I have had a hard time thus far understanding how the Miami Dolphins could be or will be any worse this upcoming season than they were last season. The Dolphins get back their starting quarterback, Ryan Tannehill. Tannehill returns this season following an injury to his knee during training camp, which was a re-injury to the same knee that he had injured the previous season. Cutler, for his part, literally showed no energy what so ever for most of the season while also making mistake after mistake.
Many an ”NFL expert” would probably argue that the Dolphins getting rid of Mike Pouncey, Jarvis Landry, and Ndamukong Suh is what will lead to this team being worse. How can they not be worst? I can give you some reasons why the Dolphins actually got better this off-season. The number one reason will be the return of Tannehill. Tannehill should add a spark to the offense this season. Most Dolphins fans would agree that Tannehill is the heart of this team. The Dolphins having a healthy Tannehill this year will be crucial for a successful season.
The Dolphins, this past off-season, signed receivers Albert Wilson and Danny Amendola as free agents for less money combined than Landry was asking for alone. The Dolphins front office was tired of spending money when the results were nothing short of horrible. Did the Dolphins having Landry, Suh, and Pouncey on the field results in wins? It’s a hard question to answer given that it would not be fair to judge the outcome of games in a team sport based on the play of or loss of any one player. This cost savings decision will turn out to be a smart move by the organization. Why? Because the front office was able to save money at one position’s in order to move money into other positions of need. The Landry/Dolphins saga ended when the Dolphins traded Landry away to the Cleveland Browns for draft picks.
The Dolphins also signed free agent guard Josh Sitton, who should help this team on the field from day one. The guard position has long been a problem for the Dolphins. ”Remember the good old days with Dallas Thomas and Billy Turner?”. I’m fairly sure that Dolphins fans would like to just forget them both. Head coach Adam Gase sent a clear message in his first year as head coach when he released both Turner and Thomas. Per Pro Football reference, from 2012 to 2015, new Dolphins guard Josh Sitton started in all 16 games. Sitton also played and started in 16 games in 2009 and 2010. Some fans like to claim that Sitton is injury prone, but how exactly does this make him prone? Last season he started in 13 games and played in 13 games. I have a hard time understanding the concept the missing three games makes him injury prone. The reason behind this “theory” is simply that he signed with the Dolphins. If it were the Patriots the national media would applaud the Patriots for the signing of Sitton. The love-fest is real with Patriots and the hate is on for the Dolphins.
The Dolphins then replaced center Mike Pouncey by acquiring Daniel Kilgore, The Dolphins were able to acquire Kilgore in a trade with the San Francisco 49ers for late round draft picks. One of the primary reasons that the Dolphins released Pouncey was a contract dispute. The Dolphins were not willing to give into Pouncey’s demands and decided instead to go in another direction at center. Mike Pouncey eventually signed with the Los Angles Chargers. While Dolphins did save money by not keeping Pounceys contract on the books, the Dolphins fans will just have to wait and see how the acquisition of Kilgore plays out. I believe, barring any injuries during training camp and preseason, the Dolphins 2018 offensive line, in week one will consist of LT Laremy Tunsil, LG Josh Sitton, C Daniel Kilgore, RG Jessie Davis, and RT Ja’Waun James. It looks like the Dolphins front office got this one right...finally!
Ndamukong Suh was a special player for the Dolphins during his tenure in South Florida. The Dolphins did not come to the decision to release Suh because he was struggling on the field or not playing well. It was a money issue that saw them release Suh and the Dolphins wanted to use that money on other positions. Miami saved $20 million with the release of Suh, but were not able, initially, to use the money until it became available as cap space on June 1st. Suh later signed with the Los Angeles Rams as a free agent. The Dolphins will now rely on Davon Godchaux, Jordan Phillps, Anthony Moten and Akeem Spence to pick up the workload that was previously handled by Suh. Godchaux is 23 years old, Moten is 23, Phillps is 25, and Spence is 26. This is young core group that should be willing to learn while understanding that they must bring their A game every week in order to make this fan base forget about Suh.
The most underrated team in the NFL right now is the Miami Dolphins. Many of the naysayers are in for a big surprise. The Dolphins will make the playoffs this year, I predict, with a record of 11-5.
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