So that means they’ll also soon be going about the business of closing in one with Mike Wallace or Greg Jennings too, yes? Yes.
Hold up a minute, though. Let’s deal with this Brian Hartline matter, because here at 100 Yards and Running we prioritize news that deals with the league’s true gentlemen who smell of rich mahogany.
Hartline is a pending free agent. But according to Alex Marvez, the Dolphins are rather close to solving that problem:
A source told FOXSports.com that Brian Hartline and the Dolphins are nearing agreement on a contract that would keep the wide receiver from hitting the free-agent market. The multi-year deal would average between $6 million and $6.5 million a season, the source said.
That’s about right for Hartline’s monetary value, but maybe slightly high. The problem with Hartline is partly health, as although he hasn’t missed significant time, he’s often hobbled.
But the far greater concern has been simple consistency, and in fairness that’s partly out of his control. Ryan Tannehill was good last year, but he wasn’t Andrew Luck or Robert Griffin III good. He had a far more typical rookie quarterback season, with encouraging highs balanced by the learning which comes with the lowly lows. As a receiver, establishing consistency in that kind of environment is difficult at best. Yet still Hartline finished this past season with 74 catches for 1,083 yards, and he was a frequently used and trusted target (131 targets).
With that kind of target volume, Hartline can and should have even greater production, which then translates into even better fantasy value as a WR3. To achieve that and to support Tannehill, help is needed. Now.
That’s why the Dolphins shouldn’t be done. They currently have enough cap space to buy a small country ($38 million), although a chunk of that will likely be dedicated to re-signing some more of their own free agents if they test the market and return, namely Jake Long, Anthony Fasano, Matt Moore, and possibly Sean Smith. But as Ben Volin of the Palm Beach Post noted after he did the required number crunching, even after a few of those names are retained, big spender Stephen Ross should still have somewhere in the neighborhood of $10-15 million to throw at people. I possibly mean that literally.
That’s more than enough available funds to overpay for either Wallace or Jennings. We still prefer Jennings, but with Hartline in place to play the Antonio Brown role alongside Wallace, that preference is slight.