Breaking down the worst Dolphins moves of the 2024 offseason thus far

It's been an up and down few months for GM Chris Grier
New York Jets v Miami Dolphins
New York Jets v Miami Dolphins / Brandon Sloter/GettyImages

From free agency to the NFL Draft, the Miami Dolphins have been working since they were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs. Some of the moves, though, haven't been great.

When looking at the Miami Dolphins roster, it is clear that they are changing, especially on the defensive side of the ball, where Anthony Weaver is now the man in charge. Weaver will need to put his thumbprint on the team, and in order for him to succeed, he needs a roster that he built or at least some of it.

The Dolphins didn't have much of a choice but to part ways with Xavien Howard and Jerome Baker. They needed the cash, and as a result of cash flow, Christian Wilkins was also heading out the door. There have been some big losses and questionable calls from Chris Grier. In this piece, we take a look at five mistakes Miami will likely end up regretting in 2024:

No. 1: Letting Andrew Van Ginkel leave in free agency

Andrew Van Ginkel was a fan favorite, and the contract he signed with the Vikings would not have broken the Dolphins' bank. There have been reports that he and his family wanted to go home, but that was not the case. They made a decision for their family, but both AVG and his wife would have loved to stay with the Dolphins.

Reports also surfaced that Grier and the Dolphins didn't offer AVG an extension. It was also reported that it simply wasn't that much. Had Miami retained Van Ginkel, there would have been less stress to use the team's first pick in the draft on an EDGE rusher. Van Ginkel would have added some continuity to the defense as Weaver reshaped it.

No. 2: Retaining special teams coach Danny Crossman

How many more years will Danny Crossman continue to coach the Dolphins' special teams? He is a holdover from the Brian Flores regime, and the Dolphins' special teams unit isn't performing head-and-shoulders above what it did during that coaching era.

When Mike McDaniel started making coaching changes after the season, it was assumed that Crossman would be out. Instead, McDaniel said that he believes the coach is making strides and will help make the unit better. Fans are not so certain and there is a lot of work to do. Compared to other teams and their ST units, the Dolphins lag far behind in many areas.

No. 3: Not getting an extension for Jaylen Waddle done yet

This could be an ongoing problem for the Dolphins with Jaylen Waddle. Yes, they picked up his fifth-year option, thus guaranteeing him nearly $16 million in 2025. Sure, the Dolphins have stated that they will not trade Waddle, and that may be true today.

Next year, it's a different story, and in 2026, if the Dolphins haven't finalized a deal, there is a possibility that Waddle walks in free agency or is traded. When DeVonta Smith was extended, the lightbulb should have gone off for Grier. Get Waddle signed now before the market changes and the price goes up. Since then, two other WRs have received new deals, and while Waddle will not get the same contract that A.J. Brown did from the Eagles, Amon-Ra St. Brown is a number that Waddle could start looking at. It was higher than Smith's and was the highest WR contract until Brown was extended.

No. 4: Not having a plan in place at safety

The Dolphins let Brandon Jones leave in free agency and then didn't re-sign Deshon Elliot and allowed him to leave. They instead signed Jordan Poyer to a one-year contract and drafted a sixth-round CB/S in the draft. That's it.

Now, the Dolphins need to figure out what they are going to do with the position. Will Jalen Ramsey slide back to make the 3-high package work, or will the Dolphins try to add a veteran later in the offseason and get that player as a bargain? The Dolphins didn't attack the market safely for a couple of reasons: one, they didn't have the money, and two, they would have overspent on most of them. The draft didn't work out in their favor either.

No. 5: Not getting an extension done with Tua Tagovailoa

Is making Tua Tagovailoa wait for an inevitable extension a mistake? It depends on how you look at it. On the surface, it wouldn't seem so, but Tua will get a new deal, and the Dolphins waiting only puts them behind on other contracts.

Clearly, the Dolphins are waiting for the Tagovailoa situation to become clear before they dole out more contracts. Had one already been done, the Dolphins would have reduced his $24 million cap hit and perhaps solved some of the other mistakes like getting Waddle an extension, keeping Van Ginkel, or being in a better position to add another body to the safeties room.