The Porter Problem

Say this about Joey Porter, he knows how to attract attention. It's just that too often it's for the wrong reasons, as we are witnessing this week. It's one thing for Porter to want to get released, but the way he's going about it is doing nobody any favors, and that includes the Dolphins as well as himself.

Porter has made it clear in radio interviews this week that he doesn't want to return to the Dolphins unless he has some sort of guarantee he will be a full-time player.

This come after the Dolphins had the audacity last year to replace in certain situations. In essence, Porter is saying he's too good a player not to be on the field on every down.

Never mind the fact that he'll be 33 in March, never mind the fact the Dolphins have other linebackers on the team with the ability to rush the passer, which is pretty much all Porter does for a defense.

Porter also has an issue with Tony Sparano sending him home for the Tampa Bay game and for barely speaking to him in the final two months of the season.

Porter said all he did on the Friday night before his benching was go out to dinner from 9-10:30 p.m. and that he was in bed before 11. We have never gotten an official word from the Dolphins as to the cause of the benching, nor will we.

So we'll just address the issue of Porter wanting to move on because he wants to be a full-time player, and the bottom line is that there's just so much to criticize about Porter's behavior that I don't know where to begin.

OK, we'll start with this. Porter had the nerve to tell Jim Rome on ESPN Radio on Monday that he didn't say anything about his dissatisfaction late last year because "I'm a team guy."

Who are you trying to kid?

There have been many stories already written about Porter refusing to come off the field last year and waving subs back to the sideline. That's a team player? Porter deciding he needs to stay in the game?

Then there's this comment about his status on the team: "All the guys in my (meeting) room, love 'em to death, but of the outside linebackers, I'm the best one we got. Period. Who am I switching with? Why should I be switching out with any of them guys? ? No shots at nobody, but it's not even an argument."

No shots at anybody? "Who am I switching with?"

Yep, not too arrogant.

Then there was this gem on WQAM: "I don't have time to be play these childish games. If you want to put Cameron Wake and them in the game, go ahead. Good luck to you."

Sure Wake loved that one. Oh, and here's the deal, give Wake the same amount of playing time as Porter and he'll get you more sacks. Guaranteed.

Porter finished with nine sacks in 2009, while Wake had 5.5, and there's no way Wake had half the amount of snaps that Porter had. Not even close.

Jason Taylor had seven sacks, but he had to play at strongside linebacker where he had to deal with the tight end and we're thinking he would have had more than nine playing on the weak side.

So Porter needs to get over himself. Yes, he's still a productive pass rusher, but he's not an elite pass rusher anymore.

In 2008, he did little in the last month of the season, and in 2009 he got his sacks in bunches and did little in games where the Dolphins really needed him to come up big.

The bottom line is Porter remains a serviceable player, but he's not the difference-maker he thinks he is. More importantly, he's not worth the headaches he causes on a too-frequent basis.

Before his little outburst, it probably was on the downside of 50-50 that the Dolphins would have brought him back; now it's pretty much a slam dunk.

For those who think the Dolphins can just trade him, the sad reality is there's probably not much of a market for a soon-to-be 33-year-old, one-dimensional, controversial and expensive linebacker.

Besides, Porter pretty much has killed any trade value he might have had with his tantrum because teams figure the Dolphins aren't going to want to deal with that headache anymore and will release him.

In the end, Porter likely will get his wish and his three-year tenure in Miami will come to an end.

He will leave as he came, making a whole lot of noise and keeping the spotlight on himself.


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