Free agency is upon us. I've been refreshing ESPN, ThePhinsider, Google, NFL.com and a multitude of other media outlets for days waiting to hear news about signings and trades. I was thrilled when I heard about the Reggie Bush signing. It's been a blast watching this uniquely short free agency period. It's just like regular free agency, except without all the waiting.
But i'm confused. I'll admit that before the lockout I wasn't present on this site nearly as much. I still visited every day but I did not comment or write posts nearly as much as when I joined the site last year before the 2010 season. I joined immediately upon moving back down to my home town of West Palm Beach. Some of you may remember me as "vincemoss86".
One of the things that I have been involved in on this site is the ever-present Channing Crowder Debate. There are many members of ThePhinsider who dislike Crowder's big mouth and lack of on-field performance. Cutting or trading the former Florida Gator was always a suggestion from this group.
There is also a fairly strong group of Crowder supporters. I was one of them. We point to the obvious increase in defensive production when he is on the field. We point to his strong vocal leadership. And we also bring to light his abilities as a run-stuffing early down linebacker.
My question is this:
Since the cutting of Channing Crowder, where is the outcry of joy from the many self-proclaimed Channing Crowder haters?
When I heard of the Kevin Burnett signing, I was extremely happy. I did research and found that this is a young, athletic linebacker coming off his best season as a pro. He is excellent in coverage and can play both MLB and OLB in a 3-4. He is being brought in to replace Crowder at the MLB position next to Karlos Dansby.
I immediately checked ThePhinsider. I browsed through the FanShots and the FanPosts, looking for the debate on what this means for the Dolphins defense. What I found was surprising.
OFFL posted a great piece about his sadness in seeing Crowder go. I saw a little bit of conversation about the Burnett signing, but not much. Where were all the people waiting to dance on top of Crowder's jersey? Where were all the YouTube videos and pictures of Kevin Burnett? Where was the analysis?
What this says to me is that many Dolfans aren't really interested in the positive moves that are made by the current front office. We're not really interested in a young, exciting defender brought in to replace an underperforming linebacker.
I didn't think much of this issue until I read the comments in the FanShot pertaining to Brandon Marshall's recent diagnosis of BPD. phinnyhenny28 made a great comment:
I was excited about the Kevin Burnett signing. I'm sure that more than a few of my fellow Phinsiders were excited as well. So why is it, then that we are more concerned with whether or not Brandon Marshall's personality disorder is "borderline" or not? And yes, i'm aware that BPD is a serious and legitimate mental condition. So i'll stay away from commenting on some of the ignorant statements made by supposed fans of this talented player.
I'm done with what has turned into a rant. I apologize if any of my fellow fans have taken this post as a personal attack or if it has come across as overly critical. More than anything, I hope that this post sparks a good-natured discussion on Kevin Burnett. I had trouble finding information on him when I researched him. Maybe that is the reason for the lack of information on ThePhinsider?
Either way, i'm excited about the signing. I'm thrilled that the Dolphins seem to be making positive steps towards contending in what is arguably the toughest division in the NFL.
I don't think we've seen the last of Channing Crowder in Miami. His release reminds me of the A.J. Hawk release. I look for the Dolphins to bring him back on a reduced salary in a reduced role. He could fit very well as a primary backup and could make a huge impact on first and second downs.