If the Dolphins keep being the Dolphins of the past… we’re exactly on track for the subpar football some call mediocrity—others call annual disappointment. Whatever you call it, we all can agree is not working.
Sooner or later it will be time to address free agents. I just want to focus on one free agent on the Dolphins in particular—at that’s Reggie Bush.
Let’s approach this from a business side. We see the games where Sunlife Stadium is practically empty. I find it very hard for anyone to say Miami isn’t a great option to play for—it is South Beach and SHOULD be treated as a major market for sports. It’s not like we’re Jacksonville or Buffalo, playing in a small market. The stadium should be a place to be on Sundays whether we’re playing Seattle or playing the Patriots.
Reggie Bush is a brand as much as he is a player. He is a celebrity in the sports world, which only a few players really are. The spotlight for Reggie was born at USC and followed him as he went #2 overall in the 2006 NFL Draft. He didn’t live up to the hype in New Orleans, but started to get his swagger back when he came to Miami last year. Players like Reggie come with a higher price tag despite their performance on the field.
If the Dolphins were to let Reggie go and test the free agent market, they would be losing Reggie’s brand as well as his skill. Fans know Reggie more than Daniel Thomas. That’s just how it works.
If the Dolphins were to let Reggie go, they would have to stick with Thomas and Lamar Miller—and what a typical Dolphins move this would be. Running back would become a question mark on the team’s growing list of needs. None of us know the potential of Thomas and Miller right now. We know what Reggie can do and what he is capable of.
If we lost Reggie to free agency, this further spells “rebuilding”. If Alfred Morris, Doug Martin, and Trent Richardson can take over as rookies, where has Daniel Thomas been? Still learning the system… Still only a third down back… Still rebuilding…
But, who says we need a star as our running back? Sales. This is a business as much as it is a sport. People pay for Reggie Bush jerseys and his name can influence ticket sales more than most players on the Miami roster. He is a decent running back, too.
If Miami is solid at a position, then they need to keep it that way. Stop giving away players, like Wes Welker, for draft picks. That’s a rebuilding mindset.
But, didn’t we try that with Brandon Marshall? Yes we did, but we never surrounded him with the proper weapons. He also had some attitude problems, but I regress…
We are now loaded with draft picks, especially from the Vontae Davis trade. It would be so Miami to draft away and rebuild. Mediocrity ensues. Let’s get players we need that put Miami in the spotlight. Let’s trade those draft picks to get to the chase to see if Ryan Tannehill is the future or not.
If we keep Reggie Bush, we are on the right track to find out. If we keep him, we are set at running back and have a guy on the team who influences team sales. Say we go out and acquire a wide receiver through free agency... suddenly; our offense has some spark to it on the field and in the seats.
Miami needs to keep players who matter from both the business-side and football-side of the industry. Signing Reggie Bush to another 2-year deal, worth about $10-12 million total is a fine signing as long as we also sign wide receivers to help the offensive cause. We know Reggie Bush isn’t the long-term solution. But he can help get our feet off the ground for the future. He puts people in the seats at Sunlife and make Miami an attractive place for free agents.
Miami has been developing players and rebuilding for too long. But for Reggie: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. Miami needs to stop building players, get people to the stadium on Sundays, and put together a winning team.