This past week has featured not only the Dolphins coaching staff teaching the seniors from the South the ropes of what will be to come in the NFL, and Yeremiah Bell and Dan Carpenter practicing with the best of the best in the NFL, but also there has been some mild rumors swirling regarding some defensive players that are on the Dolphins, and around the league.
From Joey Porter reportedly not wanting to come back, to Jason Taylor undecided on his future. One thing is certain. One of the two pass specialists will not be back next year, and the way Porter is bringing the media into this, I think it is safe to say that “Peezy” will not be the one “ordering players back to the sidelines who come to sub in for him.”
The Dolphins have reportedly been walking around on eggshells for a rather long time here regarding this issue. And untrue to form, it seems that the Trifecta has been letting Porter take advantage of them in this situation.
Since when has Bill Parcells, or Tony Sparano for that matter, been known to let their own players control what they do on gameday? Especially during a season that was shaky to say the least.
I applaud the Dolphins and Joey for somehow keeping this under raps, despite the one game suspensions on Porter midway through the season.
The news that Joey said on a radio show in his hometown of Bakersfield, California, that he does not want to be back in a Dolphins uniform next year, was rather shocking, considering the fact that Porter has NO room to come out and make those kinds of demands after the inconsistent season that he has had.
Porter only had 9 sacks this year, and 34 tackles, both steps down from his stat-line last year. Porter also had only one forced fumble this year, three less than his four last year.
With that being said, does any player have the right to pretty much demand their way off of a team? What kind of leadership does that show the other, younger players on the team? Porter was thought of to the younger players as an elder to look up to for guidance, and leadership. And now he goes and does this? I do not think that there is any reason for the Dolphins to keep him around, and are only saying that they are still on the fence about it to keep what is left of his trade value.
With all of the drama of whether Joey Porter will be back next year or not, what was lost in translation somewhat was the fact that Jason Taylor may, or may not, be back next year.
JT has given mixed signals so far this week, saying to the Associated Press that he would like to return next year, specifically to the Dolphins, but only hours later, saying this to the Miami Herald’s Jeff Darlington:
“I never close the door, so I’m not going to be committal here on anything,” Taylor said. “I’m enjoying my time now. When the time comes, if teams want to start talking to free agents, it will be time to talk.”
What I think this means, is that Jason is willing to wait and see if the Dolphins bring Porter back, or not. I cannot imagine that Taylor will be willing to play second fiddle to Porter for what will likely be his last year in the league. Taylor did not enjoy that very much last year, as the Dolphins chose to slide Taylor to the strongside linebacker position, instead of his natural post, the weakside linebacker (this is where Porter lined up).
In Jason’s mind, I’m sure that he wants to end his career where it started, in Miami, but I think at this point in his career, he is not willing to swallow his pride to play a position that is not what his whole career is all about. Jason is a weakside pass rushing beast, and while he may have improved in the run game this year, he is known for his pass rushing prowess.
If the decision were up to me, I would pick Taylor over Porter for several reasons, one being they are both pass rushing beasts, but also because Taylor provides better leadership while also providing some of the emotion that we would be missing if Porter would be to be let go.
The final rumor that has been circulating around the league this week has been of that possible free agent defensive tackle, Vince Wilfork of the New England Patriots.
Wilfork stated this week that he would like to come down to play for a Florida team, most notably, the Miami Dolphins, or Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Tampa Bay would make sense for a possible landing spot, but if Wilfork’s only way out of New England was a trade, there would be no way that the Patriots would trade away arguably their best defensive player to their division rival, who they play twice a year. So I guess you can throw the idea of Wilfork lining up in the teal and white next year into the trashcan.
The Dolphins have some decisions to make regarding their defensive unit, even before free agency starts, and what they get in return, whether it be in trading Joey Porter, or letting Jason Taylor retire, and trading Porter, will be the final stepping stone in how we judge the Dolphins final needs before the draft, and how they will go after some defensive depth on the free agent market.