Miami Dolphins Sign Jabar Gaffney: What It Means for the Offense

Erik Frenz@ErikFrenzSenior Writer IOctober 2, 2012

FOXBORO, MA - AUGUST 9:   Jabar Gaffney #10 of the New England Patriots watches the action from sidelines in a preseason game against the Orleans Saints in the first half at Gillette Stadium on August 9, 2012 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
Jim Rogash/Getty Images

Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill has taken the all-important first steps toward proclaiming himself a real-life NFL quarterback, and now, the Miami Dolphins are doing what's necessary to help him take the next ones.

The team announced the signing of wide receiver Jabar Gaffney on Tuesday. A 10-year vet of the NFL, Gaffney has played for four teams in his career. He was most recently a member of the division-rival New England Patriots, but was cut when the team went down to 53 men.

Gaffney worked out for the Dolphins around that time, and he has apparently been on the radar ever since. The team decided now is the time to bring him in.

He had a good training camp when he was healthy, but he had injured his quad in mid-August, and it is believed he carried some lingering after-effects from that injury. If Gaffney is healthy, he could have a big impact on how team defend the offense.

Entering the 2012 season, it was clear the Dolphins were lacking talent at wide receiver. It was wondered what, if anything, would be done about it.

After strong performances by wide receivers Davone Bess and Brian Hartline against the Arizona Cardinals, it looked like the position had finally turned around, with Hartline going off for a team-record 253-yard performance, including an 80-yard touchdown catch-and-run that showed off his sneaky top-end speed.

After a game like the one enjoyed by Bess and Hartline, defenses are certainly going to respect their abilities a lot more than they may have in the past. Now, it could be up to the third wide receiver to step up.

As of now, that third wide receiver is Anthony Armstrong, who was brought in following the final cut-down to the 53-man roster, but as of yet, the returns there have been minimal. If it weren't Armstrong, it would have been wide receiver Legedu Naanee. They've been so disappointed with his performance, they released him on Tuesday.

The Dolphins are getting exactly what they need in Gaffney—a sure-handed wide receiver (19 drops since 2008, two drops in 2011) and a polished route-runner who knows how to get open. He's a well-rounded receiver—not great at any one thing, but not bad at anything.

He is 31 years old, but clearly has something left in the tank. And if nothing else, the signing shows that the Dolphins aren't giving up on the season yet at 1-3.

In short, there's no chance that he could be as bad as Naanee was. There is a chance, though, that he could be the catalyst for big things from this offense.


Erik Frenz is the AFC East lead blogger for Bleacher Report. Be sure to follow Erik on Twitter and "like" the AFC East blog on Facebook to keep up with all the updates. Unless specified otherwise, all quotes are obtained firsthand.