The Miami Dolphins made big moves in a small way this offseason. The team enjoyed their first semi-successful season in years. So how did the Dolphins respond?
The 2017 offseason for Miami was all about sending a message. If players step up and do their jobs, the money will come. The Dolphins aren’t spending the same this offseason. They’re not throwing money at the biggest name players in hopes of turning the team around. While they still spent a decent amount this offseason, they did most of their spending in-house.
With players like Kenny Stills, Reshad Jones and Andre Branch getting long term deals done the team made good on their promise. “We’re going to take care of our guys”. The team has paid star players in the past but this offseason was different. Last year, teams overbid season for Dolphins’ star players and Miami was content with letting them walk. Fast forward a year, and rather than have bloated contracts for 1-2 players, the team has quietly picked up role players to solidify their units.
How will it turn into a better season for the Dolphins?
One of the things the Dolphins lack year in and year out is consistency. They either look great on one side of the ball and not the other. Even when the team is firing on all cylinders, eventually they’ll shoot themselves in the foot.
Going out and getting mid-level contracts to fill voids allowed Miami to spend on consistency. Kenny Stills opened up the passing game by stretching the field. Bringing in Julius Thomas will take pressure off Jarvis Landry underneath if Thomas can stay healthy. Miami might have moved on from Branden Albert, but rookie stand-out Laremy Tunsil quickly filled his spot. The Dolphins finally improved their line last season and rewarded 9-year vet Jermon Bushrod. Word on the street is Miami is also working on a long-term deal for leading receiver Jarvis Landry.
While the Dolphins’ offseason hasn’t been met with a lot of fanfare, it carries more weight than in the past. When was the last time Miami brought back as many starters, to run the same offense, under the same coordinator two years in a row? Some might sit back and say “same old Dolphins” this offseason as bigger names were paid elsewhere. However, under a microscope, what the Dolphins are building should change their mind. The message is clear, in order to be successful, the Dolphins need to be consistent. If they are, consider this offseason money well spent.