The Dolphins have recently told starting left guard Justin Smiley that they are looking to trade him, and not to report for the start of off-season workouts this week. This means without a doubt that the Fins will either find a trading partner for Smiley, or they will just dump him on the street because no team wants him.
I have no problem with the Dolphins trying to make moves, but what I do not like is the Dolphins brass making unnecessary moves that only create more holes on the team.
Yes, Smiley had yet to play a full season for the Dolphins since arriving via free agency two years ago. Yes, I realize that Smiley may be missing out on the prime of his career because of his case of the frequent injury bug. But I also realize that Smiley was our second best lineman the past two years, healthy or not, and he is also a solid veteran presence.
Remember, Smiley was not some backup that did not play all season long, and did not contribute. Smiley was one of our best lineman, and was one of our best run blockers. He also had great chemistry with starting left tackle Jake Long, and the Trifecta threw that all in the trash with their phone call to Smiley this weekend.
The trenches were thought to be a place where the Trifecta was done looking to to make changes and upgrades after signing versatile guard Richie Incognito. We had the physical bulldozers up front to pave the way for Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams, and we went and removed one of those bulldozers from the construction site.
The Fins are now without a starting left guard. This empty roster spot is now added to a list that already consists of free safety, nose tackle, outside linebacker, wide receiver, tight end, and running back. Now we have to add left guard to the list of needs. Have any of you noticed how crucial almost all of those above mentioned positions are to a teams success?
The Dolphins secondary seemingly cannot fully grasp their potential without that ballhawk in the secondary, roaming the field. They could address this by either re-signing Gibril Wilson for another year, and see if he can finally grasp the Fins system, or they could go out and draft Earl Thomas, who would be the long term answer, but would cost a 1st round pick in the process.
The Dolphins outside linebackers need depth added, and they could also go after this depth by signing some vets, such as Jason Taylor, and drafting some young guns, such as Jerry Hughes in the 2nd round.
The nose tackle position is where things get a little sticky. The Dolphins are running short on quality nose tackles, with the 8 game suspension of Jason Ferguson, backup Paul Solia will now be the starter for the first eight games, unless the Dolphins draft someone in the draft this year. Dan Williams, Terrence Cody, or Brian Price could be the answer here in the earlier rounds.
The rest of the needs on the list are not as crucial as the ones on defense. Sure, the Dolphins need a #1 receiver to stretch the field and make everyone else’s job easier on the team, but they have enough good receivers on their team that they can get by. If Chad Henne is going to be a great quarterback, he will have to do like Tom Brady, and make his receivers better than they really are.
The Dolphins also are hoping to get lucky, and acquire an athletic tight end, and a speedy running back for the future, after Ricky Williams has run out of the Fins backfield for good. In a year or two, both of these needs could be critical to the Dolphins success.
And this leads me to my point.
Why would the Dolphins want to add on to their rebuilding project, and simply make one more hole empty on their roster?
They had a solid, if not great nucleus in the trenches, and were poised to have one of the best offensive lines in the game, and with one simple phone call, they threw that all away!
Sure, the Trifecta has to have a plan, but what exactly is that plan? There are no quality guards in the draft that would be worthy of starting in the first couple of rounds that would be more crucial to select when the Fins are on the clock, than some of the prospects that I mentioned above in Thomas, Williams, Cody, Price, and Hughes.
Just when I think the Dolphins are starting to get themselves over the horizon, and back to their winning ways of the ’70’s and the ’80’s, they make themselves weaker as a team with this move.
I’m as puzzled about this move as the rest of the world, but we all have to deal with the fact that Bill Parcells knows what he is doing. This is the only reason why I am still sane after this move. Because we have Parcells leading the way, and he has led teams worse off than us to the promise land, and has won a Super Bowl after rebuilding a team from the ground up.
So I’m expecting some holes to be filled this off-season, but after this move made to try and rid themselves of Smiley, it is clear that the Dolphins still know that they have a couple more years left to rebuild the team before the process is finally complete.