Miami Dolphins fans have been accustomed to some dramatic offseason changes. Whether it be a new coach or luring in free agents, but this upcoming offseason the bold offseason move for the Miami Dolphins would be to do nothing.
Let me first start off by saying that I think Deshaun Watson is awesome. He’s a great young franchise player, but the juice is not worth the squeeze in trying to obtain a player of his stature. Rumors are circulating that to obtain Deshaun will cost the Dolphins at least three first-round picks and valued assets going back. That doesn’t make sense, as you have to remember the salary cap ramifications with Watson’s contract. Watson’s contract is team-friendly this upcoming season at 10MM hit. But starting in 2022, that rises to 35MM and a dead cap hit of 50MM and that type of allocation doesn’t stop for the next five years.
Obtaining a cap hit of that ramification alongside trading away franchise assets, especially team-friendly first-round draft picks, presents solid evidence that the Dolphins should stay away from this trade with respect to draft pick compensation. If a player for player swap could be made that is a story for another day.
Similar to the trade market, the Dolphins would be wise to stay the course in Free Agency. As a Dolphin fan, we have seen former regimens treat their salary cap with little to no respect. In a weird way, I still feel we are paying for the Ndamukong Suh contract.
If it wasn’t Suh, it was shelving 60MM to Mike Wallace to stretch the field. Or 40MM each to a pair of linebackers that couldn’t cover (Wheeler and Ellerbe), or Alan Branch and Kiko Alsono contracts that were so heavily loaded it made cutting them more difficult than actually having them on the team. The list can go on for days, bottom line, protect the cap with contracts that make sense for the team now and in the future.
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I have to applaud what Chris Grier has accomplished the last offseason, as the Dolphins signed Byron Jones and Kyle Van Noy to contracts that are team-friendly. That approach has to cascade into this year’s 2021 free-agent acquisitions. The Dolphins would be wise to stay away from those high profile players and look to continue their build with players that fit into their system. The Dolphins would need to look to add veteran presence on their Defensive Line to team up with Raekwon Davis and Christian Wilkins, a Free Safety that can make game-changing plays and additions on the offensive line and wide receivers.
With free agency and trade market controlled, the draft is next, where the sentiment should be to play the board. The Dolphins have the luxury of drafting 3rd overall and that is music to every Dolphins fan’s ears. Barring a setback, it seems that Trevor Lawerence will go first overall. With the Jets signing a defensive-minded coach, I’m not sure what direction they will go. They might select a quarterback or the best defensive player on the board. That would leave the Dolphins in an ideal position as they have the opportunity to select Devonta Smith. Pairing Smith again with his college quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is exactly what we need to do to build confidence and familiarity with the Dolphin’s young and promising quarterback.
But, don’t stop there. Use the 18th overall selection and bring in another former teammate, Najee Harris to solve the problem with the Dolphin’s running game. Familiarity and alignment will definitely make Tua more comfortable leading his team and understanding what they can do.
Listen, 2020 was a different type of year, especially for new rookies. It created an offseason of no training camps or organized team activities. It made it hard for all teams to build chemistry with their players and develop that timing. With a full offseason and a solid conditioning program for the Dolphins, it will continue to build the mantra that Coach Flores has implemented.
It’s not exciting and won’t cause much media hype, but the bold offseason strategy for the Miami Dolphins is to stay the course.