Dolphins Desperate for Relevancy

Jason Cole couldn’t have nailed it better.

If news of Miami Dolphins fans’ chants for Kyle Orton(notes) and the media running wild with rumors about Brett Favre(notes) didn’t make it clear that these are desperate times in Miami, here’s one tidbit that should seal the issue.

This week, Dolphins management hired a “third-party” company to chase down a couple of hundred season ticketholders who have failed to make payments on their high-end tickets. As Adam Grossman, the team’s vice president of public affairs, was clear to point out, this third party is not a collection agency. However, it’s only a step removed.

Getting away from the argument over whether it’s OK for a sports team to chase people down for ticket money, here’s the deeper issue: The Dolphins, who were once the undisputed kings of South Florida sports, are so desperate these days to sell tickets that they have to go after everyone they possibly can.

They have gone 7-9 each of the past two years with coach Tony Sparano’s close-to-the-vest play-calling and lack of offensive weapons. Dan Marino’s former team is playing plodder football. It’s dreary and lifeless, sapping the energy from fans faster than South Florida’s brutal August weather. That’s one of the reasons the Dolphins have had to put a nightclub at one end of the stadium and sell off shares of the team to the likes of Fergie and Marc Anthony. The product on the field is simply not good enough.

Hence the cheers for Orton earlier in camp (which have thankfully changed to pleas for Chad Henne(notes) to emerge from his two-year malaise) and the frenzy over Favre when Sparano declined to shoot it down directly on Thursday.

Perhaps that little bit of excitement will help drive interest in the meantime. Perhaps the NBA’s labor issues will allow the Dolphins some time to get fans excited this fall.

Either that, or the Dolphins may have to scare up interest some other way.

This perfectly sums up the Dolphins and their motives.  This franchise is clearly more focused on selling tickets than putting a winning product on the field.  The Dolphins are a pathetic franchise with a pathetic owner in Stephen Ross.

Guys like Bush, Barber, and Favre would all make a very little impact for the Dolphins this season.  Despite this, the franchise seems set on going after these high-profile guys instead of finding solid role players to help this team take the next level.  I’m thrilled that the Jets get to play this team two times a year.

It’s going to be fun sweeping these losers this season.  Barring a major move, I doubt the Dolphins win more than six games in 2011.  I may be wrong, but I doubt it.

 

Jets Training Camp News (August 5, 2011)

– Jerricho Cotchery has officially been released by the Jets.  Reports now say that it’s Cotchery that wanted to leave, not the other way around.  Jerricho apparently requested a trade or to be released back in February.

– Derrick Mason hasn’t been signed yet, which comes as a huge surprise.  If he doesn’t come here, the Jets need to find a third receiver.  Jeremy Kerley has potential, but he is just an unproven rookie as of now.

– The Patriots signed Mark Anderson today.  Hopefully this means Shaun Ellis will stay away from New England.  I will be very disappointed if the Jets let Ellis go.

– James Ihedigbo still hasn’t been signed.  With Brodney Pool returning, you have to wonder if the Jets will re-sign Ihedigbo.  He definitely still has a role on this team on special teams and as an occasional sub-in at safety.

– Former Giants tight end Kevin Boss signed with the Raiders today.  His four-year, $16 million deal was way too much for the Jets to offer.

Giants Sign Prince

It took long enough but the Giants and 1st round draft pick Prince Amukamara have agreed to a deal.The talented corner-back was the last of all the first round draft choices to sign. The Giants have made an adventure of signing players this off-season and the only two significant moves to date have been expected. This off-season they have re-signed Ahmad Bradshaw, and have signed a Prince.

Jets Training Camp News (August 4, 2011)

– Derrick Mason will take a physical today.  If he passes, he’s a Jet.  Mason will be the team’s third receiver.

–  Jerricho Cotchery will be released today.  His cap hit was nearly $4 million this year, but I’m not sure how much the team would save by cutting him.

– I may be in the minority, but I think this is a good move.   When you can’t practice the first day of camp, you know that’s a bad thing.   Just wait until he starts to get hit.  He’s one freak play away from his career being over.  I’d rather allocate that money elsewhere.   If we do nothing, it’s a terrible move.   But if we put the money to good use, it’s a great move.

– Plaxico Burress tweaked his ankle today, but it’s not believed to be serious.  Plax will sit out for a bit, but he has downplayed what we think is just a minor injury.

– (7:30 PM) Shaun Ellis worked out with the Patriots today.  No word yet on a possible deal.  I suggest the Jets do everything in their power from stopping a potential deal from happening, as it would be a slap in the face to the franchise.

– (8:25) Braylon Edwards has agreed to a one-year, $3.5 million deal with the 49ers.  Unbelievable.  I expected a four or five year deal for at least around $7 million per year.  Why couldn’t the Jets have re-signed him for that price?

Fix the Knicks

These are the times where you have to seriously worry about Jim Dolan’s mental stability.

The song is horrible, but it would at least be sort of funny if the Knicks weren’t such an incompetent franchise.  The franchise’s mediocrity last decade is largely because of Dolan himself.  From Isiah Thomas to failing to lure Lebron to New York, Dolan has done a terrible job with the Knicks.

It’s sad that Dolan finds it comical, because it isn’t at all.  I know he doesn’t care about the team, but there are a lot of passionate fans that do.  If Dolan only put as much passion into the Knicks and Rangers as he does with his music, Madison Square Garden would once again be the home of champions.

Jets Training Camp News (August 3, 2011)

– Today’s biggest news was that Rex Ryan said that he’d be willing to welcome back Braylon Edwards at the right price.  “If Braylon wants to come for what we want to pay, come on back,” said Ryan this afternoon.  He also said that he’d welcome Brodney Pool back as well.

– Rex predicted that Calvin Pace, who had a lingering foot injury all of last year, could have a 10 sack season.

– Rex also said that the right tackle spot isn’t an open competition.  Wayne Hunter will be the starter and Vlad Ducasse will back him up.

– Ryan commented on James Ihedigbo today, saying it’s a “possibility” he’d re-sign with the team.

– No news on the Jets possibly being interested in trading for Osi Umenyiora.

– (4:45 PM) The Jets have offered Shaun Ellis a veteran’s minimum contract for around 900k.  Ellis is reportedly weighing his options.

– (6:30 PM) The Jets have re-signed safety Brodney Pool.  Great move.

– (10:45 PM) The Jets are expected to sign former Ravens wide receiver Derrick Mason.  Mason had over 800 yards last year.  This signing would open the door to trading Jerricho Cotchery, but Mason would be a fantastic fourth receiver if the Jets keep Cotchery.

10 sacks for Calvin Pace this season?

Jets Training Camp News (August 2, 2011)

– The Jets have reached a deal with David Harris, inking him to a four-year, $36 million contract.  His $29.5 million in guaranteed money is the most ever given to an inside linebacker.

– Harris’ first-year cap number for David Harris will be $4 million.  The cap number on his  franchise tender was $10.4 million.  The Jets will save $6.4 million this year for free agents.

– Rex Ryan has name Muhammad Wilkerson a starter.  A return from Shaun Ellis could change that, however.

– Darrelle Revis’ uncle, Sean Gilbert, has joined the Jets as an intern.

– The Jets have signed safety DaJuan Morgan.  He could be James Ihedigbo’s replacement, although I still expect him to come back.  Here’s how Morgan’s numbers look in comparison to Ihedigbo’s.

Ihedigbo: 44 games (includes six in postseason), 234 defensive snaps (66 postseason), 11 tackles, three missed tackles on defense, 32 special teams tackles, seven missed tackles on special teams, 5-for-6, 49 yards, TD when thrown at.

Morgan: 14 games, 310 defensive snaps, 29 tackles, five missed tackles on defense, ten special teams tackles, 3-for-4, 37 yards when thrown at.