Almost everyone knew that the Miami Dolphins were in the rebuild mode after firing coach Adam Gase and then, hiring first-time head coach Brian Flores for the Patriots. Now, the reality is setting in that the Dolphins may very well be playing 2019 for their future.
After having to release receiver Danny Amendola for salary cap reasons and likely declining the option on former # 1 pick receiver DeVante Parker later on Tuesday, clearly Miami’s offense is in the “rebuild mode.”
And another indication of that was, when they allowed former starting offensive tackle Ja’Wuan James to leave via free agency late Monday night to the Denver Broncos:
Former Dolpins’ OT JaWuan James intends to sign a four-year, $52 million deal that includes $32 million guaranteed with the Denver Broncos, per source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 12, 2019
Miami has salary cap issues and could not come up with anything close to the $13 million dollar per year price tag that James got from the Broncos, including $32 million guaranteed. While James started 62 games in his five years after being drafted in the first round, the Fins were probably better off letting him go for that price.
And, now with the team likely set to release quarterback Ryan Tannehill and simply start over with a veteran backup or a rookie that they draft in April, the question becomes: are the Dolphins simply “treading water” and willing to have a bad season in 2019, to reload with the cap and young players for next year?
One, teams often have to be bad for a year or two to rebuild, especially with the youth movement through the draft and their salary cap repair. Miami needs both of those.
The second point is GM Chris Grier and the new coaching staff aren’t ever going to come out and admit that they’re willing to take the pain of a bad 2019 season to be better significantly in 2020 and beyond.
Yes, Miami has young players like RB Kenyan Drake, LT Laremy Tunsil and safeties Xavien Howard and Minkah Fitzpatrick to build on, but there are still many more holes.
So we will have to sit back and watch their actions on what quarterback they are able to obtain. Will there be a proven NFL name that they can sign or make a modest trade for? Is there more wide receiver help on the way for Albert Wilson and Jakeem Grant? Will there be another veteran player on either side of the ball sacrificed for the salary cap shortly?
All of those questions remain unanswered, as Miami tries to figure out how to get back to being a playoff team like they were three seasons ago.
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