The NFL season is over and the Miami Dolphins could only watch while the Kansas City Chiefs hoisted the Lombardi Trophy for the 3rd time in five years. Now what comes next?
As it has been clearly stated since the Chiefs won Sunday night, all NFL teams are back to being 0-0 and like a little kid on Christmas Eve, teams have visions of Sugar Plumbs dancing in their heads.
The Dolphins have a lot of work to do so let's dive into what comes next for Chris Grier and company.
First, the Dolphins have to finish filling out their defensive coaching staff. That should be completed in the coming days if not by the end of the week. I would expect the Dolphins to announce their full coaches roster as early as Friday.
The next step is to identify who if any, players will be designated with the Franchise Tag. There is speculation that Miami could look to tag Christian Wilkins and then either attempt to trade him or work out a new contract. That speculation, of course, could be wrong. Considering Grier made the comment that Wilkins "earned the right to go into free agency" it would seem Miami is more likely to let him test the market during the two-day tampering window and then see if matching the deal is possible.
Franchise Tags can start being used on February 20th and the deadline to use one is March 5th so while the Dolphins may have an idea of what they are going to do, we may be waiting a while longer to find out.
The NFL Scouting Combine - February 29th to March 3rd
The NFL will head back to Indianapolis for the "Underwear Olympics" as the NFL Combine will take center stage in the NFL world. The Dolphins will have a strong presence at the event including Grier, Mike McDaniel, scouts, and likely Anthony Weaver as well.
- February 29th - Defensive lineman and linebackers (yes it is a leap-year)
- March 1st - Defensive back and Tight Ends
- March 2nd - QBs, RBs, and WRs
- March 3rd - Offensive lineman
The Miami Dolphins have to start getting their cap situation under control.
Over the course of the next several weeks, the Miami Dolphins will start trimming the fat off their current roster. The Dolphins have nearly 26 players that could become free agents this year but none stand out more than Christian Wilkins, Andrew Van Ginkel, and Robert Hunt.
The Dolphins have to make decisions on all of them but before that, they have to get to a working cap number. Miami is currently projected to be $51 million over the cap and that means contract restructures and cuts.
We should expect to see Emmanuel Ogbah released prior to the start of the league's new year unless a massive restructuring is done. I would expect most of the Dolphins' cap-oriented roster moves to come the first week of March.
The league new year will begin on March 13th but it really starts on March 11th.
The NFL's new year will begin with free agency on March 13th. Over the course of the two days prior to that, NFL teams can start talking with free agents. That will take place on March 11th. Teams can also make trades at any time between now and the start of free agency, however, no trade can become official until March 13th when the new year begins officially.
From free agency to the first off-season workouts, the Dolphins will have their hands full once the offseason starts to ramp up, starting over the course of the next few days and week. In April, teams can start holding their first off-season workouts. April 15th will be the first day Miami can get players back together.
April 19th - Teams have until the 19th to sign restricted free-agent offer sheets with their current team. In other words, if the Dolphins opt to not bring back Robert Jones, the only current impending RFA, on the 19th he becomes, and unrestricted free agent if the Dolphins do not release his rights before that.
April 25 - 27th: The NFL Draft returns
The three-day event will be held in Detroit this year. Miami will select 21st overall in round one and 55th overall in round two.