Miami Dolphins 2018 Offseason Outlook


    The Miami Dolphins are a team that when healthy are a playoff contender in most eyes. Coming off an injury riddled 2017 season that saw Ryan Tannehill the team’s starting quarterback tear his ACL in training camp, the dolphins were unable to repeat the success they had in 2016. However, with Tannehill coming back and 2017 second round pick Raekwon McMillan also coming back from a torn ACL, this helps the Dolphins greatly. The Dolphins as of right now have a few holes on the roster even with these players returning from injury.

    Expect the team to add possibly 2 to 3 interior linemen as the outside tackles appear to be set with Laremy Tunsil and surprise UDFA Jesse Davis replacing Ja'Wuan James who is likely to be cut. Mike Pouncey could possibly be restructured but with subpar play and injury issues over the years, he seems like a likely cap casualty with his 8-million-dollar cap hit in 2018. 2017 draft pick Isaac Asiata seems like a likely choice to play right guard despite very little time on the field in 2017. Miami could look to add star left guard Andrew Norwell in free agency as well as Jack Mewhort and other options in free agency. Offensive guard is a position that had be a glaring weakness on the team since the departure of Richie Incognito. Lackluster offensive line play has held Tannehill back from his full potential thus far in his career and it is time to change that if Miami wants to contend.

    Despite head coach Adam Gase saying after the season that Ryan Tannehill is his week 1 starter the team is rumored to be eyeing Heisman award winner Baker Mayfield and have also had some ties to free agent Kirk Cousins. Mayfield did not hesitate to show mutual interest when he commented on a live periscope video from Kenny Stills saying "#GetMeToMiami". While Miami is rumored to be very high on prospects Roquan Smith, Quenton Nelson, and others it would be hard for Miami to pass up the chance of drafting Mayfield if he were to fall to the 11th pick. While Smith and Nelson would fill the dolphins needs, Baker Mayfield could be a potential game changing franchise quarterback that Miami has lacked since Dan Marino.

    Miami has a dilemma with star playmaker Jarvis Landry. The 3-time pro bowl wide receiver is set to hit free agency and is seeking a contract in the 14-16-million-dollar range which is a hefty price for the cap strapped Dolphins. The team still has good playmakers in Kenny Stills, Devante Parker, and Kenyan Drake which makes you think it’s less than likely that Miami gives Landry the money he desires.

     The Dolphins defense, while it wasn't elite with Vance Joseph as defensive coordinator, regressed in a big way in 2017. While as usual Ndamukong Suh was graded amongst the best defenders in all of football, the rest of the defense was mediocre at best. Rookie first round pick Charles Harris made little impact with only 2 sacks and 19 total tackles, but the now second year defensive end is expected to have a much larger role in 2018. Cameron wake who is nearing the end of his hall of fame worthy career, was still effective in 2017 recording 10.5 sacks, which led the team. While the defensive line is already set for 2018, the rest of the defense is in question. Linebacker has been a gaping hole on the roster since the great Zach Thomas last took the field, but with 2017 2nd round pick Raekwon McMillan returning, it should help the problem a bit. Kiko Alonso regressed in a big way from 2016 which landed him an extension with the team, moving him to a different position seems likely with Lawrence Timmons seen as a likely cap casualty after a subpar 2017. Expect Miami to aggressively pursue Roquan Smith and Tremaine Edmunds in the draft if they fall to 11 as well as multiple free agent options to help fix this glaring weakness.

     The secondary of the Dolphins is solid and young with corners Xavien Howard who
showed in 2017 why the team selected him in the second round in 2016, came on late and showed elite potential as a lockdown cornerback that the Dolphins desperately need. Bobby McCain had his best season thus far, grading out as one of the highest rated slot corners in all of football. While the Dolphins do have a promising young corner in Cordrea Tankersley who was selected in the third round in 2017, expect Miami to aggressively pursue potential elite cornerbacks on the open market such as Malcolm Butler, Richard Sherman, and Aqib Talib. Miami has never been shy about throwing money at big time players and I wouldn't expect that to change now. Miami is set at safety with Pro Bowler Reshad Jones and TJ McDonald coming into his first full year as a dolphin.

     Whether Miami can turn the tide from last year’s disastrous 6-10 season or not is yet to be seen, Mike Tannenbaum, Adam Gase and GM Chris Grier have a small hill to climb and whether or n to they can do so is yet to be seen.