Legedu Naanee: Why the Miami Dolphins Must Part Ways with a Bad Luck Charm

Alessandro Miglio@@AlexMiglioFeatured ColumnistOctober 2, 2012

ARLINGTON, TX - AUGUST 29:   Teddy Williams #20 of the Dallas Cowboys breaks up a pass intended for Legedu Naanee #19 of the Miami Dolphins during a preseason game at Cowboys Stadium on August 29, 2012 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

"Naa-Naanee. Naa-Naanee. Hey hey hey, good bye."

In what has become a recurring theme, Legedu Naanee has become the butt of jokes and the subject of ire in Miami after another defeat snatched from the jaws of victory.

Joe Philbin shouldn't be allowed to challenge that simply for having Legedu Naanee on his roster.

— Will Brinson (@willbrinson) September 30, 2012

The truth? I feel sad for Legedu Naanee.

— Armando Salguero (@ArmandoSalguero) September 30, 2012

The Dolphins pure stubbornness on Legedu Naanee probably just cost them the game. Congrats Jeff Ireland. Acorns!!!!

— Chris Kouffman (@ckparrot) September 30, 2012

#Dolphins WR Legedu Naanee addresses his struggles, says he's not pressing sun-sentinel.com/sports/miami-d…

— Omar Kelly (@OmarKelly) October 1, 2012

The Miami Dolphins needed receiver help this offseason after trading away the talented, mercurial drop machine that is Brandon Marshall. Who did Jeff Ireland turn to? The legendary Legedu Naanee, of course. 

Perhaps Ireland thought Naanee was a diamond in the rough. Never mind that he was last season's second-worst-rated receiver, according to Pro Football Focus, behind only Devin Hester, who played 300 less snaps than Naanee.

In a shocking turn of events, nothing has changed.

The dubious distinction has not escaped him this season. He is just tied for the third-worst receiver rating at PFF this season with rookie Kendall Wright, but Wright along with the two receivers who have worse ratings—Braylon Edwards reincarnate Greg Little and Titus Young—have received more playing time. 

Both Little and Young have been on the field for over 100 more snaps than Naanee, which means the Dolphins' disappointment has been the worst receiver in the league on a per-snap basis. Rumor has it that he is on the field for his run-blocking skills, but he rates as one of the worst run-blocking receivers in the NFL as well.

After a preseason where some lauded his practice performance in which he earned a starting gig by attrition more than anything—Brian Hartline was injured for much of the offseason and preseason, and the only other real competition were practice squad fodder and late-round rookies—he has been nothing short of an unmitigated disaster at the position.

Lack of skill on game day alone should cost Naanee his spot on the roster, but the Dolphins are not exactly stacked at the position. Maybe there is another reason to cut him—perhaps he is simply cursed.

Consider this: Naanee has been targeted just five times this season. On those five targets, Ryan Tannehill has been intercepted twice and Naanee fumbled once in a morbidly comical football play. That makes three out of five targets that resulted in a turnover.

That is not necessarily a reflection of his skill, but it is an egregious addition of insult to injury for the Dolphins' receiving corps.

The Dolphins would be better served getting Rishard Matthews or Michael Egnew some playing time, or sitting in their base formation more often—rather than letting Naanee anywhere near the playing field again.

It is time to cut bait.

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