by Mario Granata
Adam Gase had a rocky sophomore year in the league last season and the Dolphins finished with a 6-10 record (after finishing 10-6 in 2016). What is the 'in' thing to do when you are an offensive minded and you feel that you are on the hot seat? Fire your offensive coordinator and get a new one. Dowell Loggains was the quarterbacks coach when Gase was the OC in Chicago and then was promoted to offensive coordinator upon Gase's departure. He presided over an offense in Chicago that went from 15th in 2016 to 30th in 2017. Not exactly an amazing signing by any means, but the relationship with Gase is there, so hopefully he can transfer what Gase wants on a play-by-play basis in Miami.
The Dolphins had an active offseason signing the likes of Danny Amendola, Brock Osweiler, Frank Gore, Robert Quinn, Josh Sitton, Daniel Kilgore and Albert Wilson as the most notable. Amendola will hopefully fill the void of Jarvis Landry as their primary short yardage receiver, while the ageless Gore will hope to fill the shoes of Jay Ajayi with Kenyan Drake spelling him occasionally.
The most interesting signings of the bunch are Osweiler and Quinn. Osweiler was drafted while Gase was still in Denver prompting a quarterback controversy down the road since that was a player that perhaps he wanted to run his offense. Should be interesting to watch as training camp opens up in July.
Quinn is another questionable signing as he was primarily a 3-4 OLB for the Rams and now he will be asked to permanently keep his hand in the dirt opposite Cameron Wake to give the Dolphins a much-needed presence across the defensive line. Asking a guy to do that sometimes will have a period of adjustment, but the Dolphins feel that he is worth the risk.
With Loggains coming from Chicago, so did Josh Sitton to give the offensive line more stability as well as Kilgore from San Francisco.
Albert Wilson rounds out the quartet of receivers for Miami joining the likes of Kenny Stills and DeVante Parker along with Amendola.
Miami is projected to spend around 7 million on their rookie draft class provided they don't trade back or up for any picks. They hold the 11th overall pick which is a nice spot to be as the 5th year option (for whomever they draft) won't be a huge hit to their cap. As a reminder, any player who is drafted in the Top 10, who has their 5th-year option exercised will average out to the top 10 players at the position. If a player is drafted from 11-32, their 5th-year option will cost the average of the 3rd-25th players at that position which helps if they are taking a defensive lineman or a quarterback.
With the Suh deal, the Dolphins are projected to have 15 million, give or take, under the cap provided they don't make any major moved prior to the draft.
Two names have been thrown around for the Dolphins with the 11th overall pick: Minkah Fitzpatrick and Vita Vea.
Fitzpatrick will come in to make an impact and help the Dolphins secondary who only recorded 9 interceptions in 2017. In a copycat league, the Dolphins didn't have to look any further than the Buffalo Bills to see the impact a rookie playmaking corner can have on a defense. (Google Tre White).
Vea seems to be the unanimous pick at 11 to fill the void left by Suh at a fraction of the cost. Standing at 6'4" and weighing 350 pounds along with throwing up 41 reps at the combine, Vea passes the 'eye test' for a defensive tackle and some have even compared him to Haloti Ngata which is very high praise. If he can be that type of player, along with Quinn and Wake, the Dolphins are going to have a formidable defensive line going into 2018.