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Dolphins' Offseason: Who Stays And Who Goes?

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NFL: Miami Dolphins at Los Angeles Chargers Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

As the clock ticks inexorably toward the final play of the 2017 season for the Miami Dolphins, rumors and questions are swirling about the team and its players and coaches. Will stud WR Jarvis Landry, who has often been left to try and win games all by himself this season, be resigned? Will TE's Julius Thomas and Anthony Fasano, return? Will offensive linemen Ju 'Wuan James and Mike Pouncey, be back? Will soon to be 36-year-old defensive end Cameron Wake be retained? Will head coach Adam Gase continue to call the team's offensive plays? Before we decide that Gase will absolutely continue to call the plays, I have some numbers for you: a 1-3 record, 16 points and 300 yards per game -- Kansas City's offensive numbers the last four games in which head coach Andy Reid called the plays. 3-1, 29 points and 421 yards per game -- their numbers the past four weeks, after Reid delegated the play calling to Offensive Coordinator Matt Nagy. Why pay a guy to be a coordinator if you're not going to let him coordinate? Of course, that second set of numbers is somewhat skewed, because one of those games was against Miami. The Dolphin defense is always easy pickings for opposing players looking for Pro Bowl votes. Which members of Miami's 'D' will be 'posterized' this weekend against Buffalo?

First, let's talk about Landry; no way do the Dolphins let him so much as get on a plane to go visit another team. When fellow wideout DeVante Parker underwhelmed this season, it was all but assured that Landry would be resigned. As recently as last offseason, the age-old Gilligan's Island quandary, 'Ginger or Mary Ann', was appropriate when assessing the team's plans for the two players. Landry was viewed as the steady, boy-next-door type who always found a way to get the job done, while Parker was the exotic, high-end receiver with greater long-term potential and the capacity for making eye-popping, game-changing plays. Today, however, while Landry has once again held up his end of the deal, Parker has more closely resembled aging socialite Mrs. Howell. Look for the team to ink Jarvis to a long-term deal sooner, rather than later while they wait to see whether Parker can develop into anything other than a quintessential 'tease' player: long on potential but short on production.

Although I often disagree with the 'Early Bird' (Chris Early), his knowledge of the game and astute assessments are hard to deny, and it was telling when, a couple of weeks ago, even he said that there was no way Parker would be resigned by the Dolphins when his rookie deal expires. When Chris says you're done, you're really done. What Miami will do with either Thomas or Fasano -- assuming Fasano doesn't simply opt to retire -- is anybody's guess, but I would venture to say that the team will probably decide to move on from either or both James and Pouncey, while they let Wake finish his career as a Dolphin on a one year at a time basis.

Buffalo Bills owner Terry 'Ghoul Head' Pegula, who has thus far not proven to be an overly patient man, must have put the word out that the Bills had better win their season finale at Hard Rock Stadium on Sunday; this past Tuesday, the Bills made no fewer than eight-player transactions. Expect plenty of surprises from Buffalo this weekend, including a possible gadget play or two, as they pull out all the stops in an effort to get back to the postseason for the first time since 1999. The Bills are about to find out, assuming they make the playoffs, that squeaking in as the sixth and final seed isn't all it's cracked up to be; slipping into the postseason, only to be posted at the home of one of the top two seeded teams, is hardly the stuff of dreams. I'll probably take some heat for saying this, but I hope Buffalo wins on Sunday, to lower one of their two first-round picks in April's draft a few more slots, so they have to give up even more capital to try and move up for one of the top QB's.

I would be remiss if I failed to mention the awesome exchange that took place last week, right here on this page, between Fly, CT and the rest of the Phinsider faithful. Those two guys showed up packin' Macs in Cadillacs while the opposition arrived on bicycles and go-carts with pop guns and slingshots. We can disagree with Fly all we want, or his overall demeanor, but from where I'm standing, not a single thing he said was incorrect. How is it that the Dolphins are based in the great, football rich state of Florida, yet year after year, outstanding Florida based and SEC collegiate players are allowed to be acquired by other teams around the country? Down with the Clowns, indeed. This phenomenon, by the way, is not limited to just the current Dolphins regime; New England cruised to the 1985 Super Bowl, beating the Dolphins at the Orange Bowl along the way, with former UM studs Ronnie Lippett and Fred Marion starting at corner and free safety, respectively. Either or both of those players should never have been allowed to leave South Florida. Lippett was an eighth-round pick, Marion a fifth rounder, so it's not as if former New England draft guru Dick Steinberg chose them high in the draft before the Dolphins could have gotten them. Whether you agree with his or CT's position, in terms of the Dolphins and their front office, I believe that the common thread between the three of us is that we believe Dolphin fans, as a whole, should be much less benevolent and forgiving regarding the team's ongoing blunders and follies, in terms of their personnel and coaching philosophy. We chide our fellow posters not to lump the current front office in with past regimes, but how can we not paint them all with the same brush when every front office Miami has had since Nick Saban left town eleven years ago has succumbed to the same mistakes, again and again? We go out and demonstrate in the streets when Jeff Ireland fails to sign veritable household name Matt Flynn, at QB but we're perfectly okay with the team using more of their first round picks over the past dozen years or so, on offensive players than any other NFL team. I guess this is what happens when you have a fan base whose collective brain has been pickled in Fantasy Football sauce.

I cannot, for the life of me, imagine how anyone could have watched the Chiefs game last Sunday and not come away with the conclusion that Miami's most critical need is, by far, free safety. Over and over again I watched Kansas City quarterback Alex Smith completing long passes down the field into double and triple coverage because the Dolphins didn't have an NFL caliber free safety who could get over there and break up the play. Just because offensive guard is a glaring need doesn't necessarily mean that Miami has to take one in the top half of the first round. At any rate, I'd like to hear from our readers as to who they think the Dolphins should resign, let walk, waive or draft this coming offseason. Also, how about a big round of applause for one of the Phinsider's longest running Dolphin fans? 39 Is Number One has been supporting this team since their inaugural season in 1966; talk about a glutton for punishment... Congratulations on sticking with the Fins through thick and thin, sir!