5 bold 2023 offseason predictions for the Miami Dolphins

MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 16: Tua Tagovailoa #1 of the Miami Dolphins looks on against the Minnesota Vikings at Hard Rock Stadium on October 16, 2022 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images)
MIAMI GARDENS, FLORIDA - OCTOBER 16: Tua Tagovailoa #1 of the Miami Dolphins looks on against the Minnesota Vikings at Hard Rock Stadium on October 16, 2022 in Miami Gardens, Florida. (Photo by Megan Briggs/Getty Images) /

Here we are in yet another offseason of uncertainty after a young, promising Dolphins season flew off the rails in a hurry.

There was a lot of good, a lot of bad and some head-scratching in between. The Dolphins, at their core, are a good football team. However, curses from the football gods and a general lack of identity resulted in a disappointing end to a hopeful and promising 2022.

Here are five bold predictions for the Dolphins’ off-season:

1. Dolphins will not offer Tua Tagovailoa a big extension

Just a short few months ago, we all figured Tua would be in for a lucrative extension this off-season after a stellar start to the season. Tua led in essentially every meaningful quarterback metric and was in the middle of quarterbacking the best Dolphins team in decades.

Then, the injuries began to pile up. And not the kind someone can just come back from after surgery and rehab.

Tua suffered two severe concussions in 2022, including a 36-day long stint in the concussion protocol to end his season. The injuries are not only a concern for his personal well-being considering he is only 24 years old — they also have financial ramifications.

A player’s, especially a franchise quarterback’s, best ability is their availability. Seeing as how much time Tua missed in 2022 and the fact concussions tend to pile up, the Dolphins likely will not hand over a huge sum of money to him.

I expect the Dolphins to pick up his fifth year option, which is expected to be over $20 million in 2024, but I don’t expect the Dolphins to commit much more to Tua until he shows he can stay healthy for a full 17-game season.

2. Mike McDaniel hands over play-calling duties

Mike McDaniel has, for the most part, been an excellent head coach for the Miami Dolphins in his short tenure. He’s widely considered one of the wisest, youngest minds in football.

But there were more than a few head-scratching moments from the young coach in 2022.

At times, the play-calling was aggressive when they should have played it conservative or vice versa, calling into question if McDaniel was biting off more than he could chew as a play-calling head coach in his first year.

Whether McDaniel hands the reigns to offensive coordinator Frank Smith, in his 14th year of coaching at the professional level, or to QB’s coach Darrell Bevell, who has called plays in Super Bowls in the past, I believe he does give up the responsibility this off-season.

3. The Dolphins will part ways with some good players

The Dolphins’ cap situation is a bit of a mess.

This could mean guys like Mike Gesicki, Eric Fisher, Teddy Bridgewater and Melvin Ingram — all free agents this off-season — all walk and find new homes.

There will likely be some cap casualties to save some money as well. Players who are making a bit more than their worth like Byron Jones, Durham Smythe, and especially Jason Sanders could all be released from their current contracts.

Simply put, the Dolphins’ front office will have to get creative with cap casualties, contract re-structuring and potential trades to make the cap space work this upcoming season.

It may not be pretty, but it will be necessary.

4. Miami will address the offensive line in the draft

As I’ve written about previously, the Dolphins don’t have much in terms of draft capital so they’ll need to get creative and make their draft picks count in April.

Beginning with their first selection, Miami needs to look at offensive line prospects. Lucky for them, this year’s class is pretty stacked with offensive linemen — especially interior OL.

As of now, the Dolphins’ first pick in the 2023 NFL Draft is in the second round, number 51 overall.

There should still be some really solid offensive linemen on the board. Prospects like Steve Avila (guard), Luke Wypler (center), John Michael Schmitz (center), and Matthew Bergeron (tackle) could all be available at pick 51 for the Dolphins to choose from.


With the lack of cap space, the draft will have to be where the Dolphins improve their shaky offensive line.

5. The Dolphins will add a starting caliber quarterback

Piggybacking off the aforementioned Tua Tagovailoa situation, the Dolphins are in a state of flux at the quarterback situation.

Teddy Bridgewater is a pending free agent who will likely look for a decent payday from a QB-needy team. Skylar Thompson was extremely forgettable in his time under center in 2022 and is a backup, at best.

What is their plan at quarterback?

I do believe the Dolphins will pick up Tua’s fifth year option, but I don’t believe the franchise thinks he will last long-term. The looming decision could result in the Dolphins making a move to acquire a quarterback who they do see as a long-term, or even transitional, quarterback.

The Dolphins don’t have much cap space nor draft capital, as I’ve mentioned, but acquiring a decent quarterback is still possible.

The 49ers have already insinuated Jimmy Garoppolo will not be back in San Francisco next season. Perhaps Miami and Mike McDaniel would be interested in bringing in the 31-year old as a veteran option, assuming they feel Tua will not be ready to go for the 2023 season.

McDaniel did coach Garoppolo in San Francisco during his prior gig, so there is an existing link there.

Geno Smith is also a pending free agent after his breakout season in Seattle. He’ll likely be more expensive than Garoppolo, but if Miami gets creative, they could fit Smith in.

Mitchell Trubisky’s name has floated around as a possible cap casualty in Pittsburgh, but the Dolphins need to stay away from that dumpster fire.

In terms of the draft, a few guys stand out as early-to-mid round draft picks. Someone like Hendon Hooker, who fits Miami’s offense, could be around in the third round. Georgia’s Stetson Bennett, coming off back-to-back national championships is supposed to be a late-round selection.