Thank you to everyone that participated in this week’s mailbag.
One of the Phinsider’s most loyal readers/listeners/tweeters had a ton of great questions last week. Unfortunately, I forgot to post a single one of them. So here it is, the official CARRRRUUUUUUTTTTTHHHHHHH section of Phinsider Mailbag.
A) A surprise player to me is someone who you’re least expecting to take a leap or make an impact in 2017. DeVante Parker will make the biggest jump from 2016, but I believe the biggest surprise for the Dolphins will be tight end Julius Thomas. He never quite lived up to the hype in Jacksonville but after being reunited with Adam Gase, I expect a big year. (If he can stay healthy)
B) I’m very intrigued by how the linebackers will shape up as training camp progresses. However, the biggest and most important battle in camp will be on the offensive line. Pouncey isn’t ready to play, which means moving forward, Urbik will likely be the team’s starting center. Guard play has been terrible over the last several years, and with Tunsil shifting to left tackle it’s anyone’s guess as to how things might shape out. Bushrod/Larsen/Asiata/Steen/ etc... Miami’s offensive line needs to improve, if the team wants to take the next step this upcoming season.
C) This is a tough one. I could see a guy like Koa Misi getting the axe for health reasons, but even then it’s very unlikely to happen. Without being too vague, I’m going to go with one of the team’s talented wide receivers. Whether it be one of the guys with a very low chance of being cut like Carroo or Grant, or one of the other standouts like Scott/Morgan/Stringfellow. Miami will be forced to release a very talented wide receiver this offseason.
First, let me just say I believe that Jarvis Landry WILL have a new contract before the start of the 2017 season. I have no #sauces, but my gut tells me the Dolphins will find a way to get their Pro Bowl wide receiver signed.
For argument’s sake, while I realize anyone could regress from year to year, I really don’t see Jarvis Landry taking a step back this season. If he does regress, and a new contract is not inked, I do think it would slightly help the Dolphins in negotiations. However, with every passing day another contract could be signed, raising Landry’s price tag. Miami realizes how valuable he is and I believe this will be his best season to date.
You’re right, this team is littered with playmakers, but Landry could still see a 100 catch, 1,000-yard, 5+ TD season imho.
I find that most of the people who hate Ryan Tannehill, are those fans that would rather see the team crash and burn, than have any real success. Without question, he is the best quarterback this team has ever had since the GOAT Dan Marino. This is not debatable. If there are still TanneHaters out there after the endless beating he has taken over the last several years. After the progress he’s made, despite not having the same offensive coordinator in consecutive years, than I don’t think they will ever come to the dark side.
If Pouncey is cut by June 1st, he would count for $5 million in dead money, saving the Dolphins a total of $3.975 million in 2017. If Miami were to go this route, which I don’t think they will, Kraig Urbik would be the likely heir apparent at center. If the Dolphins were to move on from Pouncey this offseason, they would definitely look to draft a center in 2018.
The Dolphins exercised Ja’Wuan James’ fifth-year option, keeping him on the roster through the 2018 season. With how the team has rewarded their own, I wouldn’t be surprised to see a long-term contract worked out between the two sides. If not, James will be owed $9.341 million at the start of the 2018 season.
All contract information courtesy of OverTheCap.com
It’s hard to say how the moves made this offseason will impact the run defense, at least until meaningful games are played. However, I do like what the Dolphins have done to improve their defense. The defensive line has greatly improved with the additions of Hayes and Harris, and another defensive tackle should emerge out of Phillips, Godchaux and Taylor. As for linebackers, Raekwon McMillan was one of my favorite players in this year’s class and I believe he will ultimately be the team’s MLB of the future. Timmons is an upgrade and Kiko Alonso is very good against the run. The team should be much improved at stopping the run than year’s prior.
Paul Bailey asks:
I have not heard anything in OTAs about Praise Martin-Oguike. This guy got a raw deal in life and was UDFA pick by the Dolphins. Any idea how he has looked in the OTAs? From what I read, this guy could be good and fell out of the draft due to his past where he was unjustly accused of sexual assault that he was exonerated of doing. I am rooting for this guy and hoped he would pan out for the Dolphins.
I have not heard anything good or bad regarding PMO during OTAs. However, when watching film he appears to have the skill to succeed in the NFL. At worst, Miami can try to stash him on the practice squad. At best, he makes the most of his opportunity and makes the 53-man roster. Although that might be a long shot, the talent is there for PMO to become a successful player in the NFL.
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This article was written by Josh Houtz. Follow him on Twitter!