The Miami Dolphins are expected to be a completely different team on offense and the running back units bar is being set very high.
With free agency less than a month away, Mike McDaniel and Chris Grier have to be studying hard the RBs who might become available when that market opens. In addition, McDaniel needs to make sure that his own current roster is looked at carefully and then, if changes need to be made, he will have convince Grier to move on.
Miami has four running backs set to hit the open market. Phillip Lindsay, Duke Johnson, Salvon Ahmed, and Malcolm Brown.
Of those players, non are guaranteed to be back. We have looked at whether or not any of them should be back. You can read that here.
McDaniel is a running coach and that means that the Dolphins are going to see a different approach to their game days and that should mean we see new faces in the locker room.
Current roster under contract for 2022: FB – John Lovett (recently signed), Gerrid Doaks, Myles Gaskin, Patrick Laird.
Myles Gaskin may or may not fit into the scheme that Miami will run. It will be interesting to see what McDaniel thinks of him in his system. Releasing him would save over $2 million in cap space with only $21K in dead money.
Melvin Gordon tops the FA list but he has struggled with injuries and will likely seek a big contract. When healthy, Gordon is a solid runner but he isn’t a featured running back anymore due to the injury issues.
Leonard Fournett found a new life in Tampa Bay after spending the first part of his career in Jacksonville. He won’t be cheap but he does seem to love Florida so he may be interested in moving further south. He still has a lot of playing time left and could fit in with McDaniel.
Cordarrelle Patterson has never lit up the NFL but he is multitalented and can potentially play a role similar as the one Deebo Samuel played in San Francisco. The downside? He is over 30 years old so longevity is a reasonable question to consider.
Ronald Jones, II was the featured back in Tampa Bay but lost his job to Fournette and to injury. He won’t be a featured back at his next stop but at 24 years of age, he could see his career swing upwards in a new system and that could lead to more touches.
James Conner is 26 years old and was on fire in Pittsburgh. Then injuries took a toll and he was off to free agency where the Cardinals brought him in. He ran for over 700 yards last season in 15 games. While there are health concerns, he could make for a good change of pace back in a muli-back style.
Matt Breida spent last season with the Bills after a season with the Dolphins. Miami traded for the running back during the draft two years ago. Could he return? That will depend on McDaniel who knows Breida well having coached him in San Francisco but he wouldn’t be the featured back here in a second stint.
Other names to keep an eye on.
Boston Scott – Philadelphia – 26 years old
Chase Edmonds – Arizona – 25 years old
The Dolphins could look to make a trade for a running back. Several teams have runners who may not be in their long term plans. Trading for a top back will be both financially and compensatory expensive which may not make a lot of sense.
Honestly, this is a position that Miami should target a couple of players and then work towards drafting a top running back. To think they could have had Jonathan Taylor over Noah Igbinoghene is still mind-blowing.
The best trade option, however, might be with the Jaguars. The Jaguars didn’t want to trade James Robinson last year but he may end up on the block with a new HC and Travis Entienne returning from injury.