Like every season change inevitable for every NFL team. Teams cut
players to get under the cap, trade players, and gear up to throw a boat load
of money at players. The Miami Dolphins made a lot of cost cutting moves to get
under the salary cap. Mike Tannenbaum likes to be aggressive, but this year he
has taken a different route for better or worse.

One of
the first moves was slapping the franchise tag on wide receiver Jarvis Landry.
Placing the tag on Landry came at a price of 15 million dollars, but the
Dolphins put the tag on him and actively looked to trade him because both sides
were far apart in negotiations. The Dolphins ended up trading Landry to the
Cleveland Browns for a 4th round pick this year and a 7th round pick next year.
Did the Dolphins get the best value for him? No, they didn’t, but they got
something in return. The Dolphins could have let Landry walk and get nothing in
return which would have been dumb. Now they could have gotten compensatory
draft picks in next year’s draft, but that formula is so complicated there is
no guarantee the Dolphins would have gotten anything in return. The Dolphins
went out and signed Albert Wilson and Danny Amendola to soften the blow with
the loss of Landry. Wilson is a short slot receiver with speed which is
something Landry didn’t have game breaking speed, but the problem is he is so
inexperienced and was the Kansas City Chiefs number 3 or 4 receiver so what are
the Dolphins getting? Amendola is a seasoned veteran from New England who will
be 33 years old next year and who knows how much he has left in the tank, but
they are getting a receiver who has a knack for getting open and making timely
plays as he did for the Patriots in the playoffs this past season, so his
veteran presence might help the receiving core.

Dolphins also cut Julius Thomas and Lawrence Timmons. Both guys had big
salaries, but no production last year, but the biggest surprise for me was the
Dolphins decision to retain Ja’wuan James at his 9 million dollar 5th year
option. I was stunned the Dolphins brought him back because I didn’t think he
was worth the 9 million, but the Dolphins must have looked at the draft and
free agency and didn’t see any good options. James hasn’t been a bad player,
but he needs to play more consistent.

The interior
offensive line got a shake up as well. The Dolphins sign veteran Josh Sitton
and traded for center Daniel Kilgore. I love the Sitton signing because he is a
tough left guard and a leader with an attitude. I loved his line when asked if
he would play on the right side of the line “that’s like wiping your ass
with your off hand” funniest quote ever. I think his attitude and
leadership will help the line and the development of Laremy Tunsil. Kilgore I’m
not sure what the Dolphins are getting because the 49ers signed him to an
extension in February but trade him a month later very odd. However, with that
trade the Dolphins cut Mike Pouncey. This one is a tough move, but I believe
will be the right move because Pouncey is coming off multiple hip surgeries and
yes, he did play a full 16 game season, but he isn’t the same player anymore
and hip replacement might be in the cards before age 40. On top of that he was
still owed 23 million the next 3 years, and the Dolphins could get out of the
contract easily now. Plus, he is coming off a career high in penalties this
year and only practiced once a week makes you wonder if he was going to hold
up. It’s a case of getting rid of a player a year early then a year late.

defensive line got a shake up with the Dolphins releasing Ndamukong Suh. The
move will save 17 million this year, but the Dolphins must absorb a 22 million
hit against the cap the next 2 years. Heft price to pay to get rid of a player
especially a player who continues to play at a high level and is still one of
the best at his position, but he is going to be turning 32 years old maybe the
time is now. Plus, he isn’t considered a leader on the team and after the
season head coach Adam Gase said he was looking for more leadership maybe this
was what he was talking about. The Dolphins opened a need for another defensive
tackle, but they did add another defensive end in trading for Robert Quinn.
Quinn is a premier pass rusher who didn’t fit in the Rams 3-4 scheme so maybe
going back to a 4-3 will rejuvenate him. The problem is now you have Quinn,
Cameron Wake, Charles Harris, Andre Branch, and William Hayes so how is this
going to work and who is the odd man out? I think the pass rush got better, but
how they use these guys will be something to watch and who are they going to
get to fill Suh’s shoes?

I think
overall the Dolphins downgraded some talent, but they did add some players like
Quinn and Sitton who could help bring some leadership and experience that could
help this team. I’m not saying these were great moves at all. Head scratching?
Yes of course, but now we are going to find out if the team got better with
leadership to help the team when the times are rough, and adversity strikes the
team because that was lacking last year, and Suh and Landry aren’t leaders.
Time will tell.