Ronnie Brown, RB Miami Dolphins – 2011 Free Agent
Ronnie Brown has a been an exciting but injury-plagued running back for the Miami Dolphins since he was drafted 2nd overall by the team. Brown has averaged over four yards per carry in every season of his career, but has only appeared in all 16 games once. Coming off a serious foot injury (lisfranc joint), Ronnie Brown should be 100% healthy during training camp. If he can stay healthy in 2010, Brown could have a very impressive season with the Dolphins. If Chad Henne continues to develop (which he should, especially with the addition of Brandon Marshall), Brown and Ricky Williams stay healthy, the Dolphins could have a very impressive offensive attack in 2010.
Ronnie Brown will be a free agent after the upcoming season and his offseason value will depend heavily on his durability during the upcoming season. He has shown that can be a very productive, explosive weapon when he plays. He has been instrumental in the expansion of the Dolphins “Wildcat” offense, and could be picked up by a team looking to expand their version.
I think it really is up to the Dolphins whether he will be back next year. Ronnie Brown has been asking for a long-term deal this offseason, which he is not going to get quite yet. His health this season will be a huge determinant of his value for next season. If he stays healthy and continues to be productive, the Dolphins may not be willing to pay the high cost for an injury-prone back. However, if he is injured again, he may still be out of Miami. It will be interesting to see how the running back situation plays out next offseason in Miami, with both Brown and Williams becoming free agents. It will likely be less expensive to keep Ricky Williams, so if he has a decent year I think they will re-sign him and let Ronnie Brown test the free agent market.
If Ronnie Brown gets to the free agent market I think he could generate interest from the New England Patriots. My only hesitation is that they have dealt with injury prone running backs recently (Laurence Maroney, Corey Dillon, Sammy Morris) and may not be willing to take that chance again. However, Laurence Maroney is in his contract year and I do not think he will be re-signed after this year. This is an issue the Patriots will absolutely have to address, whether in free agency or the draft. Brown ran into a little trouble with the law this offseason (DUI) and Bill Belichick and the Patriots have recently turned former trouble makers into gentlemen.
The AFC East has been known to have it’s teams’ star players sign with rivals, and there’s no reason it couldn’t happen in this situation, especially with the Patriots lack of a running game of late. Ronnie Brown has also killed the Patriots lately, and Pats fans would love to see him return the favor. That is if he doesn’t re-sign with the Dolphins, which I think is in the hands of the organization.
What does everyone else think? Other potential places he could end up?
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