I watch free agency with no real regrets or jealousy to what other teams are accomplishing. Teams are spending record amounts of money on salaries as it usually goes. Players aren’t better than they used to be, there’s just more cap space available and players are demanding more. Crazy trades are happening as well, and I’m actually happy for the Cleveland Browns. They have some great fans in Cleveland, they deserve this. I think back to 1995 when Art Modell decided to move the Browns to Baltimore and created the new franchise the Baltimore Ravens. Cleveland Browns fans had to wait 4 years to have football back as they created the new Cleveland Browns expansion team. Yeah, they deserve some good things so best of luck to them.
At the moment, just by virtue of talent we are the bottom feeders of our division. We’re following a strict plan and I’m very thankful that they haven’t blinked yet. The lone addition we have made is bringing in 29 year old TE Dwayne Allen, primarily a blocking TE. We let our young starting RT leave for greener pastures in Denver. We didn’t even try to stop Cam Wake from going to Tennessee. No effort was made to keep Frank Gore here. There are a number of veteran players that likely will be cut yet still remain. They remain because the team would prefer to extract some value in a trade, and trades are happening wildly all throughout the NFL. Robert Quinn, Josh Sitton, Ryan Tannehill, Kenny Stills and Reshad Jones all still remain, and some may end up being here for part or all of the 2019 season if a trade isn’t accomplished.
The key point is the mission seems to be clear. We’re clearing out the roster and preparing for a new direction. Not surprising, we’ve being doing a version of this what seems like every 3 years or so as we change coaching staffs, but this one is different. Not because of Brian Flores, this is more about Chris Grier, and maybe to some degree Steve Ross. They’re tired of treading water and I’m tired of watching them do it. Clearing the roster and then signing big money free agents is a contradiction. Clearing the roster says we’re starting anew, and then reaching for a star player with big $$$ attached who can help you win now but not later is completely at odds. Give Grier credit, he’s following through with his mission, and is staying the course.
The Dolphins did make one recent signing and I like it. DeVante Parker wanted to stay here, and the Miami Dolphins gave him yet another chance to fulfill his potential. The basic parameters are 2 years at $10M, with potentially as much as $13M if performance incentives are reached. Considering the 5th YR option was for $9.4M all guaranteed, this is a win. None of the 2nd year is guaranteed. This is an opportunity for Parker to do what we all thought he was capable of doing. Will he do it? It doesn’t matter, it was a good signing. Low risk, high reward, and that’s the right way to do it. It won’t be like this forever, but for this season and maybe next, the key to the vault has been thrown away.
There will be rough times ahead mateys, so batten down the hatches. Ryan Tannehill is still the QB and we basically have one good OL to count on (Laremy Tunsil). We need help in the trenches on both sides of the ball and although we were in it for Trey Flowers for about 5 minutes, he eventually went to the Lions for 5 years $90M. Crazy! The Jets have added some serious talent to build around their young QB Sam Darnold. LB C.J. Mosley signed for 5YR/$85M and then just last night Le’Veon Bell signed for 4YR/$52M. The Jets also added slot WR Jamison Crowder, but they did lose out on LB Anthony Barr who left the Jets at the hangar as he ended up staying home with the Vikes.
There are still a couple of things that have great interest to me that have yet to shake out. The Arizona Cardinals are purportedly going to take QB Kyler Murray at #1 in the 2019 Draft. That doesn’t mean they have to trade Josh Rosen, but it’s pretty likely they will to get back some value. How much compensation it will take to procure Rosen is up in the air. The compensation is whatever a team is willing to pay, and we all know that can get crazy. Some think a 2nd or even a 3rd round pick might get it done, but it could end up being a 1st RD pick and more. I would be very interested in Josh Rosen for a 3rd RD pick, and even up to a 2nd RD pick. I think that’s where I would cut it off. I’ve already explained here that he was on a terrible team with a coach that was fired after 1 season. We need talent at the QB position, and I don’t think we’re going to have a shot at Dwayne Haskins at #13, and I refuse to trade up. Destroying all our draft capital for one pick is also not part of rebuilding. Stay the course.
So as we currently stand, we are the worst team in the AFC East, and it’s OK. Not because we’re “tanking”, that’s ridiculous. We’re rebuilding. We’re not mandating to our players to lose, we’re just changing over the roster and not making any “win now” moves. I still think Ryan Tannehill and Robert Quinn will be gone soon. I also think it’s still possible that the Dolphins trade Reshad Jones, but less so than I used to. We just signed CB Eric Rowe who was with the Eagles and Patriots to a one year deal. Rowe has only played 12 games the last 2 seasons due to groin injuries. I remember Rowe well, he was a combine MONSTER. at 6’1 205, Rowe ran a 4.45 40, put up 19 reps, 39″ vertical, 125″ broad jump, 6.7 3 cone, 3.97 20 YD shuttle, ALL in the top performers category. This kid is a quick twitch athlete and an exciting athletic talent and at $3.5M, it’s another low risk, high reward signing.
Hang in there Dolphins fans, we’re finally doing it right. It may be painful in the short term, but it will pay off long term If you’ve been miserable with 6-10, 7-9, 8-8, 9-7 and once in a blue moon 10-6, this is the way to end all that. Be patient, because this year will hurt. We may not be very good, and the other teams in our division have made substantial gains. One step back, two steps forward.