The Miami Dolphins have worked out former New England Patriots wide receiver Jabar Gaffney, have signed former Washington Redskins No. 2 receiver Anthony Armstrong, and they are currently looking at another former Pats wideout in Dont’e Stallworth.
Even after signing Armstrong, the Dolphins are still, understandably, in the market for wide receivers. The position is still of concern to offensive coordinator Mike Sherman, who told the Miami Herald (link above), “It’s a work in progress and will continue to be until we have solved that problem. I wouldn’t say it’s been solved. We’re working toward it. It’s got to be better for us to be successful.”
Armstrong, who caught 44 passes for 871 yards in 2010, is a solid deep threat but is nothing more than a No. 3 or 4 receiver at this stage in the game. What the Dolphins need is a veteran wideout to add to their rotation, and that receiver should be Jabar Gaffney.
The Dolphins currently have Armstrong, Davone Bess, Legedu Naanee, and Brian Hartline at the position. Bess is a solid slot receiver and Hartline is an underrated wideout who can stretch the field, but Naanee is subpar and Armstrong is more of a role player as a deep threat.
What our AFC East rivals need is another receiver and one who isn’t an unknown. They need to pick up another former Washington Redskins receiver in Jabar Gaffney and do what they are in the process of doing; picking up receivers released by the best team in their division.
With there being mutual interest in re-signing Deion Branch from the Pats and the veteran WR, Gaffney, who would also like to return to the team, is the odd man out. The Patriots recently acquired Greg Salas in a trade with the St. Louis Rams, so there is only room for one seasoned veteran receiver; that guy will most likely be Branch.
The Dolphins are looking closely at both Gaffney and Donte’ Stallworth, with reports indicating that one of them will sign in a short amount of time, likely with the ‘Fins. These two receivers are Miami’s best options on the market at this point, but one of them is clearly more appealing than the other.
Once he recovers from his quad injury, Gaffney will be a solid receiver for whichever team adds him due to his ability as a possession receiver. He can easily surpass 50 catches in a season and can effectively move the chains. He also adds an extra dimension as a run blocker and is a savvy veteran who has consistent hands.
Stallworth is, in essence, the opposite fundamentally. Throughout the offseason, he struggled to maintain a grip on the football and was dropping passes as far too high of a rate. His athleticism and speed are appealing, but the Dolphins already have a couple of young deep threats and just added Armstrong to fit that role. Thus, making Gaffney the more necessary option. He is simply a better receiver at this stage and displays the consistency that the Dolphins need in trying to patch up a gaping hole on their roster.