Are Dolphins finally getting desperate at receiver?

Miami DolphinsSportsFootballMarlon Moore Julius Pruitt Donald DriverAtlanta Falcons

The Miami Dolphins have been patient enough with this batch of wide receivers.

The coaching staff has given Brian Hartline all summer, and all training camp to recover from a troublesome left calf injury that has forced him to miss the entire preseason.

The organization has invested two-plus years into Roberto Wallace, Julius Pruitt and Marlon Moore, hoping that one of these young, veteran receivers would blossom into a playmaker, and transform himself into a reliable receiver this exhibition season.

When the organization decided to cut Chad Johnson earlier this month they rolled the dice on one of the numerous youngsters - Clyde Gates, Jeff Fuller, Chris Hogan, B.J. Cunningham and Rishard Matthews - stepping up and taking his game to the next level.

Friday night's embarrassing 23-6 loss to the Atlanta Falcons indicates the Dolphins have rolled snake eyes. That game featured numerous drops from the receivers, including starting split end Legedu Naanee. The people in power know they can't afford to give Ryan Tannehill, the team's rookie starting quarterbacks, a slingshot during a gun fight when the regular season rolls around.

That's why team sources are telling me the Dolphins have gotten more aggressive about upgrading the receiver unit within the past few days.

General Manager Jeff Ireland annually discusses trade possibilities before each team cuts down its roster to 53 players, and he's made a trade this week every year but last season during his tenure with the organization.

It would be premature to say the Dolphins have specifically talked to certain teams about specific players, but the Dolphins are searching for a receiver who is familiar with the west coast offense, and can produce yards after catch, which is critical in this style of offense.

Joe Philbin's familiarity with Packers receivers James Jones and Donald Driver would make them ideal fits. But the search likely won't stop with Philbin's former team and receivers, which would likely require Miami give up an early draft pick to Green Bay to acquire.

Expect the Dolphins to comb the waiver wire searching for upgrades, putting in claims on a few of the 150-plus receivers who will become unemployed by Friday.

However, most of what will hit the waiver wire are aged, injured, or limited players. We're talking about disappointing draft picks like Gates, and NFL journeymen like Hogan who have bounced around the league for years.

It is doubtful any of these options will be more than a stopgap, but at this point it appears the Dolphins are getting desperate, and willing to try just about anything but an aged stopgap like Plaxico Burress.

G.G.G.

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