The Miami Dolphins are shedding talent this offseason as they start to focus on rebuilding the franchise. After two decades of mediocrity with the rare spark, the Dolphins are getting rid of the band aid immediate fixes that have not worked and are instead focusing on getting younger, building the foundation, and looking forward toward sustained success. It is setting up 2019 to be an ugly season, but there might be a bright future ahead.
This week, SB Nation released their post-free agency edition of the FanPulse polls. These polls are typically a three- to four-question poll just getting an idea of the mindset of the various NFL fanbases. During this week’s FanPulse poll for the Dolphins, the questions focused on whether or not the team had gotten better during free agency and how confident in the direction of the team fans are.
Losing players like Cameron Wake, Ja’Wuan James, Danny Amendola, Frank Gore, Ryan Tannehill, and Robert Quinn have hurt the Dolphins, and the fans know it. The FanPulse results show 71 percent of the fans see Miami as a worse team than they were before free agency began. That seems accurate - the team is worse. It is hard to lose your starting right tackle, both starting defensive ends, your starting running back, your leading receiver, and your starting quarterback and not think your team is worse.
But, this is where things are a little surprising. The polls show 66 percent of the fan base is confident in the direction of the team. That is a jump from just 31 percent saying they were confident after the 2018 Week 17 games.
The FanPulse polls show the Dolphins have the second largest percentage of fans who think the team has gotten worse, yet they had seventh largest jump in fan confidence and are currently the 20th most confident fan base. So even though Dolphins fan absolutely think the team is worse today than it was at the end of the 2018 season, they are pretty confident that the team is heading in the right direction.
The Dolphins are rebuilding, and the fan base seems to understand that. It may be a bad 2019, but fans seem to be ready to wait it out, give the new front office and coaching staff a chance to fix the franchise, and look to the future instead of today.