Miami Dolphins: The 10 Biggest Free Agent Busts in Team History

Richard Santamaria@RiSantamariaCorrespondent IIMarch 13, 2013

Miami Dolphins: The 10 Biggest Free Agent Busts in Team History

0 of 10

    The Miami Dolphins just finished reeling in the biggest free-agent fish of 2013, signing Mike Wallace to a 5-year, $65 million contract.  In no way do I believe that Wallace is going to be a bust.

    With that said, here is a look at the biggest free agent busts in Miami Dolphins' history.

    A majority of the players highlighted will be from the recent past, because free agents are now making much more money, increasing their "bust" potential.

10. WR Chad Ochocinco, 2012

1 of 10

    In 2012, Miami traded away Brandon Marshall and replaced him with a 34-year-old Chad Ochocinco. 

    Ochocinco promptly changed his last name back to Johnson, and sometime before the 2012 NFL regular season kicked off, he unleashed the "headbutt heard 'round the world" on his wife, Evelyn Lozada.

    A day after being arrested for the battery of Lozada, Joe Philbin informed Ochocinco that he would no longer be on the team in front of the cameras for HBO's Hard Knocks documentary.

    Ochocinco's base salary of $925,000 was completely wiped from the books and the Dolphins did not pay him a cent.

    Despite this, Ochocinco makes the list because he sorely disappointed Miami fans, who had a desperate need for a receiver to cheer for.

9. WR Legedu Naanee, 2012

2 of 10

    In 2012, Legedu Naanee looked the part of a receiver, as he was tall (6'2"), strong (215 lbs) and fast.  Unfortunately for Miami, he only looked the part.

    Naanee was signed by the Dolphins and expected to bolster Miami's passing game by becoming its starting wideout.

    He caught one pass for 19 yards in four games and was released.

    Whatever portion of his $700,000 base salary that was paid to him was too much.

8. S Chris Crocker, 2008

3 of 10

    In 2008, Chris Crocker signed a one-year contract worth $1.15 million to be a starting safety for the Dolphins.

    Crocker played in six games for Miami, compiling 10 tackles, one pass defended and no interceptions.  He was released mid-season due to his ineffectiveness.

7. RB Lawrence Phillips, 1997

4 of 10

    After he was released by the St. Louis Rams in 1997, the Dolphins gambled on troubled, yet immensely talented running back Lawrence Phillips.

    As a Dolphin, Phillips rushed for 44 yards and caught one pass in two regular-season games.

    After those two games, he was arrested for allegedly striking a woman in a South Florida nightclub.  Miami released Phillips after the incident.

    The Dolphins' low-risk, high-reward investment returned nothing but disappointment for a fan base with high hopes. 

6. OT Marc Colombo, 2011

5 of 10

    In 2011, the Dolphins gave the "human turnstile", Marc Colombo, a one-year deal worth $2 million.

    The former Dallas Cowboy was reunited with Tony Sparano in Miami but was a shell of his former self, and he had a terrible year as Miami's starting right tackle.

    Colombo, the former first-rounder out of Boston College, was ranked 68th out of 75 tackles in Pro Football Focus' 2011 rankings for pass-blocking efficiency.

5. OT Damion McIntosh, 2004

6 of 10

    In 2004, Dolphins' general manager Rick Speilman inked Damion McIntosh to a six-year deal worth $23 million. 

    It was a homecoming for McIntosh, who played for McArthur High School in Hollywood, FL.

    McIntosh was to create holes for Ricky Williams and protect Jay Fiedler's blindside.  Instead, he underachieved and was released after three seasons as Miami's left tackle.

    The Kansas State product went on to play three more NFL seasons before retiring.

4. C Jake Grove, 2009

7 of 10

    In 2009, the Dolphins signed Jake Grove to be their center, giving him a five-year, $29.5 million deal with $14.5 million guaranteed.

    The massive 6'4", 300-pound Grove was good when healthy.  But in his only season with the Dolphins, that was a rarity.  The former Virginia Tech standout only started 10 games for Miami and played through shoulder and knee injuries.

    Before the 2010 season, Grove could not beat out Joe Berger as Miami's starter and the Dolphins promptly cut him.

    In essence, Miami paid Grove $14.5 million for a single, injury-riddled season.

3. WR Ernest Wilford, 2008

8 of 10

    In Jeff Ireland's first season with the Dolphins, he signed receiver Ernest Wilford to a contract worth $13 million over four years with $6 million guaranteed.

    During his first and only season with Miami, Wilford caught three passes for 25 yards.

    Because he was ineffective as a receiver, the Dolphins attempted to use Wilford as a tight end.  Again, he did not provide results and was released in 2009.

2. S Gibril Wilson, 2009

9 of 10

    Every Miami fan has recurring nightmares of Gibril Wilson chasing an opposing receiver, always many yards behind.

    In 2009, Wilson signed a five-year deal with the Dolphins worth $27.5 million with $8 million guaranteed.

    While Jeff Ireland seemed to support him after Wilson's woeful 2009 campaign, he was cut before the 2010 season.

    After his short career in Miami, Wilson started just one more NFL game in 2011 with the Cincinnati Bengals.

1. Not Signing Drew Brees in 2006

10 of 10

    The biggest free agency failure in Miami Dolphins' history can be attributed to Nick Saban.  In 2006, Saban chose to trade for Daunte Culpepper instead of signing free-agent Drew Brees.

    Brees wanted to play for the Dolphins but had to settle for the New Orleans Saints.  Since he has been with the Saints, Brees has been a Pro Bowler six times, has won a Super Bowl and has broken passing records, likely paving his way into the NFL's Hall of Fame.

    Culpepper played four games for the Dolphins.

    Let's hope 2013 is the year that the "Brees curse" is broken.