If you could pick a fan reaction to any Miami Dolphins disastrous draft choice and have it embody what the ensuing season looks like, there’s a great chance that the 2007 selection of WR Ted Ginn Jr. with a top-10 overall pick would be a the choice. Because that season, 2007, brought about just one win for the Miami Dolphins, an overtime victory against the Baltimore Ravens in December. The team’s first-year head coach, Cam Cameron, ran the team into the ground and bottomed out at 1-15. He was fired following the season. And if you were to rewind back to that April when the Dolphins chose Ginn with a top-10 overall pick, there were plenty of clues that this regime was going to be in over it’s head.
Cameron notoriously referred to the selection of Ginn as adding not just the player on the field but he and his family to the organization — spurring jokes about which family members would be playing which positions on Sundays. And to top it all off, Cameron tried to ease the restlessness of the Dolphins fan draft party by telling them that they’d be “thrilled” every time they watch Ginn as a punt returner — as if the offensive side of the ball and receiving role would be secondary and the team just drafted a punt returner in the top-10.
Technically they did.
But quietly, Ted Ginn Jr.’s career continued well beyond the three years he spent in Miami. There were three in Carolina. Three in New Orleans. Three in San Francisco — and lo and behold, Miami’s notorious draft choice has played 14 years in the NFL and laced up his pads for 193 career games.
He will suit up no longer. Ginn announced his retirement from the NFL after 14 seasons yesterday; bringing his career to a close with 6,228 career yards from scrimmage (rushing and receiving), 15,749 all-purpose yards (yards from scrimmage plus return yardage) and 42 career touchdowns.
Not bad for a pick that got boo’d out of the building back in 2007. Now, granted, Miami hardly got the most out of Ginn and despite playing more games for Miami (48) than any other team, the Dolphins got just 10 total touchdowns from Ginn in three seasons. He scored 10 in 2015 with the Panthers across 15 games.
In all, it is hard to call the choice of any player who lasts 14 years in the “Not For Long” league as a bad one. Bad value? Absolutely. Even worse process? For sure. But Ginn’s NFL career, even with the unrealistic expectations set by becoming a top-10 overall punt returner, should be considered a successful one. Congratulations to him for it and may he find equal success in his next chapter off the gridiron.