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Joey Porter vs Adalius Thomas

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Think back to the '07 offseason.  The two top linebackers on the free agent market were Adalius Thomas and Joey Porter.  Both had been premier linebackers in this league.  Both are the same age.  And both signed within the AFC East.  The Dolphins locked up Porter with a 5 year, $32 million deal that included $20 million in guaranteed money.  Meanwhile, the Patriots inked Thomas to a 5 year, $35 million deal which also included $20 million in guarantees.

At the time of the signings, the media liked the Thomas signing - even though he got more money - and didn't really approve of the Porter signing.  I call it the "Patriot Effect" - the idea that everything the Pats do is golden.

Then after last season, everyone really got on the "Hate on Porter" bandwagon after the season - including many Dolphin fans.  Thinking back to some of the comments made after the season, some people were even willing to "swap Porter for Thomas without a second thought."  And of course, the media absolutely killed the Porter signing and continued to praise the acquisition of Thomas by New England.  This, despite the fact that their numbers really weren't too far apart last year.

But this season has been drastically different - and I'm not talking about Adalius Thomas' broken arm that will likely end his season.  Rather, I'm talking about how Porter has been a dominant force - and the national media fails to recognize that.

But let's look at each player's numbers over their 1 and a half seasons with their new teams:

Adalius Thomas

Season Games Tkls Scks Ints TDs PDs FFs FRs TFL
2007 16 79 6.5 1 1 8 2 0 6
2008 9 34 5 0 0 4 0 0 2
Total 25 113 11.5 1 1 12 2 0 8

 

Joey Porter

Season Games Tkls Scks Ints TDs PDs FFs FRs TFL
2007 16 65 5.5 2 0 5 1 0 7
2008 9 33 12 0 0 1 3 1 2
Total 25 98 17.5 2 0 6 4 1 9

So 25 games into their careers with their respective new teams and what do you think?  Which player has been the better signing?  It's pretty obvious to me - but I know we won't hear any of the "big mouths" in the media ever admit they were wrong.

But you know what the best part of the deal might be?  Over the next 3 seasons, Adalius Thomas eats up $26.2 million in cap space ('09: 6.4 mil, '10: 9.4 mil, '11: 10.4 mil).  Meanwhile, Joey Porter will account for $21.7 million in cap space ('09: 7.4 mil, '10: 7.2 mil, '11: 7.1 mil).  Think about this: when each of these players are 34 years old, Porter will take up over $3 million less in cap space.  I guess for all their faults, Randy Mueller and his regime actually got one thing right.

But you'd never know this if you only listen to the mainstream media's ego-driven loud mouths.