5 pressing questions for Chris Grier and the Dolphins heading into 2024

Will we get anwers for these before Week 1 gets here?
Miami Dolphins general manager Chris Grier and head coach Mike McDaniel watch training camp at
Miami Dolphins general manager Chris Grier and head coach Mike McDaniel watch training camp at / JEFF ROMANCE/THE PALM BEACH POST / USA

Following the 2024 NFL Draft, Miami Dolphins General Manager Chris Grier should be all smiles, but when reality hits, he has questions he needs to deal with.

Luckily for Grier and the Miami Dolphins, the season doesn't start until September and training camp won't start until late July. He will get $18 million in spendable cash on June 2 from the Xavien Howard release as well. No matter the Dolphins money situation, there are five areas of the team that should be a concern for the front office;

Safety - The Dolphins simply don't have the depth at safety, and that has to change before training camp. We can bang our fists for a free-agent addition, but Grier is looking at a roster composed of two veterans who have dealt with injuries and a late-round rookie who may or may not be suited for the position.

Grier isn't going to run out and overspend on a safety, but he will need to add at least two for the offseason. It isn't a dire situation, but it is an area of concern now that the draft is over.

Contract extensions - Tua Tagovailoa remains the big holdup for other contracts. The next four or five years of Miami's salary cap situation will all be tied to what the Dolphins negotiate with Tua. Miami has more than the star QB to extend, though.

Jaelan Phillips, Jaylen Waddle, and Jevon Holland all need new contracts, with Holland perhaps the most pressing after Tua. Holland doesn't carry a fifth-year option for Grier, which also makes our first concern, safety, a bit more of a concern if the Dolphins do not extend him - something they should be trying to do this year.

As for Waddle, honestly, there is no reason for Grier to be waiting on this deal. The price for WRs continues to rise and Grier is just allowing it to happen when he could get Waddle done easily this year without waiting on Tagovailoa.

One-year deals - Grier has made it his mission for the last two years to bulk up his roster depth with one-year contracts. These low-end deals are great for manipulating the salary cap, but are horrible for team continuity. The Dolphins almost have no choice but to do one-year low-end deals. They have overpaid for players like Bradley Chubb and Terron Armstead. They have had to eat large amounts of cap space after releasing Howard and Byron Jones. With more contracts coming due, Grier can't add years to many deals; when he does, they tend to be cheap.

At some point, the Dolphins will need to lock up a roster spot for more than one season. Entering the 2024 free agency period, the Dolphins only had 43 players under contract for this year. They now have 76 spots accounted for. Next year, as it stands now, without the rookies, Miami has 34 players under contract for 2025.

This isn't ideal for a team needing season-to-season continuity; believe it or not, two-year deals can make a difference. It is something that Grier needs to work on, which would also allow him to focus on other areas of the roster in free agency and the draft.

Special Teams are still nothing special - Jason Sanders had a far better season last year than the two previous campaigns, but he can still be inconsistent, and one year doesn't change that. Sanders deserves another season and is getting one, but Jake Bailey needs to have competition.

The Dolphins saw fit to give Bailey a new two-year deal (not the two-year deal we said they needed to give out), and they did not see fit to give him competition. Bailey was average last year, and the Dolphins are hoping they won't need him much with this offensive system. Still, when the Dolphins need to flip the field, Bailey hasn't shown the consistency to do that.

Danny Crossman will have to change his kickoff coverage given the new NFL rules. On the surface, the Dolphins' subpar coverage team should be better off, but one missed tackle could be a disaster. The return game should improve as well, but the Dolphins were not stellar in this department the last few years, so it remains a problem and an area that needs to be fixed.

Interior offensive line - If we are being honest, the Dolphins did nothing to improve the interior of their line. Not yet, anyway. As we mentioned above, the Dolphins feel it to be necessary to add players on one-year deals. They did that this year with Isaiah Wynn to play left guard, but there is a lack of depth that includes two players who can be inconsistent: Robert Jones and Liam Eichenberg.

It is up for grabs at right guard. As of now, Lester Cotton is listed as the second-team RG. It isn't a huge deal, as the Dolphins don't officially make a depth chart until preseason games begin later in August. However, it does show the depth issues Miami has.

Jack Driscoll, Wynn, Cotton, Chasen Hines, Eichenberg, and Jones are the Dolphins options for right and left guard and they are not good. Miami did not address the position in the draft and they now need to focus on adding a capable veteran. Grier may not be worried about the offensive line, but it is an area of concern.