Decisions have consequences.
In every walk of life, the decisions you make have real-world consequences. Whether in your personal life or professional life.
Heading into the 2023 season, Chris Grier rolled the dice with the offensive line. He brought in no real competition to push Austin Jackson and no legit backup left tackle for Terron Armstead. He added a journeymen player to back up Connor Williams and push Liam Eichenberg. And honestly, the competition Eichenberg faces at left guard comes from a recent first-round bust and undrafted players like Lester Cotton and Robert Jones.
Chris Grier also rolled the dice by picking up Tua’s fifth-year option and will ride with him for this year and probably next. They feel they can teach him how to fall, give him a slightly safer helmet, and keep him on the field for a full season or at least more games than in previous seasons.
By the Dolphins not raising their offer in an attempt to bring Dalvin Cook to Miami, Grier is now rolling the dice on his running back room. The same running back room the Dolphins had in 2023, for the most part.
Is this the right move?
Well, we don’t have an answer to that today. I don’t; nobody does.
But we will have an answer to this question in January. Will Miami finish ahead of the Jets in the regular season? Which team will go further in the playoffs?
Time will tell.
Here is the risk, though, that Chris Grier is taking. Or should I say the roll of the dice?
The Miami Dolphins have a very unproven running back room at the moment, and it cannot be depended on to stay on the field or produce. I know many Dolphins fans are probably cursing at me as you read this, but it’s true. It’s damn true.
Let’s start with Raheem Mostert. He just turned 31 years old in April. He has been in the NFL for 11 seasons and has never (let me repeat…NEVER) had back-to-back seasons where he played in double-digit games. Want proof? Well, here it is.
Games played for Mostert by year: 2015 (11). 2016 (3), 2017 (11), 2018 (9), 2019 (16), 2020 (8), 2021 (1), 2022 (16)
And I don’t know about you, but I don’t know many running backs who get less injured as they get older and shake that injury-prone label. He has only had one season where he carried the ball more than 150 times and only three seasons where he had more than 100 carries ever. And right now, he is Miami’s #1 running back.
Is he bad? NO
Can he be counted on, and would you use the word dependable about him? NO
He is an average running back who you can count on for roughly ten games a year, and every game over the tenth, you count your blessings and understand you are in bonus time.
Can the Dolphins get 16 starts out of Mostert in 2023? Maybe….it’s a roll of the dice.
Let’s move on to Jeff Wilson.
Wilson will turn 28 in November and has played six seasons in the NFL.
He has played in 53 games total, starting 16, and only once in his career has he played in back-to-back double-digit seasons.
Essentially he is Raheem Mostert-Lite.
Is someone the caliber of Wilson nice to have on the team? Sure
Is he someone you feel comfortable with carrying the load if something were to happen to Mostert? Not so sure about that. Should we say….it’s a roll of the dice.
Salvon Ahmed and Myles Gaskin
Nice players, but I will not go in-depth here because the NFL is littered with guys like Salvon Ahmed and Myles Gaskin. Every team right now has two guys in their training camp like Myles Gaskin and Salvon Ahmed. Guys who are really practice squad caliber players who you only use if you are in a pinch and have multiple injuries at the position.
Do you want to have these guys play significant snaps on a team with eyes on winning the division and a deep playoff run?
Keeping them on the roster…it’s a roll of the dice.
De’von Achane is the flavor of the month right now in Miami, and look; I get the hype. I really do.
Third-round draft pick, put up big-time numbers in the SEC, has speed that is tantalizing to watch.
I also get he is only 5’8 1/2″ and not even 200 lbs. He is a scat back; let’s just the honest and not lie to ourselves.
Can he make an impact? OH, HELL YEAH…. a big one. But I think he makes that impact in spurts and not as an every-down player.
At his size and speed, I think if you try to use him as an every-down back in the NFL, he will slow down and wear down in the 2nd half of games and overall in the 2nd half of the season.
De’Von is a show horse, not a workhorse, in my opinion.
Plus….wait for it…he is a ROOKIE! You can’t depend on a rookie to be the savior or the answer to a problem in year one. Especially a rookie taken in round three. Needless to say, if you are….it’s a roll of the dice.
So do you kind of get what I am saying here?
And what makes this ROLL OF THE DICE approach Chris Grier has taken so head-scratching is he has kicked the tire on other running backs.
Then he called the Vikings on Dalvin Cook in March.
Then after he selected De’Von Achane in Round 3, the next morning, he called the Lions about D’Andre Swift and possibly trading for him.
Then they circled back to Cook when Minnesota released him, and they gave him an offer—a low offer, but an offer nonetheless.
So, clearly (even with adding Achane), Miami has wanted to upgrade this running back room.
Now I know what most of you are saying; Grier only wanted a better running back at his price. I get it. That doesn’t mean this still isn’t a huge risk.
And I understand that Kareem Hunt and Leonard Fournette are still out there and available, and Miami could make a move to add one of them or another running back who is cut during training camp. And probably add them for less money than it took to sign Cook.
But there is a lot of risk here. Even the most die-hard Dolphins fan has to admit that.
For the crowd who believes you don’t need to pay a big-time running back to win in this league, you probably hate this article. I hear you, I may disagree, but I hear you.
I just think when you have a roster that Miami has, with talent everywhere, it may be best to add another “proven” running back to this roster for insurance.
Chris Grier likes to roll the dice, though. On the offensive line, the quarterback at running back. I just wish one of the times when he does roll the dice; it actually worked out in his favor. And in our favor as Dolphins fans.
This is one to watch though throughout the 2023 season.