Re-Sign or Release: RB Sammy Morris

With the start of free agency not too far away, we take a look at the Dolphins' free agents and weigh in on which players the Dolphins should bring back and which players they can afford to let go. Today we examine the case of running back Sammy Morris.

When he joined the Dolphins: Morris signed a two-year contract with the Dolphins as an unrestricted free agent in the spring of 2004 and then re-signed a one-year deal as a UFA last April.

His 2006 season: After missing the first four games because of an NFL suspension, Morris appeared in 12 games with four starts when Ronnie Brown was nursing an ankle injury. Morris rushed for 400 yards on the nose, including a 100-yard performance in the 21-0 victory over New England. Morris added 21 reception, including a 44-yard gain in the loss to Green Bay. Morris also contributed on special teams, with eight tackles and a forced fumble.

2006 base salary: $585,000

Forecast: Morris is very similar to Travis Minor, in that both are solid backup running backs who also excel on special teams. Minor might be a tad better on special teams, but there's no question that Morris is the more accomplished running back. He proved a very good No. 2 last year, with a yards-per-carry average (4.3) that was better than that of starter Ronnie Brown (4.2).

Projection: Morris got some interest from Seattle when he was in this position last year, but chose to re-sign with the Dolphins instead. At this stage of his career, Morris has to accept the fact that he'll always be a backup. But with Ricky Williams eligible to apply for reinstatement in April, Morris may decide to see if he can be a No. 2 instead of a No. 3, which is what will happen here if the Dolphins bring back Williams. There won't be heavy demand for Morris' services, but we certainly can see a team in the market for a backup halfback making a push for him. Morris also is not very expensive, which makes him even more desirable, so the Dolphins would do well to bring him back. Will that happen? We'll call 50-50 at this time.


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