Thoughts on Dolphins' interest in Johnson

April, 5, 2014
Apr 5
12:00
PM ET
 

The much anticipated release of three-time Pro Bowl running back Chris Johnson took place on Friday. The former Tennessee Titans star was cut by the team after failed attempts to make a trade.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter had an interesting nugget that the Miami Dolphins were one of several teams trying to acquire Johnson in a trade this offseason. ESPN.com Titans reporter Paul Kuharsky also writes the Buffalo Bills and Dolphins were teams with the most interest.

Here are some thoughts on what this means for Miami:
  • Despite public comments on the contrary, the Dolphins were not happy with their tailbacks from last season: Lamar Miller and Daniel Thomas. Miami general manager Dennis Hickey and coach Joe Philbin were asked several times in the past three months about the position, and the company line has been “We like our running backs.” But behind the scenes, the Dolphins were clearly trying to maneuver for an upgrade.
  • Along those lines, the Dolphins wound up signing former Denver Broncos starting running back Knowshon Moreno. He’s not nearly as dynamic as Johnson. But Moreno brings certain elements to Miami such as proven short-yardage success and being strong in pass protection. Miami's interest in Johnson most likely decreased after signing Moreno. But it will be interesting to see if interest in Johnson will pick up now that he's a free agent.
  • Nearly the entire AFC East had interest in Johnson. The Dolphins, Buffalo Bills and New York Jets all reportedly engaged in trade talks with the Titans. These are the three teams trying to catch the AFC East champion New England Patriots. Johnson is the type of player who can help close the gap in the division. I think the Jets would be the best AFC East fit at this stage.

James Walker | email

ESPN Miami Dolphins reporter

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