Miami Dolphins: Tua still the target?
At the start of the season it seemed that the vast majority of experts believed the Miami Dolphins were going all out to win as few games as possible. They seemed to have reduced the talent on the roster either by cuts or trades, and were focusing on getting draft picks for future years. Fast forward to the end of the season and although the Dolphins only won five games it’s difficult to say the season was a disaster.
The franchise used more players than any other team in the NFL but towards the end of the season got results, and it could be argued they were the first domino to fall in the eventual crowning of the Chiefs as Super Bowl champions. With multiple draft picks, lots of cap space and a head coach who showed a lot of promise things are looking brighter on Miami Beach.
General Manager: Chris grier
Head Coach: Brain Flores
Although it eventually transpired that Brian Flores didn’t get any votes, there were a lot of calls for Flores to get Coach of the Year recognition this season. This may sound bizarre given the 5-11 record, but given the situation Flores was put in it is completely understandable. They had a QB controversy, they traded Minkah Fitzpatrick, Kenny Still and Laremy Tunsil, lost their offensive assistant before the season started, and still managed to hold it together and be uber-competitive right until the last second of the last game. Flores’ stock is definitely on the up, and if he gets a team with more talent than this season, maybe the Dolphins can be a dark horse in 2020.
Cap Space $100.4 million
Given the ‘organic tank’ the Dolphins have embarked upon they have a boat load of free agent cash to play with. Under previous regimes the Dolphins have made big splashes in Free Agency who have had limited or no impact on the season. Chris Grier and Flores must not simply splurge for the sake of it, but to continue to obtain talent all over the roster to try and slowly build a franchise that can compete.
Impending Free Agents
Due to the Massive purge during the season there are not a ton of valuable unrestricted free agents on the roster. I would expect them to try and hold onto Offensive Lineman Evan Boehm and Linebacker Vince Biegel. Both were acquired during all the sales last season and although I don’t think either are All-Pro’s, both are solid players to have during the rebuild.
I would expect the Dolphins to move on from Left Tackle J’Marcus Webb, especially given the cap space they have. This cap space should mean they can do better than Webb and with the possibility of a new QB coming in the draft they will need to.
Major Need: Quarterback
At the beginning of the 2019 season people were convinced that the Dolphins were trying to get the number 1 pick in 2020, in order to draft Tua Tagovailoa. The season didn’t pan out the way the Dolphins or Tua intended, but there is still a situation where the Dolphins draft him with the fifth pick. I think it is tough not to love Ryan Fitzpatrick, and what he does, but it is obvious that he is a stop gap until a Franchise QB arrives. The injury question looms large around Tua but I expect the Dolphins to complete some heavy due diligence, and if they do not like what they see and hear don’t be surprised if the Oregon QB Justin Herbert is drafted by the Fins.
Major Need: Offensive Line
Of course the QB will get the headlines but the Dolphins are desperate to improve the talent on the O Line. Last season they tied for worst in the league with 58 sacks, and if they are looking to draft a franchise QB high then expect major moves on the offensive line. I believe at least one of the first round picks goes on a Tackle and I believe they make a run at Washington Guard Brandon Scherff and Titans tackle Jack Conklin.
A former UKEndzone writer, Paul has been dragged out of an enforced retirement to give his thoughts on the NFL and anything else he can slide past the editorial team.
Paul is most famous (infamous?) as Mainz one half of Waxing Lyrical. alongside his Partner in Crime Neil ‘Dutts’ Dutton.
Find him @Mainzey7 where all manner of sports are on the menu.