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The Case for Keyshawn...and some other news

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Before we get into Keyshawn Johnson, here are a couple of notes from around the league.  First off, more players have gotten franchised.  Jordan Gross was franchised by the Panthers, while the Colts used their tag on Dallas Clark.

Also interesting to note, it's being reported that the Falcons are exploring trade possibilities involving CB DeAngelo Hall.  New head coach Mike Smith is believed to want Hall on the team, but with a relatively low commitment to Hall financially, trading him isn't impossible.  Rotoworld believes Hall could be had for just a late 1st round pick.  So that makes me wonder if the Dolphins 2nd round pick (32nd overall) and an additional late rounder would be enough to entice Atlanta.  Probably not, but it's nice to dream.  If I'm Bill Parcells or Jeff Ireland, I'm making a phone call to Atlanta immediately to at least get an idea of how interested the Falcons are in trading him.  At only 24 years of age, he's the kind of top corner Miami would love to have.

As for a more likely player to land in Miami, East Coast Sports News is reporting that Flozell Adams will hit the open market and that Adams is "high on the Dolphins wish list."  Adams will be 33 in May, and that fact worries me.  What good will he be in 3 years when his body begins breaking down at 36 right around the time the Dolphins are serious contenders?  Sure, Adams would be an upgrade and allow Vernon Carey to move over to the right side, but if he's going to cost an arm and a leg, I'd rather pass on him.  After all, a guy like Max Starks would come cheaper, is younger with a boat-load of potential, and would allow the Dolphins to have more money to throw at another top free agent.  
Now, let's move onto Keyshawn.  We've all heard the rumors by now (and if you haven't, just scroll down a post).  It's also believed that Johnson would like to decide quickly and get a deal done as soon as possible with whatever team he ends up going to.  Many people feel he'll end up in Miami, though Keyshawn does claim that the Dolphins have not made any contract offer.  And from what I can tell, Dolphin fans have mixed feelings on the possibility of Johnson coming to Miami.

If you ask me, though, I'd be in favor of bringing in Keyshawn on a 1 or 2 year deal.  Now, I've never been a fan of him at all, and it will be hard to root for a guy like him because he's always struck me as a selfish, me-first type of player.  But he'll bring some much, much needed veteran leadership and experience to a receiving core that is very young and inexperienced.  

Some people might be wondering what kind of production we might see out of Johnson in Miami after a year out of football.  I think what needs to be mentioned, first, is that Johnson is a hard worker and, from all reports, always has been.  So I'm confident that whatever team he does end up with will be getting a receiver who, though up there in age, will be in very good shape.  Next, looking at his numbers from the past 3 seasons, Johnson has averaged 70 receptions for 878 yards and 5 touchdowns per season.  Those aren't bad numbers at all.  Compare them to Marty Booker's numbers and you'll see he was more productive than Marty despite being older.  But we can't assume that he'll have a year anything like those last 3 because of his age and the fact that he is a year removed from football.  But what if he comes back at 80% of what he was, which seems reasonable to say.  If you wanted to look at just his numbers, 80% production from the average of his past 3 seasons would be an output of 56 catches for 702 yards and 4 touchdowns.

Of course, it's really impossible to quantify what his signing would mean for the Dolphins.  After all, there are just too many variables to make any kind of educated guess on what kind of on-field production the Dolphins might get out of Keyshawn.  However, I do think he'd act as an invaluable mentor to this young group of receivers.  He may be a bit "mouthy" at times, but the man runs terrific routes and can catch the football.  I think his knowledge and experience would be great assets to the Dolphins.

Some are wondering where he'd fit in on the field if he does come to Miami.  Right now, I think it's hard to say.  Theoretically, Johnson would line up on the outside or in the slot.  Sure, many teams use smaller, quicker receivers in the slot, but there are teams that prefer tall, possession receivers, too.  Chris Henry in Cincinnati comes to mind.  As does Dallas Clark in Indy.  I think it just depends on the offensive philosophy that the team uses.  At this point, nobody can really be sure what kind of offense the Dolphins will run with Tony Sparano and Dan Henning in charge.  But I do think it's likely we'll see Ted Ginn line up in the slot at times this year.  As for Keyshawn's role, I wouldn't be shocked to see him lined up outside at times and in the slot other times.

If you've made it this far through my rambling, then congrats to you.  But with all these thoughts going around about Keyshawn, the fact of the matter right now is that all this is still speculation.  And with that, I ask: are you for or against bringing Keyshawn to Miami?