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Dolphins to raid NFC North in 2021 free agency?

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Chicago Bears v Detroit Lions Photo by Nic Antaya/Getty Images

Could the Miami Dolphins raid the NFC North during the 2021 free agency period? Earlier this week, Pro Football Focus released their rankings of the top 50 free agents for next offseason. Included in those rankings are predictions for where the player signs, with Miami listed as the destination for two NFC North offensive weapons.

The third-ranked free agent is Chicago Bears wide receiver Allen Robinson, a player who many fans are already considering as a potential Dolphins target. Of Robinson, PFF writes:

It’s impossible not to feel a little bit sorry for Allen Robinson II given the quarterback situations he has dealt with dating back to at least high school. He may have chosen his latest nightmare in Chicago, but the combination of Mitchell Trubisky and Nick Foles did not encourage much success, yet Robinson continually excels.

Robinson hasn’t had an overall PFF grade lower than 69.0 in his career or lower than 75.0 since the 2018 season, his first in Chicago. He consistently showcases excellent hands and contested-catch skills, dropping no more than three passes in a season since his time in Jacksonville. Robinson consistently grades out as a borderline top-10 receiver with one of the worst quarterback situations in the league, and he is still just 27 years old. His ceiling with a high-end quarterback could be special.

Contract Analysis: Robinson could close his eyes and throw a dart at a U.S. map, and he’ll end up with a better quarterback at his new destination. He’s another franchise tag candidate, but Chicago’s current salary cap nightmare could make fitting $18 million (what Robinson’s tag would be) in 2021 borderline impossible.

For their prediction, PFF looks to the Dolphins as Robinson’s landing spot:

Dolphins sign Robinson for four years, $80 million ($20M APY). $50 million total guaranteed, $35 million fully guaranteed at signing.

Robinson would give Miami a key piece to the offense, joining DeVante Parker at the top of the depth chart. Both receivers will be 28 when the 2021 season begins, positioning Miami’s receiving corps to be headlined by two receivers in their prime who can help develop quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. Robinson makes a ton of sense for the Dolphins.

Miami would not be done in the free agency market, however, as PFF also looks to Green Bay Packers running back Aaron Jones as a potential offensive upgrade. They write of Jones:

Jones is one of the league’s best running backs, but like all backs, he is heavily dependent on the environment in which they have been placed. Jones has been running behind an impressive offensive line and catching passes from Aaron Rodgers, neither of which may be true with his next team.

Before 2020, he had three straight seasons with a PFF rushing grade of 79.9 or higher. He ranks fourth in receiving grade among running backs since the start of the 2019 season, behind only Austin Ekeler, Christian McCaffrey and Alvin Kamara, each of whom has had a big payday in large part because of that skill.

Jones is a well-rounded threat at the position and a player with little in the way of weaknesses. He has also been kept relatively fresh by Green Bay’s use of a committee approach to their backfield, so should still have tread left on the tires.

Contract Analysis: Jones watched this offseason as fellow 2017 draftees Joe Mixon ($12M APY), Dalvin Cook ($12.6M APY), Alvin Kamara ($15M APY) and Christian McCaffrey ($16M APY) signed huge deals. Green Bay was smart to hold off, and we’d be surprised if Jones is a Packer in 2021.

PFF predicts the Dolphins could be aggressive in targeting Jones, but not necessarily offer him a deal that matches the annual salaries of the running backs they mentioned:

Prediction: Dolphins sign Jones for 4-years, $45 million ($11.25M APY): $25M total guaranteed, $15 million fully guaranteed at signing.

Jones turned 26 earlier this week, keeping him in line with Miami’s youth movement over the past few years. Would Miami take another shot at a veteran running back, replacing Jordan Horward from this offseason’s free agency period, or would they look to the 2020 NFL Draft?

How would you react to a free agency period where Miami adds Robinson and Jones?