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Miami Dolphins

Miami Dolphins Mock Offseason for 2020

Travis Wingfield

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Version 1.0 of Mocking Miami’s Busy 2020 Offseason

This is a crucial point for all passengers of the tank. We are 25% of the way through our patrol of the battlefield, and fast approaching the point of no return. Epic beat downs from four formidable opponents confirms what we speculated leading up to the season — this Dolphins team is pretty terrible.

Some will argue that pivotal contests remain on the itinerary. Three meetings with the futile football teams that play in New Jersey are ahead. A late date with the bungling Bengals could serve as a satirical Super Bowl of sorts. Perhaps none are bigger than next Sunday’s home tilt against an outfit who’s on-field product is superior, but represent an utter mess behind the scenes.

My empathy for other football teams is nonexistent these days — the result of donning the aqua and orange. But if I were to feel any modicum of remorse for another team, it might be Washington. While they can outclass the Dolphins on the field on Sunday, the long-term prospects for that organization are as dire as Miami’s 2019 playoff hopes.

The counterpoint to importance of these games that ultimately allow Miami to control its own tank destiny is tangible. Tangible in the sense that, while there’s plenty of bad football currently being played in the NFL, nobody has scratched the surface on the Dolphins level of futility.

So, as fans, how do we survive that?

Hope. It has always been about hope.

While the interim is as bleak as ever, the Dolphins are in a position to add double digit premium players to its roster next offseason. Of most significance, a high-grade, potentially elite quarterback that could rise the tide in South Beach faster than climate change.

Life as a Dolphins supporter/analyst revolves around finding ways to repair the proverbial vehicle after a disappointing season. Usually, that occurs around the holidays. This year, however, we’re quoting the cost to replace the transmission and restore the paint job prior to the conclusion of baseball’s divisional playoff round.

The downside — the loss of a precious, precious football season. The upshot — it’s different this time around. Opposed to a needs-focused approach that results in underwhelming bandage attempts, Miami will start the process of a new…well, process.

Stephen Ross’ reported greatest objection with the football operations came during the 2018 NFL Draft. Whether he was motivated by the idea of Lamar Jackson, or simply was not sold on the value of Minkah Fitzpatrick, the true origin of his desires was based in gathering draft picks.

The owner of the Dolphins doubled-down on this philosophy. Ross, in his state of the franchise address back on New Year’s Eve, discussed his preference to acquire multiple draft picks.

With over $150 million in available cap space, and the promise of an aggressive free agent period, Miami are in a unique position. All of those draft picks will play on cheap, rookie deals that last between four and five years.

Juxtaposing those contracts, paying the high market values for free agents in 2020 will be offset by the cheap nature of rookie contracts. In an ideal world, Miami will run into a problem five years down the road. A welcome problem where the Dolphins brass have to choose which players get second contracts.

For reference, think about the current Dallas Cowboys. The result of terrific drafting has put Dallas in the enviable position of having too much talent in a salary capped league. If Miami can get to that point, the team’s annual manipulation of the draft board will keep the cupboards perpetually stocked, allowing Miami to preemptively draft replacements for free agent departures.

The beauty of that plan is that Miami can use the draft as its own personal pipeline. At that point, the team can sit on its hands in free agency and collect compensatory picks to sustain the model of winning the draft by simply possessing more picks than everybody else.

New England has done this for years, and the plan is certainly aided by rostering an elite quarterback. Something the Dolphins believe they will be getting in short order.

Alright, that’s the lengthiest lede in the history of sports columns. Let’s get to the real reason you’re here — the mock offseason.

Free Agent Haul (Primary Signings):

DB – Byron Jones – Dallas
DB – Tavon Wilson – Detroit
LB – Kyler Fackrell – Green Bay
DL – Adam Butler – New England
OL – George Fant – Seattle
OL – Brandon Scheff – Washington
TE – Mo Alie-Cox – Indianapolis
WR – Emmanuel Sanders – Denver
RB – Austin Ekeler – Los Angeles (Chargers)

Dolphins 2020 Draft (First Three Rounds)

  1. (1) QB Tua Tagovailoa – Alabama
  2. (10) CB Jeffery Okudah – Ohio State (after a trade back)
  3. (25) C Creed Humphrey – Oklahoma
  4. (33) WR Henry Ruggs – Alabama
  5. (55) OT Lucas Niang – Texas Christian
  6. (65) Edge Khalid Kareem – Notre Dame
  7. (100) RB J.K. Dobbins – Ohio State

Projected 2020 Line Up

 

Position Players (Offense – 24)
QB Tua Tagovailoa, Josh Rosen
RB Austin Eckler, J.K Dobbins, Mark Walton, Patrick Laird, Chandler Cox
WR Preston Williams, Henry Ruggs, Emmanuel Sanders, Jakeem Grant, Devante Parker
TE Mike Gesicki, Mo Alie-Cox, Durham Smythe
LT Jesse Davis, George Fant
LG Michael Deiter, Evan Boehm
C Creed Humphrey
RG Brandon Scherff, Shaq Calhoun
RT Lucas Niang, Isaiah Prince

 

Position Players (Defense – 26)
DL Davon Godchaux, Robert Nkemdiche
DL Christian Wilkins, Adam Butler, Jonathan Ledbetter
DL Taco Charlton, John Jenkins
LB Kyler Fackrell, Andrew Van Ginkel, Sam Eguavoen
LB Jerome Baker, Vince Biegel
LB Raekwon McMillan, Kareem Khalid
CB Xavien Howard, Ken Webster
CB Jeffery Okudah, Chris Lammons
CB Bobby McCain, Jomal Wiltz, Cordrea Tankerlsey
S Byron Jones, Johnson Bademosi, Walt Aikens
S Tavon Wilson, Steven Parker

 

This roster checks in with nine significant free agent signings — five on the offense, four on the defense. We retained some of the personnel previously deemed as players the Dolphins could move on from, and some of those are simply placeholders for mid and late-round draft picks that I need to spend more time studying.

In total, we have 17 new players, but consider that five or six of these players won’t be here with the later round rookies infused, we’re looking at 23-man changeover from last season – a 44% upheaval. The point of this article is to demonstrate that this rebuild can happen in one offseason. It’s more likely that it’ll take two offseasons to completely reshape the team, but this roster will be gutted this coming winter.

Relying on this many rookies is a risky proposition. Relying on this many players left over from 2019 that are more projections than solidified quality NFL players is a risky proposition. But if we are riding into this rebuild with Brian Flores, and the staff he assembled, we need to expect that they will do their part and develop all this talent.

The potential for 2020 could be big, but it’s more than likely about identifying which areas need final reinforcement for the real run in 2021.

It’s dark and dingy inside the tank right now. Stomaching the next three months won’t be for the faint of heart. But when we crack the seal on the turret, and emerge on the other side, hopefully the glorious view of utopia makes all of this worth the ride.

@WingfieldNFL

 

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8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Daniel Meehan

    October 6, 2019 at 8:47 pm

    Travis, I love this article but I don’t see additions that get to QB. Patriots on pace to get 60 sacks and where on pace to get 20 sacks.I would forget about trade and either draft issah Simmons or grant delpit.

  2. Avatar

    Daniel Meehan

    October 6, 2019 at 9:56 pm

    I did look at the film of Kareem and Frackell.They may be decent options. I’m also high on Curtis weaver. The bottom line is we need players like Van Noy and winovich. Travis, thanks for all you do.

  3. Avatar

    Baatdad

    October 6, 2019 at 10:29 pm

    Absolutely Love your suggestions

    • Avatar

      Raul

      October 7, 2019 at 3:19 pm

      I do not see spending a cent on anyone other than Fackrell, Scheff and Fant as s Backup with Manageable Salary,
      Scheff is a Great a Player with several years to Play, Fackrell has potential and Young.
      The others are either too Old or little Production, dirty fo not see the Point. Spend on Young with Potential and relatively Good Production,

    • Avatar

      Raul

      October 7, 2019 at 3:23 pm

      I do not see spending a cent on anyone other than Fackrell, Scheff and Fant as s Backup with Manageable Salary,
      Scheff is a Great a Player with several years to Play, Fackrell has potential and Young.
      The others are either too Old or little Production, do not see the Point. Spend on Young with Potential and relatively Good Production.
      Like and agree with your Draft except for the Kid from ND,

  4. Avatar

    MikeyMoore

    October 7, 2019 at 5:22 pm

    Great Article

  5. Avatar

    Marchcool

    October 7, 2019 at 10:33 pm

    Wishful thinking!
    The FO are composed by morons, starting with the owner S. Ross.
    Otherwise this kind of brilliant and master plan had happened years ago. But no, Ross had Ireland and Tannenbaum and didn’t want to acknowledge their stupidity until it was too late. Ross cannot acknowledge his own, and now is already late…very late. This is the tragedy of our beloved team, sadly.

  6. Avatar

    Darry

    October 8, 2019 at 3:20 am

    Go for Tevin Coleman instead of Ekeler and I know it’s early but Boehm has looked competent so far.
    The team should see what they have in him before signing a FA guard to a mega deal.

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Miami Dolphins

Miami Dolphins Extend DeVante Parker

Jason Hrina

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Image Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

One of the longest-tenured players on the team may very well be a Miami Dolphin for life.

According to Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network, the Miami Dolphins have extended DeVante Parker through the 2023 season.

All of the details are still being flushed out, but the deal is a 4-year, $40m extension, with an $8m signing bonus (which is guaranteed).

According to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, Parker will earn $4.5m guaranteed in 2020, and $7.7m guaranteed in 2021.

Parker signs this extension in the middle of a career year. His 55 catches are 1 shy of his career-high (56, 2016), his 882 receiving yards surpass his prior career-high by 138 yards (2016), and his 6 touchdowns are only 3 less than his career total coming into the 2019 season.

Whether it’s Chad O’Shea‘s offense, a shift in Quarterback mentality, or the receiver finally coming into his own, Parker has shown that he can be a #1 receiver in this offense. Though some fans may be hoping for DeAndre Hopkins or Odell Beckham Jr. “elite”, the truth is, Parker isn’t that far behind.

His extension is in line with his production, and it’s fair to say that Parker’s potential still hasn’t been tapped. It’ll be interesting to see how much Parker builds off of his career-year, especially if the Dolphins can solidify their offensive line and give their receivers a chance to get open (more often).

Parker joins Ryan Tannehill and Mike Pouncey as the only other 1st-round picks drafted this decade to have signed an extension with the team.

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Miami Dolphins

Miami Dolphins roster move round-up: Week 15 sees several more changes

Shawn Digity

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Miami Dolphins Linden Stephens
Linden Stephens defending Los Angeles Rams tight end Johnny Mundt

MIAMI (Locked On Dolphins) – Miami Dolphins continue to change up the roster

The Miami Dolphins have continued their roster churning in Week 15, leading up to their prizefight against the New York Giants on December 15.

While it’s been a mainstay strategy for the Dolphins this year, to comb over the waiver wire and the free agency market, there was a significant uptick in waiver wire awards last, totaling four new players being claimed.

Last week’s claimed players included Trevor Davis, Mack Hollins, Zach Zenner, and Zach Sieler. Zenner’s Miami stint was short-lived; he was waived on Tuesday, December 10 to make room for the newest wave of Dolphins signees.

Along with Zenner’s release, the Miami Dolphins added cornerbacks Ken Webster and Ryan Lewis to the Injured Reserve list.

Those three transactions allowed the Dolphins to scoop a player from the New England Patriots’ practice squad, defensive back Nate Brooks, a second player from the Tennessee Titans’ practice squad, linebacker Jamal Davis II, and a third player, offensive lineman Adam Pankey, who was waived by the Green Bay Packers.

Nate Brooks is a rookie defensive back that played at North Texas and has spent time with the Patriots and Arizona Cardinals.

Jamal Davis II is also a rookie. He entered the league from Akron. As mentioned above, he spent time with the Titans earlier this year before the Miami Dolphins signed him.

Adam Pankey is the most traveled player the Dolphins have added. Pankey went undrafted in 2017 out of West Virginia and has had two runs with the Packers and a short one with the Titans.

On December 7, cornerback Linden Stephens was added to the roster in a last-minute shuffle before the Dolphins-Jets game. Cornerback Chris Lammons was released to make room for Stephens on the squad, per Adam Beasley.

Stephens has had tenures with the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos. He formerly played at Cincinnati in college.

In practice squad news, cornerback Rashard Causey was added to the group on December 12, per Safid Deen. Causey played college ball at UCF and has spent time with the Denver Broncos.

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Miami Dolphins

Dolphins Giants Week 15 Preview

Travis Wingfield

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Dolphins set to run it back in New York

Who: Dolphins (3-10) @ Giants (2-11)
When: Sunday December 15, 1:00 East
Where: MetLife Stadium — East Rutherford, NJ
Weather: 35 degrees, partly cloudy
Vegas Slant: Dolphins +3

DolphinsGiants

The Miami Dolphins did not equip Brian Flores with a competitive roster for the 2019 season. Despite taking a path traveled by nobody else in the league, Miami sits with a better record than three teams in the league, and Sunday will pit the Fins up against one of those teams.

The Giants thought they were constructing a playoff roster that could run the football behind former number-two overall pick Saquon Barkley, and disrupt both the run and pass with an influx of high resources spent on the defensive line.

Even with half the cash payroll of the next lowest team on that notorious list, and 11 of its original opening day starters gone for one reason or another, Miami enter a week-15 road game as mere three-point dogs.

Still, with three or four new bodies working into the rotation every week, Brian Flores’ Dolphins have won three games since the bye week, and been within a score in the fourth quarter for all nine games.

Does either team want to win this game? Of course the players and coaches will want to be rewarded for a long, arduous work week, but what good does a victory do in the grand scheme of things? Flores has proven that he can coach his ass off, while Pat Shurmur is assured to lose his job whatever happens these final three weeks.

The cost, for the Giants, could be Chase Young. For Miami, perhaps even more severe as the best quarterback prospect of the last several years could suddenly be available because of medical concerns, should the team land in the top five.

A victory Sunday will likely remove Miami from that perch as the Lions and Cardinals are both underdogs, and would each jump the Dolphins with a one-game difference in the standings.

The Scheme:

Offense:

Mike Shula’s scheme is as 11-personnel heavy as any in the league, but things have changed due to injuries. Without Evan Ingram to provide the ultimate flexibility between 11 and 12-personnel packages, the Giants have lacked much variety in his absence. Using 81% one back, one tight end (3rdmost in football), Miami will be afforded the opportunity to get creative on defense altering its pre-snap look from the same package.

The Giants are successful on just 41% of their plays from this personnel grouping, including 12 interceptions, 31 sacks and just 6.6 yards per passing play. New York only runs one other package (12-personnel) and also doesn’t have a lot of success out of that grouping. Adhering to old school principles, the Giants don’t throw from run formations, and the predictability has the Giants averaging just 5.7 YPA from 12-personnel.

The Giants rank 26th in total offense, 22nd in passing, 26th in rushing and 25th in scoring.

Defense:

James Bettcher is a fan of sending pressure, and he will certainly try to heat up Ryan Fitzpatrick on Sunday. Fitzpatrick might have the last laugh with his ability to get the ball hot to the interior receivers working in behind the linebackers and winning one-on-one matchups with a young defensive backfield.

The Giants base is a 3-4 look, but elements of that defense are always sparingly used because of the nature of modern day football. Bettcher wants to get pressure out of his outside backers in Markus Golden, Oshane Ximines and Lorenzo Carter, using his interior backers in a more traditional, off-ball sense.

New York blitzes 28.7% of the time — exactly the middle of the pack at 16th— but it’s safe to assume they’ll turn that number up on Sunday. The G-Men are in the middle of the pack in hurry rate, knockdown rate and pressure rate. The Giants 94 missed tackles are 13th most in the league.

The Giants rank 27th in total defense 26th in passing, 20th in rushing and 28th in scoring defense.

The Players:

Offense:

Eli Manning is Eli Manning. The Giants hung onto him for three years too long, and his storied career appears to be coming to an end in three weeks. Filling in for the injured Daniel Jones gives the Miami defense a chance to tee off on a quarterback for the first time since the home win over Sam Darnold and the New York Jets.

Manning can’t move, he can’t drive the ball, and there’s really no reason for him to be on a roster at this point. The Dolphins will hit him, turn him over, and dominate the Giants offense is he plays.

New York funneled a lot of resources into its offensive line, and it’s still one of the worst in football. Miami lacks true pass rushers, so it’ll be up to the stunts and games up front to get pressure. Expect Flores to blitz Manning relentlessly, likely with a lot of zero looks.

Holding Saquon Barkley has been easier for opponents this year. A lot of the Giants running game gets Barkley going horizontally, and he’s been able to make the big plays due to poor blocking and a nasty ankle sprain earlier in the year.

This game will be a big test for Taco Charlton, Vince Biegel, Andrew Van Ginkel, Charles Harris and the rest of the Miami edge players.

Defense:

Markus Golden stands to wreck this game for Miami. He’ll come down off the offense’s left edge, and that position has been an issue for the Dolphins all year long. Sliding protection and using a back or tight end to chip Golden is the only way Fitzpatrick will have any time to throw.

On the inside, the Giants offer the beef that Miami’s interior line struggles with the most. Dexter Lawrence is massive, and those are the kind of players that give Daniel Kilgore problems up front.

Alec Ogletree remains a focal point of the Giants defense, and that presents a lot of opportunities for the Dolphins. Look for Miami to empty out the backfield from 12 and 11-personnel, find Ogletree in coverage, and go to work.

The New York secondary is full of inexperience. Rookie DeAndre Baker has worn the rabbit hat (teams go after him) all year long while Janoris Jenkins appears to have past his prime.

This is a slow defense and I’d be surprised if Chad O’Shea doesn’t have his way with it in the passing game.

The Medical:

(Coming Friday)

The Opportunities:

If Devante Parker can go, there isn’t a player in the Giants defensive backfield that can handle his skill set. Regardless, Miami’s passing schemes will create opportunities for whichever players are healthy, especially Allen Hurns inside on mismatches from 12-personnel against linebackers. Patrick Laird should draw some favorable matchups in the passing game in his own right — expect a big day for The Intern.

If it’s Eli, expect a lot of pressure sent to overwhelm a bad Giants line and quarterback. If it’s Daniel Jones, expect Miami to play coverage and take the ball away from the rookie. Either way, this is the day the Dolphins defense gets healthy.

The Concerns:

The Giants skill players can make some noise. Darius Slayton’s speed is a problem, and he’s been producing regardless of who’s under center. The Dolphins added yet another pair of defensive backs to the injured reserve, and that’ll provide a challenge against Slayton, Golden Tate and Sterling Sheppard.

Miami haven’t been able to block many pass rushes, and they’ve created almost nothing by way of the ground game, so the Giants talented front is an issue. There will be one-on-one opportunities aplenty for Markus Golden, Dexter Lawrence, Dalvin Tomlinson and Leonard Williams.

The Projected Outcome:

It doesn’t matter if it’s Daniel Jones or Eli Manning. Both are going to give the Dolphins defense opportunities to take the football away, and neither presents much fear to a unit that is full of undrafted free agents are largely unknowns. Manning doesn’t have the physical traits to scare anyone and Jones is on track for the most turnovers at the position per game of all time. If Jones plays, it will be on a tender ankle that robs the one trait he has — his mobility.

Miami beat the Jets in November in convincing fashion. Every other game since the bye week — with the exception of the Cleveland and Buffalo (home) games — have been white knuckle affairs. This game has the makeup of a blowout, but in favor of the road team.

A bitter, angry team off the loss last week responds to Brian Flores’ message and puts a beating on the Giants.

Dolphins 27
Giants 13

@WingfieldNFL

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