NFL free agency has just begun (or will today technically at 4pm) and teams are spending on players. The Miami Dolphins are no exception to this and have been very busy during the early stages of the legal tampering period. They have the most money under the salary cap entering this new league year after taking a year off in free agency to fix their salary cap in 2019. They had to do that last year because of previous regimes frivolous spending on players. Between Monday and Tuesday, the Dolphins made the most moves in the NFL in regards to agreeing to terms of deals with players and they did so especially on defense. The Dolphins had one of the least talented teams on defense and were the worst in the league in a lot of categories, so the Dolphins have been aggressive in trying to shore up their defense.
****NEW*** https://t.co/jTLjtUE3tr Daily Podcast for Tuesday, March 17th. We recap the signings of Ogbah, Howard, and Gruiger-Hill. Plus we do a New England Patriots Obituary as the Dynasty is Dead! https://t.co/tYy1DjP4vE
— DolphinsTalk.com (@DolphinsTalk) March 18, 2020
The Dolphins drastically improved their defensive line adding Shaq Lawson, Kyle Van Noy, and Emmanuel Ogbah. The Dolphins only had 23 sacks last year as a team and that won’t cut it. All these guys should help improve the pass rush as well as set the edge with their run defense. The Dolphins for most of the last decade frankly had gotten soft on defense against the run. With the Buffalo Bills and New England Patriots being strong upfront in our division, the Dolphins needed to add talent on the defensive line. If you can’t stop the run and rush the passer you have no shot to win consistently.
The biggest surprise was the Dolphins signing corner back Byron Jones, who was considered the biggest free agent corner on the market. Not only did the Dolphins sign him but gave him the biggest contract to a corner back exceeding their own Xavien Howard’s contract they gave him a year ago. The question I have is why would the Dolphins give him that big of a contract after they just gave one to Howard? Jones’ talent was probably too good to pass up and he is a great press man to man cover corner. On top of that, Howard might get suspended by the NFL due to his arrest in late December for domestic violence even though the charges were later dropped. The NFL taken a tough stance on players getting trouble with the law regardless if the charges are dropped or not. The other thing is Howard had his third knee surgery since coming into the league so maybe the Dolphins are worried about his durability at some point, but regardless they are tied to him for at least the next two years and you can never have enough corners in this passing league. If Howard can stay healthy and Jones can play at a high level the Dolphins might have as good a corner tandem since Sam Madison and Patrick Surtain. Now I’m not ready to call them that, but that has potential.
As good as these signings are, I’m a little skeptical how this will work out because I have seen the Dolphins go down this road since free agency started only to get burned, The question I have is how is this different? Since free agency started in the early to mid-1990’s how many impact free agents have been hits for the Dolphins? Outside of Brock Marion, Randy Starks, and Cameron Wake I can’t say I can think of many. The Dolphins have shelled out big money contracts to Eric Green, Justin Smiley, Jake Grove, Mike Wallace, and Ndamukong Suh just to name a few only to get burned by poor play, not living up to their contract, etc. I like what the Dolphins have done, but its buyer beware for me until I see it on the field. I really hope that these moves along with others turns the fortunes of this franchise but given what’s happen in the past I’m skeptical.