A few random thoughts as rookie training camp got underway….
Jaylen Waddle signed his contract. I probably care about that stuff more than most people, but this is big news. Too many times, players hold out, gripe about their deals, or simply delay the signing until much later in the season. I’m glad our #1 pick is set in stone now.
Historically, the Dolphins have been fairly lucky with their holdouts. There have been a few, but none of the holdouts devastated the team. I think Reshad Jones was one, but his holdout came and went under the radar and didn’t affect the Dolphins. Compare that to what Aaron Rodgers is doing to the Packers now. Compare that to how LaVeon Bell took the Steelers from a perennial Super Bowl contender to an also ran. I remember Emmitt Smith holding out in the 90s, and he missed the early part of one season. It happens a lot.
Technically, Rodgers is not holding out, but it’s just semantics. He is causing a massive distraction.
On that topic, we’re not out of the woods. Rumors of Xavien Howard holding out continue to circulate. He is on the A-list of defensive backs, but he is not the highest paid. He definitely deserves a raise. BUT…he signed a contract. He put his signature on the line that said “We will pay you $___.” Let’s see how this turns out.
Also, we don’t have any DeShaun Watson drama either. No steroid suspensions to worry about (that we know of). No one facing criminal charges. Those types of “unknowns” can really disarm a team. Game planning is impossible if you don’t know who will be available to you.
On a side note, thus far, for nearly two full seasons, Stephen Ross has kept away. The Dolphins have improved dramatically this time. THIS IS NO COINCIDENCE.
Ross is the King of distraction. But without Ross’s numerous distractions, the team has prospered and grown. No foisting anti-bullying campaigns on the team because a couple of players teased each other. No arguing about the national anthem. No photo ops with his favorite players (Tom Brady and Jim Harbaugh). No more removing of thousands of stadium seats to make room for billionaire luxury boxes. (He reduced the possible attendance at Hard Rock Stadium from about 78,000 to 65,000…that’s 13,000 loud Dolphin fanatics Ross tossed aside in order to sell boxes that hold 4 fans each. 13,000 home-field advantages tossed aside by Ross)
I’m sure I’m missing many things. The man was a walking distraction, and with him out of the picture, it’s been a blessing. Again, this cannot be a coincidence.