As the Miami Dolphins work on their offseason preparation and look at not only the draft but the pending free agents to see whom they should bring in to help build on the improvements made this past season.
The Dolphins are doing their due diligence on the upcoming draft however the other side of that is free agency. Who are some of the free-agent targets the team should pursue on offense
Quarterback – The Dolphins have said and shown that Tua Tagovailoa is the quarterback for the team moving forward. But the backup position is a question mark. Is there a veteran player to help further Tagovailoa’s development?
Ryan Fitzpatrick is slated to be a free agent and at 39 years of age, the main question would be if he wanted to still play. Looking at his face during the season, those smiles would indicate yes. Some of us could even draw comparisons to Don Strock’s role with the Dolphins during the early years of Marino’s career. Other names poised to be free-agents include Mitch Trubisky, Jacoby Brissett, Cam Newton, Jameis Winston, and Andy Dalton.
Crystal Ball – Re-signing Fitzpatrick makes the most sense. He already has a rapport with the Tagovailoa and the offense. Also, being in a traditional offseason program (hopefully) will give some more learning opportunities for the young signal-caller for the Dolphins. Also, with the turnover on the coaching side (Offensive coordinator as well as position coach) continuity and a familiar person would definitely help.
Wide Receiver – There are quite a number of decisions for the receivers coming up. DeVante Parker has upped his game. Preston Williams has shown signs however injury concerns are present. Albert Wilson and Allen Hurns opted out of the 2020 season and could be cap casualties to maximize salary cap space.
Jakeem Grant could see more involvement in the passing game however Lynn Bowden and Malcolm Perry both saw involvement in the passing game as well. The draft will provide some help to address someone to play opposite of Parker as well as solidifying the slot position.
Notable names include Allen Robinson, Corey Davis, Sammy Watkins, JuJu Smith-Schuster, and Nelson Agholor.
The Miami Dolphins need to address this position in free agency or the draft.
Crystal Ball – Hurns and Wilson as mentioned could see themselves as the cap casualties, they could also see themselves traded to another team as well. The thought of the listed receivers, however, Corey Davis has been showing improvement and is coming off a career year. He is the second youngest (Smith-Schuster) and could certainly be signed to a contract that would be more team-friendly compared to Robinson.
Watkins has shown flashes with the Chiefs as well as the Bills during his career, with all the weapons on the Chiefs could he seek a team that could give him more chances to get the ball and make plays? In conclusion, going after Corey Davis would be a much more team-friendly first choice.
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Offensive line – The offensive line certainly improved in a number of ways from 2019 to 2020. However, the one way that needs to show more consistency, is run-blocking. The Dolphins need to establish some way to get a running game going. That process begins in the trenches with the line. At center, Ted Karras is a free agent for the Dolphins.
Julie’n Davenport is also a free-agent at the tackle position for the team. They still have players along the line that will continue to grow and develop including Austin Jackson, Robert Hunt, and Solomon Kindley. Notable free-agents include tackle Cameron Erving, and guards Brandon Scherff, Joe Thuney, and Jon Feliciano.
Crystal Ball – Keeping a young quarterback with the same center would make it seem that Karras should be a target to resign. Other targets like Cameron Erving and Jon Feliciano should be looked at in order to help the Dolphins continued improvement along the offensive line. As both Erving and Feliciano could be valuable additions to the goal of improvement as well as help provide the veteran leadership to guide the development of the young offensive line additions the Dolphins have made over the course of Brian Flores’ tenure.