Originally posted on NESN.com  |  Last updated 3/18/13
Buyer beware. That’s usually sound advice for shoppers looking to make a major purchase. But not the Miami Dolphins. As the free-agent flood gates broke open last week, the Dolphins quickly jumped aboard their life raft and began paddling upstream with a plan in place and stacks of cash to spend. First came the big catch, handing over five years and $60 million to Mike Wallace. After reeling him in, they turned their attention to some of the smaller pieces on the market, locking up linebackers Dannell Ellerbe for five years and $35 million and Phillip Wheeler for five years and $26 million. That’s a total of $125 million over the next five years and more than $56 million in guarantees — holy overpaying, Batman. Reeling in such big fish definitely stirred up some intrigue in Miami, but are they the trophy fish? The Dolphins have been the Patriots’ AFC East doormat for over a decade now, with the exception of the Tom Brady-less 2008 season.  They’ve made the playoffs just once since the Patriots won their first Super Bowl in 2002, and while progress is being made they don’t seem like imminent threats anytime soon either. Sure, they have a budding young quarterback in Ryan Tannehill. Daniel Thomas and Lamar Miller offer them a promising pair of young running backs and Cameron Wake frustrates opposing quarterbacks on the regular to lead the defense. Now, pairing Wallace with a newly re-signed Brian Hartline and adding two linebackers to that defense only makes them more dangerous. But enough to compete with the Patriots? Not quite. New England has won 22 more games than the Dolphins over the past four seasons (MIA: 27-37, NE: 49-15) and claimed the AFC East title in each year. They still boast arguably the best coach in the NFL in Bill Belichick as well as one of, if not the, best quarterback in the game today. Not to mention, those three Super Bowl rings — even if the last one came nine years ago. The Dolphins aren’t the only ones paying out, either. The Patriots are spending, too. Maybe it’s not quite as much as the Dolphins, but laying out some cash for impact players like Danny Amendola, Aqib Talib and Adrian Wilson is nothing to scoff at. New England has been atop the division for over a decade now for a reason, and a few big free-agent splashes won’t be enough to change that fact. The big spenders in free agency usually aren’t the ones who win big during the season anyhow. The Philadelphia Eagles supposed “dream team” flopped horribly in 2011, and the Bills, Buccaneers and Chargers all spent big last offseason yet none of them made the playoffs. So, don’t correlate the Dolphins big spending to big success just yet. There is no denying that the Dolphins have a better roster now than they did at this time last year. A 7-9 campaign in 2012 should only add to the optimism. But games are not won on the market in March. Belichick knows that, as do Jeff Ireland and Joe Philbin. The Dolphins have put their money where their mouth is. You’ve got to respect that. Now, they need to prove their more than a group of money bagging blowhards. Yes, the Dolphins are building something in Miami. They’re just not on the same level with the Patriots yet. Have a question for Luke Hughes? Send it to him via Twitter at @LukeFHughes or send it here.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

WATCH: Bubba Watson's caddie owns heckler at PGA Championship

NFL denies sending Donald Trump letter about schedule

Michael Bennett calls out NFL stars for not speaking up on social matters

Nationals make astute move in acquiring Melancon

Son of former NFL player Antonio Armstrong charged with death of parents

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

U.S. Senator “appalled” by Bettman’s stance on concussions

Team USA’s Opening Ceremony uniforms look a little treasonous

Lawyer who reps concussion lawsuit wants to speak with Bettman

Tyler Eifert says he will never play in the Pro Bowl again

Australian athletes evacuate the Olympic village after fire

Russian weightlifting team banned from Rio

Texans GM 'disappointed' in DeAndre Hopkins

Can Andre Johnson end his regression in Tennessee?

Favre opens up about painkiller addiction during career

Miami women’s basketball coach criticizes Texas A&M following slideshow

Twin Cities preparing for influx of sex trafficking during Super Bowl LII

WATCH: Bautista bat flip will be available as NHL 17 celebration

Former USMNT, current MLS forward Davies battled cancer, in remission

The definitive guide to U.S. Men's Basketball at Rio 2016

Tony Romo training camp picture leads to fat jokes, concern

Matt Cullen’s family eats cereal out of the Stanley Cup

Texas A&M suspends coaches for sexist slideshow

10 most dangerous college football defenders in 2016

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Dr. Phil calls out the Patriots for their cheating ways

Everything that's already gone wrong at the Rio Olympics

Amar'e Stoudemire's presence (and absence) changed the NBA

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker