Adam Gase’s second offseason as a head coach will be his most important. Plenty coaches have had success in their first season. Now Gase needs to prove he’s not a one and done coach. If he builds on the success of the previous season, no one will mistake him for a fluke. This week the Miami Dolphins have already hit the ground running.
They’ve cut Mario Williams and Earl Mitchell. The team also waived Ifo Ekpre-Olomu. There is also rumors of them trading starting LT Brandon Albert. None of these moves are surprising to anyone but they send a clear message. Williams consistently under produced. Mitchell was hurt then outplayed by younger, cheaper, talent. Ifo struggled and never played a down for the Dolphins. Miami will also address the need this offseason at corner. They also have proven talent in Xavien Howard, Byron Maxwell, Tony Lippett, and Bobby McCain.
Miami came into the offseason with cap space to work with. Expect the next round of cuts to free up some more wiggle room. There’s still the status of the troubled Dion Jordan. Koa Misi could be a victim of the cap. If the Dolphins can’t work out a deal with Albert then he will also join the unemployment line. Again, none of these moves would be shocking. However, it’s not about their first moves, it’s about their next.
Surely the Dolphins are moving Tunsil to fill Albert’s role. Now they’re left without a starting LG. Will they address it in free agency or the draft? That’s on top of their already uncertainty at RT. Throw in their lack of depth and they might’ve tossed another log on the fire. Even if Albert isn’t the player he once was. Mario Williams might not have been worth the risk but Mitchell might have been. The Dolphins have younger talent but the unit still struggled. The defensive line will be another key talking point when roster moves are made.
Also on Miami’s plate is what to do with their current talent. They’re said to be working on long-term deals for Jarvis Landry and Reshad Jones. They’d also like to keep their offense intact by paying standout receiver Kenny Stills. Dion Sims is hitting the open market as the team’s best tight end. Even though they’re freeing up a lot of space, they’ll also need some of it back.
The Miami Dolphins had a season worth building off of. With their first playoff appearance in years, they looked like a team who could compete. In order for Gase to continue his success in his second season, they’ll need some value friendly veterans. April’s NFL draft also needs to be kind to them. If the team cannot find instant playmakers for cheap, it could be a long second season.