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Weekend Roundup: Talking Anquan Boldin, Ronnie Brown & the draft

It's hard to believe because it feels like draft day will never come - but by this time next week, we will all know the Miami Dolphins 2009 draft class.  But being within a week of the NFL Draft means that this next week will probably go by at a snail's pace.

Anyways, here's some of the news from this past weekend.

You would think that - by now - more people would understand how Bill Parcells does business.  But even those who get paid to cover the team just don't fully get it.  My example?  The Palm Beach Post's Dave George and his latest column.  In it, he writes that the Dolphins need to be "bold" and go after Cardinals' wide receiver Anquan Boldin.  But that's not what I want to call into question.  After all, the "AQ debate" is something we've talked about a lot here.  Instead, it's his reasoning that just doesn't make any sense.  Writes George:

OK, South Florida football nuts, this is exactly what you wanted. It's first-and-10 again in the fully refreshed story of the Miami Dolphins, defending AFC East champions. But, wait, that schedule they put out the other day is the toughest in the league. That's sure to set the Fish back a bit in 2009. Better call it first-and-15 instead.

There's a small problem, too, with all that exciting speculation about Chad Henne finally getting a chance to play some this season. The kid's got a great arm and the toughness to lead, but who is he going to partner with downfield?

Not to be an alarmist, but it's starting to look a little too much like third-and-long around here again, at least in the short term. And what does any team need on third-and long? A proven Pro Bowl receiver.

So let me get this straight.  This guy is actually suggesting that Bill Parcells should go make a play and trade what will likely be at least a 1st and 3rd round pick for a wide receiver because the Dolphins have a tough schedule in 2009?  One of the game's best team builders is supposed to deviate from his plan because the Dolphins play the AFC and NFC South divisions in 2009?  What if the Dolphins an easier schedule?  I guess they wouldn't need Boldin, right?

George also points out that Boldin would provide Chad Henne with a "partner" down the field.  Call me crazy, but isn't that what Ted Ginn is here to do?  Boldin isn't even a "downfield" threat as much as he is an "underneath, move the chains" kind of player.

But to the writer's credit, I think he hits on the main reason reason why so many Dolphin fans are probably in favor of trading for the star receiver:

Bottom line, the AFC East is in for some big changes in 2009. Tom Brady is back in New England, with Fred Taylor at the ready. Terrell Owens is in Buffalo and, for the moment, ready to work. The Jets missed out on Jay Cutler, but new coach Rex Ryan brought along Bart Scott, a defensive monster, from Baltimore.

Makes me itchy for a big splash in Miami, and eager to see a happy ending for one of the greatest athletes ever to come out of Palm Beach County.

Sure - the Dolphins haven't made any big splashes this offseason.  But we all should have expected that.  This is just how Parcells builds his teams.  And adding a soon-to-be 29 year old receiver who has missed 16 games in his 6 year career - including 8 games over the past 2 years - and who may have a "chronic hip condition" just was never in Bill's plans.  And trading away at least a 1st round pick and 3rd round pick for a player who plays a position that Bill calls "a dime a dozen" just isn't likely.

I know it's being talked about in this fanpost, but I still wanted to quickly highlight it.

All of this "Ronnie Brown trade talk" is stemming from a post by Michael Lombardi, who writes:

For the right price, I hear (and I emphasize hear) the Dolphins might be interested in discussing a trade involving starting running back Ronnie Brown if a team calls and expresses an interest.

Immediately, two things jump out here.  First off - this should not come as a shock.  Bill Parcells and Jeff Ireland believe that everybody is available "for the right price."  If I recall correctly, I think Ireland has even said that publicly in the past.  So this really isn't a surprise, people.  Lombardi is just stating a fact that most Dolphin fans already know - every player on their roster is available if the price is right.

Secondly, what exactly is the "right price"?  That's the question that you logicially ask yourself.  And please don't compare this situation to those of Edgerrin James and Shaun Alexander.  Those were backs who were over the hill and had an exceptionally high number of carries.  Brown, on the other hand, is just entering his prime now (he's only 27) and doesn't even have 800 carries on his body.

To answer my question, I'd take nothing less than a first round pick for Ronnie.  Sure, it seems like good running backs are easily uncovered.  But not great all-around backs - which is what Ronnie is.  Yes, I said he's great.  Deal with it.

I think Football Outsider's Bill Barnwell said it best.  He believes that "Ronnie Brown on the Vikings would win NFL MVP."  What does that mean?  It means get an offensive line that can block like beasts and feed Ronnie the ball.  Oh - and by the way - the Dolphins now might have a line that can just maul people in the running game.

Also, as far as that idea that good backs are easily found, I'd suggest asking a Lions fan about that.  Their team has had a 1,000 yard back just once in the past 6 years.  Or ask a Cardinals fan - whose team went 7 years without a 1,000 yard back before Edgerrin James topped the mark in 2006.  Of course, James needed 337 carries and averaged only 3.4 yards per carry.

I also seem to recall a certain South Florida franchise that went what seemed like forever without any kind of marginally decent running back and failed to win a Super Bowl during that time despite having the greatest quarterback of all time under center.

So no - you can't just easily find a running back.  And, personally, it would be hard to find a back who has more physical talent than Ronnie Brown.  He just needs a good offensive line and to be fed the ball play after play.

-Some national "draft experts" just don't have a clue.  Pat Kirwan's latest mock has the Dolphins drafting Hakeem Nicks, Ron Brace, and Fili Moala in the first two rounds.  Let me tell you something - if the Dolphins don't end day one with at least one linebacker or cornerback, you will never hear from me and my big mouth again.

-Finally something I agree on with Armando Salguero.  He writes that he thinks the Dolphins will go defense in round one.