After he made the decision to play for the Dolphins, Mike Wallace said he gave up $15 million from the Vikings to play for a team that was a contender.
But are the Dolphins really contenders, especially in a division with Tom Brady?
I believe they are.
Coming off of a season where their rookie Ryan Tannehill only threw 12 touchdowns, they picked up Wallace, who caught 64 passes for 836 yards and 9 touchdowns.
Brian Hartline made some big plays, getting 1,083 yards off of 73 catches, but only scored one touchdown last season. Wallace will definitely be at least a distraction to defenses, allowing one of them to rack up a good amount.
Their receiver situation is set. Tannehill coming into his second year (which is the year where most quarterbacks show the most growth) with weapons -- set. The offensive line is full of veterans, especially one of the best at his position -- Mike Pouncey, make this line a good one. Set. The defensive line has Cameron Wake. Enough said.
But that shouldn't let you forget about Randy Starks -- SET. Linebackers are set with Karlos Dansby. Kevin Burnett needs to watch out in his pass coverage though. The secondary needs to step it up. The corners get beat too much.
But the one piece the Phins' can count on is their safety, Reshad Jones. He's gotten better and better over his career. The only thing that's unclear with them is the running backs. Lamar Miller looks like the starter, but I have no idea. I personally think they should've kept Reggie Bush.
The problem is, this team's skill alone isn't going to get them past Brady's touchdown onslaught. Luckily, it might be the lack of onslaught that might push them ahead. Brady relies on his tight end strength a lot more than he should, because Bill Belichick doesn't give him any receivers (save Danny Amendola).
That's going to be a problem seeing as the tight end position is a circus at this point. Rob Gronkowski's five surgeries, including the one on his back, might keep him out or even make him a non-threat. The fiasco with Aaron Hernandez is looking very bad. He destroyed his own property that would have helped find the killer. That alone is going to give him an 'obstruction of justice.' And for the record, based on that alone, he obviously knows who did it. If it wasn't him.
The other two teams aren't much of a problem. Team Butt-Fumble, aka the Jets, are a laughing stock. Upper management is doing nothing to help out Rex Ryan, which is upsetting, because it's not entirely his fault for losing. Sanchez is most likely going to start, which isn't good, and if he's doing better than Geno Smith -- then that's even worse. They have maybe one decent receiver, and a secondary that's less than amateur, on a good day, especially without Revis.
The Bills aren't too bad. If they can pull it together, they've got a chance to make it to a positive season. Who wins the quarterback battle? If Kevin Kolb does, hopefully he will play like he did after he got a second chance in Arizona (eight touchdowns and three interceptions through six games).
From what we've been told in EJ Manuel, he was drafted because of his ability to play well in harsh weather conditions. I believe the only reason he would get beat by Kolb is because of Kolb's experience.
There's nothing wrong with sitting back for a year, or at least a couple games, learning and watching from someone who's been playing for a while. Stevie Johnson and Fred Jackson/C.J. Spiller are good help on offense, so they need to watch out for them, but that's about it.
On defense, Mario Williams, Nick Barnett, and Jairus Byrd are the best players. But one person in each section isn't going to be that much of a hardship for a diverse offense (that is, if the Dolphins bring it).
If you agree with me, or even disagree, leave me a comment. I always like to hear your opinions.