The Miami Dolphins have become synonymous with making the wrong moves in the off season. Even if the moves seem right at the time they somehow end up wrong in Miami. Examples of this are everywhere, Trading up to draft Dion Jordan, a for sure “Homerun,” Hiring “The Next Great Coach” Joe Philbin, signing Mike Wallace to a big deal, aka “Finally a legitimate receiving threat for Ryan Tannehill.” These off season “victories” haven’t helped them break free from the 6-8 win mark.
This year feels differently, sound decisions and savvy front office work have put this team in a position to win now, while keeping an eye on the future. The 2016 off season feels more about shopping for a productive team than shopping for Headlines. Here are all the reasons I believe the Dolphins have finally “won” the off season.
- Hiring the right Head Coach – with the past decisions to hire Cam Cameron, Tony Sparano, and Joe Philbin not panning out, Stephen Ross had every right to want to shy away from yet another first time Head Coach. Tannenbaum and company didn’t let the organizations past failures dictate their coaching search in 2016. Adam Gase was widely regarded as the best candidate on the market and after due diligence the Miami Dolphins agreed and got their man.
- Drafting the Best Player Available in the first round – The Dolphins could have addressed several needs at 13. With Pro Bowler Branden Albert on the roster it would have been easy for Miami to go in a different direction when Laremy Tunsil fell to them. But now Tunsil, who spent most of the draft process as the number 1 overall prospect, will fill a need immediately along the offensive line and become our left tackle of the future.
- Letting Olivier Vernon Walk – OV oozes potential. So much so that he signed an $85 million dollar deal on minimal production and said potential. I’ve seen this before. By not matching the Giants huge offer and rescinding the transition-tag, Miami will receive a compensatory 3rd round draft pick and were able to add Mario Williams, Jason Jones and Andre Branch. Bringing in a productive veteran and adding great depth at the position for the same 1st year hit OV will incur in New York was a great move by the front office.
- Trading Back in the first round – Nobody could have ever dreamt that Laremy Tunsil would have been there at 13. Even so, the Dolphins moved down a mere five spots and received two players that plan to be a big part of this defense in 2016 in LB Kiko Alonso and CB Byron Maxwell. It’s a bit of a gamble hoping that their drop in production was a scheme issue, but a low risk gamble at that. A move of five spots added to this roster 3 impact players.