According to multiple reports, the Dolphins have traded fan favorite Greg Camarillo toÂ the Minnesota Vikings, who wereÂ in desperate need of a wide receiver after losing Pro-Bowler Sidney Rice for the next eight weeks.Â Â A hard-worker and one of the most sure-handed players in the league, Camarillo will always be remembered for his 64-yard game-winning score from the immortal Cleo Lemon in Miami’s lone victoryÂ of theÂ 2007 season.
Ah, good times.Â Â It’ll go down in Dolphins history as the team’s version of the improbable “David Tyree catch”Â in Super Bowl XLII.Â But much like Tyree, who suffered a season-endingÂ knee injury the following and wasn’t resigned by the New York Giants despite his heroics, Camarillo lost much of his speed after tearing his ACL in 2008 and was set to enter the 2010 season as theÂ team’s fourth receiver, at best.Â
In return, Miami will receive defensive back Benny Sapp, who’s started only 17 of 86 career games, recording 140 tackles, 4 interceptions, and six fumble recoveries.Â He’sÂ not likely to significantly help the Dolphins’ secondary, aside from adding a little depth and injury insurance while Will Allen recovers from knee surgery.Â Hell, 37-year-old Warren Sapp would’ve been a more exciting pick up, but alas.
The bigger outcome, is thatÂ Patrick Turner, last year’s third-round pick, will now almost certainly make the final roster.Â Â Turner, whoÂ was active for only twoÂ games and failed to register a catch in 2009, wasn’t a lock to make the team going into training camp.Â Â While his sizeÂ (6’5″, 220 pounds)Â and athleticism make him a tough cover, the former USC standout had trouble grasping the fundamentals and getting off the line of scrimmage.Â Turner certainly didn’t help matters by missing time with a back injury and reportedly notÂ exhibitingÂ a strong work ethic or sense of urgency during training camp.Â He was evenÂ listed behind undrafted rookie Marlon Moore on Miami’s initial depth chart.
But Turner has shown some notable improvement inÂ the first two preseason games,Â tyingÂ for the team-lead in catches (4) and ranking fourth in receiving yards (51)Â behind Anthony Fasano, Marshall, and Moore.Â Â At this point, he’s far more likely to make the team than Moore, as well as fellow undrafted rookies Julius Pruitt (3 catches for 31 yards)Â and Roberto Wallace (2 catches for 14 yards), if only because the Dolphins will be moreÂ reluctant to cut ties with a former high draft pick.Â Or two for that matter, with the all-but-inevitable release of 2009 second-round selection Pat White.
The Dolphins won’t have to wait too long to find out how much Camarillo has left in the tank –Â Miami will travel toÂ Minnesota forÂ a Week 2 match-up on September 19.
With the NFL season right around the corner, and fantasy football drafts already in full-swing, it’s time to take a look at what to expect from theÂ Miami Dolphins’ skill players in 2010.Â Today, we’ll cover the quarterbacks and wide receivers, with running backs, tight ends, and the defenseÂ to be posted in the coming weeks.
Chad Henne, QB -Â All things considered, Henne had a solid 2009 after being thrown into the fire following Chad Pennington’s shoulder injury in Week 3.Â (As a sidenote, I still feel responsible for causing that to happen, because I spontaneously decided to pick up Henne in my fantasy league minutes before that game started).Â Henne completed 60.8% of his passes and had 12 TD passes in 14 games despite having one of the weaker WR corps in the league.Â He threw for over 300 yards in three of hisÂ last five games, andÂ should have no problem continuing that trendÂ with the Dolphins’Â acquisition of two-time Pro-Bowler Brandon Marshall.Â Â Considering that Kyle Orton threw for over 3,800 yards and 21 TDs last season with Marshall as his top receiver, HenneÂ could be in line for a spectacular year if he can improve his decision-making (10 INTs in the final six games).Â He’s a borderline number-one QB, andÂ has more potential than the likes of Donovan McNabb, Eli Manning, and Matt Ryan, all of whom are all Â being draftedÂ ahead of him in ESPN leagues.
2009 Statistics:Â 2,878 passing yards, 12 TDs, 14 INT 2010 Prediction:Â 4,161 passing yards, 25 TDs, 13 INT
Chad Pennington / Tyler Thigpen / Pat White, QBÂ – Unless you’re in a 14-team, two-QB league (likeÂ me), none of the Dolphins’ backups should be on your radar.Â Thigpen is likely to begin the year second on the officialÂ depth chart, though it wouldn’t be surprising if Miami turned to the veteran Pennington if Henne were to miss any games.Â White, who didn’t complete a single pass last year, is, um, still on the team as of this writing.
Brandon Marshall, WR – Marshall, who set the NFL record with 21 receptions to go along with 200 yards and two TDs in Week 14, will catch more passes by Week 3 than the Dolphins’ previous #19 did all year (38).Â The problem is that the volatile WR has been arrested at least four times on charges of assault, domestic violence, and DUI, and was suspended by the Denver Broncos for the final week of 2009 forÂ exaggerating an injury.Â Still, Marshall’s talents are undeniable — he’s caught over 100 passesÂ and totaled over 1,100 receiving yardsÂ in three straight seasons and has averaged the fourth-most receiving yards per game (80.7) in the NFL since 2007. His off-the-field problems, combined with playing for a new team and aÂ different offense,Â make him a somewhatÂ risky pick in the second round (currently being drafted 19th overall), butÂ you could talk me into taking MarshallÂ ahead of the aging Randy Moss and the Kurt Warner-less Larry Fitzgerald (especially in Point Per Reception leagues).Â
Davone Bess, WR – Bess had a fantastic sophomore campaign, leading the Dolphins in catches (76;Â 22nd in NFL), receiving yards (758), and punt return yards (209).Â Â Â His stats are bound to take a seriousÂ hit with Marshall firmly entrenched as the top receiver, but Bess should still get his fair share of targets out of the slot.Â Bess is a decent fourthÂ WR in PPR leagues with some upside, and at the very least, is a smart insurance policy if Marshall gets in Coach Sparano’s doghouse.
Brian Hartline, WR – Hartline led the Dolphins in TDs (3) and yards per catch (16.3; 11th in NFL) , and finished third on the team inÂ receiving yards (506) as a rookie.Â He dropped only three passes in 54 targets,Â Â and could end upÂ beingÂ theÂ beneficiary ofÂ Marshall’s double-teams if he wins the number two receiver spot in training camp.Â Still, with Bess expected to see more targets and Greg Camarillo also in the picture, HartlineÂ is only worth a late-round flier in standard leagues.
Greg Camarillo, WR – Camarillo, who should be fully recovered from a torn ACL he suffered in November 2008, was one of the most sure-handed receivers in the NFL last season,Â catchingÂ the highest number of passes without a drop and a stellar 70% of his total targets.Â He quietly placed second on the team in both receptions (50) and receiving yards (552) in 2009, butÂ stands to see aÂ reduced role behind the quicker and younger Hartline in 2010.
2009 Statistics:Â Â 50 catches, 552 receiving yards,Â 0 TDs 2010 Prediction:Â Â 38 catches,Â 414 receiving yards,Â 1 TDs
Coming soon:Â How will Ronnie “The Wildcat”Â Brown and Ricky Williams share the backfield?