The 2016 Dolphins season was presumed doomed when there record struck 1-4. They would come back to win 6 straight games and finish their season 10-6. This allowed them to make their first postseason appearance in 8 years. Adam Gase was a nominee for Coach of the Year as well. Miami fans are now looking for the Dolphins to have a strong year in 2017. What will be the necessary adjustments to make that happen?
What moves have the Dolphins already made this off-season?
To begin the Dolphins cut Mario Williams who turned out to be a waste this past season, who averaged 1.5 sacks for the season. Earl Mitchell was also cut due to his rare contribution with injuries the entire season.
Vance Joseph, the Dolphins defensive coordinator has been hired by the Broncos to be head coach starting the 2017 season. With his departure, Dolphins replaced Joseph with Matt Burke, the Dolphins linebacker coach.
The biggest move this off-season actually surrounds Brandon Albert and the trade with Julius Thomas.
Brandon Albert had signed a 5 year, $47 million deal with the Dolphins back in 2014. Unfortunately, Albert has missed 13 games in the last three seasons with the Dolphins. Back in February, the Dolphins had discussions with the Jaguars organization on potential deals.
The Dolphins first traded a seventh-round pick for tight end Julius Thomas. Miami had planned on cutting Albert, but did not submit the required paperwork once the Jaguars indicated enthusiasm for Albert. Assuming it was simpler to sign two separate deals since an agreement had already been put in place for Thomas, the Dolphins sent Albert up to Jacksonville in trade for a 2018 seventh-round pick. It will not become official until the open market starting on March 9th at 4 p.m. ET
What are the Dolphins top three needs this coming season?
It would seem Miami needs to rebuild their entire defense due to their poor rankings in the 2016 season. They finished 29th in total defense, 15th in passing, and most the dreadful — they finished 30th in rushing. Although they need work in multiple positions, their biggest hole is in the linebacker position. Most important would be re-signing Kiko, which I’ve discussed in my previous article. Another important return would be Jenkins. It’s important the Dolphins go shopping for linebackers this off-season.
Ndamukong Suh can’t do the job on his own. He’s in need of another defensive tackle on the line with him. There seems to be lack of depth in defensive end. Jared Odrick hasn’t done much in his time with the Jacksonville Jaguars. Perhaps we can see a renunion at one point if Dolphins decide to give him a chance. A free agent signing, which would “wow” fans in a great way would be Brandon Williams. Time will tell.
As seen in my previous posting of the top free agent guards, this is a very good time to be shopping for guards. Dolphins already have a great guard, Laramy Tunsil, but we’re in need of more. Veterans T.J Lang and Kevin Zeitler are apparently the best two guards hitting the market. Not to mention we have the draft coming up. Dolphins are keeping their eye on a top prospect, Forrest Lamp. He played as a tackle in Western Kentucky and the Dolphins apparently have high hopes for him. They intend to fill both spots this off-season we’ll have to see what they do with the options they possess.