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Dolphins undergo “paradigm shift” in free agency

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As the Dolphins chase receiver Mike Wallace — a fairly obvious target for a team that doesn’t have enough of them in its passing game — he may not be the only guy the Fins pursue, or catch.

Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald explains that the Dolphins are in the midst of a free agency “paradigm shift,” which will cause them to explore players they previously would have ignored.

Salguero points to the fact that the Dolphins are interested in 37-year-old defensive back Charles Woodson and could be ready to make a run at 32-year-old receiver Wes Welker.  In the past, the Dolphins wouldn’t have been able to get past the advanced age of free agents.

But why the change?  Salguero doesn’t offer a specific reason, but here’s the most likely reality.  Apart from the boost that big names can bring to a stadium with large, glaring patches of orange emptiness, the Dolphins eventually need to persuade a skeptical electorate to show up and vote “yes” for the use of public money to renovate SunLife Stadium.

What better way to do that than to spend a bunch of money on big-name players and hope this will create the kind of excitement that not only sells tickets but also buys votes?

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51 Responses to “Dolphins undergo “paradigm shift” in free agency”
  1. allfro says: Mar 10, 2013 9:55 AM

    This strategy always worked well for the Redskins in the past.

  2. switchrodeo says: Mar 10, 2013 9:57 AM

    The dolphins are going to use free agency to sell tickets and get funding for a new stadium in Miami right after the Marlins took the city to the cleaners in the exact same way? Good luck with that.

  3. 69finfan says: Mar 10, 2013 9:57 AM

    I know I am going way out on a limb here but it could have something to do with the fact that they would like to improve the team, win a couple of more games, give the Patriots a run for the AFCE and at the very least advance to the playoffs as a wild card. I know this is an earth shattering revelation but the possibility does exist.

  4. blindmansaidwhat says: Mar 10, 2013 10:01 AM

    Attention Miami Dolphins, you cannot build a winner through free agency…see Washington Redskins. They used to foolishly overpay for big name free agents and it never worked. Only until they started drafting better did they also improve.

    Philadelphia is a more recent example with the “Dream Team” of free agent acquisitions that did nothing. The Dolphins will learn only after blowing a gazzilion dollars in free agency.

  5. bchapman2011 says: Mar 10, 2013 10:02 AM

    This has been in the works for 3 years. That is how long it has taken Ireland to undo all of Par cells mess.

  6. canetic says: Mar 10, 2013 10:03 AM

    I doubt Charles Woodson is going to fill any seats. The “paradigm shift” is that the Dolphins seem willing to actually spend some money on free agents instead of cheaping out every year when they typically go for “acceptable” instead of “extraordinary.”

  7. johnnyjagfan says: Mar 10, 2013 10:05 AM

    If the Dolphins don’t win, it won’t matter who they sign in FA. Folks on South Beach aren’t watching the ticker to see if Mike Wallace got signed. However, if Wallace is lighting it up for a 4-0 Dolphins team, folks down there may start buying tickets again.

  8. Jerry M. says: Mar 10, 2013 10:06 AM

    Hmmm, sounds an awful lot like the Marlins to me. I feel bad for Miami fans…

  9. tannethrill says: Mar 10, 2013 10:07 AM

    That’s ridiculous. The difference is in the past they knew that aging veterans wouldn’t help. Now they feel that the vets can get us over the top.

    Nothing to do with politics.

  10. sepamc says: Mar 10, 2013 10:07 AM

    A Miami team investing in free agents to help get public funding for their stadium. Sounds original! What could go wrong?

  11. mj1818 says: Mar 10, 2013 10:10 AM

    Didn’t the marlins do something similar to this? That worked out well…

  12. FinFan68 says: Mar 10, 2013 10:11 AM

    I doubt they are really interested in Welker or Woodson. I would bet Armando is fishing again.

  13. win1soon says: Mar 10, 2013 10:14 AM

    I have been reading about the Dolphins and Free agency for years, on how they are always on the verge of signing all the top players…hasn’t worked out for them so far, and I hope that continues. It would be one thing if you had a franchise QB and the getting pieces like Welker and or Wallace, but you don’t have that. Here’s hoping that the spurning of South Beach continues! Squish the FISH!

  14. swagjag says: Mar 10, 2013 10:14 AM

    Why? Because Jeff Ireland is desperate.

  15. 1uniquename says: Mar 10, 2013 10:16 AM

    Sounds like a plan to me, go all out Ireland cause if we don’t win this year you may never get a GM job again in your life. Although most believe Ireland is an ass he really isn’t that bad at team building and has a real chance this year to turn this franchise around and prove he belongs.

  16. promickey says: Mar 10, 2013 10:18 AM

    I would not call the Dolphins being more flexible to obtain a player (Mike Wallace) who is at the right age and fits a dire need a paradigm shift. The Dolphins and every NFL GM know it’s better to build through the draft. The concept will not change because it leads to the same cap mess the Jets are currently experiencing. I will believe the Dolphins are really interested in Welker and Woodson when they sign them.

  17. MTLighthouse69 says: Mar 10, 2013 10:18 AM

    The Dolphins shouldn’t have let Welker go in the first place.

    Of course as a Charger fan, I wasn’t too happy when Schottenheimer let him go way back before the Dolphins had him.

  18. habsfanatic says: Mar 10, 2013 10:23 AM

    Or they could just be trying to make their team better by adding proven, productive veterans who can also mentor younger players!

  19. wisewoo says: Mar 10, 2013 10:29 AM

    Oh, yeah, totally Logical.

    Because nothing screams “invest in this team’s future” like signing a bunch of players who will retire in the next few years.

  20. Just a Fan says: Mar 10, 2013 10:31 AM


  21. cdngatorfan says: Mar 10, 2013 10:32 AM

    Or here’s a “way out there thought”, maybe it’s Ireland’s last chance at keeping his job?

    Just sayin’.

  22. notchrisberman says: Mar 10, 2013 10:46 AM

    A team loading up on free agents in South Florida? Feel like I’ve heard this story. Dolphin fans surely won’t get duped into voting yes on a referendum for a stadium because of a few “splashy” signings after the Marlins debacle will they?

  23. sclazo says: Mar 10, 2013 10:52 AM

    And the Phins have plenty of draft choices of young players. Nothing wrong with adding a solid vet to teach the young players. Woodson could teach a young Dolphins team many things.

  24. frankdatank23 says: Mar 10, 2013 10:52 AM

    Ireland isn’t desperate, the feeble fans complaining about him like to think he’s desperate. The new coaching staff is not desperate and won’t allow numerous risks just to save their gm from a rabid fan base.

  25. chillyphins says: Mar 10, 2013 10:55 AM

    Yeah that never works out well for any miami team, right Heat?

  26. belgaron says: Mar 10, 2013 10:56 AM

    Desperate times…

  27. frankdatank23 says: Mar 10, 2013 10:58 AM

    Remember, tannenbaum turned the jets into a force with free agent aquisitions around his foundation. They went to the afc champ game twice thanks to big spending for big rex.

  28. dirtydrew says: Mar 10, 2013 11:12 AM

    Make the Dolphins fix the stadium on their own. Public money…really? Look at the Marlins.

  29. seattlenative57 says: Mar 10, 2013 11:15 AM

    It’s not gonna work. Old and past-their-prime free agents are old and past-their-prime. The fish will fry.

  30. annes22 says: Mar 10, 2013 11:16 AM

    The Dolphins will be fine, don’t worry about them everyone else. Worry about your own teams.

  31. joemontanawasthegreatest says: Mar 10, 2013 11:38 AM

    Driving up the price on Welker for the Pats and veteran leader for the defense.

  32. patfanken says: Mar 10, 2013 11:49 AM

    The “paradigm shift” didn’t work real well for last season’s “FA winners”. (Buffalo and the Bucs). Buying retail isn’t usually a good management strategy for a team that has a lot of holes elsewhere (CB, OL, LB, etc)

    While Wallace seems like a good fit for them, adding a lot of additional high end FA’s would be short sighted.

  33. dolphinswin says: Mar 10, 2013 12:20 PM

    Just doing their due dilegence and checking everyone. Probably won’t sign any of them. I hope they do drive up Welker’s price so the Pats can’t resign him. I’m a firm believer, and the record proves it, that the Pats without Welker are not nearly the same team. If they lose him I believe they are no longer a serious SB threat and may not even win the AFC East. He is the MIP on their team. Most Important Player! Yes, I know Brady is an all time great QB, but he was never the stellar QB that he’s been since Welker came along. He player well in two of the three SBs they won, but they won all three by a field goal and they video taped the other teams plays before the games. His stats have gone off the charts with Welker, but no SBs. When Welker doesn’t play, the Pats are a .500 team at best. Brady was lost for an entire year and they still went 11-5 I believe. As far as Wallace? Just say no Reagan! Too much cache for him. Sign Jennings and draft a speedster in the 2nd round.

  34. scooter7777777 says: Mar 10, 2013 12:39 PM

    Look at history … not one wide receiver has ever won a team a Super Bowl (I assume this is the Dolphins’ goal; they haven’t even played in one since the Reagan Adminstration).

    Miami can chase all the free-agent receivers they want, but the most that will get them may be a wild-card spot. They aren’t overtaking the Patriots in ’13 (or ’14, or even ’15), and until they get a franchise QB (Tannehill isn’t the answer), they’ll be at most a wild-card contender.

  35. cantonbound13 says: Mar 10, 2013 1:14 PM

    Woodson & Welker doesn’t excite me, sorry

  36. benroethlisberger7 says: Mar 10, 2013 1:35 PM

    The teams that overpay for free agents are the ones consistently at the bottom of their division.

  37. wannstache says: Mar 10, 2013 2:20 PM

    This is why the Ross regime is an utter failure. Instead of patterning himself after great organizations like the Giants, Steelers, Packers and Patriots, this guy just flies by the seat of his expensive pants. Does he really think ?Florida residents will be fooled by this?

  38. xpensivewinos says: Mar 10, 2013 2:28 PM

    They can have all the “paradigm shifts” they want. If the same guy is making the decisions, it doesn’t make any difference.

    Ireland is garbage and the team desperately needs a breath of fresh air and a new direction/philosophy. Parcells 2.0 ain’t workin’ folks. Not sure why that remains lost on some people. His track-record, the Dolphins record since he’s been there, the state of their roster, the apathy towards the team in a town they once owned and all the empty seats at the games seem to back me on this. The Patriots are Jack Bauer in the AFC East. The Dolphins are Howard Wolowitz, without the brain…….

  39. zackattack006 says: Mar 10, 2013 2:46 PM

    Wouldn’t it be nice if the Fins sign Welker and stick it to the Pats???

  40. ghjjf says: Mar 10, 2013 2:57 PM

    Since Ireland knows its probably his last year he is going “all in” and hoping he gets lucky.

  41. phillyphinsfan says: Mar 10, 2013 3:04 PM

    Consider the source, Armando. He’s a nice guy, but a lot of his “inside information” stories are based on rumors.

  42. napalmfingers says: Mar 10, 2013 3:10 PM

    It’s a little early to assume that Tannehill isn’t a franchise QB, isn’t it? Dude has played ONE season. People said the same about Ryan and Flacco after their rookie seasons as well…people also said Sanchez WAS one as a rookie. Tannehill wasn’t exactly Blaine Gabbert last year either; he played decently enough with one of the least talented groups of pass catchers in the league, so at least give the kid the benefit of the doubt until he actually shows us otherwise.

    As for the statement about free agent spending not working out for the Bucs, how do you figure? Other than Eric Wright (their only defensive signing), it seemed like money well spent. The team improved from 21st in total offense to 9th.

    Also, Mario Williams played extremely well for Buffalo once he was healthy. I doubt they regret signing him.

    You guys have to stop drinking that “The-Only-Way-To-Build-Is-Through-The-Draft” Kool-Aid. Bad picks can hurt a team just as much as a bad signing. There needs to be a balance of wise free agent spending and solid draft choices for a team to be successful in this era. Do you think the Ravens win the SB without Boldin and McKinnie?

  43. theguywhotoldtimtebowtoshutthefup says: Mar 10, 2013 3:15 PM

    Once M.F. referenced Armando Salguero, there was no point in even reading the rest of it.

  44. thelastpieceofcheese says: Mar 10, 2013 3:30 PM

    I can’t wait to go to Sun Life Stadium to watch Charles Woodson cover receivers!

  45. kelvinmchale says: Mar 10, 2013 3:31 PM

    Even if the Dolphins sign Welker, the Patriots had him for his best years. He’s one hit from becoming the next Austin Collie.

  46. jprcox says: Mar 10, 2013 3:33 PM

    Redskins AND Raiders you mean…this is not a good “shift” in their planning.

    With free agency, you have to almost have a recruting system like college. Better to have a good system built around a few key players than chase old blood.

  47. maltliquor says: Mar 10, 2013 4:09 PM

    Woodson said he wanted to go to a contender, so I would say that they are on a fishing expedition as stated in previous posts. No way Woodson or Welker go to South Beach…

  48. vikesfansteve says: Mar 10, 2013 4:09 PM

    The Raiders won 3 Super Bowls picking up established Vets.

  49. laxcoach37 says: Mar 10, 2013 5:45 PM

    The Dolphins are just checking the merchandise… They have plenty of Draft Picks and will go after Wallace if it stays under $12M. They will sign CB Chris Gamble not Woodson and TE Delanie Walker not Bennett. They dont need Welker because Bess serves that role.

  50. ray Diaz in NC says: Mar 10, 2013 7:56 PM

    An addition of Mike Wallace and Wes Welker would make Miami a potent offense. With that being said, sign Sean smith and draft a DB in the second rd. draft a pass rusher in the first round to compliment wake. Sign a TE with their 2nd second round pick.

  51. baggabonez says: Mar 11, 2013 9:54 AM

    I thought the real reason the Dolphins had to spend was because they need to get above the new salary cap floor per the new CBA?

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