Welcome to the Dwork On Sports blog. This is a place where I’ll cover all things related to South Florida sports, with a steady combination of facts and opinions while ultimately keeping a close eye on anything and everything related to our local teams.
The Miami Dolphins made perhaps the biggest splash of the offseason when they signed defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh last month. Since then things have been relatively quiet around the Dolphins facility, but while there haven’t been any more big splashes the team appears to be making some waves again.
It’s no secret that Miami is in the market for another starting wide receiver and they’ve brought in three free agents that are prime candidates for the role.
The first to arrive in Davie was the youngest of the group, former 49ers wideout Michael Crabtree.
It was reported that the Dolphins were interested in signing Crabtree for somewhere in the range of $3 million per year, but the 27-year-old is said to be looking for a deal in the $4.5 million range.
Whether he’ll receive that kind of offer from any team in need of a receiver is yet to be seen and likely won’t be known until after the NFL Draft at the end of the month.
Crabtree definitely has talent and could still have a high upside but he seems to be willing to play the waiting game and see if any better offers come in down the road.
The veteran wide receiver had a great year in 2012, catching 85 passes for 1,105 yards and 9 touchdowns, but hasn’t come close to reaching those numbers since.
He was injured most of the 2013 season and played in only five games, catching just 19 passes for 284 yards and one touchdown.
Healthy once again in 2014 Crabtree didn’t look anything like the dominant receiver from two seasons before, making 68 catches for 698 yards and four touchdowns while playing in all 16 games for San Francisco.
The next guy to visit the Dolphins was former Packers and Vikings receiver Greg Jennings.
Jennings, 31, has had a long and successful career. The majority of his success came during his time in Green Bay but he has shown during his two seasons in Minnesota that he still has some gas left in the tank.
From 2007 to 2011 Jennings was at his best, racking up at least 920 yards each season and eclipsing the 1,000 yard mark three times.
His two years with the Vikings have been solid ones, totaling 127 catches for 1,546 yards and 10 touchdowns while only missing one game.
The Dolphins were reported to be interested in Jennings after his contract with the Packers expired following the 2012 season but Miami ultimately signed Mike Wallace instead.
The third veteran receiver to pay the Dolphins a visit was Wes Welker, someone fans in South Florida are very familiar with.
As you probably already know, Welker played two seasons in Miami before being traded to the New England Patriots in 2007 for a 2nd and 7th round draft pick.
After leaving the Dolphins Welker became one of the best possession receivers in the NFL, putting up huge numbers while helping the Pats continue their dominance of the AFC East.
Welker had 1,000 yard seasons in five of the six years he spent in New England before switching to another AFC powerhouse team, the Denver Broncos, in 2013.
Injury concerns now surround Welker after suffering three concussions in a 10 month period, according to multiple reports. He missed two games last season due to injuries and had his worst statistical season since 2005, his first with the Dolphins all those years ago.
Welker’s fit with Miami is being questioned, and rightly so. He is a slot receiver, which the Dolphins already have a very good one in Jarvis Landry. Could the Fins be interested in Welker as a backup?
It’s likely that the Dolphins like the receivers in the order that they visited the team, which would make sense.
Crabtree is the youngest with the highest ceiling (if he hasn’t reached it already), Jennings is a wise and versatile veteran that can still play the game while Welker comes with all kinds of questions regarding his health and performance decline.
Also worth mentioning is that Miami may be targeting a receiver with their first round pick in this month’s draft. The Dolphins hold the 14th pick and the name that has been floated around the most is former Louisville wideout DeVante Parker.
Parker has already been down to visit the Dolphins and would be a good fit in their area of need, which is an outside receiver with size (6 foot 3, 209 pounds) and speed (4.45 40-yard dash at the 2015 NFL Combine).
If Miami signs one of the free agent receivers before the draft then it will be highly unlikely they use their first round pick on another one, which is why it’s probable that they’ll wait until then and see how things shake out.
The NFL Draft begins on Thursday April 30th so we shouldn’t have to wait too much longer before we finally get some answers as to which direction the Dolphins will head.
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