There has been a lot of chatter about the Miami Dolphins backfield. Whether it’s being linked to multiple running backs on the market, the fan base debating which of Miami’s four running backs from a year ago should be brought back, or whether or not the team should consider drafting a running back in the upcoming draft; there has been plenty to speculate about.
It appeared that all that noise was set to subside after the front office re-signed Raheem Mostert, Jeff Wilson, Salvon Ahmed, and Myles Gaskin this off-season. This appeared to signal that the organization was seemingly comfortable “running back” the core from a year ago.
Then more reporting came out about conversations that the front office had about trading for star running back Dalvin Cook, and now we find ourselves once again wondering what direction the team will go in with the backfield.
The situation with running back seems to be a fluid one, yes, the team resigned the entire backfield from last year, but that doesn’t mean the team won’t look for upgrades. The money also lines up with this, all four players were brought back on very team-friendly deals, and all of them can be cut with minimal cap implications. This means that in a situation where the right running back became available at the right price, Grier and the company would likely pounce on the opportunity. However, knowing how Chris Grier has always handled the position, they won’t overspend or reach on a guy if the value is not right. Having the backfield from a year ago under contract and locked in for next season gives Grier the leverage to walk away from any deal he feels isn’t worth it.
— DolphinsTalk.com (@DolphinsTalk) April 22, 2023
Ultimately I think one of three things will happen; the first scenario would likely be the one most fans want to see; a big name becomes available (via trade or free agency) that the front office can land for the right package or price. This scenario lands the Dolphins a big name like Derrick Henry, Dalvin Cook, Austin Ekeler, or Joe Mixon.
The second scenario, which would also get plenty of fans hyped, would be having one of the top running back prospects slip to the Dolphins in the second round. Looking at how Grier has handled the drafting of running backs in the past, it’s safe to assume that if “their guy” is available at the spot they want, then they’ll likely pull the trigger. In the past, the issue has been the running backs they’ve wanted to draft was usually taken before Grier had a chance to grab them at the spot he’d want (example). Grier and company rarely reach on prospects, and I expect no different moving forward, so for this to happen, I’d imagine that the Dolphins need a bit of luck.
The third scenario I can see playing out is Miami actually sticks with the current backfield and “runs it back.” This is a scenario that I believe the Dolphins’ front office is actively trying to avoid, but also one they appear prepared to go with if worse comes to worst. Personally, I happen to be a fan of the one-two punch that McDaniel has with Wilson and Mostert, but I also acknowledge that they struggled greatly in games Tua didn’t play in, so I don’t blame the fans for wanting better.
The good news is Miami fans shouldn’t have to wait much longer for clarity. With the NFL Draft only a week or so away, we could begin to see more news and reporting come out to help clear up some questions about Miami’s direction with the backfield. Who knows, maybe we’ll even see them trade for a guy on draft night, until then…. Dolfans clamoring for a running back will have to sit and wait a while longer.