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Miami Dolphins

Mike Tannenbaum Reassigned; Chris Grier Promoted

Jason Hrina

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Image Credit: Associated Press

We’ve been speculating it for weeks (months? years?) now, but the Miami Dolphins have finally made a decision: Mike Tannenbaum has been reassigned within the organization and is no longer the Executive Vice President of Football Operations.

With the position now open, Chris Grier has been promoted from General Manager to Director of Football Operations.

A tumultuous tenure that started before his official hiring in February of 2015, Tannenbaum tried to build the exciting franchise Stephen Ross always wanted when he rolled out the orange carpet. Instead, we’re stuck in neutral.

We all saw what was coming prior to the 2015 hiring. Ross was consulting with all of his various football peers on the state of his team. Miraculously, all of these ‘has-beens’ that he consults seem to not hold any roles in the NFL, yet, Ross wonders why the team is still mediocre. It’s not the lone fault of the head coach or the general manager (or in this case, the executive VP), but it all trickles up to one person who can be blamed for this fiasco, and that’s Stephen Ross.

He can maneuver his pawns however he likes, but the business mogul is no mastermind in the football industry. Outmatched beyond anything money can buy, Ross needs to understand that HE is the one doing things wrong, not his underlings below him.

In a vacuum, Adam Gase, Chris Grier and Mike Tannenbaum could have worked as a trio, but Grier has been here since 2000, Tannenbaum effectively here since 2014, and Adam Gase was the last to arrive in January, 2016. While they’ll all say they cohesively work together, it’s tough to form a unified plan when each entity is interviewing years apart from each other (meaning, I’m sure Tannenbaum went into Ross’ office with a “plan” to sell the owner on why he should be the Executive VP/GM. Same for Adam Gase as well as Chris Grier when he wanted a promotion. None of these plans could have possibly matched years apart).

Tannenbaum’s history with the New York Jets told us he was going to be wild and bold.

Known to make a splashy move and create headlines, Tannenbaum’s first order of business was to sign Ndamukong Suh to the largest defensive contract in the history of the NFL at the time of his signing (6-years, $114m, $60m guaranteed).

His orchestration of back-to-Back AFC Championship teams seems to have been forgotten due to the comedy Mark Sanchez provided the league. Tannenbaum surprised everyone when he traded up to obtain the 5th overall pick in the 2009 draft which he used to select Sanchez. That was the only component holding him back from a potential Super Bowl (thank god).

Coincidentally enough, a quarterback would also be Tannenbaum’s undoing in Miami, except this time, he didn’t get a chance to make a drastic change. His patience (or his trust in his head coach’s patience) failed him; though it may be a good thing, because if retained, you get the feeling Tannenbaum would montage anything to get his quarterback and save his job.

Below is a short list of good and bad moves Tannenbaum made during his Dolphins tenure:

Tannenbaum’s good moves:

  • Trading for Andre Branch
  • Trading 5 draft spots to get Kiko Alonso and Byron Maxwell (2016 playoffs don’t happen without them)
  • Taking the (PR) hit on Laremy Tunsil (pun intended)
  • Signing Isa Abdul-Quddus (you forgot about him, didn’t you)
  • Trading for William Hayes
  • Trading for Daniel Kilgore
  • Trading Dannell Ellerbe and a 3rd-round pick for Kenny Stills

Tannenbaum’s bad moves:

  • Signing Ndamukong Suh to a large contract that required the team to annually maneuver money around to fit Suh on the team. They cut their losses short prior to this season, but it wasn’t without a hefty hit to their salary cap space in 2018 and 2019. Suh is set to cost more salary cap space than 95% (and possibly 100%) of the team.
  • Trading for Robert Quinn and absorbing that salary cap hit
  • Extending Branch and Alonso for such a high amount
  • Ryan Tannehill’s recent extension (which put us in this current “26.6 salary cap vs 19m dead cap” hell we’re in right now with the QB)
  • T.J. McDonald‘s early, expensive & unnecessary extension
  • Anything to do with Koa Misi
  • Letting Olivier Vernon and Lamar Miller leave (because you failed to sign them early and they blossomed out of your market)

Chris Grier’s promotion is interesting. With the Dolphins since 2000, Grier has had a substantial say in who the Dolphins have drafted this century. And without getting into all of the details, it’s easy to see that the Dolphins haven’t had successful drafts since he’s arrived.

How much of those decisions are his versus the general manager or head coach will never be known, but the long-respected scout continues to survive coaching change after coaching change in Miami – there must be a reason he’s so valuable.

Grier will be responsible for selecting Miami’s next General Manager.

In case you missed it, Adam Gase was also fired as the head coach of the Dolphins. Check out the latest on that departure here.

Growing up a passionate Dolphins fan in Jets territory, Jason learned from an early age that life as a Dolphins fan wasn’t going to be easy. Previously the Sports Editor for his university newspaper, Jason has experience writing columns, creating game recaps and conducting interviews with Hall of Fame athletes (Harry Carson and Yogi Berra are two of his proudest interviews). When he’s not dissecting the latest sports news, you can find him perplexed over the Dolphins offensive line woes or involuntarily introducing music to his neighbors.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Avatar

    RKD

    December 31, 2018 at 11:23 am

    Ross? You just don’t get it? They all had to go to bring back the real fans of Miami! So long Ross and Miami! It hasn’t been fun and it looks to get worse!

  2. Avatar

    pacificfinfan1

    February 3, 2019 at 5:16 pm

    For me why wasn’t Tannenbaum fired he was worse than Gase. Reassigned to where exactly?

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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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