The Miami Dolphins need a serious upgrade along the offensive line and reports suggest they could be interested in two potential free agents this off-season.
With a new head coach taking the reins in 2022, the Miami Dolphins need to make changes to help the new era get off to a positive start, but one of those changes has been an issue for many years and would’ve needed to be addressed regardless of the regime change.
While the Dolphins have enjoyed some stellar showings from their defense over the past couple of years, it has been on the offensive side of the ball that something has been lacking.
The Dolphins selected quarterback Tua Tagovailoa fifth overall in the 2020 Draft, they added Jaylen Waddle at receiver the following year, so there are tools in place to perform well, but they have not been getting the requisite help from the offensive line.
When Tagovailoa has a clean pocket, he looks poised and has shown an ability to make plays through the air, with Waddle his top target in 2021, but when the pocket collapses it becomes a completely different story.
If Mike McDaniel is genuine in his determination to help Tagovailoa become the quarterback most people hope he can be, then giving him much better protection in 2022 is the way to do it.
And according to NFL insider Mike Giardi, there are at least two potential free agents the Dolphins could be interested in talking to once the NFL’s legal free agent tampering period begins on March 14th – two full days before the official opening of free agency.
The first player mentioned by Giardi is current New Orleans Saints left tackle Terron Armstead, a player with genuine quality and injury concerns almost in equal measure.
Armstead is a three-time Pro Bowler, between 2018 and 2020, but has never played a full 16 (or now 17) game season through his first nine years in the NFL.
His career-high 15 came in 2019, but last season saw him suffer with multiple ailments and feature in only eight total games – a concern if the Dolphins are looking to invest serious money to address the team’s biggest issue.
If healthy, however, the former third round (75th overall) pick of the 2013 Draft is one of the top left tackles in the game and even featured on the NFL’s Top-100 list last year, sitting at No.79.
The second offensive linemen that the Miami Dolphins reportedly are keen to meet with is Tampa Bay Buccaneers center Ryan Jensen.
In contrast to Armstead, since the 2017 season Jensen has featured in every game he could possibly suit up for with both the Buccaneers and the Baltimore Ravens – the team who drafted him in the sixth round (203rd overall) of the 2013 Draft.
Jensen was named to his first Pro Bowl in 2021, received second-team All-Pro votes from Pro Football Focus in 2019 and was a part of the Buccaneers’ 2020 season Super Bowl-winning team, all of which would give the Dolphins a strong pedigree through the middle of the line.
The center position has been one in flux since the days of Mike Pouncey, with Michael Deiter having shown capability to play the position, but to add a Super Bowl-winning center who has been consistent throughout his career would give Tagovailoa confidence on every snap.
If the Miami Dolphins do pursue either of these players, it would immediately upgrade the offensive line unit and see the team begin to build stronger for the 2022 season – one where expectations of individual players, particularly the quarterback, will be high.