On the cusp of a new season, we need to examine the personnel risk vs. reward the Miami Dolphins are experimenting with. Are we really on the right path, or are more player tweaks necessary to push us over the hump, and into the 2011 contention?
With that, I’ll ask my first Dolphins personnel question of 2011 season. Is the Brandon Marshall experiment really worth it to South Beach? He carries a very hefty price tag for a player with legitimate character concerns, personal and legal problems, strained teammate relationships, and medical concerns. In his lone year with the Dolphins, he’s already had at least three police involved domestic situations, and been stabbed by his wife (Michi), allegedly in self-defense! His dark history of assault and battery with women (before his marriage to Michi) should’ve raised red flags as well. Additionally, his attitude has always been an area of concern, and his strained relationship with (for now) starting QB Chad Henne, is bad for unit morale and cohesiveness. His recent surgically repaired hip should also pose durability concerns. So, can Miami really afford to keep a player with all of these risks?
In my opinion… sadly, no. The risk vs. reward is too high.
Don’t get me wrong… this young man is about as talented as they come at his position; a perennial Pro Bowler! He possesses all of the tangibles that make OC’s drool, and causes DC’s to suffer from insomnia, chronic tension headaches, and anger management issues. He led the team in both receptions (86) and receiving yards (1,014) last season, despite missing two games. Statistically speaking, the guy’s a stud; nonetheless, his personal life is in shambles and none of us fully knows how much his attitude negatively impacts the team's psyche.
This is a real problem that requires real attention and real solutions. Not just the best interest of the team, but also that of Brandon Marshall as well.
As much as I would hate to lose his on-field productivity, his off-field concerns should weigh heavily in this decision. Marquee players are hard to find, especially those with the talents of Brandon Marshall, but NFL Championships are won by teams not individuals. Remember Dol-Fans, the last time Miami won the Super Bowl, it was with the “No Name Defense” leading the way.
I wish Brandon Marshall the best whether he remains a part of the Miami Dolphins, or not. I'm sure the Dolphins Organization will do the right thing in the end.