Dolphins needed Timmons more than they needed to punish him

The Miami Dolphins desperately need a linebacker. Lawrence Timmons is a linebacker with a Super Bowl ring from his Pittsburgh days and a couple of sacks of Matt Moore in last January’s playoff game. All is forgiven.

It’s really that simple. Whether we ever get the details on Timmons’ decision to flake out on the Dolphins on the night before their Sept. 17 game at Los Angeles is immaterial. NFL teams need guys built for the NFL and will accommodate them no matter what.

Miami Dolphins linebacker Lawrence Timmons (94) on the sidelines at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens, Florida on August 17, 2017. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

Thus an indefinite suspension is ended without explanation, and a definitely improved defensive unit boards the plane for London and Sunday’s game against the New Orleans Saints.

Don’t have to go far to find other examples.

Look to T.J. McDonald. The Dolphins signed him in March with full knowledge that the veteran safety is suspended for the first eight games of the season for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. Then, when McDonald looked pretty good in practice, the team gave him a newer, better deal. Four years at $24 million, with $10 million guaranteed.

All of that for a guy who has not played one snap for Miami, and who won’t be able to play until the season is half shot. The Dolphins need help in the secondary. McDonald is good enough to have started 53 games for the Rams, with plenty of big hits on his resume. All is forgiven, and on top of that greatness is forecast.

Then there is Ndamukong Suh. In 2015 the Dolphins signed him to what was the biggest contract ever for a defensive player. They did it even though Suh had already racked up more than $250,000 in fines for player-safety violations during his time in Detroit. Dirty play is the simpler way to say it, like stomping on a player while he’s on the ground.

There’s nothing special about Lawrence Timmons or the way the Dolphins are reacting.

Bottom line, a couple of games is as long as the Dolphins believed they could do without him.

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