Every single Miami Dolphins fan is still buzzing about their big move on Wednesday, acquiring Pro Bowl wide receiver Brandon Marshall from Denver. This move very well could be the single biggest trade by the Dolphins in the past decade or two. After all, despite all of the off-the-field worries Marshall comes to town with, he's also an elite top five NFL receiver. When was the last time the Dolphins had a play-maker at the receiver position of Brandon's talent? It's been a long, long time - that's for sure.
On the field, it's easy to see what this move means. Marshall gives Chad Henne and the Dolphins a legitimate threat on the outside. He's the kind of physical talent that defensive coordinators lose sleep over at night when game-planning for him.
He'll also make the players around him better. The running attack should be more effective now that teams will not be able to stack the box with eight, and sometimes even nine, defenders like they did last season. The other Miami receivers will find it easier to operate now that opposing defenses will have to shade their secondary in Brandon's direction. Davone Bess, in my opinion, might benefit the most of all the receivers. He should have more room to get open over the middle. He and Marshall might just be Miami's version of Randy Moss and Wes Welker.
But we'll have plenty of time to discuss what Marshall's arrival in Miami means on the field. What about off the field?
First off, it's clear that this move has re-energized the Miami fan base. Every Dolphin fan I have spoken to today has been ecstatic about the move made by Bill Parcells and company.
But it also re-energized the players. Thanks to Twitter, it's been easy to see how excited some of Marshall's new teammates are. Sean Smith tweeted that "it's going down this year." Vontae Davis said he's "excited about the direction we are taking." Ricky Williams tweeted about how it"s "going to be hard to stack the line of scrimmage" and he and Ronnie "are the happiest people on earth." Brian Hartline said he'd "like to welcome his new teammate to Miami" and added that "big things are happening" down in Miami.
Yeah, it's safe to say the players are just as excited and re-energized as us fans are. That's a big deal, in my opinion, as the grind of the offseason training program continues with OTAs and minicamps on the horizon.
Two immediate questions do remain, though.
The fist one, of course, is about the draft. The Dolphins are now without a second round pick and you have to imagine that this front office will look at ways to acquire a second round pick to replace the one they gave to Denver on Wednesday. The most likely way this could happen is if the Dolphins trade down out of the #12 pick. But there has to be a team willing to move up - and there's no guarantee there will be one who wants Miami's pick bad enough.
The Dolphins could trade players to recoup their second rounder, too. But is there a player on Miami's roster worth a second round pick? Probably not - not even Ronnie Brown.
Speaking of the draft, you have to imagine the Dolphins will draft heavy on the defensive side of the ball. My best guess as to possible first round picks? No surprises - either an outside linebacker, nose tackle, or safety. And don't rule out the possibility of Eric Berry falling to number 12. The question would then become: draft Berry or trade down and pick up some picks from one of the teams that would likely be looking to move up to take Berry. If you've been around here long enough, you know my opinion: sprint up to the podium and draft the best safety to come out in years.
The other question that remains, of course, is in regards to Miami's other receivers. Who is the odd man out?
Davone Bess and Brian Hartline are locks to be safe. That leaves Greg Camarillo, Ted Ginn, and Patrick Turner as guys who could see their days in Miami numbered. Ginn is the obvious favorite to end up elsewhere. But no team would give up anything of value for Ginn and I believe Teddy could really thrive in a new role now that he won't have the same kind of pressure on him. With defenses now forced to flex their defense in Brandon's direction, Ginn could really put some pressure on opposing defenses from time to time on the opposite side.
If it was up to me, the solution here is simple. The Dolphins should keep five receivers on the 53 man roster - Marshall, Bess, Hartline, Camarillo, and Ginn. Keep all five active on gameday, too. And then let Turner battle it out for a practice squad spot. If he doesn't show enough improvement in camp, hand him his pink slip and let him be on his way.
Regardless, Wednesday was a great day to be a Dolphins fan and this next week is going to be just as exciting. Enjoy it before the doldrums of the offseason set in later this spring.