The Miami Dolphins 2016 season is far from over even at 1-3 but it does appear that Miami’s best chances for a total recovery could come in the form of a rebuild.
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It’s a word that no team in the NFL will use. “Rebuild”. Such a word tells fans right from the start, we are not going to win much this year. For the Miami Dolphins, a rebuild would not take place in 2016. It’s too late for that. No, it would mean that 2017 would be a wash as well.
Are fans ready for a no-hope season? Maybe. And now might be the time.
For the most part, the players, the media, the team, everyone seems to love Adam Gase but Gase isn’t set up for winning right now and the players on his roster are not going to get him there.
To rebuild you must do a couple of things. You need to draft well and you need to cut dead weight. For the Dolphins there is plenty of dead weight to cut but their draft history is not very good. Both create a problem.
Players like Mario Williams, Byron Maxwell, and Jordan Cameron are becoming the no-brainers for the 2017 off-season but Miami needs to do more than release a few underperforming overpaid veterans. They need to make tough decisions with some of their better players. Which sadly doesn’t mean much on a 1-3 team.
Koa Misi, Ja’Wuan James, Branden Albert, Cameron Wake, Jay Ajayi, Michael Thomas, Jelani Jenkins are all players that Miami needs to look hard at this off-season. There are more than a few more than can be added to the mix.
Miami’s biggest issue is that they haven’t drafted to fill their holes. This is problematic because it creates depth problems and doesn’t give the team key players to build around. The Dolphins however have two players to build upon from this years draft. Xavien Howard at cornerback and Laremy Tunsil on the offensive line.
Howard has played better than expected after missing most of training camp and the pre-season and should get better. Tunsil is the teams left tackle of the future. Miami really doesn’t have any other players at this point that are assured of being on the roster in the next three years.
While Jarvis Landry is probably the biggest fan favorite on the team, his contract will be up in two seasons and it’s going to be costly. De’Vante Parker has the first round talent and draft grade but thus far has battled too many injuries to think he is a long term solution at WR.
Then there is the quarterback. If the Dolphins lose to Tennessee at home next Sunday, Miami should seriously consider activating Brandon Doughty and letting him become the teams 2nd quarterback. The Dolphins are not going to bench Ryan Tannehill even in an effort to evaluate others but Doughty needs to start learning the game on Sundays and having him on the sideline will help that.
At some point if the Dolphins continue to lose they need to start the evaluation process of every player on the roster. Those players will need increased playing time, like Tony Lippett over Byron Maxwell. More of this is going to be needed if Adam Gase is going to have a good idea of who can learn to play at this level.
Afterall, Adam Gase’s team is mostly composed of Jeff Ireland or Joe Philbin remnants.
2016 won’t be a rebuild but it could stand as a solid evaluation season if the losing continues. It’s not too early for that and it’s something that Gase and his staff shouldn’t shy away from. Miami’s best option right now, is to rebuild the franchise using what few cornerstone pieces they have to build around.