Porter’s piehole has finally overcome his production
As folks around the league try to make sense of the sudden decision from Dolphins coach Tony Sparano to deactivate linebacker Joey Porter, the theory that makes the most sense is that the team was willing to tolerate his propensity for popping off only when he was producing at a high level.
The thinking in some circles is that Porter’s misguided decision to stir up the Patriots (quarterback Tom Brady has said that the veteran defender’s verbal ramblings added extra motivation in their Week Nine game) was the last straw, and that Porter will remain on ice unless and until the rotation of Jason Taylor, Matt Roth, and Cameron Wake doesn’t work.
As one league source pointed out, the end of the road could have come sooner for Porter. Last year, the Redskins swooped in and offered a second-round draft pick for Taylor after undergoing a rash of injuries at defensive end in the early days of training camp. If the Dolphins hadn’t gotten a strong offer for Taylor, Porter could have been the odd man out in 2008.
The deeper issue is that the Bill Parcells/Tony Sparano approach frowns on players who like to stand out from the pack. Indeed, veteran kicker Jay Feely was jettisoned before last season in favor of a rookie -- and many believed at the time that the move resulted from Feely’s reluctance to be seen and not heard.
Porter’s DNA compels him to be heard. Parcells and Sparano were willing to deal with it as long as Porter played at a high level. Now that he’s declining, they simply won’t put up with it.