Thursday, April 15, 2010

Depth at RB Makes Ronnie Brown Expendable

April 15, 2010

I am not the first one to say it and I won't be the last. The Ronnie Brown rumor mill has been churning since the 2008 offseason. And it could be the reason that Brown has not signed his tender yet.

This morning we saw how fast the Brandon Marshall deal happened upon signing his tender. No team has made any public inquiries, as of yet, but the same could happen with Ronnie Brown. Detriot, who is looking for someone to take pressure off Matthew Stafford, could be a possible suitor.

If the Dolphins are ready to move away from the wildcat formation, moving forward without Ronnie makes sense. Miami incorporated the wildcat when the passing game was not working and defenses played the run, rendering Miami's offense useless. Miami's acquisition of Brandon Marshall improved the receiving core twofold. Add a solid running game, and the use of the wildcat is no longer needed.

The Dolphins struggled running the formation last year after Brown went down for the year, so if the offense plans on keeping the same game plan, by all means keep him. But, I don't think the team wants to upset their new wide receiver by limiting the number of attempts he gets to make a play. So let's shake thing up.

Ricky Williams plans on retiring after this season. I'm sure your asking yourself, why get rid of Ronnie when Miami is going to lose Ricky next year? It's simple. Why lose Ricky to retirement and Ronnie to free agency with nothing in return?

Trading Ronnie Brown this year can pay dividends in the next two years. A first rounder in return for Brown is not impossible, but unlikely considering he is prone to injury (two season-ending injuries in three seasons). How about a 2011 and 2012 second rounder? How about the 2012 pick being conditional that can become a first-rounder if Brown doesn't get hurt and meets a certain performance criteria?

Ricky Williams showed last year that he is still capable of anchoring a running game. He was the NFL's quietest 1,000-yard rusher last year. Patrick Cobbs is returning from a season-ending injury in the opener last year. In 2008, Cobbs showed flashes of potential when given the opportunity. Shipping Brown would give Cobbs the chance to mature, get more repetitions, and have the possibility to become the running back of the future. Couple that with 2nd year player Lex Hilliard and the Dolphins have three players that can carry the load. Ronnie is Miami's best running back by far, but these three will have something Ronnie didn't have - someone to attract attention away from them.

Last year, the New England Patriots used a combination of five running backs that combined for 1,792 yards. Lawrence Maroney led the team with 757 yards (3.9 avg). Sammy Morris (319 yds, 4.4 avg), Fred Taylor (269 yds, 4.3 avg), Kevin Faulk (333 yds, 5.4 avg) and BenJarvus Green-Ellis (114 yds, 4.4 avg) combined for the remaining 1,035 yards. None of them are Pro-Bowl players or have the potential to start for another NFL team, but on a team with a vertical game, they are able to get through the tackles.

So, how much value does Ronnie Brown have? Is he worth more on the squad or as trading chip? One thing is for sure. Until Brown signs his tender with the Dolphins he will remain a Miami Dolphin. After that anything is possible.

No comments:

Image Disclaimer

The photos used on this site are not the property of Miami Sports Generation, unless otherwise defined by our logo. The rightful owners of these photos deserve all the credit for their work.