Per the Springfield News Sun's Carlos Holmes, Reggie Nelson may be pursued by the Houston Texans and Miami Dolphins. The report is only speculation at this point, but may carry some validity considering the shrinking safety market (the Tennessee Titans placed their franchise tag on Michael Griffin this morning) and Nelson's availability. Of those two teams, the Miami Dolphins should be the front runner for Nelson.
The Dolphins ranked as the 25th best pass defense in the NFL last season, and Nelson--the third best free agent safety according to Pro Football Focus--would likely be the opening day starter. But the main asset Miami has to lure Nelson is something the Dolphins also took from Cincinnati this offseason: Kevin Coyle.
Reggie Nelson's value has been hotly debated this offseason with mixed opinions on whether he is worth Cincinnati's franchise tag or if fans want him back in Cincinnati at all. However, his significant improvment as a player since arriving in Cincinnati is undeniable. Should he leave, Miami makes the most sense. The Miami Herald's Armando Salguero outlines the ties Reggie Nelson has to the Miami Dolphins.
The former first-round pick of the Jacksonville Jaguars was something of a disappointment early on but he found his way to the Cincinnati Bengals in 2010 prospered under secondary coach Kevin Coyle...
Well, Coyle is Miami's defensive coordinator now. See a connection building?
And Nelson, from Palm Bay High school, is a Florida native. More connecting.
And the Dolphins have been searching for an upgrade at free safety. More connecting.
And the Bengals had the chance to franchise Nelson but decided instead to put the tag on kicker MIke Nugent.
The "connections" Salguero explains are convincing, and it should not be much of a surprise if Nelson chooses to play in Miami in 2012. Already needing serious secondary help, should the Bengals make resigning Nelson a top priority? Or does the lack of franchise tag signify Cincinnati's readiness to move in a different direction? Only time will tell.
What do you think?