Any sensible Dolphin fan knows that this season is a tanking year. There hasn’t been too much drama this offseason this offseason but if you are wondering what storylines to follow as training camp has just started, I’m going to give you my top ten. There are some honorable mentions like new assistant head coach and quarterbacks coach Jim Caldwell suddenly taking a leave of absence and Kendrick Norton’s horrible car accident that resulted in his left arm being amputated but those aren’t really related to the Dolphins rebuild. I’m also leaving off Xavien Howard’s contract extension because even though it was big news it wasn’t that much of a surprise to me because Howard is coming off a career year and has really come into become a star for this team. Another one is the Dolphins passing on Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins for Clemson’s Christian Wilkins. It was big news as well but he was the best player available on my board too so even though I was hopeful for Haskins, Dolphins did end up making a great choice because Wilkins is a superstar on and off the field and he should be a huge upgrade at the position.
10. A New Regime- It was the beginning of Black Monday and Adam Gase and Mike Tannenbaum found themselves without a job. Admittedly, I did not see it coming though there was plenty of self-doubt in the last month of the 2018 season. A photo pops up of Dolphins Owner lowering his head in disgust during the Vikings game. The rumor that Gase blew Ross off after the Colts game. Another rumor that Dolphin’s RB Kenyan Drake wanted to be traded if Gase was brought back. Indeed, I was suspicious but in a bit of denial because whatever you think of Ross, he is loyal to a fault. In the entire decade that he has owned the Miami Dolphins, he has never fired a head coach after three years, but he decided to kick off the offseason.
— DolphinsTalk.com (@DolphinsTalk) September 9, 2019
9. Ryan Tannehill gets traded- With Gase and Tannenbaum gone, Dolphins General Manager Chris Grier found himself suddenly with a promotion and a chance in this new Flores regime. Former Dolphins QB Ryan Tannehill had been with the team for seven years, zero playoff appearances, and a massive contract. Also, he couldn’t stay healthy for the last three years of his career. It was nothing short of a miracle that not only could Grier trade him but that he could trade him for a quality 2020 4th round draft pick.
8. A trade for Josh Rosen- Dolphins purposefully led everyone in the dark are this one. There were rumors coming out before the draft that Dolphins were making a play for former first-round pick Rosen with the Arizona Cardinals, but the Dolphins quickly shut those down. It was subterfuge all along because the Dolphins used their late second-round selection to acquire the quarterback. By this time the Dolphins had already signed QB Ryan Fitzpatrick and I was just getting use to the idea of him being the starting quarterback in 2019. He very well could still be, but he is going to have some competition.
7. Dolphins trade away Laremy Tunsil- A week away from the regular season starting and this trade comes out of nowhere. I don’t think the Dolphins were actively looking to trade away Laremy Tunsil but when Houston offers you two first rounders and a second; it’s hard to pass that kind of deal up. The Dolphins initially open trade talks with Houston because they were pursuing Jadaveon Clowney but when they couldn’t land him, the Texans, though this hasn’t been confirmed, continued in their pursuit of former Dolphins LT Laremy Tunsil. The Dolphins had already picked up his fifth-year option in May. So, I don’t think that this was Chris Grier’s fault. I just think that the Texan’s offer was too good to pass up and I don’t blame them.
6. Dolphins draft a fullback- Dolphins hadn’t drafted a fullback in twelve years and in a pass-happy league, the position almost seems obsolete. There are many questionable moves, but this was a pleasant one for me by far. I’ve always been a fan of the position and if Chandler Cox can help establish the run game and block for this weak offensive line than the Dolphins are going to make their own history this season and not the bad kind.
5. Vincent Taylor gets waived- Two days after the Tunsil blockbuster trade, Dolphins go ahead and release 2017 5th round pick DT Vincent Taylor. Now, Taylor did end up going on injured reserve last season so I can only fathom that he never fully recovered from his injury. But it was still a bit of a shock. Taylor was one of those special teams’ players that was starting to get really good for us prior to his injury. Again, it’s a new regime. They want to bring in their own guys, but it was still a bit of a surprise.
4. Devante Parker gets re-signed- Continuing our discussion of wide receivers, here’s a move that I think most fans didn’t expect. Parker has been a first-round bust ever since he came into the league. I can count on one hand the number of plays he has made for this team. I was really looking forward to moving on from him, but the Dolphins decided to hang on to him a little longer. I will say this though, it wasn’t a break-the-bank type of deal so can’t harp on him too much even though I think the money could have been spent elsewhere.
3. Danny Amendola gets released- If there was one player that I thought would survive the Dolphins roster purge this offseason, I thought it would be with this guy. Amendola was with the New England Patriots from 2013-2017. Since this new regime mostly consist of former associates of the Patriots that had worked with Amendola before, it was a surprise move to see that after one year, he was gone. New Dolphins Head Coach Brian Flores talks about developing players with a tough mentality. Well, Amendola definitely had that and they still let him go.
2. Free Agent Busts- This is where I can kind of side with players and fans who were upset after Sunday’s abysmal performance and not wanting the team to take the “tank” strategy. Mike Hull, John Denney, Dwayne Allen, Ricardo Louis, and Tank Carradine were all re-signed or signed in the offseason only to not make the final roster due to ending up on injured reserve or were just flat out cut from the team. That tells me that they weren’t even trying, and this is why you know that this franchise is tanking this year. I truly do think that Devante Parker, Ryan Fitzpatrick and Eric Rowe were the only exceptions. To have that many people that you bring in to not make the team is all kinds of bad.
1. Dolphins purge their DE position- With such a need at the position a necessity, the last thing I expected was not bringing back Cameron Wake. William Hayes, I kind of understood because he just couldn’t stay healthy. Furthermore, I felt it was premature to trade Robert Quinn after one year but it’s done. Nothing more to be done about that now. The only player I felt deserved to be let go was Andre Branch who in three seasons failed to live up to his billing.
What did you think of my list? Let me know what your surprises were. As always, fins up!