Could Davone Bess and the Miami Dolphins be Headed for a Split?

By Craig Ballard
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Dolphins have had a pretty good offseason, but one rumored development is somewhat surprising as it seems that Davone Bess could have his Dolphins days numbered. It depends who you listen to as some suggest his aqua and orange days are coming to an end, while others say not so fast.

For several seasons, Bess has been one of the top slot-receivers in the NFL, but he seemed to perhaps ruffle some management feathers with the fact that he missed the final three games of the 2012 season with a back issue that rumblings suggested the team thought he could play through.

Eyebrows were raised when the team added Brandon Gibson ( who could replace Bess), plus Joe Philbin and others have made comments along the lines that Bess will have to compete with up to 10-12 receivers that the team plans to have in training camp. Surely not all of the 10-12 WRs will be able to compete with Bess in the slot, but Gibson likely can plus the team could very well add another slot guy in the draft.

Another factor is the team feels that Dustin Keller is going to be the man in 2013, so they could feel that the slot production could be spoken for by their new tight end.

In his career, Bess averages 64 catches on 100 targets for 689 yards annually. No doubt those are the numbers of a legit contributor, but the issue is his measly 2.4 touchdowns per season.

Another issue to note is the emergence of Marcus Thigpen as the team’s top kick returner has taken Bess out of his role as a punt returner. In his first four seasons, Bess contributed to special teams by averaging 28 punt returns annually, but that number was just four in 2012 (Thiggy took over, big-time).

Bess is set to make $2.6 million in 2013 and then is a free-agent. If the team is going to move on from him, we could see a trade as we approach the draft, or perhaps even on draft day. I cannot see him being cut simply because he still has skill, plus Miami is not in a situation where they are looking to create ways to shed salary.

Craig Ballard is a NFL/NBA/MLB writer for Follow him on Twitter @craigballard77, and you can find all of his articles HERE

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