When you think of suffering in the NFL world, some would think of the Cleveland Brown’s history. Others would think of the Atlanta Falcons in the 4th quarter of Super Bowl 51. In 2019, the ideal example of a suffering franchise would be the Miami Dolphins after their recent transactions. Note that this suffering is short term, and it is all part of the rebuild. The Miami Dolphins have fired head coach Adam Gase for Patriots defensive coordinator Brian Flores, who held one of the highest scoring offenses in the NFL to just three points in Super Bowl 53. The Dolphins will also be moving to a 3-4 defense.
Who Was Gotten Rid Of:
To give a brief synopsis of who the Dolphins got rid of, here will be a list of trades and releases the Dolphins have made in the off-season. (An asterisk (*) will indicate the player being a key starter of some sort.)
QB Ryan Tannehill*, QB Brock Osweiler, RB Frank Gore*, RB Brandon Bolden, WR Danny Amendola*, TE A.J. Derby, OG Josh Sitton*, OT Ja’Wuan James*, DE Cameron Wake*, DE William Hayes*, DE Robert Quinn*, DE Andre Branch, FS T.J. McDonald*, DT Akeem Spence
Just recently, the Dolphins have traded their #1 WR Kenny Stills and star LT Laremy Tunsil to the Texans for a 2 1st round picks and a 2nd round pick. The Dolphins also agreed to trade away star LB Kiko Alonso to the Saints for a 2020 2nd.
Let’s lay out the team. An asterisk (*) will be placed next to a position of potential need.
QB* – RB – WR* – WR – SLWR – TE – LT* – LG* – C* – RG* – RT*
LE* – NT – RE – LOLB – ILB – ILB – ROLB* – CB – FS – SS – CB* – SLCB
QB – While many fans believe in tanking for Tua Tagovailoa, we should not forget that Rosen was the 10th overall pick in 2018 and performed well in the preseason. It would be cruel to do what the Cardinals did and have him traded away for yet another rookie QB. The Dolphins should play it smart and let him learn under Ryan Fitzpatrick before letting him start. NOT A DRASTIC POSITION OF NEED
WR – The Dolphins have traded Kenny Stills away and are now uncertain as to who will be their #1 wide-out for the future. Albert Wilson and Jakeem Grant can succeed sharing snaps as a slot or #2 receiver along with Hurns and Preston Williams, however, DeVante Parker is not a #1 caliber receiver. He missed 5 games in 2018 and only put up 300 yards receiving and 1 TD.
OL – Now this entire line is a current mess. Michael Deiter, a 3rd round guard should hopefully solidify his spot at LG unless he plays poorly. Center Daniel Kilgore will not stay consistent, coming off of a season-ending injury and turning 32 in December. Julien Davenport, the starting LT has been rough, allowing the most penalties out of any lineman in 2018 (16) and the 2nd most sacks (12). RG/RT Jesse Davis has been resigned to a 3-year deal worth $15 million, however he allowed the 5th most sacks in 2018, which is not promising.
LE: In the new 3-4 look, there has to be 3 interior starters. Christian Wilkins and Davon Godchaux will play inside, yet there is still room for one more starter.
ROLB: Ideally, there needs to be not only depth, but someone to play opposite of Charles Harris. The Dolphins almost scored Jadeveon Clowney, but ultimately opted to tank fully. This position should likely be addressed in the next off-season.
DB’s: Hopefully someone joins Xavien Howard outside, because Eric Rowe is not the long-term answer, as he has played poorly in New England and the 2019 preseason. He could play inside, so there could be a potential solution, also taking into consideration that Brian Flores has worked with him in New England. With over $120 million cap space projected in 2020, where will they go?
Recipe for Success:
QB: Give Rosen the 2020 season to start. If he plays well, he can stay. WR: Go for A.J. Green, who will be 32, and will likely be released by the Bengals with the rise of Tyler Boyd. A 2-year deal. Also, if Jerry Jeudy enters the 2020 draft, they can get him and use both him and Green with Wilson in the slot. This can be perfect for Rosen’s development to get a potential Julio Jones as his top receiving threat for the future. LT: Walker Little, the Stanford LT can be the guy to get with the Texans first round pick in 2020. LG: Let Michael Deiter start for 2020. C: Draft a center like Jake Hanson or Alex Leatherwood with the Saint’s 2nd and have him learn behind Daniel Kilgore for a bit. RG: If the Dolphins really do get the #1 overall pick, then they could take Solomon Kindley from Georgia with the #33 pick or maybe trade up a bit for him. He should do just fine at RG, even if he played LG. RT: Jesse Davis, due to his multi-year extension.
LE: If Christian Wilkins excells in 2019, then Robert Nkemdiche can be suited as the LE. If not, they would need help, in which Leonard Williams would be the perfect option. ROLB: If the Seahawks opt to continue with L.J. Collier and Ziggy Ansah, the Dolphins could be in position to sign Jadeveon Clowney, considering that he has met with Brian Flores and the fact that they have cap space to burn. (If Jeudy does not enter the draft, then the Fins would get Chase Young and would not sign Clowney) CB: The Dolphins should grab Byron Jones, but if the Cowboys resign him, then Eli Apple should be the target for certain. SLCB: Eric Rowe can be moved inside.
Final 2020 Roster Glimpse:
QB: Josh Rosen – RB: Kenyan Drake, Kalen Ballage – WR: A.J. Green (FA) – WR: Jerry Jeudy (1ST) – SLWR: Albert Wilson, Jakeem Grant – TE: Mike Gesicki – LT: Walker Little (1ST) – LG: Michael Deiter C: Jake Hanson (2ND) RG: Solomon Kindley (2ND) RT: Jesse Davis
LE: Leonard Williams (FA) NT: Davon Godchaux RE: Christian Wilkins LOLB: Charles Harris ILB: Jerome Baker ILB: Raekwon McMillan ROLB: Jadeveon Clowney (FA) CB: Xavien Howard FS: Bobby McCain SS: Minkah Fitzpatrick CB: Byron Jones (FA) SLCB: Eric Rowe, Minkah Fitzpatrick