The Miami Dolphins are a mess on both sides of the ball but there are only two people to blame for what we are seeing on the field and they need to take responsibility.
Two off-seasons ago the Miami Dolphins began an unprecedented rebuild. They gutted the roster, rid themselves of bad contracts and bad players. They set out to change the culture and to turn the Dolphins into a perennial playoff team. That was two seasons ago and it is clear that they have failed.
We can point to Stephen Ross and blame him. He hired Chris Grier and he hired Brian Flores but let’s be clear, that wasn’t the mistake that doomed this team. Grier and Flores failed to rebuild the roster and they failed to get the right players in place to win.
We can debate who calls the personnel shots in Miami. Is it Flores who is making the draft decisions with Grier’s blessings? Is Grier giving Flores more say than he should? Is Grier making all the decisions? We don’t know and no one cares. This is what we do know.
Grier traded away Pro Bowl left tackle Laremy Tunsil for a bevy of draft picks and practically wasted all of them. He signed Kyle Van Noy to a big contract and then released him a year later because he no longer valued Van Noy at that price. He traded for Bernardrick McKinney then reworked his contract and then cut him.
He signed D.J. Fluker, Jermaine Eluemunor, and Matt Skura. None of them made the final 53 and only Skura lasted to the final cuts. Two of them are producing as starters on other teams.
That’s bad enough but how about the money given to Jerome Baker? The restructured deal with more money for Xavien Howard? The huge contract that started the Howard issue that was given to Byron Jones? How about the massive deal for Jason Sanders?
Of course, there is also Noah Igbinoghene, Austin Jackson, and Solomon Kindley. The jury is still out on Jevon Holland, Jaelan Phillips, Robert Hunt, and even Tua Tagovailoa.
We also can’t dismiss the trades that Grier made during the draft this past season. Holding the third overall pick, Grier moved down to 13 and added more first round picks and that’s great but he gave up one of those firsts to move up to six to take Jaylen Waddle. Waddle looks to be a good pick but consider this. Miami traded their own first round pick to the Eagles in 2022. A pick that looks to be a top five pick. Is Waddle worth that?
The Dolphins need to figure this all out. Flores is on a five-year deal and said a couple of weeks ago that the team is no longer in rebuild mode but if that is the case, they are just really bad and honestly, they look like a team that is still in rebuild mode. The bad part of it all? They very well may have to make big moves next year which will, in effect, be a rebuild. Again.