The Miami Dolphins have started their off-season but the start of the league new year will not happen until March 18, 2020.
With draft talk already starting, everyone is forgetting that Free Agency is the first stage of the NFL offseason. With that in mind, the Miami Dolphins are flushed with available cap space, but how will they use it?
When Chris Grier and Brian Flores started working together, their first goal was simple, let’s get rid of all bloated contracts that have hurt this team for years. By doing so, they cleared out a lot of talent from South Beach. It had to happen. There is a difference between the Miami Dolphins’ good and NFL good.
With non-playoff teams fine tunning their rosters and coaching staff, how will the Miami Dolphins attack free agency? The Dolphins currently have 114 Million dollars available to them, alongside 14 draft picks in this upcoming draft scheduled for April. Grier and Flores have both stated that they would be active in Free Agency, and have shown players around the league that they are trying to build something special.
Look, no one wants to play for a losing team with a culture that doesn’t make sense. Coach Flo has created a dynamic presence in Miami, that proved to everyone that the Dolphins were not tanking this past season and achieved five wins with a roster made out of slim pickings. This offseason Grier and Coach Flo have ammunition and capital to build something special in year two.
Now, I am going to pretend that I am Chris Grier (you can as well https://fanspeak.com/mtc/) what would be my first course of action, I would look to clear more cap space, with that in mind, I do the following:
Reshad Jones is cut – clearing 7.5MM
Chris Reed is cut – clearing 1.4MM
Kallen Ballage is cut – clearing 500K
Albert Wilson is cut – clearing 9MM
My cap space is now at 134MM.
With all that cap space, my primary goal is to fix my offensive line. My primary targets are:
- Jack Conklin – OT
- Joe Thuney – G
- Germain Ifedi – OT
On the Defensive Line, I look to bolster some veteran presence by targetting the following:
- Leonard Williams – DL
- Bud Dupree – Edge
In the secondary, I look to add some healthy competition to Xavien Howard, also keeping in mind that I am not sure how the team will handle his latest arrest, I target:
- James Bradberry- CB
With my top 6 players targetted, I offer the following contracts with a guarantee proportion of 85% salary.
Germain Ifedi (OT) accepted your 4-year offer for $9,500,000 per year
Jack Conklin (OT) accepted your 4-year offer for $9,500,000 per year
Joe Thuney (G) accepted your 4-year offer for $8,000,000 per year
Leonard Williams (DL) accepted your 3-year offer for $10,000,000 per year
Bud Dupree (EDGE) accepted your 4-year offer for $14,000,000 per year
James Bradberry (CB) accepted your 4-year offer for $9,500,000 per year
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The good news is that all my targets agreed to my contract proposals, after some negotiation tactics, but I leave free agency with everyone that I wanted.
Additionally, I can still continue shopping, as I have 95MM in cap space remaining.
I can now get into my Delorean and travel 88mph and fast forward to our NFL draft, and you can remember I posted a first-round mock where the Dolphins selected the following:
5th overall – Miami Dolphins- Jeff Okudah -CB – Ohio State
To be honest, I want the Dolphins to get AJ here, but I don’t see him getting this far down. I think if the Lions pass on him, the Giants will take him next. With that in mind, the Dolphins are excited to finally pair X. Howard with another true shutdown corner. If you watch the game against Clemson, you can see a true shut down corner. I don’t know what will happen with X. Howard based on his latest arrest, but the Dolphins will select a corner in this draft, why not select the best one
18th overall – Miami Dolphins – Isaiah Simmons – S – Clemson
Reshad Jones will be cut this offseason. He’s not worth 12million salary cap hit. Plus he is on the wrong side of 30. Simmons is one of my favorite players in this upcoming draft. He could easily have an amazing combine and sneak up to a top 10 selection. For now, I’ll leave the Dolphins taking Simmons at 18 and hope Grier runs to the podium if this happens.
25th overall – Miami Dolphins – Tyler Biadasz- OL – Wisconsin
This pick was originally Alex Leatherwood but after the mock was completed he announced he would be returning to Alabama. Miami still needs offensive line help and Biadasz is a versatile player that plays strong at the point of contact.
This comes with the special caveat that no trades were introduced or conducted, in the above mock. The biggest question remaining is who will start at the quarterback position. To be honest, that player is already on the Dolphins roster, Ryan Fitzpatrick. I am not advocating that the Dolphins sign Fitzpatrick to a contract extension, but he is a great short term solution until the 2021 draft, where Trevor Lawerence should be the Dolphins primary target.
Yes, I know with the Dolphins building their trenches this offseason, they will not be selecting 1st overall in the 2021 draft, however, the Dolphins already have two 1st round picks in 2021, with an opportunity to obtain more. If there was a prospect to mortgage draft picks against, I believe Trevor Lawerence is worth it.
The Dolphins need to be able to present a quarterback an opportunity to succeed. Add in the fact, the Miami is in a rebuild. This goal is to build for a future of championship pedigree, not fix it all with free agency and a solid draft class (a la Adam Gase). The main problem that has haunted the Miami Dolphins is their inability to build a solid line, on both sides of the field. If Grier and Coach Flo have a starting lines line that looks like this:
Jack Conklin LT, Joe Thuney G, Tyler Biadasz C, Jess Davis/Mike Dieter G, Germain Ifedi RT
Bud Dupree, Leonard Williams, Christian Wilkins, Davon Godchaux, Charles Harris/Taco Charlton/2nd round pick
On paper that looks exciting, and building inside out is the perfect way to build something special.