The Miami Dolphins were having a promising looking training camp going into the 2017 season. They had gone 10-6 under first year head coach Adam Gase and made the playoffs, but lost in the wildcard round to the Pittsburgh Steelers. Fifth year quarterback Ryan Tannehill seemed to be coming into his own having career completion percentage, and quarterback rating and running back Jay Ajayi stepped up and rushed for over 1,200 yards. Jarvis Landry, DeVante Parker and Kenny Stills were looking like a serious wide receiving corps and they improved over the year, winning nine of their last 11 games. They spent the off-season building up their defense, using five of their seven draft picks on defense including first round pick Charles Harris, defensive end out of Missouri.
During a training camp practice, Tannehill injured his knee and was done for the season. Not seeing Matt Moore as the answer, they signed David Fales and then coaxed Jay Cutler out of the Fox broadcast booth before he really had a chance to sit down. Cutler hadn’t been having too many good years of late, but the last one he had was in Chicago when Gase was the offensive coordinator. After being forced to take their bye-week at the beginning of the season because of a hurricane, the Dolphins went 4-3 over seven games then traded Ajayi to the Eagles on Halloween. That worked out well for him, as they won the Super Bowl. The team would lose eight of their last 10 games ending with a 6-10 record, 3rd in the AFC East.
That’s kind of hard to say. There’s the question of whether Tannehill will be the same after the injury and the team has signed Brock Osweiler to back him up, which hasn’t been a good decision by any team since he first left the Broncos. Ndamukong Suh is now gone, which frees up money but leaves a gap in the middle of the defensive line.
Center Mike Pouncey has also moved on, but they’ve signed aging running back Frank Gore to help the running game. They’ve brought in center Daniel Kilgore in a trade with the 49ers and signed Bears guard Mike Sitton, so it looks like the offensive line is getting a makeover with some younger players. But the biggest blow is that Jarvis Landry is moving on to Cleveland and signing Danny Amendola doesn’t make up for the loss. It’s hard to see exactly what their strategy is here. They’re suffering some big losses and making some modest gains, and it’s hard to see how that’s going to work out well in the end.