Seattle Seahawks fans are waking up this morning to the news that the Miami Dolphins have acquired two-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Brandon Marshall from the Denver Broncos for a second-round pick (43rd overall) in the 2010 NFL Draft, and a 2011 pick, also believed to be in the second-round.
As recently as three weeks ago, Dolphins head coach Tony Sparano specifically denied his team having any interest in adding Marshall. The Dolphins did not give Marshall a seaplane tour of the city, and although owner Stephen Ross, and his cavalcade of celebrity ownership partners, do quite well for themselves, the Dolphins do not have Paul Allen's checkbook at their disposal.
So how did the Dolphins manage to acquire Brandon Marshall, who less than 24 hours ago, appeared destined to be a Seahawk?
For starters, the off-season activity of the New York Jets, who have acquired Antonio Cromartie, Santonio Holmes, and LaDainian Tomlinson, and are actively pursuing Dolphins' legend Jason Taylor, played a large role in turning the Dolphins into a motivated buyer on the Marshall front.
The Dolphins went from first to third in the AFC East last season, and the Jets improving themselves, even on paper, has prompted the Dolphins to do the same.
Secondly, the Seahawks' front office entered the Marshall Sweepstakes with a plan, a price they simply would not exceed, and to their credit, they stuck to it.
Denver hung a first-round price tag on Marshall, and for as much as the Seahawks wanted the player, never once hiding their interest, the Seahawks' front office never seriously considered using one of their two first-round picks to get a deal done. Had they been willing to do so, Marshall would be a Seahawk this morning.
Some may look at the 2010 second-round pick (43rd overall) the Dolphins sent to Denver and come to the conclusion that the Seahawks' swapping of second-round picks in the Charlie Whitehurst trade cost them a chance to acquire Marshall.
What I'd point out to these people is that the Seahawks were not then, and are not now, one wide receiver away from playoff contention. And in today's NFL, which is a quarterback-driven league, addressing that position is far more important to future success than the wide receiver position is. The Seahawks managed to do that and kept a second-round pick they felt they could package, along with a later-round pick, in a deal for Marshall.
Throughout this off-season, there has always been a chance that some team was going to step in at the 11th hour with a better offer, no matter how slight, and acquire Marshall from under the Seahawks' noses. Moving down 20 spots in the second-round may have hurt the Seahawks chances, but who's to say the Seahawks would have parted with a future second-round pick, as well, to acquire Marshall, which the Dolphins have reportedly done?
As disappointing as it may be to not have added an elite-level wide receiver, and a talented, dynamic play-maker to an offense woefully short on talented, dynamic play-makers, the Seahawks have a plan to turn this team which has won just 9 games over the last two years into a perennial winning organization again, and they're not going to deviate that to add one cog.
After five years of impulsive spending in free agency, drafting for need under the guise of "Best Player Available", even the perceived failure of "missing out" on players in what was the worst free agent class since free agency started is a breath of fresh air.
In addition to writing for NorthwestFootball.net, Brian McIntyre blogs daily at Mac's Football Blog. You can follow Brian on Twitter, and if you'd like to e-mail him, you can always do so by clicking here.
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