Monday, August 13, 2012

Dolphins' receiving corps again has a sub-par look


The Miami Dolphins released receiver Chad Johnson one day after his arrest on domestic battery charges, according to Fox Sports' Jay Glazer. The 34-year-old wideout spent the night in jail after an altercation with his wife over a receipt for a box of condoms.

Johnson's career as a Dolphin ends with no receptions and one drop in one preseason game appearance. The Dolphins took a chance on the aging former star, but after this episode, he may not find another team willing to do the same.

The organization took a stand on player conduct, but now it has to face the on-field reality that it lost one of its better receivers.

Johnson was listed as a starter on the Dolphins' first depth chart, and his talent won't be easily replaced. Miami's top receivers are now Legedu Naanee, who has impressed in camp but is coming off a terrible season in Carolina, and Brian Hartline, a veteran that has missed the past two weeks with nagging injuries.

Miami also has reliable slot option Davone Bess, but beyond him, the depth chart looks pretty bleak. The rest of the group has a combined 14 career receptions in the NFL and is headlined by Roberto Wallace, Julius Pruitt and Marlon Moore.

Not a group that strikes fear into an opposing defense.

The free agent landscape is none too encouraging either. Braylon Edwards and Terrell Owens both recently signed with the Seahawks. The one big name still available is Plaxico Burress, but he isn't an ideal fit in the offense, nor is he a high-character alternative to Johnson.

The June 11 signing of Johnson did not completely solve Miami's receiver deficiency. But he was a veteran who could have guided the inexperienced group and provided a reliable target in the Dolphins' developing offense.

Now they are back where they started.

Unless the Dolphins can make a trade for a quality wideout or they sign one off of the free agent scrap-heap, they will head to Houston in Week 1 with a very poor group of pass-catchers.

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