The Miami Dolphins may have wasted the past decade of our lives with one lonely trip to the postseason, a 68-89 regular season record (0.433% winning percentage), and a rebuilding effort that has already occurred four times since 2000, but that doesn’t mean we can’t acknowledge and recognize the players that went above and beyond their civic duty as Miami Dolphins and actually excelled at their craft.
Check out who made our Offensive All-Decade team below and let us know if there’s anyone you’d replace:
For our 2010-All-Decade Offensive Team, click here.
Note: only stats that apply to the 2010-2019 seasons – as well as the player’s respective position – apply. For example, Laremy Tunsil’s stats at LG and Brian Hartline’s stats in 2009 are not included.
Left Tackle: Laremy Tunsil
Games Started: 30 (at LT)
Sacks Allowed: 7
QB Hits Allowed: 15
Hurries Allowed: 33
From public relations nightmare to the best young left tackle in the NFL, Laremy Tunsil has been riding a roller coaster career. Assuming he can stop moving before the ball is snapped, Tunsil is on his way to compiling a Hall of Fame career, and will probably go down as one of the best left tackles to play the game this century.
Teasing aside, Tunsil was an island on the left side of the offensive line. Both cheaper and younger than Branden Albert, Tunsil spent a year learning the position before taking over for the former prized free agent. Though he was never rewarded with a Pro Bowl berth in Miami, his skill level was so obvious that the Houston Texans had no trouble dangling more than two 1st-round picks for him.
Sure enough, his first year off of the Dolphins earns him a Pro Bowl nod with the Texans. Fitting for a player fans knew was a cornerstone for years to come.
— Tom Like (@TomLike11) February 17, 2017
The only aspect that might be disappointing about Tunsil’s spot on this list is the lack of longevity. Having only played two seasons at the position, it speaks heavily about the other “contenders” more than it does Tunsil’s production.
Left Guard: Richie Incognito
Games Started: 55
Sacks Allowed: 17
QB Hits Allowed: 19
Hurries Allowed: 29
This may be the last player you expected to see pop up on this list, but when you have collectively sported one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL this decade there aren’t many options to choose from.
Richie Incognito got into plenty of trouble while a member of the Miami Dolphins. If he wasn’t feeling up a golf attendant’s leg with a golf club or instigating fights with opposing players on the field, he was busy causing the biggest scandal the Dolphins have endured in the history of their franchise.
The last time I remember some one doing what Myles Garrett did was when Antonio Smith ripped off Richie Incognito’s helmet and then swung it at his head. I can’t believe I found the video. pic.twitter.com/qFrSN5cWYC
— James Palmer (@JamesPalmerTV) November 15, 2019
All of the headaches and potential legal actions aside, Incognito was the best offensive guard the Miami Dolphins have had this decade (partly by default, but mostly because he was a very good player).
If you can separate the human being from the football player, every team wants Richie Incognito on their offensive line. Given the ticking timebomb that came with acquiring Incognito, the Dolphins were somewhat fortunate enough that he lasted nearly 4 years with the team.
Center: Mike Pouncey
Games Started: 81
Sacks Allowed: 10
QB Hits Allowed: 17
Hurries Allowed: 50
A former 1st-round pick selected 15th-overall, Mike Pouncey began his career dominating opposing defenders. As his hips began to deteriorate, and the team’s shoddy camaraderie started to come to light, Dolphins fans began to wane on Pouncey’s performance as a player.
On the surface, the Dolphins received a lesser version of his twin brother, Maurkice Pouncey. Though if you dig deeper into their careers, you find that the Dolphins are once again stifled by the stigma that plagues their organization.
Raise your hand if you think Maurkice is the “better” Pouncey (I know I did)? Take note of Pouncey’s stats above as you compare them to Maurkice’s first 6 seasons in the NFL (77 total games) in which he allowed 12 sacks, 13 QB hits and 73 hurries.
Pouncey’s reputation may be stained by the “Free (Aaron) Hernandez” hat, Bullygate, or the occasional off-the-field incident (all things he brought onto himself), but he’s the best center the Miami Dolphins have had in decades, and you can make a very good argument that he was underappreciated during his time in Miami.
— Andy Slater (@AndySlater) July 14, 2013
Right Guard: John Jerry
Games Started: 32
Sacks Allowed: 10
QB Hits Allowed: 12
Hurries Allowed: 55
Ask any Miami Dolphins fan who they would rather have, and I’m sure the answer is going to be Jesse Davis. But between the constant position changes and inconsistent play, it’s hard to put the three-year veteran ahead of John Jerry.
This is probably the one honor that genuinely goes to a player by default rather than his actual accomplishments, though honestly, I implore you to find a better RG this decade than Jerry – it’s not possible.
You know that narrative about former Dolphins going on to play well when they leave the Dolphins. John Jerry is an exception.
— Armando Salguero (@ArmandoSalguero) December 15, 2015
Tony Sparano and his staff coached the South Team in the 2010 Senior Bowl, which John Jerry was part of. Sparano was so enamored with Jerry’s athletic and physical attributes that the former offensive line coach made drafting Jerry a priority in the 2010 NFL Draft – eventually selecting him in the 3rd-round, 73rd-overall.
The potential and growth may have been there, but it never came to fruition with the Dolphins. Admirable enough to avoid imminently replacing him, the Dolphins spent plenty of assets plugging other offensive line holes before succumbing to the fact that this team could not continue with the combination of Incognito, Pouncey, Jerry and Jonathan Martin on their offensive line.
Given Incognito’s involvement in Bullygate, Jerry’s lackluster skillset and Martin’s unstable health, the Dolphins used this time to purge everyone except for Mike Pouncey. Needless to say they still haven’t figured this thing out.
Oh, and for those that are wondering, here are Jesse Davis’ stats at RG: 9 sacks, 9 QB hits and 36 hurries (in 2 years).
Right Tackle: Ja’Wuan James
Games Started: 54 (at RT)
Sacks Allowed: 20
QB Hits Allowed: 19
Hurries Allowed: 79
Every right tackle that has started for the Miami Dolphins this decade has been putrid, except for Ja’Wuan James.
Although every other year was a trip to injured-reserve waiting to happen, James was a very good player….when everything came together. For every top-notch game the former 1st-round pick had, there’s an equally embarrassing highlight of him completely whiffing on the competition.
I have no idea what the intended play on this was, but I hope it featured Ja'Wuan James releasing Cameron Jordan, who got the sack & FF? pic.twitter.com/r9mvvxDxuP
— Omar Kelly (@OmarKelly) October 3, 2017
Overall, James’ five-year tenure was marred with annual inconsistency; enough to justify an expensive contract extension while simultaneously being a risky endeavor to offer. Given the 13 games he’s missed this season for the Denver Broncos, I’d say the Dolphins made the right decision with their money.
Of course, this trend means that James is going to be a dominant RT for the Broncos next year and we’ll probably wonder why we didn’t extend him, but don’t let that facade fool you. The number of hurries he let up as a tackle are troublesome, and if Miami is going to have a certain left-handed quarterback going forward, you need a more-stabilizing blocker than this.
Still, it’s hard to say James is a busted 1st-round pick when he provided 5 (somewhat adequate) years of service. Frankly, it’s more than what most other 1st-round picks have contributed in recent history.
Wide Receiver: Jarvis Landry
Games Active: 64
Receiving Yards: 4,038
If there was one player that brought attention to an organization that hasn’t had national respect since the 20th century, it was Jarvis Landry.
His enthusiastic passion for the game sometimes got him in trouble with the league, his coaching staff, or the referees, but it was a refreshing sight to see. He wanted to win. He craved winning. And instead of trying to harness and maintain all of his energy, they decided to let him go.
There are plenty of positive reasons for doing so: less drama, more money and extra draft picks. But we’re also left wondering why we’re irrelevant again. If this team can’t properly handle an ego or two, they’re going to be abysmal forever.
Landry’s intense playing style and no-holds-barred attitude made him a fan favorite. It gave this team a passion that hadn’t existed since the Jason Taylor and Zach Thomas days. You wanted to play for Jarvis Landry, and Jarvis Landry wanted to play for the Miami Dolphins.
— The Sports Daily (@SportsDailyBlog) December 27, 2015
Some vehemently argue that Landry is a possession receiver, but if you’ve watched at least one of his seasons in Miami you’d know that’s simply not true.
While his contract is expensive, his electrifying performance warrants the heavy price tag. Miami is going to spend a ton of money on “play makers” going forward, and it’s likely going to be awhile until we see another one like Landry.
Wide Receiver: Brian Hartline
Games Active: 76
Receiving Yards: 3,737
Brian Hartline was as steady as they came.
If he was able to get his hands on the ball, he was probably going to haul it in. Staying on his feet is another story, but Ryan Tannehill‘s original security blanket ran the crispest routes on the field, and if he were paired up with Tom Brady instead of Julian Edelman, you’d probably hear his name floating around as one of the best receivers in the league.
Both durable (active for 76 out of 80 potential regular season games) and reliable, Hartline isn’t going to make the kind of plays DeAndre Hopkins makes, but every single organization needs someone like him on their team.
— Dolphins History (@DolphinsHistory) March 15, 2017
Hartline was rewarded with a 5-year, $31m contract extension prior to the 2013 season before Miami released him for financial reasons after the 2014 season.
For some, Hartline was viewed as a #3 receiver being paid like a #1. For others, they saw a reliable target that was going to enhance this offense rather than hurt it.
If anything, Hartline proved you don’t need to be the “best” receiver on the field, you just need to be the smartest.
Wide Receiver: DeVante Parker*
*Stats as of Week 15, 2019
Games Active: 68
Receiving Yards: 3,171
When I started writing this article a few weeks ago, I had DeVante Parker as an honorable mention…behind both Brandon Marshall and Kenny Stills.
Though Parker’s statistics may have been better to some degree, he needed 4+ years to get there while Marshall was nearly-dominant in the 2 seasons he was in Miami and Stills was a touchdown machine for an anemic offense.
After a dominant month and a 4-year, $40m contract extension, Parker has solidified himself as Miami’s true #1 receiver.
We may all be gritting our teeth that he stays healthy, but we can’t deny that the skillset is there. He’s a near-lock to outplay a defender on a 50/50 ball, his catch-radius is insane and his hands are pretty reliable. It only took the Dolphins 5 years to realize that all you need to do is throw it up in Parker’s direction and he’ll come down with it.
Barring an unforseen meltdown or decline in Parker’s potential, you’re looking at Miami’s best wide receiver since Chris Chambers or the Marks Brothers.
DeVante Parker’s best career catches rivals any other player’s.
— Yung Mayo (@YungMayoYT) March 10, 2018
Tight End: Charles Clay
Games Active: 58
Receiving Yards: 1,809
Charles Clay is the one athletic project that a Dolphins’ coaching staff got right.
Though it took a couple of seasons before Clay flourished on the field, he eventually developed into a playmaking receiver and a reliable blocker. His versatility as an H-Back (tight end, fullback hybrid) opened up Miami’s playbook and forced defenses to fear the tight end position for what seems like the only time this decade.
His production was so well-respected by Buffalo Bills head coach Rex Ryan, that he wildly outbid the Dolphins the year Clay hit free agency under the premise that he would secure his seam threat and diminish a division rival.
Dolphins are NOT matching 5-year, $38 million offer sheet that Buffalo gave TE Charles Clay, per sources. Bills have a new TE.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 19, 2015
Though Clay has never made a Pro Bowl, and his career production won’t earn him any lifelong accolades, the former 6th-round pick will go down as one of the Dolphins’ best draft picks in the history of their franchise.
If you ever wonder how beloved Clay is by this fanbase, just see how the fans reacted when he signed with the Bills.
Running Back: Lamar Miller
Games Active: 61
Rushing Yards: 2,930
Rushing Yards-per-Attempt: 4.6
Total Touchdowns: 19
Lamar Miller is a quintessentially good running back. Drafted one round after fellow University of Miami standout Olivier Vernon in 2012, Miller was selected under the guise that he would soon develop into a a #1 running back.
Miami’s offensive line issues may have kept Miller from really excelling in South Florida, but his 2013 season was very impressive all things considered. With a 5.1 yards-per-attempt average, 1,099 rushing yards and 8 touchdowns, Miller was the kind of running back that could take the pressure of his quarterback and keep the offense two-dimensional.
A workhorse throughout his time in Miami, Miller did everything right for this team. He may not have been the flashy running back fans yearn to see, but he was going to win you football games, and that’s all you can ask for from your players.
— The Sports Daily (@SportsDailyBlog) December 15, 2015
Quarterback: Ryan Tannehill
Games Started: 88
Passing Yards: 20,434
Completion %: 62.8%
Passing Touchdowns: 123
There really isn’t any other option for this position. When you spend 7 seasons evaluating one player, it’s tough to anoint anyone else, and thus, here we are.
Ryan Tannehill’s performance this season with the Tennessee Titans leaves Dolphins’ homers and haters equally perplexed. For awhile, we felt this team had the wrong players. As more time passes, and more players end up on other teams, the more we come to realize that our coaching staffs have been extremely incompetent all of these years.
Then again, if the Dolphins were adept at scouting quarterbacks, they could have had Russel Wilson, Patrick Mahomes, DeShaun Watson or Lamar Jackson. Instead, we have nobody.
Tannehill with a dime to stills pic.twitter.com/CxJNlDjqsZ
— DFSDAILYBEST (@DFSDAILYBEST) November 13, 2016
Games Active: 30
Receiving Yards: 2,228
Brandon Marshall’s tumultuous time with the Dolphins has left a stain on his legacy in Miami.
Acquired for two 2nd-round draft picks, the Dolphins finally found themselves a vintage #1 receiver. Miami knew there were some maturity issues involved, but his skillset outweighed the attitude.
While it’s absolutely fair to have wanted more from Marshall (given his dominance at the position and the price tag it cost to obtain him), we still have to give him the respect he’s due. If it weren’t for a befuddling altercation he had with his wife that involved a knife and plenty of cop cars, Marshall may have been with the team longer.
Still, in his two-year stint, Marshall caught 167 passes for 2,228 yards and 9 Touchdowns. There are plenty of “what-ifs” that surround Brandon Marshall’s career, but in a futile and almost nonexistent decade for the Miami Dolphins, Marshall still shines bright.
— josh houtz (@houtz) June 9, 2019
Games Active: 31
Rushing Yards: 2,072
Rushing Yards-per-Attempt: 4.7
Total Touchdowns: 12
Reggie Bush may be famous for his flirtatious flings with Kim Kardashian, or for his legendary college prowess as a former Heisman Trophy winner, but these things shouldn’t overshadow his production in his limited time in Miami.
Under contract for only two seasons, Bush came to Miami with a reputation as a “change of pace” back who hadn’t received more than 157 rushing attempts in his career.
The Dolphins bulldozed that logic and rushed Bush 216 times in 2011 and 227 times in 2012, both with excellent results.
The only thing preventing Bush from making this list is longevity. The electricity, playmaking ability, leadership and star power was all there – Miami just chose to let it go.
Games Active: 63
Receiving Yards: 2,566
With off-the-field interactions taking precedence over his on-the-field performance, we often overlook just how good Kenny Stills was for the Miami Dolphins.
Acquired from the New Orleans Saints for a 3rd-round pick, and then rewarded with a 4-year, $32m contract, Kenny Stills earned every bit his overall cost. Some argued that Stills was solely a deep threat on a team that couldn’t hit the deep pass, and while his 15.6 yards-per-reception supports that number, his reliability shouldn’t be overlooked.
Outside of a horrendous wide-open drop in Seattle that could have given the Dolphins the victory, Stills would make touchdown catches in pockets of space that didn’t exist. If the Miami Miracle didn’t happen, his San Diego Chargers highlight (shown under Tannehill’s section of the article) or the one shown below would make a good case as the play-of-the-decade.
Early leader in the clubhouse for best throw of the weekend. Tannehill to Stills makes that a pretty regular occurrence. pic.twitter.com/aJmP15Bky5
— Travis Wingfield (@WingfieldNFL) September 23, 2018
Even when Stills came down with the ball, not a single person thought this was a touchdown because, duh, there’s only about 6 inches of space between the heel of his foot and the back of the endzone.
His 2,566 yards over 4 years isn’t eye opening, but his 24 touchdowns are. If DeVante Parker hadn’t come into his own recently, Stills would be the 3rd-receiver on this list.
Turning the Machine in the Right Direction
Nearly a year ago, 11 months to be precise, I wrote this piece for Locked On Dolphins: “Small, Important Steps in the Right Direction”. It was me opining on what I felt like were a series of small steps Miami, specifically Chris Grier and the front office had taken in the right direction just after the Draft. At the time, Miami had accumulated a Draft Pick haul of a: 1st rounder, two 2nd rounders, a 3rd, two 4ths, a 5th, two 6ths, and two 7ths. We know war chest has expanded, and Miami’s sure to put that to effective use in just over a month at the 2020 NFL Draft.
So, where are Miami now?
Well, that’s an interesting question, but I’ll attempt to answer it. With a haul of 11 free agents, counting TE Michael Roberts who was signed before the new League Year, Miami’s managed to fill some of the holes the exited 2019 with. Perhaps most important, despite shelling out big money deals, all of them are structured in smart, team-friendly ways. Kudos to Chris Grier and Brandon Shore for that. It’ll pay dividends down the road.
With the Draft still a month away, at least as things stand with the COVID-19 outbreak right now, Miami’s needs have become clearer. Quarterback was always and still is the top priority for the Draft. Running Back is a need still, and there’s a plethora of top notch backs in this year’s class. Offensive Line, obviously. Miami can use help across the board there. With the defensive free agent signings, I’m not sure edge defenders are a need anymore, but I think Miami will still bargain shop there. Safety, specifically free safety, and a true nose tackle round out the needs list. At lest in my mind.
With 14 picks, and Miami probably won’t use all of them to make actual picks – I think some get used in trade ups and some get pushed to 2021 – Miami will likely be able to fill that remaining chunk of needs, which is a great place to be in. Perhaps Miami still shops around a bit in free agency, maybe for O-line depth or a cheap running back, but I think the focus now narrows to the Draft. Since that’s next month, let’s review the free agent crop.
Free Agent Fits
Our pal Travis Wingfield has done plenty of in-depth reporting on all of Miami’s free agent signings, so I’m going to give you my broad stroke takes on what Miami’s added this past week.
Miami added defensive ends Shaq Lawson and Emmanuel Ogbah to help set the edge against the run. Kyle Van Noy is an outside linebacker with a sneaky amount of strength and ability to play with heavy hands and good leverage who can help set the edge too. What this means for Miami’s defense is that we’ll likely see more 4-man defensive fronts. Remember, when Brian Flores called the Patriots defense in 2018 his most used for formations were:
4-2-5 (307 snaps)
3-3-5 (226 snaps)*
3-2-6 (132 snaps)
4-3 (97 snaps)
* With the 3-3-5 package, there’s really two versions: The Bear front and the slide front. The Bear front typically included bigger defensive lineman to cover the opponents G-C-G with Hightower and Trey Flowers or Kyle Van Noy on edges, with Van Noy or Elandon Roberts off-ball. Think of the slide front as really a 4-2 front, but you have an OLB playing as a stand-up DE.
A potential hidden bonus here is that both Lawson and Ogbah have some experience playing in stand-up OLB/DE roles. Shaq Lawson did it some at Clemson and Ogbah had some limited experience in doing so last year with the Chiefs. I think Ogbah was used primarily as a rusher as I haven’t seen snaps of him dropping into coverage from that spot. But he’s been aligned there.
With the additions of Lawson, Ogbah and Van Noy, Miami’s going to try and be able to find analogs similar to Van Noy himself, more on that in a minute; Ogbah compares pretty well in play style to how the Pats used Adrian Clayborn and Deatrich Wise that year; and Lawson’s versatility might lend him to be used in some, and I stress some, of the capacities in which they used Trey Flowers. With Van Noy, in 2019 he was almost an exclusive on-the-LOS edge LB. In 2018, his duties between being an edge player and off-ball linebacker were about 50-50. I don’t know that we’ll see that, but I think Van Noy’s snaps won’t be as an exclusive edge – he’s so versatile in how he can be used.
As much as I love Khalid Kareem and really like guys like K’Lavon Chaisson, Curtis Weaver, Yetur Gross-Matos, and Marlon Davidson I have a difficult time picturing Miami spending a top-level resource on an edge defender. I think they’ll take a stab on a guy that falls or try and find value later on like Trevis Gipson, Jason Strowbridge, Chauncey Rivers, James Smith-Williams, etc.
No Fly Zone Southeast
I’ll admit, I in no way shape or form saw Miami going after someone like Byron Jones. In fact, I wonder if the Patriots franchise tagging Joe Thuney meant that money Miami might’ve offered to him was “freed up” to pursue other options. And man, did Miami get a nice player in Jones. Yes, he doesn’t have a ton of interceptions, but he does have 20 PBUs the past two years, and 44 for his career – nearly nine a year.
I’m a little dumbfounded that so many Dolfans think this signing means that Xavien Howard is on the trade block. Why would he be? Why would you dismantle a CB tandem this good? I get that X had the legal issue, but that was dismissed. I feel like if Miami wanted him gone, he’d have been gone by now.
What it means having a tandem like Byron and X is that you have a pair of corners that excel at press, can play off man, can both play on either side of the formation, and both can travel to the slot. That gives them some really nice flexibility and the opportunity to get creative with coverages. I’ll be really intrigued if they add a FS that allows Bobby McCain to play in the slot more, like he did in 2015-17. Miami could disguise a lot if that becomes an option.
When you combine Jones with the additions of Lawson and Ogbah up front, and Van Noy as someone who can play on the LOS or off-ball, you have to tip your cap to Miami for adding help at all three levels of the defense.
Depth and Special Teams
Miami apparently isn’t bringing back Walt Aikens, who was their best special teamer the past few seasons. Instead, Miami opted to bring in a trio of damn good special teamers, two of whom were captains. The one that wasn’t, Elandon Roberts, figures to get a chance to play in some packages on defense, just as he did with New England, and is a core special teams guy. It wouldn’t surprise me if he ate some of Chandler Cox’s reps as a fullback either. He’ll be fun to watch on whichever unit he’s getting snaps at.
Kamu Grugier-Hill, a fellow 6th round pick mate of the 2016 Patriots Class with Ted Karras and Elandon Roberts, is an intriguing player. While he might have been a better fit for Miami’s previous staff under Gase and Burke, he’s a fantastic special teamer and has shown well as a blitzer and coverage linebacker. His presence probably means guys like Sam Eguavoen and Calvin Munson are in the danger zone.
Clayton Fejedelem is more a like-for-like replacement for Aikens. A hard-hitting safety who’s a demon on special teams. Fejedelem probably won’t get a lot of looks on defense, especially if Miami ends up drafting another safety, but the bonus with Fejedelem, as compared to Aikens, is if you have to call on him to play on defense, he’s going to be better equipped to handle it.
Improving the Ground Game
I’ll admit, with Ereck Flowers being the first reported signing of free agency, I was a little worried the ghosts of Jeff Ireland and Mike Tannenbaum were summoned by the Tequesta. Flowers reputation carries stains, but he played well the second half of 2019 as LG for the Redskins. I hope Miami leaves him there. Ted Karras comes over after playing as center for the Patriots in 2019. He’s a bigger guy than Daniel Kilgore. He’s smart. He’s tough. He struggles a little in space and with power. I do wonder if Michael Deiter gets a shot to compete with him at the C spot with Flowers at LG, where Deiter played last year.
Both Flowers and Karras will get the opportunity to block for newly signed running back Jordan Howard (a favorite of my wife’s as he’s a fellow Indiana Hoosier). Howard’s a bigger back at 225lbs, but he’s more well rounded than he is a power back. He can catch and be a weapon in the pass game. He’s also pretty savvy with inside and outside zone runs. With Chan Gailey and Eric Studesville working on the ground game, Howard’s sure to get plenty of use.
Tight end Michael Roberts has played just 12 games over the past three seasons due to injuries and poor play. He was traded to the Patriots last year but failed a physical cancelling the trade. Detroit waived him and he was claimed by Green Bay but failed a physical there. He battled weight gain, depression and had his left shoulder surgically repaired. More of a blocking TE, he roasted the Dolphins in 2018, naturally, when Detroit came to Miami. If Roberts plays up to his potential, I think he’s got the ability to challenge Durham Smythe for that #2 TE role – being an inline TE.
Prepping for April
While the Draft won’t have the party that Vegas would’ve offered, that’s the next major step for Chris Grier. Miami needs to get the Draft right. We’re talking 2017 Saints right. We’re talking 2019 Raiders right. Miami has the opportunity to inject a lot of talent, in addition to the quarterback, into this team.
Go figure that the year Miami as FINALLY loaded up on picks, the COVID-19 breakout has forced Pro Days and 30 Visits to mostly be cancelled. And unless something drastically changes in the next few weeks, Miami and the rest of the league aren’t going to have as much operating information as they normally do. Miami will have to rely more on scouting than in the past.
The outbreak also likely puts a dent into each team’s offseason program. Teams will have to head into their offseason programs storming to get ready for the season. Let’s hope Miami doesn’t have a truncated offseason like they did in 2011 under Tony Sparano, which lead to an 0-7 start.
For now, with quarantines in place, there’s likely not going to be a lot happening for the Dolphins between now and the Draft. Hunker down. Watch tape (Game Pass is free). Familiarize yourself with Flores’s scheme. Watch “Humble and Hungry” – I highly recommend it! But above all, stay safe. We can get through this together.
You may recall Travis and I made a trip to Miami last year for the Bengals-Dolphins game. We were credentialed for it, meaning we were members of the media for that day. I think one of the most lasting impressions I have from that trip is just how many pieces work to create the “machine” that is each NFL team. Miami have a lot of great people in place.
I’d only ever been to one other Dolphins game in Miami. That was back in 2010. I don’t remember what Hard Rock Stadium was called at the time; it’s had many different iterations since it was Joe Robbie Stadium. But I remember walking around that stadium thinking it was dumpy. And I’d been to some dumpy stadiums – Old RFK Stadium for a Washington Nationals Game, whatever they call the Coliseum where the Raiders played, and the A’s still call home. Riverfront Stadium – the stadium of my youth. These were the stadiums that Hard Rock rivaled in 2010.
What Mr. Ross and Tom Garfinkel have done to the place is INCREDIBLE! I’ve been to Lucas Oil Stadium and the renovated version of Lambeau Field (2010 and 2016). Those two places are crown jewels. Hard Rock Stadium as it stands right now is nicer than both!
Miami’s building a fantastic new team headquarters and training complex. Travis and I stopped by Team HQ in Davie on our trip to pick up a parking pass for the game. The current HQ is nice (I live in Cincinnati and drive by Paul Brown Stadium daily on my way to work – that’s my comparison, but Miami’s is nicer), but it’s small. This new place is going to be world-class.
Brian Flores the Head Coach. While it’s only been a year with him at the helm, just by being in his presence, hearing him speak and listening to what the players said about him – there’s not a man in that building that wouldn’t run to the TNT Wall for him. Miami’s finally got the Head Coach they’ve longed for since Don Shula strode the sidelines.
The Dolphins have added 11 pieces so far, and the have the opportunity to select a new franchise quarterback in a month. If Chris Grier, Marvin Allen, Reggie McKenzie, Brian Flores, the staff, and the scouts get this right Miami’s going to have built one hell of a machine. Just in time for the post-Tom Brady Era in the AFC East.
It’s a wonderful time to be a Dolfan! All is certainly not right in the world. Not by a longshot. But in these trying times where we all need to cling to some form of solace, the Dolphins are providing one. It’s a small part of my everyday life, but it’s one of my favorite parts. Always has been. Always will be. FinsUp!
Free agency opens; Reshad Jones, Mike Hull lead Miami Dolphins cuts
MIAMI (Locked On Dolphins) – While the two-day legal tampering period has already been underway, free agency officially opened on Wednesday at 4 p.m.
Since many of the heavy-hitting signs and trades have already been announced, the start of the new league year will be more about ratifying all those moves.
The Miami Dolphins, at the time of writing, have announced 10 free agency moves.
And with that, there has been the consequential announcement of cutdowns to counterbalance the roster spots of incoming players.
Reshad Jones leads the list and is also the only technical release, but the Dolphins had already announced that.
Jones was going into his 11th season and spent the first 10 with the Dolphins.
It wouldn’t be surprising to see Jones sign with a new team in the coming days of free agency.
Nearly half a dozen players were also waived: wide receiver T.J. Rahming, cornerback Rashard Causey, tackle Chidi Okeke, interior offensive lineman Evan Brown, defensive lineman Kendrick Norton, and linebacker Mike Hull.
Rahming, Causey, and Okeke spent the 2019 season as practice squad members.
Brown saw playing time late in the 2019 season but had been plucked off the Giants practice squad.
Hull might be the most interesting name on the list. He had been a scrappy ‘backer presence for the Dolphins after signing with the team as a UDFA in 2015.
Hull re-signed with the Dolphins last spring.
But he spent the 2019 season on the Physically Unable to Perform list with a knee injury and didn’t play.
Norton was also kept on the team during the 2019 season by way of the Non-Football Injury list after a car accident last summer.
Miami Dolphins Bring On Another Ex-Patriot, Sign LB Elandon Roberts
The Miami Dolphins are loading up on leadership. If there’s one thing the Dolphins have made a priority this offseason, it’s adding smart, determined football players to their team. Under Brian Flores‘ stewardship, I doubt we ever see a broken locker room again.
According to Cameron Wolfe of ESPN, the Miami Dolphins are signing linebacker Elandon Roberts to a contract. Financial details are currently unknown.
Dolphins agreed to a deal with former Patriots LB Elandon Roberts, per source.
— Cameron Wolfe (@CameronWolfe) March 18, 2020
Roberts is yet another ex-New England Patriot to leave Boston this offseason for warmer pastures down south, following fellow-linebacker Kyle Van Noy, and the recent addition of (center) Ted Karras earlier today.
Originally drafted as a 6th-round pick by the New England Patriots in 2016, Roberts has primarily served as a special teams ace, while also serving as depth at linebacker.
If you were impressed by Biegel’s production last season, you will be pleased with the type of versatility Roberts brings. Over the past four seasons, Roberts has been active for 60 games (starting 33 of them), and has accumulated 4 sacks, 6 passes defended, 206 tackles, 15 tackles for a loss and 14 QB Hits.
Roberts is stout against the run, something the Dolphins have lacked over the past couple of seasons.
Run-stuffing LB/FB Elandon Roberts, a team captain in 2019, reunites with Brian Flores. The Patriots have Dont’a Hightower and Ja’Whaun Bentley as top ILBs. https://t.co/yvYxvVgMV4
— Mike Reiss (@MikeReiss) March 18, 2020
If you were curious what all the additions at linebacker meant for Vince Biegel, this doesn’t make things any clearer. Biegel is tendered at a “cheap” rate next season, so there’s no need to trade him or let him walk, but with the additions of Roberts and Kamu Grugier-Hill so far this offseason, it seems snap counts are becoming sparser.
Right now, the Dolphins currently have the following linebackers on their roster for 2020:
- Chase Allen
- Jerome Baker
- Vince Biegel
- Jake Carlock
- James Crawford
- Jamal Davis II
- Sam Eguavoen
- Terrill Hanks
- Trent Harris
- Mike Hull
- Deon Lacy
- Raekwon McMillan
- Calvin Munson
- Andrew Van Ginkel
They recently added:
- Kyle Van Noy
- Elandon Roberts
- Kamu Grugier-Hill
Sam Eguavoen was a budding linebacker and special teams player for the Dolphins last season, but it looks like he’ll need to have an excellent training camp to remain on the team. It’ll also be interesting to see what this means for last year’s 5th-round pick, Andrew Van Ginkel.
- Turning the Machine in the Right Direction March 22, 2020
- Free agency opens; Reshad Jones, Mike Hull lead Miami Dolphins cuts March 18, 2020
- Miami Dolphins Bring On Another Ex-Patriot, Sign LB Elandon Roberts March 18, 2020
- Miami Dolphins sign center Ted Karras March 18, 2020
- Miami Dolphins Bolster Their Running Backs, Sign Jordan Howard March 17, 2020