The Dolphins thankfully realized the error of their ways and released the cornerback who was consistently getting torched day in and day out in practice - Eric Green, the guy they inexplicably signed for $6 million this offseason.
And I hate to say it...but I told you so. This acquisition couldn't have been more easy to predict as a failure.
Here is the column I wrote right after the team signed Green. Here's an excerpt:
Tgts Success Rate Rank APaYd Rank '08 season - 41% 58 53 '07 season 76 41% 71 8.3 59 '07 vs. #1 WR 36 40% 9.0 '07 vs. #2 WR 16 36% 8.2 '07 vs. Other WR 14 45% 9.1
To put it bluntly, those numbers are awful. To rank among the worst starting cornerbacks in the league two years in a row (when you are in the prime years of your career no less!) is a clear indication that you should not be starting anymore. Heck, judging by his performance against backup receivers in 2007, I question his viability at any level of the depth chart.
This is just another triumph for advanced metrics. If they are showing trends that strongly, it's impossible to ignore them, and it makes me wonder what good they ever saw in Green in the first place.
Thankfully, Parcells and Ireland changed their propensity to shy away from drafting cornerbacks highly, and took not one but two highly rated CBs in the draft this year.
But this whole episode speaks to another phenomenon that irritates me to no end - the homer fan who simply cannot accept that statistics show that a player was and very likely will continue to be a poor player. Before Miami signed him, I had seen Eric Green in only the most limited capacity, and yet even I could tell that he was awful just by researching his metrics. Obviously, it's always nice to have your own scouting-based reactions to players, but when the numbers are that bad over multiple years, you really don't need to "wait and see for yourself."
Here's a few of the comments that were posted on that article over at The Phinsider:
This is too negative for my taste. This is not our September team its our March team. I just think we should relax and give it more time.
I’ll trust in the front office and their judgement. Once the season starts, if these guys start getting torched for yards and TDs, then i’ll be concerned.
We’re Dolphins fans. Let’s boost these guys confidence, not pick it apart. Fans = support. Breaking out poor stats = detractors.
The point is, we as fans, with little more than some numbers and the observations of fans who have seen these free agents play for their whole careers, can make pretty accurate assessments about the abilities of players. Just because Parcells and Ireland sign someone doesn't always mean it was the best move to be made. No one is perfect. The team is acknowledging that fact by cutting ties with Green weeks before the first round of cuts even need to be made.
I applaud that willingness to accept a mistake and move on. Now they just need to work on limiting how often these kinds of moves need to be made. I just hope I don't have to write another one of these columns concerning Jake Grove.