The Miami Dolphins looked like one of the NFL’s best teams through Thanksgiving last season. They came out of Week 12 with an 8-3 record, cruising toward the postseason. And Miami did make it to the playoffs, barely. The Dolphins lost five of their last six, and despite a valiant effort, fell to the Buffalo Bills in the Wild Card round. It’s worth noting that they lost quarterback Tua Tagovailoa for the playoffs too.
After finally tasting success, the Dolphins aren’t likely to sit idle as the offseason begins. However, they’re in a tough spot with the salary cap, currently more than $16 million in the red. Expect to see some names getting released and contracts reworked to give them a little spending money in free agency.
Miami Dolphins free agency preview
Players to target
Given Tua Tagovailoa’s precarious health situation, the Dolphins really need to prioritize offensive line help, starting with right tackle. If they can find the funds to go the free-agent route, Jawaan Taylor from the Jaguars or Mike McGlinchey from the 49ers could both be good targets. Kaleb McGary had a career year with the Falcons just in time for his first taste of free agency, so he’s another player for Miami to consider.
While it’s not the sexiest job in the world, a reliable backup quarterback is going to be important for the Dolphins. Teddy Bridgewater is a free agent, and they can probably do better. It’ll be interesting to see if they dip their toes into the Baker Mayfield sweepstakes.
As for cornerbacks, there are the usual suspects at the top of any needy team’s wishlist, names like Jamel Dean or James Bradberry. They might be better served to look at someone like Marcus Peters, a proven player who’ll be looking for the chance to get his career back on track after dealing with injuries over the last two years.
Both Jeff Wilson and Raheem Mostert are free agents this year, potentially leaving the Dolphins with a big hole in their backfield. Even Myles Gaskin and Salvon Ahmed are scheduled for free agents. Don’t be surprised if they try to hang onto one of Mostert or Wilson, maybe both. Though they worked in a committee, Wilson had a slight edge down the stretch last year.