Miami Dolphins: Cutting the Losses

Image credit @UnderdogGraphix

It’s no secret that the Miami Dolphins are having a busy offseason. One that is full of change. A new President of Football operations, new head coach, new staff, and soon a new QB. Everyone likes having new things.


However, sometimes it can be difficult to get rid of the old things. This is not one of the cases. The Dolphins are free to cut who they want, as there are only a handful of players worth keeping.

Cornerstone Players?

The players worth keeping that come to mind are; Xavian Howard, Minkah Fitzpatrick, Laremy Tunsil, Kenyan Drake, and Jerome Baker. Baker might be debatable. Stop yelling “Reshad Jones” at me. He is 31 years old and plays a position that is overflowing with talent nowadays. We’re keeping him, but he is not a cornerstone player anymore. 

Kenyan Drake may not have been a cornerstone offensive guy under Adam Gase, but I guarantee that he will be under Chad O’Shea. 

Plus, if the Dolphins draft a QB, that’s another player to add to the list. So don’t think that Miami won’t have any franchise level talent. They’re just in a transition state.

Chopping Block

Lets get the obvious cuts out of the way. These should not need much explaining. 

  • Ryan Tannehill
  • Robert Quinn
  • Josh Sitton
  • Andre Branch
  • DeVante Parker
  • Akeem Spence

I’m not saying all these players are bad or overpaid. Some of them were just hurt or too old, like Sitton. Tannehill had enough chances and you can read about how bad he actually was here (article by our own Chris Smith). 

Parker has been a known goner since the season began. Branch, Quinn, and Spence are not worth their money. Quinn in particular was a real let down after the flashes of revitalization he showed in preseason. 

Tannehill is going to create some dead money, but these cuts alone can save up to $35 million. What about some players that might be on the fence or should at least be considered?

In Limbo

I’m going to include some of Miami’s pending free agents here, because resigning them would cost money and obviously that is what it’s all about.

  • Danny Amendola
  • Kiko Alonso
  • Daniel Kilgore
  • Ted Larsen
  • Ja’Waun James (FA)
  • Cameron Wake (FA)
  • Frank Gore (FA)
  • Mike Hull (FA)

Another disclaimer, I’m not saying any of these guys don’t deserve to stay or come back. I’m simply looking into the best routes to open more cash and roster spots. In terms of the free agents, I think Bolden, Gray, Hayes, Davis, and Carroo are very likely to return. Denney (long-snapper) has already resigned. 

James is going to be costly, it is a decision that the new staff will have to make. He performed well last season, but has some durability issues. However, I already suggested cutting other O-linemen, so I don’t think Miami can afford to lose James. 

I love Cameron Wake. I hope he returns, but he won’t get paid, that is not going to happen. Unless Miami strikes out on all other ventures, Wake might have to wait a bit for a chance to come back. 

Hull and Gore are bit more interesting, in that both are very much needed, but still uncertain. If Gore wants to play another season, Miami will welcome him back for a cheap contract. If Hull stays cheap, he brings much needed depth.

Larsen and Kilgore are under contract and would not save a ton of money, maybe around $4 million*, but it should considered. The O-line was really bad last year. Aside from James and Tunsil, I’m good with starting from scratch. 

*Numbers from OverTheCap.com

Kiko has already been declared safe, from multiple reports. I am curious to see what he plays like under Flores, a real defensive coach. It can be presumed that O’Shea would want his boy Amendola around, but saving $6 million would be really nice. 

Overall

All in all, the Dolphins have an opportunity to overhaul the roster and free up money to bring in pieces that fit their rebuild. 

This should not be a repeat of the Adam Gase hire, where he tried to make it work with the players they had. These square pegs are not fitting into any hole. 

For more Miami sports content follow us on Twitter @DarthShaz24 and @MiamiSportsWave.

Related:

Dolphins Free Agent Target: Preston Smith

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