Despite having gone on an exorbitant spending spree this offseason, the Miami Dolphins may still have a lesser known player force his way into the mix at wide receiver. For a team that spent $100 million combined on the total value of the three contracts they handed out to free agent wide receivers this offseason, that would be a surprising development. Armon Binns is the type of player capable of surprising people, however.
Even though the team kept Brian Hartline and brought in both Mike Wallace and Brandon Gibson in free agency, early signs out of Miami say that Binns will be more than just in the mix this season. Head coach Joe Philbin has said that speed is what sets him apart from any other waiver wire pick-up that the team has made. And not just straight line speed, more like the speed with which Binns runs his routes.
Philbin told the Sun-Sentinel:
“I think that’s the one thing we’ve noticed as a staff. I’m usually the kiss of death, but he is playing faster. He is playing fast, and he is catching it when he gets an opportunity.”
Miami added Binns late last season when the Cincinnati Bengals placed him on waivers due to the need for additional roster space. One team’s trash is often another’s treasure, and the Dolphins surely think they have found something in Binns.
As the biggest player on the depth chart at receiver, the 6-foot-3 209-pound receiver could become a legitimate red-zone threat for Miami this season. Although they did add tight end Dustin Keller into the mix as well this offseason, Binns could be that big-bodied target to work between the hash marks in the dirty areas to give second-year quarterback Ryan Tannehill a go-to clutch guy to move the chains.
Having two guys like Hartline and Wallace on the outside to stretch the field will certainly draw some attention away from Binns in the slot as well. Even though the Dolphins spent a solid chunk of change on Gibson to fill that role, Binns could push him for playing time and force his way into the rotation one way or another.
If Binns can continue earning praise from his head coach during training camp and gain the trust of Tannehill as well, the rest of the Dolphins depth chart at receiver could lose some touches this season. This kid has serious potential, and still at just 23 years of age, he is ready to have a breakout season in 2013.