It amazes me at times how some Dolphins fans go bananas at the sound of a big name. We've been hearing slight tremors that point towards the Miami Dolphins looking to possibly sign Jermichael Finley and using the connection to Joe Philbin as a reason for it to be true. How quickly we as Dolphins fans forget, we already had someone who plays exactly the way Finley plays...his name is Dustin Keller!
I don't understand why people are more excited about the prospect of bringing in Finley than signing Dustin Keller back, I mean seriously, in my honest opinion, all you have to do is look at the numbers and you can see that despite being three years older, despite being three inches shorter, Dustin Keller has PROVEN to be the better player overall.
Now lemme throw some numbers at you. Over the course of their careers, both Dustin Keller and Jermichael Finley have accumulated staggeringly similar stats in pretty much all the categories that we as fans love to watch: receptions, yards, touchdowns, etc etc. I'm gonna list them here.
Career Receptions: Keller - 241 ///////////// Finley - 223
Career Receiving Yards: Keller - 2,876 ////////////// Finley - 2,785
Career Receiving TDs: Keller - 17 ////////////// Finley - 20
Average yards per reception: Keller - 11.3 ///////////////// Finley - 12.5
Just by these numbers alone it would appear that there's almost no difference between these two TEs, so it begs the question: "Luis, why are you even making a big deal about this?" Well I'll tell you...we can't only be paying attention to the numbers, because sometimes numbers DO lie...
Take a look at the QB on the left...anyone recognize him? That's Aaron Rodgers, arguably the best QB in the NFL...now take a look at the QB on the right...anyone recognize him? That's Mark Sanchez, arguably the WORST QB in the NFL, and his only claim to fame is the infamous BUTT FUMBLE.
Heh heh heh heh....butt fumble...
"Luis, your point?"
Oh yeah, right. Ahem...the point that I'm trying to make here is this, and this is probably the biggest argument against the likes of Finley. Take a good look at the QBs these two Tight Ends had to deal with. Jermichael Finley had Aaron Rodgers throwing him the football, who did Dustin Keller have? MARK "BUTT FUMBLE" SANCHEZ. You have to think about this and take this fact into consideration when comparing these two Tight Ends.
Consider this: Dustin Keller put up these numbers in spite of the Quarterback who was throwing him the football, is it possible that Jermichael Finley's numbers were augmented by the QB who was throwing him the football? If these two TEs switched teams, do you think they would still have the same amount of success? Would Finley's numbers suffer because of the major drop off the quality of the QB? Would Keller's numbers skyrocket with the likes of Aaron Rodgers throwing him the football? It seems like a distinct possibility, as we already got a taste of what Keller could do with only a decent upgrade in our QB Ryan Tannehill.
Oh yeah, our boy Tannehill...after looking at the two QBs that both Keller and Finley have had to put up with over their careers, we have to examine the abilities of our own QB and use that to determine what the impact of both Keller and Finley would be. It's quite simple really.
Tannehill > Sanchez
Rodgers > Tannehill
So if Ryan Tannehill is an upgrade over Mark Sanchez, it stands to reason that Keller's numbers would improve under the Quarterbacking capabilities of our young third year QB, but Aaron Rodgers is in a whole other LEAGUE compared to Tannehill, and there's honestly no arguing with that as Rodgers blows the majority of the QBs in the NFL out of the water. So if that's the case, it seems logical to assume that Finley's production would drop under an inferior QB.
Now we get into the last super important factor. Durability. Let's be honest everyone, anyone who says that Finley is more durable than Keller is clearly unaware of the fact that in 2010, Finley also blew out his knee in a game against the Washington Redskins and was placed on IR. So that means that over the course of his career he has been placed on IR twice, once for his knee, and once for the incredibly painful injury to his spinal cord.
Now let's look at the injury history of Keller. Over the first four years of his career Keller played in every single game for the New York Jets until 2012 when a pulled groin (again with the groin injury) and a high ankle sprain limited him to just eight games. Then of course in 2013, he signed with us on a one-year prove it deal and was on the road to a major comeback until DJ Swearinger unleashed an arguably low blow on Keller in a preseason game that sent him to IR. Thanks a lot DJ, by the way, don't blame the NFL rules for what you did.
Well, I've made my case. For all intents and purposes, it's pretty obvious that Keller is the better option for us based on what I've written, but maybe you all have an argument that makes all my points...pointless? I'm aware that Keller's injury will be tough to come back from, so is Finley's. Finley's taller, but again, so what? Despite his greater height, he has relatively the same numbers as Keller even though he had a far superior Quarterback.
They play the same, they have pretty much the same shortcomings as well (they both stink at blocking), they have the same numbers, but one of these TEs has done their job with much harder circumstances. That's Keller, and it seems clear, in my mind at least, that looking at Finley is unnecessary, because we still have a better option in Dustin Keller waiting to get a phone call.
REC's will be much appreciated