First, let me point out that I did "borrow" this idea from Behind The Steel Curtain - SBN's terrific Steelers' blog.
With that said, what I did was look at what each player cost the Dolphins in terms of cap space. Then I selected the top eight players from which the Dolphins got the most bang for their buck. Essentially, it's a list of which eight Dolphins were the greatest values in 2008. Today will focus on numbers 5 through 8. Part 2 will follow in the coming days (not too sure exactly when).
Before we start our list, one clarification is needed. Ricky Williams will not be on this list for two reasons. First off, the extension he signed right before the start of the season jumped his 2008 cap hit to $2.2 million. Still a great value considering Ricky gained 878 yards from scrimmage and totaled 5 touchdowns. But considering what the Dolphins gave up way back when for Williams as well as his "past issues," he just missed the cut.
Onto the list...
#8: DE Kendall Langford - $510,000
It's rare for a rookie defensive end who was a 3rd round draft pick to make the kind if impact that Langford made. He came to Miami and worked his way up to starting in a hurry. And he was a solid player all season long for the Dolphins. His stats won't look too impressive, but the rookie did pick up 2 sacks and 5 tackles for a loss. And he was 2nd on the team in tackles by a defensive lineman. I'd say that's not too shabby for just over half a million dollars.
#7: CB Andre Goodman - $1.933 million
The last 5 games of the year, Goodman might have been the team's best defensive player regardless of position. Over those last 5, Goodman surrendered just 3.58 yards per attempt. And without question, Goodman was the best corner on the team in '08, leading the team in interceptions (5) and pass deflections (24). In fact, his 5 interceptions was tied for the 3rd highest total in the league and his 24 pass deflections was 4th highest in the league. All that production for under 2 million dollars.
#6: TE Anthony Fasano - $445,000
Just think - the Dolphins got both Fasano and starting LB Akin Ayodele from Dallas for just a 4th round pick. Not too bad. Further making the deal a steal by Miami was that Fasano was due less than a half of a million dollars in 2008. On the season, Fasano caught 34 passes for 454 yards and 7 touchdowns - catching 64% of the passes thrown his way. He's a QB-friendly tight end who produces when he is asked. And no 3 touchdowns were bigger in '08 than his 2 in Kansas City - including that remarkable catch, reaching backwards to nsag the pass in and then carry two Chief defenders 10 yards into the endzone for the game-winning score - and his terrific go-ahead TD catch against the Jets the following week.
#5: S Yeremiah Bell - $1.42 million
For the first time in his career, Bell started all 16 games. And, finally, Bell provided the kind of production we all thought he could after seeing his flashes late in the '06 season. And he did it all while making less than a million and a half dollars. Yeremiah led the team in total tackles and solo tackles. In fact, Bell ranked 13th in the NFL in total tackles and was 3rd among safeties. And his 100 solo tackles was the 5th highest total in the league, and 2nd among safeties. When you also factor in his 10 pass deflections (and some of those were at key moments), 3 forced fumbles, 1.5 tackles for loss, and 1 sack, Bell's price tag was quite the bargain in 2008. But considering he's an unrestricted free agent now, look for his price to rise dramatically in 2009.
Part 2, which will highlight the top 4 values in 2008, will follow sometime within the next week.