Dolphins Toss and Turner

According to multiple reports, the Dolphins have traded fan favorite Greg Camarillo to the Minnesota Vikings, who were in desperate need of a wide receiver after losing Pro-Bowler Sidney Rice for the next eight weeks.  A hard-worker and one of the most sure-handed players in the league, Camarillo will always be remembered for his 64-yard game-winning score from the immortal Cleo Lemon in Miami’s lone victory of the 2007 season.

Ah, good times.  It’ll go down in Dolphins history as the team’s version of the improbable “David Tyree catch” in Super Bowl XLII.  But much like Tyree, who suffered a season-ending knee injury the following and wasn’t resigned by the New York Giants despite his heroics, Camarillo lost much of his speed after tearing his ACL in 2008 and was set to enter the 2010 season as the team’s fourth receiver, at best. 

In return, Miami will receive defensive back Benny Sapp, who’s started only 17 of 86 career games, recording 140 tackles, 4 interceptions, and six fumble recoveries.  He’s not likely to significantly help the Dolphins’ secondary, aside from adding a little depth and injury insurance while Will Allen recovers from knee surgery.  Hell, 37-year-old Warren Sapp would’ve been a more exciting pick up, but alas.

The bigger outcome, is that Patrick Turner, last year’s third-round pick, will now almost certainly make the final roster.  Turner, who was active for only two games and failed to register a catch in 2009, wasn’t a lock to make the team going into training camp.  While his size (6’5″, 220 pounds) and athleticism make him a tough cover, the former USC standout had trouble grasping the fundamentals and getting off the line of scrimmage.  Turner certainly didn’t help matters by missing time with a back injury and reportedly not exhibiting a strong work ethic or sense of urgency during training camp.  He was even listed behind undrafted rookie Marlon Moore on Miami’s initial depth chart.

But Turner has shown some notable improvement in the first two preseason games, tying  for the team-lead in catches (4) and ranking fourth in receiving yards (51) behind Anthony Fasano, Marshall, and Moore.  At this point, he’s far more likely to make the team than Moore, as well as fellow undrafted rookies Julius Pruitt (3 catches for 31 yards) and Roberto Wallace (2 catches for 14 yards), if only because the Dolphins will be more reluctant to cut ties with a former high draft pick.  Or two for that matter, with the all-but-inevitable release of 2009 second-round selection Pat White.
 
The Dolphins won’t have to wait too long to find out how much Camarillo has left in the tank – Miami will travel to Minnesota for a Week 2 match-up on September 19.

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Dolphins Toss and Turner