The Dolphins’ first two acquisitions in free agency this year are slot receivers Albert Wilson and Danny Amendola. They needed at least one of those guys to replace Jarvis Landry, but perhaps not both.
Perhaps not either of them, actually, according to ESPN analyst Bill Barnwell. He graded both signings a D+.
“Maybe we’ll be sitting here in 12 months remarking on how the Dolphins changed their culture, mustered up most of an offensive line out of thin air, and managed to overcome giving away their best offensive and defensive player to add Robert Quinn and a bunch of wide receivers,” Barnwell wrote. “It’s more likely we’ll be sitting here watching them burn through another pile of money.”
Wilson, 25, is a high-potential player coming off the best season of his career with 42 catches, 554 yards and three touchdowns for Kansas City. The Dolphins will sign him to a three-year, $24 million contract.
Barnwell panned that deal, citing a drops issue and calling him a generally inefficient receiver. He also said Miami’s contract “truly seems beyond any possible expectations of what Wilson might have been offered elsewhere.” One of his main objections was that the team could’ve better spent that money to bolster the offensive line.
While adding Wilson, or someone like him, was certainly logical for the Dolphins after losing Landry, it was a little surprising to see them go after Amendola as well.
Miami typically plays with three receivers, and Kenny Stills and DeVante Parker are the clear options on the outside. Maybe Adam Gase is planning to go with more four-receiver sets in 2018.
If he is, was Amendola the best choice?
He turns 33 during the upcoming season, which will be his 10th in the league, but hasn’t shown signs of decline. His 61 catches and 659 yards both ranked among the top four single-season marks of his career, and he was on the field for 49.9 percent of New England’s offensive snaps.
The issue here could be the contract. Amendola reportedly is signing for two years, $12 million with $8.3 million of that guaranteed.
“Good organizations establish their own culture and draft and develop solutions at positions like slot receiver… Bad organizations are unable to trust their development abilities and pay premiums to go after players on the downside of their careers out of the hope that they can bring some magic success dust from their old homes,” Barnwell wrote.
“In reality, the Dolphins should be looking at what the Patriots do instead of who they are. How often do the Patriots pay $6 million to the fourth wideout on their depth chart? How often do you hear New England leaking stories to the media about how their culture’s a mess to justify bad financial decisions?”
To read the full breakdown of Miami’s free agency moves, and everyone else’s, click here.
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