ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported the Dolphins, and Bills, were close to trading for former Titans’ RB Chris Johnson prior to his release Friday. This backed up an earlier claim by Jon Clayton mentioning the Dolphins were a potential suitor for Christ Johnson. Per Schefter, the teams were so close that the Titans expected a deal to be done.
The news seems a bit odd, considering the addition of Knowshon Moreno last week. Reports are that CJ2K is still on the Dolphins radar, and with Buffalo being far less attractive a city, the Dolphins might end up with Chris Johnson, only if he reduced his $7 million per year salary.
What does that mean for Lamar Miller? We know Daniel Thomas will likely be cast aside by Knowshon Moreno. Do the rumors of Johnson to Miami leave Miller as the odd man out, too? Rumors, that’s all they are, rumors. But for argument sake, let’s take a look at what Johnson could bring.
Chris Johnson is the only player to rush for 1,000 yards the past 6 seasons, per ESPN Stats and Information. The Dolphins didn’t have a 1,000 yard rusher last season after Reggie Bush ran for 1,000 two years in a row. The void left by Bush was tangible, but in fairness to Miller and Thomas, the Dolphins offensive line was very poor.
Johnson brings speed that can’t be taught and is highly coveted in the NFL. The addition of Johnson would mean the Dolphins would have arguably the two fastest offensive players in the NFL with CJ and Mike Wallace. They would also have two of the biggest divas in the NFL, in Johnson and Wallace. For a team that already lacks leadership, more bad locker rooms guys probably aren’t the answer.
The argument many will make is Johnson is better than Lamar Miller, which on paper is true. Johnson ran for 2,006 yards in 2009, and has run for 1,000 in each season since, averaging 4.0 yards per carry. The Dolphins averaged a mere 90 yards per game, and ranked 26th in the NFL in rushing. Johnson would bring an immediate improvement to the run game, but would come at a price. The prudent move is to ride Lamar Miller’s rookie deal to the end, and add a RB via the draft.
We should start to get a better idea of where Johnson will play in 2014-15 in the next few days. In the meantime, let’s not overreact to rumors of Johnson too Miami. Is it worth paying so much for a potentially large headache on a team that has had so many migraines in 2013-14? We will see.
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