Promise VS Poise: Dolphins Meeting With Veteran Wide Receivers
Examining Miami’s Interest in Greg Jennings and Michael Crabtree:
The operating term for the Miami Dolphins for the past three seasons has been “development”. Fans have awaited the overall development of the Dolphins from a group of good players into a truly good team. The organization has organized meetings with veteran wide receivers Greg Jennings and Michael Crabtree in order to gauge their interest and discuss potential contracts. Deals with either receiver are not imminent, and fans should look for Miami to take its time with a final decision, as the veteran wide receiver market is notoriously slow in the second wave of free agency. While both players have plenty of experience under their belts, Jennings and Crabtree would bring very different things to the Miami Dolphins organization.
Crabtree was one of the most highly touted prospects in recent memory coming out of college at the wide receiver position. He was selected by the San Francisco 49ers with the 10th overall pick in the 2009 draft. In his fourth season, with Colin Kaepernick at the helm and Jim Harbaugh in his second season, Crabtree registered 85 receptions, 1,105 yards, and 9 touchdowns (his best production after a lackluster first three years). This impressive year was viewed by many as his breakout season, but unfortunately Crabtree regressed the next two years. He spent much of 2013 injured, and only played in 5 games. Crabtree’s career has been viewed as a disappointment so far, but many still see his potential. Attitude issues (he was feeling “Crabby”) as well as poor play left a bad feeling in San Francisco, which explains the decision by the 49ers to allow Crabtree to hit free agency. Michael Crabtree still possesses a great deal of promise, as a young 27 year old with immense abilities. Crabtree’s physical style would compliment the pieces already in place in Miami, and would help the team develop a stronger presence outside of the lines (and against physical cornerbacks) on passing plays.
Greg Jennings could be the exact opposite of Michael Crabtree. Jennings was selected in the 2nd round of the 2006 draft by the Green Bay Packers, and has spent his career benefitting from the quarterback play of Brett Favre and Aaron Rodgers. Jennings has never been a physically overwhelming player, but has impressive quickness and is one of the NFL’s craftiest route runners. Jennings won a Super Bowl with the Green Bay Packers in 2010, in an offense coached by Joe Philbin. That being said, Jennings has strong ties to the now Dolphins head coach, and would be a good fit in the team’s system. He then signed with the Vikings in free agency, and was cut in the wake of the Mike Wallace trade. Jennings differs from Crabtree in that he has shown great leadership throughout his career. He could have a great impact in Miami off of the field, as well as aiding in the development of Ryan Tannehill.
The Miami Dolphins’ interest in adding a veteran wide receiver is understandable, as the team has lost three of their top four receiving options from 2014. Signing Jennings or Crabtree would be a cheap, temporary fix for the Dolphins’ lack of depth at the receiver position. Miami is not expected to complete a deal with either player immediately, but the Dolphins will maintain contact with both options, and will most likely decide to eventually add one of the experien