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Thread: Miami Dolphins rebuild linebacker unit- New Article

  1. -1
    catch22's Avatar
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    Miami Dolphins rebuild linebacker unit- New Article

    http://www.sun-sentinel.com/sports/m...,7400767.story


    Re-posted below for those who don't have digital access

    By Omar KellySun Sentinel9:52 p.m. EDT, March 12, 2013


    "Never put off tomorrow what you can do today." - Thomas Jefferson.
    That's the best way to explain why the Miami Dolphins used Tuesday, the start of free agency, to rebuild the team's linebacker unit.
    Karlos Dansby, a team captain the past three years, got released earlier in the day. His partner on and off the field, Kevin Burnett, got released in the afternoon.
    The Dolphins signed former Ravens linebacker Dannell Ellerbe and Phillip Wheeler, an NFLjourneyman who spent last season with the Raiders, to take their place as two-thirds of a linebacker trio that also features strong side linebacker Koa Misi.
    There are a couple of issues that need to be addressed to help us understand Miami's decision.


    They are age, personality, money, and performance. I've split them all up so we can properly dissect this.
    Age: Dansby is turning 32 later this year. Burnett turns 31 on Christmas eve. Wheeler turns 29 in December, and Ellerbe turns 28 in November. So the Dolphins technically got younger, but not by much. Ellerbe is four years younger than Dansby and Wheeler is three years younger than Burnett.
    Personality: I don't know Ellerbe and Wheeler so I won't pretend to know their personalities, but Dansby and Burnett were two strong-willed individuals with uncompromising personalities. If they felt wronged they usually spoke up. I can't help but think that was held against them by this regime.
    Money: I've hinted that this would likely be Dansby and Burnett's last season in Miami based on their rising costs. What the Dolphins did was a pre-emptive strike. By cutting Dansby and Burnett, voiding the final years of their deals, the Dolphins clear $7.125 million in cap space. Dansby's release alone creates $3.9 million in additional cap room. However, Ellerbe signed a five-year, $35 million contract, which makes him the seventh highest paid inside linebacker in the NFL. Wheeler got five-years, $26 million (which features a $7 million signing bonus, and an initial cap hit of $2.4 million). I'm guessing the pair of new linebacker will cost Miami about $7-8 million in cap space all together. Dansby and Burnett were supposed to cost the Dolphins $14.275 million in cap numbers.
    Performance: What's odd about Wheeler's signing is that Miami brought him in for a workout last season when the team was searching for linebacker depth. Wheeler competed with Quentin Groves and Gary Guyton in the same workout and Miami signed Guyton. Guyton didn't make it to the team's 53-man roster, but Wheeler started 16 games for the Raiders and contributed 109 tackles, three sacks and forced two fumbles.
    His production was clearly impressive, but Profootballfocus.com rated Burnett a better linebacker based on last season's play. Burnett, who contributed 110 tackles, 2.5 sacks and a forced fumble, was rated the NFL's fourth best 4-3 outside linebacker and Wheeler checked in at No. 6.
    Ellerbe started seven games, filling in for the injured Ray Lewis, and contributed 92 tackles, 4.5 sacks and one forced fumble. ProFootballFocus.com rates him the 14th best inside linebacker in the NFL, putting him one spot behind Dansby, who contributed 134 tackles and one sack last season.
    However, what's clear is that Ellerbe and Wheeler are superior blitzers to Dansby and Burnett. Wheeler was the second best pass rushing 4-3 outside linebacker, trailing only Denver's Von Miller last season. Burnett checks in as No. 8. Ellerbe is rated by PFF as the NFL's third best blitzing inside linebacker in 2012. Dansby was 49th, with a -2.7 metric.
    But on the flip side Ellerbe struggles in coverage, which is where Dansby and Burnett excelled. PFF ranks Ellerbe 49th in coverage when it comes to inside linebackers. He has a -5.0 metric. Dansby was 16th.
    Wheeler has the fifth best outside linebacker in coverage. Burnett checks in as No. 13. But what I found interesting if that opposing quarterbacks had a 111.1 pass rating, completed 83 percent of their passes and threw two touchdowns to the players Wheeler was assigned to.
    Quarterbacks going after Burnett had a 103.5 pass rating, completed 77.6 percent of their passes, but didn't throw a touchdown on him.
    So....in summary, Ellerbe and Wheeler are SIGHTLY younger than Dansby and Burnett, obviously cheaper, and the Dolphins hope they'll be better blitzers.
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    So we are paying 7 million a year for LB who couldn't cover his own grandma, and this in Tom Brady's division.

    These were desperate moves made by a very bad GM.

    And by the way, all these homer articles out there talking about how wheeler and Ellerbe are younger and faster; it's BS as well, both Burnett and Dansby were 4.5 guys.

    Dansby and Burnett were tall LB's with long arms and great speed. Dansby was a former WR.

    This is no step up by any means. This was a move to save cap and money in the future when Hartlines bonus and Wallace's gold mine kick in.

    Reshad Jones and Paul Soliai need new contracts. So will Odrick and Misi if we plan on keeping them next year.

    This is not an improvement of the defense. This paing a heavy price for Wallace.

    There is a lot of dead money in cutting Dansby and Burnett this year.

    The smart GM would have already drafted their replacements and would have cut them next year.
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    I dont know about Wheeler, but the fact the Ravens were so high on Ellerbe tells me something.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elliott 1 View Post
    So we are paying 7 million a year for LB who couldn't cover his own grandma, and this in Tom Brady's division.

    These were desperate moves made by a very bad GM.

    And by the way, all these homer articles out there talking about how wheeler and Ellerbe are younger and faster; it's BS as well, both Burnett and Dansby were 4.5 guys.

    Dansby and Burnett were tall LB's with long arms and great speed. Dansby was a former WR.

    This is no step up by any means. This was a move to save cap and money in the future when Hartlines bonus and Wallace's gold mine kick in.

    Reshad Jones and Paul Soliai need new contracts. So will Odrick and Misi if we plan on keeping them next year.

    This is not an improvement of the defense. This paing a heavy price for Wallace.

    There is a lot of dead money in cutting Dansby and Burnett this year.

    The smart GM would have already drafted their replacements and would have cut them next year.
    knew even after today a few Ireland haters would come up with something. We got more athletic playmaking linebackers who are younger, cheaper, huge upgrade athletically and are superior blitzers.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elliott 1 View Post
    So we are paying 7 million a year for LB who couldn't cover his own grandma, and this in Tom Brady's division.

    These were desperate moves made by a very bad GM.

    And by the way, all these homer articles out there talking about how wheeler and Ellerbe are younger and faster; it's BS as well, both Burnett and Dansby were 4.5 guys.

    Dansby and Burnett were tall LB's with long arms and great speed. Dansby was a former WR.

    This is no step up by any means. This was a move to save cap and money in the future when Hartlines bonus and Wallace's gold mine kick in.

    Reshad Jones and Paul Soliai need new contracts. So will Odrick and Misi if we plan on keeping them next year.

    This is not an improvement of the defense. This paing a heavy price for Wallace.

    There is a lot of dead money in cutting Dansby and Burnett this year.

    The smart GM would have already drafted their replacements and would have cut them next year.
    You are a fool if you don't think this is an upgrade. Dansby and Burnett combined made very few impact plays. Neither are ascending players. Dansby has been a descending player each year he has been in Miami. He is banged up, 32 and will project to make even fewer impact plays in 2013. Burnett is decent in coverage but again made very few impact plays.

    Miami is looking for impact players on both sides of the ball. Solid, meat and potatoes guys, isn't enough and Ireland knows this. The team needs ball hawks on defense who gang tackle and put the football on the ground. Relentless pursuit and effort. Miami forces consistently some of the fewest turnovers in the league. They must change this.

    As great as Dansby and Burnett are considered in coverage, where are the pick offs and big plays? This is an upgrade and a cap benefit on top of it. Kudos to the front office.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elliott 1 View Post
    So we are paying 7 million a year for LB who couldn't cover his own grandma, and this in Tom Brady's division.

    These were desperate moves made by a very bad GM.

    And by the way, all these homer articles out there talking about how wheeler and Ellerbe are younger and faster; it's BS as well, both Burnett and Dansby were 4.5 guys.

    Dansby and Burnett were tall LB's with long arms and great speed. Dansby was a former WR.

    This is no step up by any means. This was a move to save cap and money in the future when Hartlines bonus and Wallace's gold mine kick in.

    Reshad Jones and Paul Soliai need new contracts. So will Odrick and Misi if we plan on keeping them next year.

    This is not an improvement of the defense. This paing a heavy price for Wallace.

    There is a lot of dead money in cutting Dansby and Burnett this year.

    The smart GM would have already drafted their replacements and would have cut them next year.
    Wrong, just... wrong.
    Quote Originally Posted by Dol-Fan Dupree
    Writing good things about Zach Thomas is like writing good things about Jesus. I could write, but really every one knows.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elliott 1 View Post

    This is no step up by any means. This was a move to save cap and money in the future when Hartlines bonus and Wallace's gold mine kick in.
    You clearly don't understand how contracts work or how these contracts are structured. Typically, in 5 year contracts, the third year is when the salary escalates and thus the cap hit escalates. Thus, the 2015 season is when we'll see the largest marginal increase in Wallace and Hartline's contracts per year. Neither Dansby or Burnett's contract stretched into 2015, therefore Dansby and Burnett's contracts had no relation to Wallace or Hartline's. If this were really a concern, you would wait until that third year and sign new LBs for the 2015 off season. That way their first year cap hit (the lowest) would be the same year Wallace and Hartline's contracts increased.

    Beside that, Ellerbe's 35 mil / 5 yrs is nearly identical to Karlos Dansby's initial contract. Wheeler's 26 mil / 5 years is around 5 mil/year which is what Burnett's contract worked out to. So the Dolphins aren't paying these guys any less or more. That to me would indicate they believe they are upgrading in some way whether that be age or talent. You don't pay guys the same money to be worse intentionally.

    I've ignored posts like this today, but this one was so ignorant I had to respond. If you need it spelled out in easier terms, I can draw a diagram with stick figures and everything!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elliott 1 View Post
    So we are paying 7 million a year for LB who couldn't cover his own grandma, and this in Tom Brady's division.

    These were desperate moves made by a very bad GM.

    And by the way, all these homer articles out there talking about how wheeler and Ellerbe are younger and faster; it's BS as well, both Burnett and Dansby were 4.5 guys.

    Dansby and Burnett were tall LB's with long arms and great speed. Dansby was a former WR.

    This is no step up by any means. This was a move to save cap and money in the future when Hartlines bonus and Wallace's gold mine kick in.

    Reshad Jones and Paul Soliai need new contracts. So will Odrick and Misi if we plan on keeping them next year.

    This is not an improvement of the defense. This paing a heavy price for Wallace.

    There is a lot of dead money in cutting Dansby and Burnett this year.

    The smart GM would have already drafted their replacements and would have cut them next year.
    Not sure I can argue with anything you said. My biggest fear is we traded LBs that are better in coverage, for LBs that are better blitzers. Not sure that is the kind of trade off that makes our defense better. Glad I am not the only one overly excited about these changes. I will say I am MORE than tired of Dansby's mouth. At least Crowder was funny when he ran his mouth, Dansby just needed to learn to STFU.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Elliott 1 View Post
    So we are paying 7 million a year for LB who couldn't cover his own grandma, and this in Tom Brady's division.

    These were desperate moves made by a very bad GM.

    And by the way, all these homer articles out there talking about how wheeler and Ellerbe are younger and faster; it's BS as well, both Burnett and Dansby were 4.5 guys.

    Dansby and Burnett were tall LB's with long arms and great speed. Dansby was a former WR.

    This is no step up by any means. This was a move to save cap and money in the future when Hartlines bonus and Wallace's gold mine kick in.

    Reshad Jones and Paul Soliai need new contracts. So will Odrick and Misi if we plan on keeping them next year.

    This is not an improvement of the defense. This paing a heavy price for Wallace.

    There is a lot of dead money in cutting Dansby and Burnett this year.

    The smart GM would have already drafted their replacements and would have cut them next year.
    The fact Ozzie Newsome traded away Boldin, to clear cap space for Ellerbee, says more about him...than you ever will. As with most FA's and especially those in their prime, you end up over paying. It happens.

    Like I said prior to the FA period. With people like you and many others. Ireland is damned if he does and damned if he doesn't. But you made your bones here by bitching day in and day out. Its nothing new. Same **** different day.
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    Ford LogoDolphins HomerTannehill 17Snakes!Xbox Logo
    yeah, i know wheeler's a solid player and if the ravens loved ellerbe like that then it must be a good sign!
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