Personnel File: Miami Dolphins

Miami WR Brandon Marshall has good hands, but a shaky personality as the Dolphins have found out.

Personnel leader – General manager Jeff Ireland came to the Dolphins in 2008 when Bill Parcells moved over from the Cowboys. There were certainly questions in 2008-09 in how much control Ireland had over personnel with Parcells in building. But as the “Big Tuna” phased himself out in 2010, there was no question Ireland was the man in charge of personnel with head coach Tony Sparano. Ireland had spent seven seasons in Dallas eventually become the team’s Vice-President of College and Pro Scouting. Before he joined the Cowboys in 2001, Ireland spent four years with the Chiefs as an area scout and was instrumental in draft choices like Dante Hall and Greg Wesley. Since 2008, 44 of the 53 players have been added to the roster, including 28 in the last two years.

Key aides – Director of Player Personnel Brian Gaine (13 NFL seasons); Director of College Scouting Chris Grier (17).

Personnel department – 17 scouts and player-personnel designated people.

Personnel philosophy – It’s hard to fit the Dolphins approach to player personnel into one area. Not with the money they’ve spent in unrestricted free agency and trades that brought them nine starters who will be on the field Sunday. Over the last four years, they’ve been very active in wheeling and dealing for players and draft choices. Give them credit for scouting and signing OLB Cameron Wake out of the Canadian Football League. He was available to all NFL teams, but the Dolphins got him signed and he’s been a big contributor on the pass rush since the 2009 season.

Salary cap status – In late-October, the Chargers were approximately $9 million under the league’s salary cap number.

Big money contracts – LT Jake Long, 5-year, $57.75 million; WR Brandon Marshall, 5-year, $47.3 million; LB Karlos Dansby, 5-year, $43 million; LB Kevin Burnett, 4-year, $21 million.

Soon to be available/starters & key performers without 2012 contracts – RG Vernon Carey, RT Marc Colombo, DE Kendall Langford, DE Philip Merling, OLB Jason Taylor, NT Paul Soliai and QB Chad Henne.

ROSTER THIS WEEK (starters in bold)

Draft choices (24)

1st-round (5) – C Mike Pouncey (2011), DE Jared Odrick (2010), CB Vontae Davis (2009), LT Jake Long (2008), RG Vernon Carey (2004).

2nd-round (4) – RB Daniel Thomas (2011), OLB Koa Misi (2010), CB Sean Smith (2009), DE Philip Merling (2008).

3rd-round (3) – G John Jerry (2010), DE Kendall Langford (2008), OLB Jason Taylor (1997).

4th-round (3) – WR Clyde Gates (2011), WR Brian Hartline (2009), NT Paul Soliai (2007).

5th-round (3) – FS Reshad Jones (2010), CB Nolan Carroll (2010), FS Chris Clemons (2009).

6th-round (3) – FB Charles Clay (2011), RB Lex Hilliard (2008), SS Yeremiah Bell (2003).

7th-round (3) – CB Jimmy Wilson (2011), LB Austin Spitler (2010), P Brandon Field (2007).

Draft overview – They’ve had their hits and their misses. Long, Pouncey and Davis are long-term talents. Odrick doesn’t get on the field much for a first-round pick, and Ted Ginn Jr. from 2007 is already gone. They badly missed on 2nd-round choice Pat White in 2009 out of West Virginia; the was never really able to make a place for himself and justify his selection as the 44th player in that draft class. They’ve gotten some good contributors in later rounds, especially NT Paul Soliai (4th-round) and both of their starting safeties.

Trades (4)

RB Reggie Bush (2011), WR Brandon Marshall (2010), DT Tony McDaniel (2009), TE Anthony Fasano (2008).

Trade overview – They picked up Bush for relatively nothing, although he’s not exactly playing at a high level. Marshall came with baggage from his time with the Broncos and cost them a pair of second-round choices. Fasano was necessary four seasons ago, but the Dolphins still do not have a drafted tight end on their roster.

Unrestricted free agents (8)

LB Kevin Burnett (2011), LB Jason Trusnik (2011), QB Matt Moore (2011), LB Marvin Mitchell (2011), LB Karlos Dansby (2010), LG Richie Incognito (2010), DE Randy Starks (2008), CB Will Allen (2006).

College free agents (3)

WR Marlon Moore (2010), WR Davone Bess (2009), LS John Denney (2005).

Street free agents (12)

OL Ryan Cook (2011), RT Marc Colombo (2011), FS Gerald Alexander (2011), OT Will Barker (2011), LB Marvin Mitchell (2011), DL Igor Olshansky (2011), QB JP Losman (2011), TE Jeron Mastrud (2010), ILB Ikaika Alama-Francis (2009), OLB Cameron Wake (2009), K Dan Carpenter (2008), S Tyrone Culver (2008).

Free agent overview – Wake and Bess are home runs for the Dolphins, great examples of finding talent that’s been overlooked and then developing those skills. They spent a lot of big money on their inside linebackers Dansby-Burnett ($64 million between them), but the payoff hasn’t matched the outlay. Over the years they should have been able to make more happen with college free agents.

Waivers (3)

RB Steve Slaton (2011), TE Will Yeatman (2011), OT Nate Garner (2008).

One Response to “Personnel File: Miami Dolphins”

  • November 3, 2011  - rufus says:

    I read some articles calling this Miami game a trap game. Ha. This team is going to eat the fish. The Chiefs have finally turned into a good football team. The defense is good and the offense is getting pulled along by this WR corps, as it should be. The Chiefs will win this Miami game convincingly. Then they will get respect.

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