Thanks to reader Mike for pointing this out today.
So it appears the Dolphins’ defensive purge continues. I was wondering why the Dolphins took a safety in the second round, and now the answer is clear why we drafted Jevon Holland.
There are a few ways to look at this. Bobby McCain was a loyal and reliable safety who kept his mouth shut and did whatever was asked of him. A team leader, as shown by his peers electing him team captain. But he was making too much money. This can be seen (again) as a salary-cutting move. Holland’s rookie contract will be significantly less than what we’d owe McCain. The issue I have with that is why do we need to save money? We have not signed a single huge-contract free agent. If anything, we cut some of our expensive guys, even though they played well (Shaq Lawson and Kyle Van Noy). Saving money for the sake of saving money is pointless…but it’s what the Dolphins do annually.
In effect, we’re getting Jaelan Phillips to replace Shaq Lawson, and Phillips could become a superior player (or may be so right now). We also get Jevon Holland to replace Bobby McCain. At this point, I don’t see a rookie safety coming in and being better than McCain right away. Time will tell.
Meanwhile, the Dolphins’ draft ignored the most pressing need we had: linebacker. Sorry to those who think we needed a wide receiver and a backup tight end. We needed linebackers more. Jerome Baker is average. Andrew Van Ginkel had some big plays, but he seems more like a fluke season to me, rather than a steady hand like Zach Thomas was for a decade. Vince Biegel will be back, but how many teams fear him? Van Noy was cut. Hybrid LB/DE Lawson was cut. Elandon Roberts? Steady but not a playmaker. The Dolphins went cheap with defense in both the draft and in their free agent spending. That’s a big reason I am not as excited about our draft as many others are. The players are great, but the Dolphins did not fill needs.
The Dolphins added some shiny new tires to a car with no engine.
So while, I hate these money-saving moves that jettison loyal players, we have to look at Bobby McCain specifically. Is it so horrible that we cut him? The answer is no.
I’m not going to look up his stats, but I will ask you this…(and my readers, I know, are true Dolphans who follow all the games)…can you remember ONE big play that Bobby McCain made in his years here? I cannot.
A game-changing interception?. A jarring hit? A touchdown? As steady and loyal as he is, that only goes so far. You have to take a chance that Jevon Holland will be another Troy Palomulu or John Lynch, a tricky general out there confusing QBs and making WRs alter their routes. Bobby McCain was not that type of player. I liked Bobby’s grit, but he was a very average player.
Let’s hope the crop of new guys are quick improvements over the men we let go, and not just cheaper options.