Dissecting the deal

The weekend trade that sent Adewale Ogunleye to the Chicago Bears in exchange for wide receiver Marty Booker and a third-round pick in 2005 will be debated for a long time. Did the Dolphins do the right thing? Did they get enough in return? Here's out take.

Let us start off by saying the Dolphins were in a tough spot because their stance, right or wrong, has always been that a restricted free agent should play for his tender before landing a lucrative long-term deal as an unrestricted free agent.

But Ogunleye wanted no part of that. He wanted a long-term deal now.

So the Dolphins then had to decide whether they wanted to give Ogunleye his long-term deal or play hard ball.

In part because Ogunleye was a restricted free agent, the Dolphins had no desire of giving him a signing bonus close to what Jevon Kearse and Grant Wistrom got this offseason as unrestricted free agent, $15 and $14 million.

But Ogunleye got just that from the Bears, who gave him a $10 million signing bonus plus a $5 million roster bonus due next March.

Think about it, Chris Chambers got a signing bonus of $10.6 million split over two years. Now, is Ogunleye deserve of that much of a bigger bonus than Chambers?

Don't think so.

The other issue was Ogunleye's worth to the defense. Obviously, the guy is a terrific pass rusher, as evidenced by his AFC-leading 15 sacks last season.

But he was not the best player on the Dolphins defense last season, despite the fact he was named team MVP by the South Florida media.

This corner voted for Jason Taylor as MVP because Taylor got a lot more attention from opposing offenses, because he got chipped more often, and because he created more opportunities for his teammates to get sacks than the other way around.

The Dolphins pass rush should survive the loss of Ogunleye. David Bowens might not be able to get 15 sacks by himself, but expected anywhere from eight to 12 sacks isn't totally unrealistic, either.

So we're going to tell you the Dolphins weren't wrong in trading Ogunleye. They have made plenty of questionable decisions in recent months, such as giving big money to Reggie Howard to serve as a third cornerback after restructuring Sam Madison's deal, such as paying Jeno James a lot more than anybody else was willing to pay, such as trading a future second-round pick for A.J. Feeley, but we don't have a major issue with this one.

Now, could they have gotten more?

Well, what they got was pretty good.

Marty Booker is no Randy Moss or Marvin Harrison, but he'll be a solid No. 2 behind Chris Chambers and he's way better than any other wide receiver the Dolphins had on the roster.

Booker is a tremendous route runner with good hands who should prove an effective possession receiver.

The No. 3 pick is a nice bonus, provided the Dolphins use it well.

Understand this, the Dolphins had been trying to deal Ogunleye for a while, they just weren't getting any great offers in return.

Maybe the rest of the league looked at Ogunleye as a nice player, but someone who greatly benefited from playing opposite Jason Taylor.

Ogunleye made it a point last week to say that that was hogwash, but the perception is there. Whether Ogunleye can disprove it remains to be seen.

From his vantage point, the Dolphins did pretty well in this deal.

No, it's not going to solve all the offense's many problems, but it was a start.

Besides, the Ogunleye situation was starting to get ugly and there appeared to be no end in sight. As Zach Thomas said, he needed to get in camp.

The deal was ripped in a couple of South Florida columns, partly because the Dolphins seemingly can't do anything right these days.

It's true, the front office has made a lot of questionable moves and left itself vulnerable by neglecting the offense for so long and failing to provide adequate depth to deal with the kind of setbacks that have happened.

But we're thinking here that Booker instead of Derrius Thompson will be a better situation than Ogunleye instead of David Bowens.

And that would make it a good deal.


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