We can safely say that the Patriot Way is on full display in the city by Biscayne Bay, and as far as I’m concerned, that’s quite okay.
It’s becoming increasingly clear that the Miami Dolphins’ front office has set their sights on molding the organization into ‘Patriots South’, not just with their offensive and defensive philosophies, but in terms of how, and what kinds of players they acquire and what they’re willing to pay for those players, both in terms of salary and in draft pick compensation.
So, you ask, what makes the Dolphins believe they’ll be successful at this endeavor when so many other teams have attempted to do the same thing and have failed miserably? Well, for starters, when you hire a guy who has the personality of a lamp post, like Romeo Crennel, or an egotistical control freak, like Josh McDaniels, your chances of success are already prohibitively small from the start. McDaniels, in particular, proceeded to gut the Denver Broncos roster almost as soon as he got off the plane upon his arrival in Denver ten years ago. He quickly alienated starting quarterback Jay Cutler, and the team’s 4-12 record in McDaniels’ second and final season as head coach paved the way for them to select Von Miller with the second overall pick in the 2011 draft.
But Brian Flores is neither of those aforementioned guys; he appears to have considerably more personality than Crennel and, like probably ninety percent of the rest of the population, has considerably less ego than McDaniels. Many have lambasted the retention and subsequent promotion to general manager of Chris Grier, arguing that keeping a guy who was here during a long stretch of mediocrity will only lead to more mediocrity, but thus far, it’s difficult to argue with the course Grier has the Dolphins on this offseason. From the draft, to acquiring quarterback Josh Rosen to the free agents they’ve brought in, the Dolphins look to have adopted New England’s time tested approach of ‘Buy Low, Sell High’ of how they run their football team. Although many have asserted that Rosen represents an all-or-nothing proposition, and that if Miami selects a quarterback high in the first round next year, the trade for him was a failure, the Dolphins could still keep Rosen for a year or two and then trade him for similar or even more compensation than they gave up to get him, if he shows improvement, as expected, in Miami. The recent contract extension the Dolphins gave cornerback Xavien Howard was something they simply had to do; you just don’t let a guy who might be the NFL’s top corner get away, but guess what? If the rebuild takes longer than expected, Miami could still trade Howard for some serious draft pick ransom at a later date, and the fact that he’s signed for the next six years makes it easier, not harder, to do that, if they so choose.
Didn’t it make you at least a little envious when New England used to sign ‘problem’ type players like Randy Moss, Corey Dillon and Josh Gordon, and then get good performances out of them that helped them win championships? Even with his indefinite suspension from the NFL, Gordon still helped the Patriots get to yet another Super Bowl before he was suspended, and accordingly, the team gave him a Super Bowl ring. Wouldn’t it be nice if the Dolphins became known as a team that could get similar results out of players that other teams couldn’t? That, I believe, was the thought process behind their recent signing of former UM and Cincinnati Bengals running back Mark Walton. Walton is young, talented and will, in all likelihood, be playing for the league minimum for the foreseeable future, so if he gets into any more trouble, he didn’t cost the team very much to begin with. If Flores is, as one reader suggested, a ‘scumbag’, well, let’s hope he’s a successful scumbag. Sometimes it’s better to be a live dog than a dead lion.
So, in sum, the Dolphins appear, at least at this juncture, to be on the right track. And I don’t think we can trot out the old retort of, “Alright, so they look like they’re doing well now, but let’s see what happens on the field”, because part of the plan is for them to lose a lot games this season, to help them get premium picks in every round of the draft next year, not just the first round. If we want to say that a year from now, fine, but for now, we just to let the process play out. That’s the wrap for today, have a great week, everybody.