If that doesnt happen, I would be disappointed, he said. I have a sense of pride in the body of work that Ive done here. I still want the Dolphins to want me to stay here. If they didnt, Id be like, What did I do wrong?
Hartline hasnt done anything wrong, but sometimes other teams place a higher value on a free agent than his original team. Maybe the Dolphins will expect a hometown discount from their player.
I dont know about that, Hartline said. I would say they did get a hometown discount when they got a starter for three years and paid the minimum for three years. Thats how Id approach it.
My hope is the Dolphins keep Hartline and add perhaps a Mike Wallace or Greg Jennings, and suddenly the three-wide set is Wallace, Hartline and Davone Bess or Jennings, Hartline and Bess.
Id be thrilled if the team could add both Wallace and Jennings, and keep Hartline as the No. 3. Suddenly, and for the first time in decades, the Dolphins could put three excellent, experienced receivers on the field at the same time, as they did when Nat Moore, Mark Clayton and Mark Duper played.
Anytime you can add more playmakers to a situation, do it. You need it because youre going to have injuries, Hartline said, showing enthusiasm for the idea.
The NFL isnt about the ground-and-pound running game anymore. Its about throwing the ball.
Free agency can be treacherous territory for teams overpaying players who suddenly feel comfortable with their money. The Dolphins should know that would not be the case with Hartline.
Thats impossible for me. I dont operate that way, he said. There are certain people that reach certain goals throughout the year and take the foot off the gas. I honestly have no idea how to do that. You see it with some guys. You see them lying on the ground a little longer than they used to. Im just not wired that way.
Hartline believes if the Dolphins sign him to a new deal and give him the same opportunities next season, hell deliver.
I went for 1,000 yards. And people ask, Can he do it again? Hartline said. Sure. I can do it again. If I get those opportunities, Ill do it again. I will make the plays.
Theres no reason to doubt that, and its a certainty some team either the Dolphins or someone else will feel that way, too. Until then, Hartline can enjoy the fact he did his part in 2012.
I have a peace now because I know I did everything I possibly could to put my best foot forward to try to impress the Dolphins and help me stay here, he said.
The rest is out of my hands. Theres nothing more I can do.