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2017 Miami Dolphins season preview: New Orleans Saints in London in Week 4

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A closer look at the Miami Dolphins’ 2017 opponents with some help from the bloggers that cover each team.

NFL: New Orleans Saints-Minicamp Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Dolphins will head back across the pond to play in London for the fourth time in 2017, the second most appearances in the NFL International Series behind just the Jacksonville Jaguars. Miami, who started the series back in 2007 when they “hosted” the New York Giants, will be the home team this year as they face off against the New Orleans Saints in Week 4. Miami was the away team in their 2014 game against the Oakland Raiders and the home team in an AFC East divisional contest against the New York Jets in 2015.

The Dolphins are 1-2 in International Series games, having played all of them in London’s Wembley Stadium. This year’s game will also be in Wembley.

The Phinsider preview series of each team Miami will face this year continues with a closer look at the Saints with help from Canal Street Chronicles.

Notable free agent additions

WR Ted Ginn Jr, RB Adrian Peterson, G Larry Warford, LB A.J. Klein, LB Manti Te’o, QB Chase Daniel

Notable free agent departures

S Jairus Byrd (released), OL Tim Lelito, DL John Jenkins, RB Tim Hightower

Trades

WR Brandin Cooks and a 2017 4th Round Pick (118th overall) to the New England Patriots for a 2017 1st Round Pick (32nd overall) and 3rd Round Pick (103rd overall).

Draft picks expected to contribute as rookies

CB Marshon Lattimore, Round 1 - After the Saints failed to land CB Malcolm Butler in a trade with the Patriots, all eyes will be on Lattimore who will be playing in his place.

OL Ryan Ramczyk, Round 1 - The Saints second 1st Rounder could be thrust into a larger role than originally anticipated with an injury to Terron Armstead.

S Marcus Williams, Round 2 - After the release of Jairus Byrd, Williams could see time his rookie year in three safety sets with Kenny Vaccaro and Vonn Bell.

RB Alvin Kamara, Round 3 - Kamara has all the makings of a future premier back in the NFL, but the Saints have a crowded backfield with Adrian Peterson joining starter Mark Ingram. Even still, it’s expected that Kamara will get time playing with the offense in 2017.

LB Alex Anzalone, Round 3 - Even with AJ Klein coming in to help stabilize the middle linebacker position, the rest of the linebacking corps has plenty of openings for Anzalone to see the field this year if he can stay healthy - and that’s a big “if.”

DE Trey Hendrickson, Round 4 - The sole pass-rusher drafted by the Saints this year, Hendrickson has the chance to get starters minutes rushing the passer opposite Cam Jordan.

Biggest offseason addition

With all of the focus on the Saints defense, 1st Round Pick Marshon Lattimore stands to be a difference-maker out of the gate. Lattimore will be under the microscope even more than a typical rookie, and will have to live up to the comparisons of Malcolm Butler’s play with Saints fans and NFL analysts thinking about what could have been. Compared to what the Saints have been running out at the Cornerback position the past two years, though, it’s almost inconceivable for Lattimore to somehow not be an improvement.

Biggest storyline heading into training camp

How will the Saints find a way to replace Nick Fairley at Defensive Tackle after learning that Fairley will miss all of the 2017 season due to a heart condition? Will one of the current rostered players be able to step up, or will the Saints be forced to scrape the bottom of the barrel in free agency? Maybe Vince Wilfork needs a job somewhere still.

Under-the-radar storyline heading into training camp

With the removal of Brandin Cooks but the addition of Adrian Peterson, will the Saints slowly start playing with a more balanced attack on offense? Assuming not, how will the offense gel with second-year WR Michael Thomas now the focal point in the passing game?

Notable injuries heading into training camp

DT Nick Fairley (heart condition - out for all of 2017), C Max Unger (foot surgery - hopefully back for Week 1), OL Terron Armstead (shoulder surgery - 4-6 months).

Miami Dolphins 2017 season schedule:

Week 1
vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Setpember 10, 1pm

Week 2
at Los Angeles Chargers
September 17, 4:05pm

Week 3
at New York Jets
September 24, 1pm

Week 4
vs. New Orleans Saints (London)
October 1, 9:30am

Week 5
vs. Tennessee Titans
October 8, 1pm

Week 6
at Atlanta Falcons
October 15, 1pm

Week 7
vs. New York Jets
October 22, 1pm

Week 8
at Baltimore Ravens
October 26, 8:25pm (TNF)

Week 9
vs. Oakland Raiders
November 5, 8:30pm (SNF)

Week 10
at Carolina Panthers
November 13, 8:30pm (MNF)

Week 11
BYE

Week 12
at New England Patriots
November 26, 1pm

Week 13
vs. Denver Broncos
December 3, 1pm

Week 14
vs. New England Patriots
December 11, 8:30pm (MNF)

Week 15
at Buffalo Bills
December 17, 1pm

Week 16
at Kansas City Chiefs
December 24, 1pm

Week 17
vs. Buffalo Bills
December 31, 1pm