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Miami’s Position in the 2019 Quarterback Market

Travis Wingfield

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All that remains from the divisive Ryan Tannehill debate are a few dying embers. The brash, vocal faction of the fan base that dissented more optimistic ‘Phins fans will claim it was a waste of seven years.

Prior to Tannehill’s arrival in 2012 the quarterback situation in Miami was as bad as any in the NFL. Tannehill, for all of his warts, served as a stabilizing force. Now, after another regime change and a trio of ailing injuries, the time has come to move on.

While the likelihood of Miami ushering in a new opening day starter in 2019 is a near-certainty, the name of said new signal-caller is an utter enigma.

It’s an interesting off-season ahead in the NFL. One could argue that, never before, have so few teams sought a franchise quarterback.

Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

After a catastrophic season at the most important position in football, Miami sits at the forefront of the buyer’s market. While ambiguity exists for a few (Cincinnati and Tennessee, potentially among others), there are six teams in clear demand for a fresh face in the quarterback room.

Washington, Denver, Cincinnati, Jacksonville, Miami, and the New York Giants each have unmistakable holes that left each team on the outside-looking-in this January.

While the draft remains king for finding a franchise quarterback, free agency and the trade market have provided fruitful dividends in recent years.

As Nick Foles sits atop the March recruiting trail, a quiet, secondary market could develop and remove one of the teams from the list. It was a year ago, almost to the day, that Alex Smith was surprisingly dealt to Washington. Rumors are hardly substantiated this time of year, but Ryan Tannehill’s name has been attached to the Bengals in multiple reports.

In this January hypothetical, Tannehill moving to Cincinnati would force another starting-quality passer onto the market in Andy Dalton.

Whether the Dolphins are bluffing, or are actually committed to a tear-down style rebuild, the franchise is searching for a new toy this spring. Will Miami take the checkbook to the shady “we finance anyone” lot? Or will the Dolphins be shopping on the dealership’s showroom floor?

2019 Free Agent Quarterback Market

Player 2018 Team 2018 Salary Projected 2019 Value
Teddy Bridgewater New Orleans $6,000,000 Starter/Bridge QB
Tyrod Taylor Cleveland $15,250,000 Backup/Bridge QB
Ryan Fitzpatrick Tampa Bay $3,300,000 Backup QB

 

Potential Secondary Quarterback Market (cuts, trades, etc.)

Player 2018 Team 2019 Cash Due Projected 2019 Value
Nick Foles Philadelphia $20,000,000 Franchise QB
Joe Flacco Baltimore $20,500,000 Starter/Bridge QB
Andy Dalton Cincinnati $16,200,000 Starter/Bridge QB
Ryan Tannehill Miami $18,750,000 Starter/Bridge QB

 

2019 Draft Eligible Quarterbacks (Projected rounds 1-3)

Player School Projected Draft Value
Dwayne Haskins Ohio State Top 10
Drew Lock Missouri Top 15
Kyler Murray Oklahoma Top 20
Daniel Jones Duke Round 1-2
Will Grier West Virginia Round 2-3
Jarrett Stidham Auburn Round 2-4
Brett Rypien Boise State Round 3-4

 

Nick Foles and Joe Flacco will indubitably move on from Philadelphia and Baltimore respectively – both players said as much in their last press availability with their current teams. From what we at Locked On Dolphins gather, Miami is set to do the same with Ryan Tannehill. In Cincinnati, everything the Bengals do is a guessing game (Andy Dalton).

Foles will be paid as a premiere-level starter by some QB-starved team. Deserved or not, that’s what a couple of impressive playoff runs will do. Teddy Bridgewater is trickiest ticket to figure. His one start since the 2015 season was an abject failure in New Orleans, but somebody is going to pay him like a starter.

Then there’s a bunch of names absent of any excitable features for a fan base, and the rather bleak draft class. The first three names on the draft table provide intrigue, but the other’s best-bet is likely holding a clipboard at the next level.

So where does Miami figure into this convoluted, less-than-desirable market? Before we project who lands where in the game of musical chairs, let’s first look back to 2018’s off season quarterback merry-go-round.

2018 Off-Season Quarterback Movement

Player How Acquired Guarantees/Draft Slot Acquisition Grade
Baker Mayfield Drafted 1st overall (CLE) A
Alex Smith Trade (KC) $71,000,000 (WSH, 4 yr) B
Kirk Cousins Free Agent (WSH) $85,000,000 (MIN, 3 yr) B-
Teddy Bridgewater Free Agent (MIN) $6,000,000 (NYJ, 1 yr) B-
A.J. McCarron Free Agent (CIN) $4,900,000 (BUF, 2 yr) D
Case Keenum Free Agent (MIN) $25,000,000 (DEN, 2 yr) D
Sam Bradford Free Agent (MIN) $20,000,000 (ARI, 1 yr) F
Lamar Jackson Drafted 32nd overall Incomplete
Josh Allen Drafted 7th overall Incomplete
Sam Darnold Drafted 3rd overall Incomplete
Josh Rosen Drafted 10th overall Incomplete

 

Of the 11 names on that list, nine were, at one time or another, entrusted as the starting quarterback moving forward. Bridgewater fetches the Jets a B- grade simply for the ROI – a third round pick when he was dealt to New Orleans. Smith earns the second-highest grade because of his impact prior to the devastating injury that may have ended his career.

This coming March/April won’t see as much moving and shaking, but considerable investments will be made. This is the most stressful decision each of these front offices will make for the next 12 months as jobs will be tied to the success of the new quarterbacks.

How will it all shake out? It’s early, but here’s our best guess.

Jacksonville Jaguars – Nick Foles

This is the lowest hanging fruit of the group. Jacksonville recently hired Foles’ 2017 Quarterbacks Coach in John DeFilippo. Under Tom Coughlin and Doug Marrone, the Jags want to be a physical run-first team that is ready to win now. That means no waiting around on a rookie’s learning curve.

Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Jacksonville made the most egregious decision in all of football in the 2018 off-season. A commitment to Blake Bortles, to lead a championship-caliber roster, projects well for another mistake at the position. Forecasting Foles’ demise once removed from the QB-friendly system in Philadelphia is hardly going out on a limb.

Denver Broncos – Drew Lock

Offering arm strength and charisma in spades, Drew Lock is the perfect quarterback for John Elway. Despite numerous attempts to do so, Elway has failed to replace Peyton Manning after the 2015 Super Bowl season.

Denver can likely stay put at the 10th pick and find their QB of the future. Retaining Case Keenum as the bridge before Lock takes over is the most logical course.

New York Giants – Dwayne Haskins

This is the marriage I feel least confident in predicting. Dave Gettleman is antiquated enough in his ways that the Giants could conceivably go back into another season with the corpse of Eli Manning under center. In this scenario, Haskins falls to the Giants at six and forces their hand.

Washington Redskins – Andy Dalton, Kyler Murray

Jay Gruden coached Dalton in Cincinnati and the Bengals can cut the Red Riffle nearly free of any consequences. Washington’s plan to inject some positivity back into the fan-base is a trade-up for the electric Kyler Murray.

Dalton helps Gruden ease Murray into his complex offense to help kick start a franchise starved for a winner.

Cincinnati Bengals – Ryan Tannehill

Mike Brown does things entirely independent of the normal operating procedure in the NFL. He’s a cheapskate, both with his own front office and in the free agency market, his tiny group of high-ranking officials provides very little information by way of leaks, and he’s loyal to employees for reasons unknown.

The Bengals make a change for the sake of making a change. You might call this a slight upgrade, but it’s essentially a lateral move for the Bengals.

Miami Dolphins – Teddy Bridgewater

The climax of this column is sure to leave Dolphins fans wanting. Until Miami does something bold, like going up to get a Kyler Murray, I’m not predicting any fireworks. Bridgewater wants to be in Miami, and 2019 could be a “feel out” season for Chris Grier and Brian Flores.

Mandatory Credit: Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Bridgewater is something of a boom-or-bust asset as he was showing promise and ascension prior to the catastrophic knee injury in 2016. If he busts, Miami lands on the fast track Tua Tagovailoa, Jake Fromm, or Justin Herbert. And if Bridgewater works out, the position is stabilized once more.

 

As free agency develops we can glean a better idea of how this game of proverbial musical chairs will end. Daniel Jones, Will Grier and the rest of the rookies didn’t get assigned a team. While the prospects could land with any of these teams, an educated guess for day-two picks isn’t exactly feasible.

Miami faces an incredibly challenging decision this off-season. The opportunity to make a play for a rookie quarterback exists. One thing is for certain – we’ll find out about the sincerity of the rebuild (tank) on April 25.

@WingfieldNFL

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4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Bond, David Bond

    January 27, 2019 at 10:29 pm

    Miami should sign Teddy Bridgewater and draft Daniel Jones or Tyler Murray. If they can’t get Bridgewater, then they should trade tannehill for Josh Rosen; even trade.
    Then we will be set at QB for years to come; with 3 good QBs; (Rosen or Bridgewater, Daniel Jones or Tyler Murray and Luke Falk!

    • Avatar

      PapaPickett

      January 28, 2019 at 10:49 pm

      I am definitely wasting my time here buy WHY would the Cardinals trade Rosen for Tannehill?

  2. Avatar

    Joshua Pickett

    January 28, 2019 at 10:55 pm

    This article was so well written. It was excellent. I almost woke my wife up laughing about Eli Mannings corpse. I think alot of these moves are very logical. I too believe Nick Foles will regress and since the Jags think Bortles is a NFL qb Foles is a perfect candidate for the next flop. I am on board big time for the Dolphins to go after Teddy Bridgewater. I have no reservations about paying him very well for 2-3 years with 1 or 2 years guaranteed. The kid can ball. Ill never forget how he torche the U in his final bowl game. Like you said, if it doesnt work out, no biggy, but he has a ton of upside and the Vikings were ready to crown him before his injury. I want him in Miami. Im not sure where you heard he wants us but I hope its true.

  3. Avatar

    Chad A Wilson

    January 29, 2019 at 10:12 pm

    Yes. What Joshua said.

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Miami Dolphins have exercised Laremy Tunsil’s fifth-year option

Shawn Digity

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Laremy Tunsil USA Today Sports
Laremy Tunsil taking on Khalil Mack. Image courtesy of USA Today Sports

Miami Dolphins have exercised Laremy Tunsil’s fifth-year option

The headline says it all; the Miami Dolphins have picked up Laremy Tunsil’s rookie contract fifth-year option. All 2016 first-round draftees are up for fifth-round options and the dominoes have started to fall with Tunsil.

The announcement tweet, which can be seen below, was broken on Twitter by Armando Salguero and shouldn’t come as a huge surprise to Dolphins fans. Laremy Tunsil is one of the key cogs of the team and will be the cornerstone of an otherwise enfeebled offensive line that will likely be addressed in next week’s Draft.

Laremy Tunsil is the surest thing on the Dolphins o-line in a unit that has seen better days and will require two to three new starters. While Tunsil was a no-brainer for the Dolphins to pick up that fifth-round option on, they’ll likely have to extend him at some point, which won’t come cheap since he’s one of the rising stars at left tackle.

But Laremy Tunsil is secured through the 2020 season. I hope between now and then the Dolphins spearhead an extension and get Tunsil locked up a little bit longer. Success in the trenches will start with Tunsil at left tackle and the Fins can fill in the rest during the draft.

Laremy Tunsil will realistically become the highest-paid left tackle at some point in the next few years, and the Dolphins would be wise to get ahead of the curve for that. I think that will happen.

The current frontrunner for left-tackle contracts is the Oakland Raiders’ Trent Brown, and he is making an APY (average per year) of $16.5 million with. The top ten left tackles are making from the aforementioned $16.5 million to $12 million for Green Bay’s David Bakhtiari, Kansas City’s Eric Fisher, and Cincinnati’s Cordy Glenn.

There’s an average APY of $14 million, but I expect Laremy Tunsil to eventually be well above that average when the time comes–I foresee the Dolphins making him the highest paid left tackle, remember. Full guarantees on those top-ten contracts are running between $16 and $36 million, so there’s much more variability with those portions of the contract.

Good and great left tackles aren’t cheap. Laremy Tunsil will break the bank in a few years and will be the highest paid left tackle if the Miami Dolphins intend on making him their franchise LT for years to come.

Laremy Tunsil was drafted by the Miami Dolphins in the 2016 NFL draft after an unfortunate and unfair draft-day tumble that gave the team a golden opportunity. The 2016 class has proven to be extremely fruitful (for the most part). Along with Tunsil, Xavien Howard, Kenyan Drake, and Jakeem Grant were selected in the second, third and sixth rounds, respectively, and all have made major contributions in one form or another.

Exercising Tunsil’s fifth-year option is good news for Fins fans. It’s not a blockbuster trade or a splash signing, but taking care of the best players already on the team before it snowballs out of control a la Jarvis Landry or Ju’Wuan James is a step in the right direction. And while exercising Tunsil’s option is an obvious choice, it’s still an encouraging sign nonetheless.

All contractual information courtesy of Over the Cap.

 

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Miami Dolphins

Brian Flores’ Pre-Draft Update

Jason Hrina

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Image Credit: Miami Dolphins / Jason Hrina

Get used to this mantra, Miami Dolphins fans: Adapt or Die.

You might not find it printed on training camp t-shirts for the team to sport around, but you can expect head coach Brian Flores to repeat this line often. It’s about to become ingrained in both us and the players.

Flores spoke briefly with reporters before the team finished up their 3-day “voluntary” workout and prepares for the upcoming NFL draft.

If you’ve heard these kind of comments before, it’s because Flores has nailed the proper, cliche  press conference etiquette. Answers are “insightful”, but vague. He gives you an answer while also laying out all other possibilities. That said, he’ll sometimes respond with some sarcasm and wit that’ll reassure you that there is a personality inside of him.

If there is one thing we can take away from Flores’ demeanor and message, it’s that he isn’t about to tolerate the type of locker room culture that festered under Adam Gase. There will be both accountability and self-reflection; and that’s reassuring after witnessing Gase deflect blame to everyone but himself.

With the most important day of the offseason just one week away, we take a look at what Flores had to say at his press conference earlier this morning:

On the Draft:

Most important measuring tool?:

“Combination of production. Height. Weight. Speed. Intangibles. Fit. There’s a myriad of things there. To say it’s just one thing that’s important…they’re all important.”

“Is one more important than the other, I’d say no.”

“It’s the total fit of the player and how we feel they’ll fit with our team.”

Combine/Visits, what do you get out of it?:

“Try to get to know the person, that’s a big part of this.”

“Sometimes people see players as just players. You want to know about their mom, their dad, who was an important person in their life. What kind of adversity they have faced before. Does that person fit your style as a coach, your locker room, the culture you’re trying to build as a team. When you sit down with a player, you’re just trying to get to know him.”

I think Dolphins fans know this all too well after the Dez Bryant/Jeff Ireland prostitution episode back in 2010.

Flores’ Influence in the Draft:

“Chris and I definitely work well together. We speak the same language….when we come together it’s the same (language)”

“Have had (and) will have discussions on different scenarios (throughout the draft)”

On his New/Hybrid Defense:

What kind of players do you need for your Hybrid defense?:

“We need good players.”

“I think as a coach, you get a good player, (and you ask yourself) what does he do well? You try and do that.”

“That’s the good thing about having a versatile scheme, it fits a good player.”

“You try and get the best player and I feel me and my staff can fit what we’re going to do around that player.”

“Some guys are going to have a better fit than others, but you have to put the whole fit together.”

On Identity of this Team:

“You know, call it what you want.”

“I’m going to get my team to play hard. Play together. Play with good fundamentals and technique. Play as a team. Put the team first. You have to try and get 11 guys to play together and that’s a hard thing to accomplish as a coach.”

“That’s my goal, you can call it whatever you want. ‘The Patriot Way’….to me, it’s just good football.”

Flores seems to understand that he’s going to live under Bill Belichick‘s shadow for awhile, especially if he is unsuccessful. Seems like he’s also getting a little tired of it….and I kind of like it. I’m glad he’ll have this chip on his shoulder to prove that he isn’t just a Belichick clone. Then again, judging by all Flores has gone through, he doesn’t need this chip to drive him.

Does he expect his players to be on time?:

“If you’re early, you’re on time, if you’re on time, you’re late, and if you’re late you’re forgotten.”

“Is it a rule, no, it’s my personal mantra.”

“I have a lot of respect for time. I think it’s precious; we shouldn’t take it for granted. If you want to stay on schedule you have to stay on time.”

“We have a schedule, it’s laid out pretty well.”

There is absolutely no bull**** from Brian Flores when it comes to practice! That’s not to say Adam Gase or any of the other prior head coaches were more-lenient, but you get the feeling that Flores isn’t going to tolerate players who believe they are bigger than the team.

Gase showed a similar coaching style when he traded Jay Ajayi and released players like Byron Maxwell and Jordan Phillips, but that never translated to a productive locker room culture. It’ll be interesting to see how Flores’ style compares.

On His “Right-Hand Man”:

“Pick any of the 20 guys, they’re all my right-hand men.”

“We work well together. (We) try and put a staff together that embodies what I want our team to reflect.

“I want to be tough, I want to be smart, I want to work well together.”

On Mike Gesicki:

“Mike is a good, young player. Talented. Like everyone else on this team, there are places he can improve, develop, get better. As a young player, there’s a lot of room for development. Mike’s working hard. We see what everyone else sees: he has size, speed, can catch the ball.”

On Raekwon McMillan and Jerome Baker:

“Raekwon is big. Fast. Physical. (Has) good leadership. Smart. Can play a few different positions. (A) good, young player.”

“Jerome is another skilled player. Fast. Good tackler. Raekwon is a good tackler as well. Smart. Can do a few different things. Can cover; which, obviously in this league, going in a passing direction, it’s good to have an LB that can cover.”

“We’re glad to have them both.”

On Jake Rudock and Luke Falk:

“Like everyone else, they’re working hard. They are doing everything possible to try and improve their techniques, fundamentals. Footwork. Ball Handling. They’re doing a really good job. All 3 quarterbacks.”

“We’re excited to see what they can do moving forward.”

Flores couldn’t be more generic with the assessment of his players. Even going back to when he discussed Charles Harris at a previous press conference, Flores tends to speak about his players vaguely, as if to avoid tipping his hand in any regard.

From a player’s perspective, it’s nice to know your coach won’t throw you under the bus and will keep things private. From our fan perspective, it means we just have to go through every possible adjective and scenario with him. He’s not lying when one of them has to be true.

On his Mother’s Passing:

“It was hard. She’s someone I think about on a daily basis. Wish she was here to enjoy this with us, but she’s with me all the time.”

“She wouldn’t’ want me to dwell or be upset and she would want me to have peace.”

“I’m sad. I’m unhappy. I miss her. But I have peace knowing I did everything I can to make her proud.”

On New Surprises as a Head Coach:

“(I have had) A lot of conversations with head coaches around the league…one thing they said is something would come across your desk every day.”

“(That’s) kind of my approach coming in, being adaptable. A mantra of our team: ‘adapt or die’.”

“Part of (the job) is allowing other people to lead.”

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Miami Dolphins

Miami Dolphins 2019 Vegas Slant Schedule Breakdown

Travis Wingfield

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Future opponents are known years in advance in the NFL. With the exception of two games decided by divisional standing finish, fourteen opponents are determined based on the schedule rotation. The order in which those games will occur, like everything else the NFL does, has become a primetime event.

While the luck of the draw factors heavily (in-season injuries, particular teams playing their best/worst ball at a certain time of year, etc.) the order of the games provides intriguing details.

Traveling for a Thursday night game, for instance, is an extreme disadvantage for the visitor. The infamous “trap game” can occur when a team faces a lesser opponent before taking on a heavyweight. Lastly, for a team like the Dolphins, weather implications are always worth noting.

This column refers to the favors, or lack thereof, that the NFL gave the Dolphins based purely on travel, trap games, etcetera.

Week 1 – BALTIMORE RAVENS – September 8, 1:00 EST Hard Rock Stadium
Ravens Sandwich Game: Week 2 Cardinals

September victories are difficult to come by for teams visiting Hard Rock Stadium. The Dolphins haven’t lost such an affair since 2015 with a multitude of early-season upsets under the franchise’s belt this century (2014 vs. New England and 2005 vs. Denver, most notably).

Baltimore’s ground-and-pound attack could have a converse affect, however, as the Dolphins defensive conditioning will have to be on-point from the word go.

Week 2 – NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS – September 15, 1:00 EST Hard Rock Stadium
Patriots Sandwich Games: Week 1 vs. Pittsburgh, Week 3 vs. NY Jets

Dec 9, 2018; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins running back Kenyan Drake (32) runs the ball after a flea flicker play to score a touchdown to defeat the New England Patriots at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

New England’s 2018 meltdown in Miami came one week prior to a trip to Heinz Field. Now, the Pats will travel back to Tom Brady’s house of horrors in Miami one week after kicking the season off in primetime against those same Steelers.

This won’t serve as a trap game given the recent outcomes of games between these two teams, but Miami is catching the Pats at the right time. Over the last two seasons New England are just 4-4 in the first quarter of the schedule (September games), a .250-point decrease in winning percentage from their cumulative record.

Week 3 – @ Dallas Cowboys – September 22, 1:00 EST AT&T Stadium
Cowboys Sandwich Games: Week 2 @ Washington, Week 4 @ Saints

This is a classic trap game for the Cowboys. Coming off a game with its biggest rival, then heading to the toughest building to play in, in the NFC, the opportunity for Miami to steal a road win against a sleep-walking favorite is in the cards.

Week 4 – Los Angeles Chargers- September 29, 1:00 EST Hard Rock Stadium
Chargers Sandwich Games: Week 3 @Texans, Week 5 Broncos

The early time slot for a west coast team is one of the biggest advantages, statistically, in football. The Chargers historically struggle in Miami but the talent discrepancy is probably too great for any of these advantages to factor in.

Week 5 – BYE WEEK

After a week-11 bye last year, Miami gets the burden of an early off-week. The Dolphins will play out the string for 12 weeks with zero breaks in between.

Week 6 – Washington – October 13, 1:00 EST Hard Rock Stadium
Washington Sandwich Games: Week 5 @Patriots, Week 7 49ers

A let down following a potential beat down in New England bodes well for Miami. Washington is probably the one team on this entire schedule that Miami can matchup with from a talent perspective.

Week 7 – @ Buffalo Bills – October 20, 1:00 EST New Era Field
Bills Sandwich Games: Week 6 BYE, Week 8 Eagles

Miami’s first game against a team coming off a bye, in a building that has only provided the setting for one Miami win in the last five years, this one stacks the deck against the Dolphins.

Week 8 – @ Pittsburgh Steelers – October 28, 5:25 EST MONDAY Heinz Field
Steelers Sandwich Games: Week 7 BYE, Week 9 Colts

Another game, another opponent coming off of a bye. The Steelers will have the benefit of a 15-day break prior to lacing it up for Miami in primetime. The Dolphins road primetime woes should be noted as well – Miami are 0-for-it’s-last 8 in those games.

Week 9 – New York Jets – November 3, 1:00 EST Hard Rock Stadium
Jets Sandwich Games: Week 8 @Jaguars, Week 10 Giants

Dec 23, 2018; Miami Gardens, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins head coach Adam Gase looks on during the first half against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Hard Rock Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Adam Gase game will certainly have both teams on notice. The man that holds a grudge like no other will certainly have this date circled on his calendar, as will the countless Dolphins players that grew tired of Gase’s shtick. This might be the most entertaining football game Miami plays all season.

Week 10 – @ Indianapolis Colts – November 10, 1:00 EST Lucas Oil Stadium
Colts Sandwich Games: Week 9 @Steelers, Week 11 Jaguars

With a potentially crucial divisional game on-deck with the Jaguars, the Colts could fall victim to overlooking Miami here. The Colts are a difficult out in that building and are quietly building up one of the most talented rosters in the AFC.

Week 11 – Buffalo Bills – November 17, 1:00 EST Hard Rock Stadium
Bills Sandwich Games: Week 10 @Browns, Week 12 Broncos

Divisional games rarely adhere to traditional trap procedures. Ideally the Dolphins would catch the Bills in September, but the week-7 trip to Western New York offsets the lack of weather advantages. This game should see peak effort from both teams.

Week 12 – @ Cleveland Browns – November 24, 1:00 EST First Energy Stadium
Browns Sandwich Games: Week 11 Steelers (TNF), Week 13 @Steelers

Somehow the NFL has this strange scheduling procedure where teams play each other twice over a three-week period. Cleveland sandwiches its two games with the Steelers with a home date against your Miami Dolphins – that’s the ultimate trap.Cleveland’s benefit comes from having 10 days to prepare for Brian Flores and Miami.

Week 13 – Philadelphia Eagles – December 1, 1:00 EST Hard Rock Stadium
Eagles Sandwich Games: Week 12 Seahawks, Week 14 Giants

With a pivotal NFC matchup on the front end, and a divisional game on the backend, Philadelphia is in a potential trap game situation. The Dolphins home field advantage serves as another beneficial factor in this game as the weather contract between Philadelphia and Miami, in December, is stark.

Week 14 – @ New York Jets – December 8, 1:00 EST Met Life Stadium
Jets Sandwich Games: Week 13 @Bengals, Week 15 @Ravens (TNF)

The game before a road trip on a short week typically favors the opposition – that’s the spot the Adam Gase finds himself in here when the Jets welcome Miami to the Meadowlands. With two NFC games bookending this game for the Dolphins, this is a great spot for Miami to steal a road win.

Week 15 – @ New York Giants – December 15, 1:00 EST Met Life Stadium
Giants Sandwich Games: Week 14 @Eagles, Week 16 @ Washington

This is a trap game for both teams, believe it or not. A non-conference game, sandwiched by two divisional games, has the makings for a let down on either side. If the season plays out as expected, this game could have massive implications on the race for Tua Tagovailoa.

Week 16 – Cincinnati Bengals – December 22, 1:00 EST Hard Rock Stadium
Bengals Sandwich Games: Week 15 @Patriots, Week 17 Browns

Like the previous game, this might set up as a draft positioning game. Both teams that figure to finish at, or near, the bottom of their respective divisions, playing out the string with rookie coaches, there isn’t much of an advantage to take away from this one.

Week 17 – @ New England Patriots – December 29, 1:00 EST Gillette Stadium
Patriots Sandwich Games: Week 16 Bills

For the second consecutive year, the Patriots finish the season with two divisional home games – seems fishy, doesn’t it? The only potential saving grace here, for the ‘Phins, is that New England could have the AFC East wrapped up, as they typically do every year.

 

This is, no doubt, a difficult road to hoe for Miami. The order of the games, the stacks of road trips, it’s a lot to put on the plate of a first year head coach trying to set a foundation.

The troops of the tank train should be satisfied with this gamete — it likely puts Miami in a hole that will be difficult to climb out of, especially given Ryan Fitzpatrick’s medical history.

For more on this schedule, tune in to the Locked On Dolphins podcast – your daily dose of Miami Dolphins football.

@WingfieldNFL

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