Miami Dolphins are getting closer but still have a ways to go to be an elite team

There are those who will convince you the Miami Dolphins are close to competing for a championship but are they really?

Jan 13, 2024; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Miami Dolphins running back De'Von Achane (28) runs the
Jan 13, 2024; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Miami Dolphins running back De'Von Achane (28) runs the / Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Miami Dolphins fans love to debate, or hate each other's opinions regarding the status of the Miami Dolphins and their future. To some, the Dolphins are close to competing for a championship while others believe they are further away.

I tend to believe that while both sides are true and the reality is somewhere in between those two sides, the side that says they are not close might be closer to reality.

If we believe the Dolphins are close, then we have to believe they are close to adding quality offensive linemen. We have to assume they have a plan in place to fix the secondary and add to the linebacker group. We have to assume they have a plan for the defensive tackle position.

We have to assume that the Miami Dolphins believe Tua Tagovailoa is the franchise QB they need, not just the lip service they spit out.

Tua is a good quarterback. I won't say that he isn't. I will say that he needs more time to become elite and I don't believe we have seen him reach that point yet. I also believe that Tua has a lot of maturing he needs to do. If the Ravens could get to the Super Bowl with Joe Flacco, the Dolphins can get there, eventually, with Tua. Maybe.

Injuries played a big part of the Dolphins demise in 2023 but Chris Grier isn't going to change who he is. He bargain shops for players with high upside should they stay healthy. These are players with injury histories and when they join the Dolphins, they inevitably get injured...again.

For the Dolphins that leads to mid-season replacements, undrafted rookies stepping into the starting roles, and late-season issues where the team is dealing with too many injuries.

Defensively, the Dolphins are going to take a hit with the loss of Wilkins, maybe Raekwon Davis, the linebacker issues, and the continued regression of Xavien Howard who will need to be replaced in the coming year or two, if not this year.

The loss of Vic Fangio may not sting as much with several players showing they are glad he is gone but Miami still needs another DC and that could mean starting over, again.

Here is the rub though, Miami has the talent but they don't play to a higher level. When looking at the Dolphins gaining ground, we see a team that is built to win now but isn't a complete team and without the money to buy a few remaining pieces, they won't be without a knockout draft and a stellar free agency period.

Miami is good enough to get back to the playoffs but they have to be able to raise their game to the level of their opponents when they face the top teams in the league. Until that happens they won't be ready and to be honest, this window is going to close in the next two years as Chris Grier will have to start purging more salaries.