While I agree with many Dolphin fans that this should not be an issue right now as the Dolphins prepare for their first playoff game in what seems like ages, it's still an important issue that has to be addressed.
Should the Dolphins re-sign Channing Crowder, a four-year starter since his rookie year and the team's defensive signal caller?
Channing brought it up on Wednesday with the media. Said Crowder:
"Honestly I don't know, I don't. I don't see your signal caller, four-year starter playing his whole contract out. But I don't know the game like that."
[This new regime] has seen 16 games - they know what can I do. Heck, I played against them. They can go get them a rookie. They can find a good rookie to do what I do, run around and act crazy."
Sparano was asked by the media about it on Wednesday as well. But he didn't really get into it, just saying:
"The front played extremely well. But Channing being out there has an awful lot to do with that."
"Channing plays with a lot of energy. He can get to a lot of things from the middle. He plays sideline to sideline and can get around a lot of tackles."
"Channing has had help back there with a bunch of people. But Channing can make a difference."
My take? The Dolphins are probably waiting to talk numbers with Crowder's agent for 2 reasons. One, they want to keep Channing hungry and motivated - playing with a chip on his shoulder. And two, they want to make sure Channing is fully healthy. Remember, he does have a history of knee issues dating back to his college days at Florida.
In my opinion, I do hope Channing is back. While he may not be a game-changer like a Ray Lewis or Brian Urlacher, he is a solid performer week in and week out - especially against the run. And his fire and overall "craziness" is contagious to the rest of the defense.
So I hope Channing is back. But I am not totally sold on the idea that he will be back. The Dolphins have a number of key free agents this year, including Vernon Carey, Yeremiah Bell, and Andre Goodman. And if I had to guess, I'd say it's unlikely that all 4 are back.
But how do you decide which are worth the investment and which are not? It's a tough call. But luckily, the Dolphins have the right people in place to make these tough decisions.