I know hindsight is 20/20....so it's easy to say things like "we should have gone with Drew Brees instead of Dante Culpepper" and stuff like that. But the bad decisions have piled up over the years leaving us with too many "what ifs" in the past and even more doubts for the future. Wasted draft picks, unexplainable trades, etc. Off the top of my head, here are some of the front office moves over the last decade that have us where we are.
2004 - Traded a second round pick to the Eagles for AJ Feeley.
It's not even a matter of whether Feeley was good or not. What team trades a 2nd rounder for a back-up QB? Who else does that? The funniest thing is that the Eagles took that 2nd rounder, and traded it to the 49ers for Terrell Owens. So basically the Eagles traded a back-up QB for an all-pro receiver. That's why they contend year in and year out. Not only do they make smart moves, but they take advantage of dumb teams in the trade game.
2006 - Signed Dante Culpepper instead of Drew Brees
Brees had shoulder surgery and Culpepper had knee surgery going into the season so our front-office simpletons thought to themselves "well, you throw with your shoulder, not with your knee". Whatever, that's not the stupidest thing they've ever thought. And it's not like Culpepper had no skills. But how could they not see the intangible leadership qualities that Brees had? How could they not put stake in all the adversity he overcame in San Diego? What about when they interviewed both guys? How did they determine that Culpepper would be a better leader?
2007 - Drafted Ted Ginn Jr. 9th overall
This remains the most inexcusable draft pick in NFL history. Say what you will about other draft busts, but at least the PICK made sense at the time. Sure Ryan Leaf sucked...but picking him there was the right move by San Diego because they needed a QB and he was rated almost as high as Manning coming out of college. To take a punt returner at #9 is out-of-this-world stupid. And I'm not one of these guys who wanted Brady Quinn. But think of what could have been done with this pick: it could have been traded, or it could have been used to take Patrick Willis or Darrelle Revis....two all-pros who were drafted a few picks after Ginn and surly rated higher on any rational person's draft board.
2007 - Traded Wes Welker to New England for a 2nd and 7th round pick
The very fact that Belichick, notorious draft-pick hoarder, would be willing to make this deal should have been a red flag that maybe this Welker guy had some skills. Sure, WE can't evaluate talent, but Belichick who CAN evalute talent obviously thought highly of the guy. I couldn't help but laugh as he broke that 99 yard touchdown a couple weeks ago against us knowing that we used that 2nd round pick we got to draft John Beck. Six picks later, the Steelers drafted LaMarr Woodley...who consistently makes plays for them.
2010 - Retaining Tony Sparano after the 2010 season
Parcells flew the coup....leaving no reason for Ross to have any allegiance to Sparano. But firing a coach and starting over is a hard thing to stomach. Besides, three seasons isn't a very long time and 7-9 two years in a row isn't the worst thing in the world. But week 17 against New England when they had nothing to play for and beat us 38-7 in one of the most gutless, uninspired efforts in Dolphins history should have been it for Tony. That was an example of the players not being held accountable for their efforts. Bill Cowher would never in a million years let his team go out like that. And it wasn't about the score...because the Patriots are flat-out better than us...it was the effort. Ross later said that Cowher was "demanding too much power." Well if the perennial Super Bowl contender Pittsburgh Steelers were willing to allot him "too much power", the perennial mediocre Dolphins should have too. Rumor has it that Cowher wanted to get rid of Jeff Ireland and all the other Bill Parcells cronies. At least he had a good gameplan.
2011 - Trading for Reggie Bush
Apparently knowing that yards and points are impossible for this team to gain, Stephen Ross decides to settle on twitter followers.
I'm sure I'm forgetting a couple but this is enough to make any Pats or Jets fan laugh their asses off.