Miami Dolphins tight-end situation as 2018 league new year approaches
By Brian Miller
When looking at the Miami Dolphins offense there are two things that stand out as 100% needing fixed. The guard positions and the tight-end spot.
For the last several years the Miami Dolphins have tried unsuccessfully to find the right tight-end for their offense. They have drafted guys like Charles Clay and John Nalbone and Michael Egnew and Dion Sims. They signed Jordan Cameron and Dustin Keller and Anthony Fasano and Julius Thomas. The common denominator? They all failed.
Miami’s attempt at finding tight-ends simply hasn’t worked out for the team and now they face yet another off-season with uncertainty at the position. In 2017 many believed that MarQuise Gray would see more playing time. The Dolphins seem to make a commitment to him but it was the trade for A.J. Derby that brought in a potential future TE for the roster.
As 2018 approaches the Dolphins will almost certainly part ways with Julius Thomas who was a major bust for the Dolphins in 2017. They will save $6.6 million in cap space when he is released. Behind him, nothing really stands out.
The two best projects are Derby and Gray but Miami still lacks a starter for the 2018 season unless one of those two suddenly develop over the course of the next two months. The lack of depth at the position and the lack of starting quality is starting to churn the rumor mill where already Seattle TE Jimmy Graham has been mentioned.
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Miami of course could also turn to the draft as well and many point to players in the 4th round range as potentials but even if the Dolphins draft a mid-round talent they still lack a day one starter and that turns everything back to free agency.
It has to drive Adam Gase crazy to know that he lacks a top tight-end. He had Thomas in his prime in Denver and in Chicago had Bennett. His offense needs a quality tight-end so it is easy to imagine this as a top priority this off-season. Maybe not the top but it should be a concern.
Behind Derby and Gray are Thomas Duarte and Anthony Fasano. Fasano could be back on a one year deal to help provide blocking but Fasano only has a year maybe two at the most left in his career.