Every once in a while, we have teams that seem to implode once they're eliminated from the playoff race. Those types of implosions raise questions about the team's intent, but they ultimately fade away once the playoffs begin.
Now, the Dolphins are causing some, including players on their own team, to question their motives in 2012.
Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk is reporting that "a source with knowledge of the situation" is saying that some of the Dolphins' key players are "dismayed" by the Dolphins recent trade of Vontae Davis to the Indianapolis Colts. The source indicates that players are specifically wondering if the Dolphins are actually trying to put together a winning squad for the 2012 season.
The news out of Miami isn't surprising to anyone who's covered the Dolphins in any capacity during the Jeff Ireland years. As controversial as the trade was, I don't know if it warrants such internal criticism as a stand alone incident.
The problem is that there seems to be a perception within the team and its fanbase that Jeff Ireland is not the man that will build the Dolphins into a winning team. In short, players are submitting a vote of no confidence by speaking out, even if it is off the record.
The man that should be worried most, outside of Jeff Ireland, is Joe Philbin. The Dolphins' new head coach may have unknowingly walked into a horrible coaching position, and if the Dolphins do collapse in 2012, it may be time to clean house completely. If a new GM is brought in, there's no guarantee that the new man in charge won't want to bring in his own head coach.
The Dolphins have far too many negative story lines swirling right now, and it's becoming somewhat mind blowing to think that such a mediocre team couldn't improve. Their players are losing confidence in their front office (frankly that probably happened a couple of years ago), and they play in what could quickly become one of the NFL's toughest division. Long story short, the Dolphins look to be in for a very long season once again this fall.