 Sun vs Steelers Steelers #30 1:00pm
16 Sat at Patriots Patriots #4 1:00pm
17 Sun at Colts Colts #7 4:15pm

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