The Miami Dolphins are in this situation because of one person; Chris Grier. Some of you might think this is what the Miami Dolphins were striving to achieve when they started their rebuild, but there is another side of the coin that needs to be addressed as well.
This is a make or break season for the Miami Dolphins. There is no other way to pinpoint this. If the Dolphins suffer to make it anything past an AFC championship game this season is a waste. The Dolphins can’t struggle to make it to the playoffs, or have a first round exit, if that happens this team will be blown up.
This is the best roster the Miami Dolphins have had in years, potentially even decades. The risk of signing all these high priority players and their bloated contracts comes down to this season. If you look at these signings with a closer eyes, they were signed based on need to the naked eye, but the truth of the matter is that these signings occurred based on poor draft selections from, you guessed it; Chris Grier.
Terron Armstead was a key offseason acquisition last offseason. He was a key signing to protect and build the worse part of the Miami Dolphins depth chart - their offensive line. The Dolphins had to pay and spend large amounts of cap space to facilitate such a player. To be honest, Armstead was worth the hype and signing, but looking closer he wasn’t needed. Truth of the matter is that the Dolphins selected Austin Jackson in the first round to be the left tackle of the future, which has not played out. Evident by the fact that Jackson's 5th year option was not picked up. A failure on Chris Grier part on drafting a player that would have been a cap friendly hit, and using that cap expenditure on other assets.
Jalen Ramsey is the talk of this offseason and was met with great enthusiasm when the Dolphins made the acquisition with very little draft capital and cap space to accommodate. Ramsey is a top 10 player in the NFL when healthy. Pairing him with Xavien Howard allows Miami to have the best cornerback tandem in the league and the best pairing in Dolphins history since Sam Madison and Patrick Surtain. Again, looking at this even closer, the Dolphins had to make this move because of another failure in their draft selection. Noah Igbinoghene was the Dolphins first round selection that again was selected in the first round, and like Jackson, Noah’s 5th year option was failed to pick up. Looking at Ramsey, 20 Million cap versus Noah, 1.2 million cap hit for this year and potentially 5.6 Million for next year, would have saved the Dolphins over 14 million in cap space going into the 2024 season.
Yes, Chris Grier was able to spend big and acquire these attractive free agents, but fast forward to the 2024 season and you will notice that the Miami Dolphins are already 31 Million over the cap, with only 28 players on contract. That is crazy, and this team that the Dolphins will have on the field this year, will not be the same team they will have next year, as drastics changes will be required to get under the cap. Remember even with the Dolphins cutting these high priced free agents, they still need to replace them with quality players and that will once again be through the draft, where Chris Grier hasn’t had the best history of player selection.
What happens if the Dolphins fail to make the playoffs - look for all high priced aging veterans like Jalen Ramsey, Xavien Howard, Tyreek Hill, Emmanuel Ogbah and Terron Armstead to be traded or cut. Using that draft capital to potentially look for their replacements and once again restart the rebuilding process. With all this failure it would be hard to imagine that Chris Grier will be the GM selecting for Miami.
On the flip side, if this works out and the Dolphins are one game away from making it to the Super Bowl, you better believe that both McDaniel and Grier will get fat extensions, to go alongside Stephen Ross, giving more capital to acquire a player or players to get them over the top with large signing bonus (think Buffalo and Von Miller).
Any way you look at this, it will come down to Chris Grier and it’s all his fault, if the Dolphins are headed to another rebuild or potentially one game away.