and Azriel was not shy about giving some of his thoughts and predictions on the matter, along with some other tidbits regarding the situation.
As far as the original plan goes, Azriel did all but say it would have to be “one or the other,” referencing Kelly’s recent injury and the possibility of his return, and then pointing out that “he is not as big of a name as he used to be, and that’s going to play into a lot of the decision.” It’s unclear as to what sort of deal this deal would be, the obvious question being are the Dolphins trying to get in position for a free agent that they would want to take, or could a deal be struck on a one-week, $3 million deal in which the deal guarantees Kelly would only serve as a backup to Matt Moore?
At least some players in Miami know that a reunion in the Bay sounds like a no brainer.
Another issue that came up was whether or not Kelly really wanted to play outside of Miami now, as he said, “a lot of people want to know about that…I’m not the first one who asked. I know that. People know that if I get a chance to play outside on this team, I’m going to do it, so you’re obviously going to get one of the first guys, and I’m going to give it my best shot.”
But as noted earlier, that does mean Kelly has to be brought in on a one-time deal, even with the guarantee that if the Dolphins want to keep him, they have to cut him before he can hit free agency. While that is fine with the Dolphins, it’s something to keep in mind when negotiating with Kelly, and is more a factor of whether or not he wants to be cut.
Another thing that came up was that, aside from the obvious free agency issues which would arise if Kelly returned to the team, would that take away any of the big plays that Kelly made in his time in Miami? Considering that Kelly went to the Pro Bowl in 2009, was named the Miami Go-To Defense guy for many years, and had some of the most dominant seasons in Dolphins history without a single sack being given up, the thought of Kelly working the outside again would be difficult to ignore. While it could be argued that being the go-to guy on the defensive end is not necessarily a weakness, if he cannot replicate that in 2012 that’s something to keep in mind as well.
A very interesting bit of information about the situation came from someone who saw a very intimate look at Kelly’s psyche when he was in the Jets organization, and was surprised by some of Kelly’s behavior. Specifically, that Kelly seemed quite withdrawn, “He didn’t say a word the entire team. We were all looking at him to be a good example to the younger guys and they weren’t getting it.”
With all these elements going into the Dolphins potential deal with Kelly, all of which I covered previously, let’s look back over what I discussed in my first Dolphins “Dynasty Talk” on Monday night: “When a guy is as good as R. Kelly is as a leader and a leader of men, to make the decision to cut him, it’s going to be a tough one. There are some high upside things that come out of the deal, but the value of the contract to the team is really dependent upon whether or not the Dolphins want to pay that contract.”
What will actually happen in Miami is that the team will most likely release Kelly on a one-time, cap friendly deal, and in a cap-friendly market like Miami is currently in, maybe he would be the type of player that could help them in free agency by making a little more room in the budget.
On the downside, having that one-time deal means that what we all already know is real for now will not really matter anymore. In this case, at least, it is real. And as the story unfolds, I think the real value will become more apparent.