I know what every Miami Dolphins fan is used to in free agency: The BIG splash, the I-don’t-care-how-much-he-costs player, or the headline of “the Miami Dolphins have won free agency”. Clearly, looking back at how the Miami Dolphins have performed over the past 5 years, the shelling out of high dollars for expensive players has not worked for the team. But, instead of spending big bucks on expensive players, the Dolphins have taken a very different approach to the 2019 offseason. That’s why the Miami Dolphins deserve an “A” grade for this year’s NFL free agency period.
First, in order to truly understand how much the Dolphins free agency decisions of the past were bad decisions, you have to look at some of the highest price tags and some of the ages of the free agents that the Dolphins picked up:
In addition to looking at the most expensive players, by reviewing the Top 100 free agent lists, as stated by ESPN, it illustrates that the Miami Dolphins loved to make splashy free agent players selections from the Top 100 list (not including the free agents that were re-signed with the Dolphins):
And this brings us to the 2019 Free Agent signings. To date, guess how many Top 100 free agents the Miami Dolphins have signed during the offseason? None. . zero. . nada. For a franchise that has always been a Breaking News top sports story for their free agent signings in the past, the Miami Dolphins have been one of the quietest teams in the NFL when it comes to signing high priced players.
The Dolphins most lucrative offseason signing went to Ryan Fitzpatrick, who signed a two-year $11 million deal. When looking at the mega contracts that the Dolphins have paid out in the most recent years, this top signing is at a fraction of the cost of prior year players. Then the next largest free agent signing was TE Dwayne Allen for a two-year $6.5 million deal, followed by CB Eric Rowe for a one-year deal at $3.5 million and most recently G Chris Reed for two years at $3 million. What a difference a year makes!
The new Miami Dolphins free agent philosophy doesn’t mean that the Dolphins are going to be playoff contenders in the upcoming season. But what it does mean is that the Dolphins organization is changing their strategy from spending exorbitant amounts of money for older talent to bringing in specific pieces at decent prices and then drafting and planning to develop their own players. What it means is that the Dolphins, if they do it right, can develop their young talent and then be able to afford to retain that talent once the players have been developed. And what it also means is that the Miami Dolphins have decided that what they’ve been doing in the past has not been working and its finally time to do something different. And that, my friends, is why the Miami Dolphins deserve an A in free agency.
And maybe making changes to their free agent philosophy is just a start to what the Miami Dolphins needed in order to shift the team culture to that of a winning organization. Only time will tell.
This article was written by Ian Berger. Follow him on Twitter: @ian693
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