It’s that time of year when the Miami Dolphins start making tough decisions or at least start having serious discussions about future players. And the time of year where we explore some of those possibilities.
Of the players currently on the roster there are plenty who will be back next season. The Dolphins are a young team whose players are only now starting to grow and develop under the coaching of Adam Gase and his staff. But the future will not include all of them.
The process for the Dolphins now is simple. They will meet. Mike Tannenbaum, Chris Grier the teams general manager, and head coach Adam Gase along with several coaches and scouts. They will review film from the season and identify specific areas of need that they will target in March and in April’s draft.
During this process they will also discuss players that will not be either re-signed or will be outright released. Those players will create the holes at several positions that the Dolphins will need to fill.
Here is a look at the top five positions needing to be addressed this off-season and why the others can wait.
It’s a broad stroke to say the offensive line but Miami has some decisions to make. For example where to play Mike Pouncey? Center or move him to guard. Is Branden Albert coming back and is Laremy Tunsil ready to start at left tackle? Can Albert move to right tackle?
Jermon Bushrod is a free agent and he played well at right guard but is a starter or is he more of a back-up? Can Ja’Wuan James start producing at a higher level than what he has been giving the Dolphins?
All of those questions basically lead to two answers. Find a road grader at guard and/or consider looking for a new starting center. Most of Miami’s woes on offense came as injuries unfolded along the offensive line. With Pouncey out the running game became stale. James did not provide enough support on the right side so should the Dolphins look for a replacement? Depth is also and issue as well.
When free agency begins, there will be a lot of talk about this unit and what the Dolphins plan to do. Who they sign and don’t may also lend some thoughts into their plans.