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2016 Miami Dolphins thread

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With legal tampering beginning today, it's as close as ever to a new league year.

Miami has a lot of interesting decisions to make on their free agent period.  They've apparently failed to sign Lamar Miller to an extension, and I expect he's gonna hit the ground running.

Also, Greg Jennings has been cut and Suh restructured his deal.  Miami's also approached Cameron about some kind of restructure (I'd tack on years if I could, this might be the best buy-low you can get if the offense improves at all.)

I'm hopeful that Miami, in this year's Free Agency:

  1. Signs a pass-rushing LE or retains Vernon.
  2. Extends Wake so someone can retire a Dolphin.
  3. Signs at least one better guard this year so that we can get LG settled - I'm willing to give Jamil Douglas one more shot, but there's no way Turner or Thomas should be starting yet again.
  4. Signs a swing tackle - Houston's swing tackle is up for grabs, and he was good when Duane Brown was suspended - or a new starting RT that bumps Juwann James to swing tackle.
  5. Signs either a second cornerback or a strong-side linebacker (rumor is that Misi is moving to middle, which kind of dampens the Trevathian talks.

If Miami could do that, then my draft wish list would be at least:

  • Round 1 CB/LB (whichever you don't take care of in FA)
  • at least one running back
  • one defensive tackle prospect
  • and one backup quarterback prospect

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So the Dolphins are apparently in talks to trade for Byron Maxwell.  I can't recall a situation in the NFL where a team actually gives up draft picks to get rid of a bad contract.  Does that ever happen, because if so, that ought to be the result here. 

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fwiw I can see you guys being in on Chris Ivory (I think N.E. will be too). I don't see him sticking around in green.

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3 minutes ago, '7' said:

fwiw I can see you guys being in on Chris Ivory (I think N.E. will be too). I don't see him sticking around in green.

I could see that too, or more precisely, the RB with a reliable enough track record that they can give the least amount of money.  Gase seems to be one who's in line with the mainstream thinking that you can get by with anyone at RB.  Probably explains why they probably won't re-sign Lamar Miller.

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I think any running back is in play with Miami, but they're not going to pay what Ivory asks.  The team's fit is there, but the players is not.

I look for Miami to kick the tires on a Ronnie Hillman-type player at RB if they get a vet.  Sub-$4 million.

Also, the Maxwell trade - he was awful last year, but I didn't watch any Eagles games and he probably was not suited for the Chip Kelly Style of Defense (45 min on field, 15 min off).  At what's essentially 1/8.5, if they give up some salary in return, I'd do that trade.

EDIT: Also regarding the Maxwell trade, it looks like Grimes is getting cut, so this makes some level of sense from that perspective.  I just hope it's not too many assets going the other way - I'd take a Maxwell for Dion Jordan swap if I could.

Edited by Hi, I'm VALUE!

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So the Dolphins are apparently in talks to trade for Byron Maxwell.  I can't recall a situation in the NFL where a team actually gives up draft picks to get rid of a bad contract.  Does that ever happen, because if so, that ought to be the result here. 

Seeing as how it's the Dolphins, we'll be giving up picks to AQUIRE a bad contract.... Ugh.

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29 minutes ago, Hi, I'm VALUE! said:

I think any running back is in play with Miami, but they're not going to pay what Ivory asks.  The team's fit is there, but the players is not.

I look for Miami to kick the tires on a Ronnie Hillman-type player at RB if they get a vet.  Sub-$4 million.

Also, the Maxwell trade - he was awful last year, but I didn't watch any Eagles games and he probably was not suited for the Chip Kelly Style of Defense (45 min on field, 15 min off).  At what's essentially 1/8.5, if they give up some salary in return, I'd do that trade.

EDIT: Also regarding the Maxwell trade, it looks like Grimes is getting cut, so this makes some level of sense from that perspective.  I just hope it's not too many assets going the other way - I'd take a Maxwell for Dion Jordan swap if I could.

Unless he's clearly not an NFL player (only the coaches really know that) I would hate to give up on Jordan for a return like that.  As much of a waste that he's been to this point, I imagine he wasn't the number 3 overall pick for nothing. 

There are also some twitter grumblings that the Dolphins are trying to land Adam Jones.

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NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Monday that the Eagles have agreed to trade cornerbackByron Maxwell and linebacker Kiko Alonso to theDolphins, according to two sources who have spoken with the players.

The Eagles will receive undisclosed draft picks from the Dolphins.

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2 minutes ago, CRASHER said:

NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported Monday that the Eagles have agreed to trade cornerbackByron Maxwell and linebacker Kiko Alonso to theDolphins, according to two sources who have spoken with the players.

The Eagles will receive undisclosed draft picks from the Dolphins.

As long as the compensation is minimal --  something that involves picks no higher than the third round -- I like this deal a lot. 

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There's a rumor that we swapped 1's with them in this deal, which, if it's true, is typical Dolphin stupidity.

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17 minutes ago, MadDog2020 said:

There's a rumor that we swapped 1's with them in this deal, which, if it's true, is typical Dolphin stupidity.

I saw that too, and just for Alonso alone, I don't think it's that terrible.  Often, moving down from 8 to 12 gets you a second or a third.  A healthy Alonso should be better than that.  

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Trade is pending a physical and the renegotiation of Maxwell's contract.

As the contracts fall, assuming that the Maxwell cap hit stays the same and Grimes is history, you're looking at having about 9 million this free agent offseason to play with.  Definitely enough for two more low-end free agent signings, maybe a guard and a running back?

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Multiple reports are saying that Jordan Cameron has restructured his contract.  Good - he was supposed to count 9.5 million against the cap and that was untenable.

I know in past threads I've ragged on Cameron, but he was an expensive option on an offense last year that didn't use him.  Adam Gase got a career year out of Zack Miller, which makes me think that Miami's going to use him much better - he may approach his Cleveland numbers if he stays healthy.  

I would be disappointed with anything less than 55/800/6 with a 50% completion rate on his targets.

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Mario Williams signed a two-year deal, I see Tannenbaum is STILL trying to win March.

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I can't bag on Tannenbaum for this.  The report is that Miami will rescind the transition tag on Vernon, thus saving themselves somewhere around 4 million in cap space (assuming the contract is split evenly).  It sucks that we're essentially swapping a 25 year old ascending RE for a 31 year old end who may or may not bounce back now that he's a 4-3 end again.  These kinds of cost-saving moves need to be leading up to something though, and while Miami realistically has about 5 million extra to mess with (assuming that the tag on Vernon is rescinded) I'm not sure what their targets are/will be.  Miami still has a lot of needs - at least one guard, a running back (even if it's a backup to Ajayi), another corner, and a swing tackle.  Mario Williams doesn't bridge the gap from 6 wins to playoffs IMO.

EDIT: Also of note - if Miami rescinds the transition tag, they get a compensary draft pick (and I;m not sure how that's doled out but Miami could be looking at anywhere from 2-3 of those picks with Miller, Vernon, and Matthews likely gone.)  Doesn't help the 2016 team, but could be an infusion of cheap labor on the 2017 team.

Edited by Hi, I'm VALUE!

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I messed around a bit with the Miami cap this morning, and with all the restructures that have happened, I was able to "sign" Alex Boone and Matt Asiata along with the Mario Williams acquisition and the trade of Maxwell and Alonso assuming that Maxwell doesn't take a cap hit drop and Boone signs for top-5 guard money - and I was still able to keep one of Vernon or Wake and have some money left over for a second-level cornerback (I think Patrick Robinson might be the ceiling there) or swing tackle.  That would leave Miami with the following starters before the draft:

QB: Tannehill
RB: Ajayi, Asiata, Williams
WR: Parker, Stills, Landry, Matt Hazel
TE: Cameron, Sims, Stonenbruner/Jones
OT: Brandon Albert, JuWann James
OG: Alex Boone, Jamil Douglas
C: MIke Pouncey
DE: Mario Williams, Cameron Wake, Dion Jordan, Damontre Moore
DT: Suh, Mitchell/Phillips
OLB: Jenkins, Misi
MLB: Alonso
CB: Maxwell, Davis, McCain, Taylor, Lippett
S: Jones, Michael Thomas

I'm not fond of that CB depth chart, and there's a couple other spots that can be shored up either in FA or the draft (DT, OLB, backup QB).  But in my mind, there's no reason why Miami can't at least jump their offense up some - and pick #8/#13 is still good enough to get an impact player at CB or OLB.  Though Myles Jack is likely out now, someone like a Vernon Hargreaves is still in play, and there's always another option like a Jack Conklin, who can start at right guard in the NFL immediately and be moved around the line as needed, or even an A'Shawn Robinson who's an NFL-ready run stopper that a good DL coach can turn into a disruptive interior force..

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So despite concerns about Maxwell's shoulder, the Alonso/Maxwell deal has gone through and the price is dropping down from 8 to 13.  Since I know almost nothing about the draft prospects this year, I don't have that much of an opinion as to whether we're likely missing out on someone that's going to be a real good player.  My off the cuff impression is that the difference between pick 8 and 13 comes down basically to luck.  That is, if you went back say fifteen years or so, it would be roughly half of the players drafted at 8 turned out to be better than the player drafted at 13 and vice versa.  (Not an exercise I care to do, or think too much about whether it's even a sound model though). 

Going into this offseason, there wasn't any series of personnel moves that would be possible to make the roster appreciably better than it was last year.  (Not to mention the thoughts of some people that Olivier Vernon might be overrated, so his loss won't be that much of a problem).  So I guess it really comes down to whether the coaching staff from last year was even worse than people thought, that Gase and the new coaching staff are the geniuses they're cracked up to be, or perhaps a combination of the two. 

The good thing though is that I'm not going into this season with much in the way of expectations.  I'm used to the mediocrity that has been the Miami Dolphins, so it's just house money at this point. 

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1 hour ago, Daniel said:

Going into this offseason, there wasn't any series of personnel moves that would be possible to make the roster appreciably better than it was last year.  (Not to mention the thoughts of some people that Olivier Vernon might be overrated, so his loss won't be that much of a problem).  

I disagree with this notion.  Yes, coaching was an issue, but even a mildly useful core of linebackers, a second passable starting corner, and a guard or two that know what the word "block" means probably makes Miami a much more serious playoff contender last year.  Buffalo and the Jets don't run it down Miami's throats if they have someone who can stop the run aside from Suh.  The defense underperformed on almost every level last year once Wake went down, but was massively disruptive the 3 games he played healthy.  

My problem here is that the moves they're making feel lateral, aside from Alonso.  Grimes out, Maxwell in - you gain youth, but a worse contract situation for the next 3 years unless he bounces back.  Vernon out, Williams in - sure Williams has the name, but was his lack of production because of the system switch he was in or because he's out of gas?

It feels like the same team's being built with some of the names changing - and that's not even winning in March, let alone September.  A defense that finished 27th overall and was a clear weak point last year shouldn't get a chance to come back and repeat that feat, and it feels like that's what Miami's doing right now. 

Vance Joseph better be a miracle worker, because he's going to have his work cut out for him.

Also, Alex Boone is a Viking, so that kind of annoys me too.  He was a guy Miami could use in the middle of the line.

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3 minutes ago, Hi, I'm VALUE! said:

I disagree with this notion.  Yes, coaching was an issue, but even a mildly useful core of linebackers, a second passable starting corner, and a guard or two that know what the word "block" means probably makes Miami a much more serious playoff contender last year.  Buffalo and the Jets don't run it down Miami's throats if they have someone who can stop the run aside from Suh.  The defense underperformed on almost every level last year once Wake went down, but was massively disruptive the 3 games he played healthy.  

My problem here is that the moves they're making feel lateral, aside from Alonso.  Grimes out, Maxwell in - you gain youth, but a worse contract situation for the next 3 years unless he bounces back.  Vernon out, Williams in - sure Williams has the name, but was his lack of production because of the system switch he was in or because he's out of gas?

It feels like the same team's being built with some of the names changing - and that's not even winning in March, let alone September.  A defense that finished 27th overall and was a clear weak point last year shouldn't get a chance to come back and repeat that feat, and it feels like that's what Miami's doing right now. 

Vance Joseph better be a miracle worker, because he's going to have his work cut out for him.

Also, Alex Boone is a Viking, so that kind of annoys me too.  He was a guy Miami could use in the middle of the line.

What I meant, in case it wasn't clear, is that given the relatively limited cap space, the free agent pool and draft position, the Dolphins ability to make the roster appreciably better this offseason for either the short or long term is pretty limited.  Low cost free agents are low cost because they're probably not that good. 

I plead ignorance when it comes to being able to tell whether the Dolphins are putting themselves in a better or worse place cap-wise for the future with the acquisition of Maxwell and Mario Williams. 

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Isa AQ should compete for the other safety job alongside Jones - supposedly he was pretty good for the Lions last year.

FWIW, Miami also signed Sam Young to what amounts to a vet min 1 year deal - he's a bit of a long shot to make the roster, but he may be tackle #4.

Miami is also rumored to be hosting Jermon Bushrod and is interested in signing both Robert Ayers and CJ Anderson - the latter would have to be an offer sheet that Denver would not feel comfortable matching, which I find hard considering they just lost 20 million of cap commitments to the Manning/Osweiler fiasco and their next QB might command about half of that cap number.  All these pass rushers - whoever Miami puts at LB on the Williams/Ayers side of the formation is gonna need his tackling boots, because I suspect he's gonna do a lot of cleaning up.

Edited by Hi, I'm VALUE!

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If CJ is let go (which I can't fathom Denver doing unless they have some cap problems I'm not aware of), I think this is a pretty good get.  Now Miami just needs to, y'know, use the running back in their offense.

Also the 1 year deal with Bushrod is official - Bushrod is expected to be a starter at guard at this point, and he doesn't have a ton of competition for the position unless you consider Dallas Thomas, Billy Turner, and Jamil Douglas "competition".  FWIW, Thomas and Turner are going to be put through a massive weight-training program, implying that their issue this year was weight and strength-related.  I'm not optimistic, to put it mildly.

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22 minutes ago, Hi, I'm VALUE! said:

If CJ is let go (which I can't fathom Denver doing unless they have some cap problems I'm not aware of), I think this is a pretty good get.  Now Miami just needs to, y'know, use the running back in their offense.

Also the 1 year deal with Bushrod is official - Bushrod is expected to be a starter at guard at this point, and he doesn't have a ton of competition for the position unless you consider Dallas Thomas, Billy Turner, and Jamil Douglas "competition".  FWIW, Thomas and Turner are going to be put through a massive weight-training program, implying that their issue this year was weight and strength-related.  I'm not optimistic, to put it mildly.

I've read differing things about Denver's cap situation.  One says that they have plenty of space now that they didn't sign Osweiler, another that says that they're tight against the cap.  My guess is that the truth is closer to the latter in that you wouldn't go to the trouble of giving an offer sheet the other team can easily match.  But even if it's not the case, he lost his starting job last year, so I don't know how valuable the Broncos see him as being.

On a related note, Mando tweeted (before the CJ Anderson offer sheet) that the Dolphins had something like $35 million in cap space.  If that's true, I would rather the team stay the course of not overspending on the marginal free agents that are left. 

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Not a clue where Mando's numbers come from - most of my calcs see them as between 14 and 18 million.

Miami's still looking at Josh Robinson to fill in at corner, as well as Robert Ayers or another pass-rusher to pair with Williams (which I assume means that they expect Wake to not contribute and/or they're going to cut him if his salary doesn't have a guarantee date).  General rule of thumb is 10 million is set aside for draft picks and during-the-year signings - if Miami is closer to Mando's numbers, then it's possible that Ayers and Robinson are brought in.  

On a related note, there's really two guys I'd consider out of this crop of free agents that I'd love for Miami to sign - Ayers who was amazing for a bad Giants defense last year, and Jurrell Freeman, the Colts' best linebacker who they appear to be playing hardball with.  An LB corps of Alonso/Jenkins/Freeman will fix a lot of Miami's run-defense deficiencies.  Robinson is, well, a body, and Miami needs bodies at CB.  

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