The Dolphins are set up for another big off season, with about $35 million and cap space (possibly more with a few cuts) and the draft right around the corner, the Dolphins need to get the right players.
Now, in the aftermath of the “Bully Gate”, the Dolphins will be under every media microscope. The Dolphins can’t worry about it, leave the newspapers alone, or don’t turn on ESPN. General Manager Dennis Hickey and Joe Philbin will focus on making this team better, but try to make a good locker room to prove to everyone that being on the Dolphins is one of the biggest honors in sports.
Philbin and Hickey can’t get caught on each player’s character, they need good players first and foremost. They should not over-worry about a player’s history, if they can sign a player like Aqib Talib, do it. A player who can change your team for the better shouldn’t be put down just for off field issues.
The Richie Incognito/ Jon Martin case is one of a kind (at least to the public) and “Is he the next Incognito” is a question the Dolphins should not ask themselves this offseaon.
The Patriots (among other teams) have always taken that risk on these players, Bill Belichick does a great job at keeping MOST of these players out of trouble. Joe Philbin isn’t Belichick, but he can prove to the fans and league that he can be a good NFL coach by signing these guys and showing that the Dolphins locker room isn’t too bad.
Owner Stephen Ross will be the hardest to convince, if the Dolphins sign a player with off the field troubles, or someone who likes to speak their mind, the media backlash will be horrible. The way to get past this issue? Win. If a player makes the team better, but there is the concern of off the field issues, it could be worth the risk.
I’m not saying the Dolphins should sign every player with baggage, but if a player can help the Dolphins, it shouldn’t be a reason to shy away from them.