The Miami Dolphins roster looks very different than it did a week ago. Back then, despite boasting two talented slot receivers, the Dolphins receiving corps was considered one of the worst in the NFL. Now, just a few days into the 2013 Free Agency period, Miami has a wealth of quality wideouts under contract, and NFL Rumors are suggesting one Dolphin veteran may be on his way out of South Florida.
Davone Bess has been with the Dolphins for his entire five year career, posting a career best 778 yards in 2012, despite just playing in 13 games. He is heading into the final year of his contract, but with the new additions to the Dolphins’ depth chart, he may not get the chance to finish that contract out.
The ground work for this rumor started when Miami jumped into free agency with a splash, signing Mike Wallace to a hefty contract just moments after the signing period got underway. The Dolphins had re-signed last season’s leading receiver Brian Hartline just a few days before and with the addition of Wallace, the receiving group no longer looked suspect.
Wallace had been considered the biggest offensive weapon available and the Dolphins did not stop there, adding another receiving threat at the tight end position by signing Dustin Keller. Then, just to be sure second year quarterback Ryan Tannehill had enough weapons, Miami signed Brandon Gibson.
Bess has reportedly been at odds with the the Dolphins management, who felt he could have returned from a back injury that kept him out of the last three games of the season. Between the friction with the front office, and the Gibson signing, Bess suddenly appears to be expendable, and there are several teams in need of a guy with his skill set.
The Minnesota Vikings just signed Greg Jennings to replace Percy Harvin, and Bess would make a great addition to their receiving corps. Having Bess lining up with Jennings would force a defense to keep their coverage honest, giving the Minnesota quarterback reliable targets on the outside, in the slot, and at tight end.
The Baltimore Ravens have seen an exodus of their Super Bowl winning roster, and Bess to Baltimore has been heating up on twitter over the past couple days. This is an interesting fit simply in the way Bess fits the Ravens’ team persona. Bess is a physical receiver and has always been known as a hard worker. The fans have picked up on this, and are trying to make sure the Ravens GM Ozzie Newsome sees it too.
There is the chance that the Gibson signing was all just part of the plan. When head coach Joe Philbin was the offensive coordinator for the Green Bay Packers, he liked to make use of a four receiver set. It could be something he would like to do in Miami, and the talent level would certainly be there with Wallace, Hartline, Gibson and Bess.
Bess is also a fan favorite, respected for his blue collar attitude throughout the last few losing seasons. He is owed $2.63 million in base salary this season, though, and being a fan favorite has never trumped financial impact. If it makes sense to move Bess, the fans are just going to have to watch him go. It may not make the people happy at the moment, but if it equates to more wins, then it is part of the team taking the next step and that is what fans have been wanting all along.