Instant Analysis: Ginn Gets Traded

The trade of Ted Ginn Jr. to the San Francisco 49ers for a fifth-round pick in the 2010 draft is now official. We analyze the deal, which closes the book on the Dolphins career of their 2007 first-round pick.

Ted Ginn Jr. is gone, and we can say unequivocally that he left as one of the most frustrating Dolphins players ever.

From time to time, such as the 2008 game against Buffalo when he caught 175 yards worth of passes or the two Jets games from last year, Ginn would flash the potential the Dolphins saw when they made him the ninth overall pick in the 2007 draft. But those moments were too infrequent, much too infrequent.

In fairness to Ginn, it wasn't his fault Cam Cameron and Randy Mueller badly overestimated his ability as a wide receiver. From the time he arrived in Miami, it was clear Ginn was a work in progress in that capacity and that he was bringing little more than great speed.

Three years later, there sadly hasn't been much improvement from Ginn.

For all his speed, there were too many games where he never seemed to get open. We heard throughout the last offseason about improved route-running and how he was ready to break out in his third season, but neither materialized.

Sure, he had the monster game against the Jets when he made NFL history with two kickoff returns of at least 100 yards, but that was an aberration.

As a receiver, if anything, he took a step back. In addition to his lack of polish in his route running and his problems getting off the line of scrimmage, Ginn also dropped passes. Against New Orleans alone, he had three drops, one of which turned into an interception that was returned for a touchdown.

If that weren't bad enough, Ginn also demonstrated an alarming lack of toughness. How often did we see him start a kickoff return and head for the sideline at the sight of an oncoming tackler. We can also remember a third-down play where he stepped out of bounds 2 yards short of the marker instead of trying to fight for the extra yardage.

It never took a genius to see that Ginn was not the kind of player that Bill Parcells, Jeff Ireland or Tony Sparano like. They're all about being tough and physical, and Ginn is just the opposite.

He's a finesse player, one who dominated at Ohio State because he was so much faster than anybody else.

He's still faster than most at the NFL level, but his speed alone no longer can compensate for his lack of pure football skills.

Clearly, it was time for Ginn to go. Both for him and for the Dolphins.

Sure, they'll miss his ability to break a long kickoff return or to get behind a defense on a passing play, but those moments of brilliance came at a price.

Who knows? Maybe Ginn will flourish and become a star receiver with the 49ers, although we'd severely doubt it.

It's quite funny looking back at that 2007 draft that so many Dolphins fans were incensed that their team took Ginn ninth overall instead of Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn. After three short seasons, neither is with the team that drafted them.

In retrospective, it's quite obvious now that the choice for Miami was not Ginn, not Quinn, but rather 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis, who was selected 11th overall.

Now Ginn gets to play on the same team as Willis. The Dolphins, meanwhile, just move on from a draft pick that never panned out.

Both are the better for it.

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