DAVIE, Fla. (AP) -It's easy to break down the Miami Dolphins' investment in receiver Ernest Wilford.
So far he's costing them $6 million per catch.
Wilford joined Miami in February after four years with the Jacksonville Jaguars. He signed a four-year deal for $6 million guaranteed and was expected to upgrade a receiving corps considered perhaps the team's biggest weakness.
But Wilford has only one reception for 15 yards, and he hasn't even been active the past two games.
``It's a matter of time before I step out on the football field,'' he said Thursday. ``Everybody goes through growing pains. It's a phase where I wasn't catching the ball well, and now I'm back to my normal self.''
games and combined for one touchdown.
Receivers Davone Bess and Brandon London have made significant contributions on special teams, giving them an edge on the 6-foot-4 Wilford regarding which reserves to activate.
``Ernest is not going to run down the field on the kickoff team with his size,'' coach Tony Sparano said. ``There are other guys we think can do that a little bit better.''
Wilford's size is one reason the Dolphins wanted him as a receiver. In four seasons with Jacksonville, he totaled 141 receptions, 14.1 yards per catch and scored 14 touchdowns. He had a career-high 45 catches last year.
``That football player is still here,'' Wilford said. ``I'm here to help this team win. I'm still excited about being here. I'm still hungry. I still want to be the playmaker they want me to be.''
Wilford's inactivity would suggest his stock is slipping, but Sparano praised his attitude and progress.
``Ernest is getting better and better,'' Sparano said. ``The guy is a tremendous professional. He has the right attitude. He works hard. He tries to get better. He works on his hands. He works on his route running. He does the best he can do every day.''

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