By: Jason Sarney
Now that Super Bowl XLII is in the books, thankfully, the fans of the other 30 NFL teams can finally put 100% of their attention on April’s College Draft. For the Miami fans that are still pulling themselves out of the gutter, me included, we can look at 2007 in only one way…a blessing in disguise.
Going 1-15 was excruciating, I know. Losing seven games by three points tortured fans all season long. At least they were kind enough to spread those nail bitters throughout the season. There is no question that this was the most difficult season any Dolphin fan could endure. So where was that blessing in disguise? Well the No. 1 overall pick in the 2008 Draft is a start.
Updated mock drafts are coming out and with rumors flying the way they are at this point, we do know this - Miami VP of All Things Everything, Bill Parcells, has some decisions to make.
I would be foolish to recommend what the Dolphins should do this off-season, now that competency has returned to their front office. To suggest anything football related to Bill Parcells is almost like telling Wolfgang Puck how to properly flambé.
I think they know their respective crafts well enough to ensure a perfect recipe for success. That being said, I’ll still put my thoughts out there for what I would consider to be a successful off-season.
The first choice that needs to be made is what to do with that first pick. Miami can go with Boston College quarterback Matt Ryan, who many have as this years’ top prospect. If Parcells keeps the pick, and selects Ryan, that would mean clipboard duty for last season’s 2 nd round pick John Beck.
Selecting Matt Ryan would be a fine move, a move that Miami fans would probably welcome. The level of probability of this selection, should Miami still have the right to it, is high considering that limited quarterback options are available outside of the draft.
The wild card in this is Trent Green. After suffering his second horrific concussion in as many seasons, Green has to first decide if he wants to come back. Then Miami has to decide if they want him. If Green returns, this could impact the decision to draft a quarterback at No. 1, and like a domino effect, it would influence the rest of the draft.
On the other hand, Miami could, in theory, do both. Have Green reprise his 2007 role as a stop gap quarterback while grooming Ryan for 2009 and beyond.
Should Parcells go another way completely, he could select what scouts consider the safest pick in this draft. LSU’s Glenn Dorsey is an anchor of a defensive lineman (a potential Pro-Bowler very early and often throughout his career) with the potential to enhance the Miami’s 3-4 defense.
In my mind, this is almost like deciding between purchasing a fast and sleek sports car or a safe and sturdy SUV. Both are great to have, and it is one of those delightful dilemmas in life. In this case, practicality should prevail, and the risk of yet another botched choice at quarterback could set this franchise back even more.
If I had to choose, I would select Dorsey. Besides, I’m an SUV guy.
Although a solid start to the Dolphin’s draft, to me, such an initial move is too boring. Certainly, The Tuna could make a bigger splash than this.
So here is my ideal plan as to how Bill Parcells could mastermind the rejuvenation of a once dominant, fearsome NFL franchise. I just hope that my predictions don’t make me look like a flounder.
Rumor has it Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is after the No. 1 pick. He would like to draft Arkansas running back and two-time Heisman Trophy finalist Darren McFadden so he can sing the Razorback fight song with someone on Saturday’s. Jones is an Arkansas native and an Alumnus of the University. His affinity for fellow ‘Hogs is well known.
To obtain that selection, Jones could possibly send Marion Barber, who is a restricted free agent, to Miami for the rights to McFadden. If I was Parcells, and I am clearly not, I would not do this deal unless one or both of the Cowboys current 1 st round picks are packed with Barber.
The chances of a deal that delivers Barber, and the 22 nd and the 28 th overall picks to Miami for just McFadden are slim, but it would be a very savvy move by Parcells. A young, thoroughbred like Barber and another first round pick or two may be too enticing for the Dolphins to pass on, should the offer present itself.
This is clearly not as easy as it sounds, or seems. There are questions that need to be addressed. What about Ronnie Brown? What about the re-signing of Ricky Williams? Good questions, if you are thinking of them, so here is my solution.
Trade Ronnie Brown. Yea, trade him. I think he is massively talented, although what Brown has in natural ability, he lacks in durability. He has missed significant time in each of his three pro seasons, and has yet to prove he can be a full time, fully reliable back.
So where should he be traded? First, let’s look at Miami’s assets. Possibly a few 1 st round picks, in addition to two 2 nd round picks, thanks to San Diego from last season’s in-season Chris Chambers trade.
Since Miami would be passing on Ryan, in this scenario, they would need to find a signal caller somewhere else. If only there was a young QB out there who is also expendable.
Well, there is.
Cleveland’s restricted free agent Derek Anderson came out of nowhere in 2007 to lead the young Browns to a 10 win season which left them just shy of the play-offs. So why not resign him? They could, but what would they do with local hero Brady Quinn, who Miami and the Cam Cameron administration passed on last April?
That is the beauty of this deal. Trade Brown and the mandatory 1 st round pick a restricted free agent quarterback demands, for Anderson. That first round pick being either the 22 nd or 28 th from Dallas. The Browns have an aging Jamal Lewis, who is a free agent himself and the young and unproven Jason Wright as their current backfield options
Brown could be inserted into an offense which already has young playmakers in wide receiver Braylon Edwards and tight end Kellen Winslow. Walking into this situation could be perfect for sophomore quarterback, and newly appointed starter, Quinn.
This move could be great for Cleveland, and even better for Miami. With these options, acquired through trading, Miami gains a young, franchise caliber quarterback, and, in my opinion, improves their running back situation to boot. The Dolphins could even have a left over 1 st rounder from Dallas, but this is a long shot.
So, are we ready to draft yet? Nope. Not quite. Although the complaints are coming from Cincinnati, they are being heard loud and clear all over the league, especially in Miami; those complaints are coming from Bengal’s wide receiver Chad Johnson.
Johnson has threatened to sit out the 2008 season if not dealt, but Head Coach Marvin Lewis has repeatedly denied any rumors of potentially shopping or dealing the fan favorite. Apparently, in my opinion, they are simply driving the asking price up.
Even if the asking price is a 2 nd rounder and maybe a Sunday selection as well, I would say this is well worth it. In 2007 Randy Moss was traded by Oakland to New England for a 4 th round pick. Wes Welker joined Moss in Boston after he was traded by Miami for a 2 nd and 7 th round selection.
Derek Anderson, Marion Barber and Chad Johnson could be in Miami along with the potential to still hold onto picks in each of the drafts 1 st three rounds. Even when I re-read my own perfect plan, I start to shake my head in disbelief that it can actually happen.
I am no NFL General Manager, but stranger things have happened in the NFL, and much stranger deals have occurred on Draft Day. I am not able to gauge the exact value of Miami’s assets, and those that they covet, but with the situations in Cleveland, Dallas, Cincinnati and Miami being what they are, and the talent pool at Parcell’s disposal, the 2007 Miami Dolphins couldn’t have picked a better year to be the worst team in football. '
A new power structure from the top to bottom, a new culture already in place and the countless options this franchise has in the coming months can make 2009 a complete and total 180 from last year’s debacle.
I have said it before, and I will say it again. This is going to be a fun off-season for Miami fans. Whatever happens, sit back, relax and enjoy, but most importantly know that Miami is now guided by the best, Of course I am referring to Bill Parcells, not the guy writing this blog, but isn’t this what fantasies are all about?