Dolphins news you might have missed

Oct 4, 2015; London, United Kingdom; Miami Dolphins cheerleaders perform during Game 12 of the NFL International Series against the New York Jets at Wembley Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Oct 4, 2015; London, United Kingdom; Miami Dolphins cheerleaders perform during Game 12 of the NFL International Series against the New York Jets at Wembley Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

The Miami Dolphins are playing things very safe this off-season. Almost as if they are planning for the future, finally, instead of the present.

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News from Miami has been slow the last couple of weeks. They have made a guard/depth addition to the offensive line but Mike Tannenbaum and Chris Grier are playing free agency for next years compensation picks.

Speaking with the media this week, Mike Tannenbaum told media that the team is factoring in their likely allotment of comp picks and that is why they have not yet added players after the big moves at the start of free agency. The formula for comp picks is tedious but basically it’s based on the number of unrestricted free agents lost vs. the number gained with salary factored in. The Dolphins stand to gain two comp picks in 2017 with a high potential of an extra third thanks to the deal Olivier Vernon received from the Giants.

On May 12th teams can start signing free agents that will not impact their compensation recovery. It’s a long time to wait but with the market dry at the moment there is no hurry.

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Kenny Stills

The Dolphins should get Stills more involved in the offense. With the Dolphins losing Lamar Miller and no immediate replacement in sight, the Dolphins need Stills to step into the number two receiver role opposite De’Vante Parker.

Ryan Tannehill

It’s good to see someone speaking out for Ryan Tannehill and recognizing the problems of the offensive line. The Dolphins however have not addressed the two guard positions outside of believing that Jermon Bushrod, a tackle, can convert to guard. The Dolphins signed Kraig Urbik this week but while Urbik will compete for a starting job, he is primarily considered depth at this point.

The questions surrounding Tannehill have always centered around the line play. Or rather the excuses. Tannehill can make most of the throws but still lacks pocket awareness and his footwork is horrible. Better protection can mask these issues but he still needs to get better. In 2016 Tannehill will have more freedom at the line of scrimmage to audible and make changes but will that be enough if the offensive line fails to do their job?

Mike Pouncey

Speaking of Mike Pouncey, the center finally told reporters why he missed the Pro-Bowl. Pouncey had off-season surgery on his hip but he made it clear that it would not keep him from OTA’s. Pouncey told the media that it was a simple procedure to clean up the hip and that it was nothing compared to his last surgery that forced him to miss the start of the season.

Ezekiel Elliot

Many are talking about the Dolphins drafting Elliot at 13 but the rub is that the Eagles, who desperately need a running back could take the Ohio State product with the 8th pick. They acquired the 8th selection with the trade for the Dolphins. If they do select Elliot, it’s possible that corner Vernon Hargreaves, III, could fall to the 13th. Miami was a hot mock draft slot for Hargreaves at 8 overall before the trade.

Dolphins making fans cry

In an NFL Spin Zone article, staff members talk about how the Dolphins are giving fans no hope for the future. At least not immediately. However while it’s hard to disagree with the immediate impact of this off-season as it relates to the comparison between the roster now and at the end of the season, the article really doesn’t take into account what the Dolphins might be working towards. Abandoning the spending frenzy they have displayed the last three years, the Dolphins are building a team that fits the make-up of Adam Gase.

The Dolphins have not fixed several problems but they are positioning themselves to fill holes via the draft and have jettisoned big salaries that didn’t meet the performance. Of all the players lost this off-season only Lamar Miller should have been kept at the salary he received. The Dolphins were smart to dump Vernon and while Rishard Matthews would have been a decent re-sign, his one season of solid football doesn’t necessarily warrant a big game changing player. And he is replaceable. The rest of the free agents were nothing spectacular.

Grier and Tannebaum are working together and that is important because over the last six years the Dolphins front office has been a mess and the moves the team has made were haphazard.

Stephen Ross

The Dolphins owner almost came to blows at a tax hearing in New York with other business developers. Ross was quoted as saying “This isn’t the NFL, I’m not going to be pushed around.” So does this mean that the NFL pushes him around? Or other owners? At 75, Ross apparently is just as sprite as he was when he was younger.