Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald sent out a tweet earlier today in which he used the phrase, “Tank for Tua.”
I'm going to put this out there right now for this new year and the 2019 football season:
Tank for Tua.
— Armando Salguero (@ArmandoSalguero) January 2, 2019
That inspired me to create a Twitter poll asking for fans’ opinion on the matter. Some of the responses I received made me think that a lot of people don’t quite understand what “tanking” is in the football sense.
“Tanking” is not something that exists for players and coaches in the NFL. Those guys are out there every week trying to win football games.
“Tanking” is not really a thing for front offices either.
“Rebuilding,” however, is a real thing.
“Rebuilding” often means trading or releasing players who might be significant contributors to your team. They might even be fan favorites. Their contracts, however, might not fit in with the long-term vision for the organization, so they go away.
The idea would be to replace those players with others who have similar or better skills and/or great potential, but who will demand significantly less money. That allows the team to spread more $$$ among more players.
This, however, cannot always happen in the same offseason.
This is where a front office, with a clear vision and long-term goal, might decide against overpaying for a hot free agent or making other moves that might be helpful in the short-term, but hurt the long-term plan.
This is also happens to be what the Miami Dolphins have failed to do for so long.
Now, with Chris Grier getting the full reigns of football operations, there is a distinct possibility that we will see the Dolphins spend this offseason trimming the fat and only spending money on players who will be part of their long-term plan. No Jadeveon Clowneys. No Le’Veon Bells. No Trey Flowers.
They will likely spend money on the guys they have brought up: Ja’Wuan James, Laremy Tunsil, and Xavien Howard.
Spending big money and bringing in the big names like Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown would be anathema to what Grier and Dolphins owner Stephen Ross said about wanting to rebuild the team.
If Grier sticks to the words he and Ross spoke at their press conference on Monday, there is a good chance the Dolphins end up with a roster in 2019 that is significantly worse than the roster they had in 2018. Not because they are “tanking,” but because they’re “rebuilding.”
I know Dolphins fans are sick of mediocrity and—more so—not winning. I get it.
But to be mad or upset at the franchise taking the time to change their approach and start anew, even if it means having 2 or 3 bad seasons, is missing the point. It’s not a loser’s mentality.
When you’ve been stagnant for as long as the Dolphins had, it’s only natural to be skeptical of the team’s plans. That point is only exacerbated by just how awful this team’s front office decisions have been for the past two decades.
Again, I get it.
But the point of this (entirely too long) rant is that it’s okay if the team is bad next year. It’s okay if the team is bad the year after that.
As long as Chris Grier and the team’s new head coach—whomever that may be—are making progress building a franchise that will eventually be a consistent winner.
It’s not “tanking.” It’s part of the process.
So, in the words of former Philadelphia 76ers guard Tony Wroten, Miami Dolphins fans should “trust the process.”
Will that be easy to do? Of course not. We are the Same Old Dolphins, after all.