Loaded with draft picks and cap space, there are plenty of different avenues the Miami Dolphins could explore in order to improve on the team’s 5-11 2019 campaign.
Despite the whispers of “tanking,” the Dolphins were active in trade talks before the season began. The Dolphins shipped away a handful of players, but were also looking to bring in pieces, specifically Jadeveon Clowney and Trent Williams.
While neither of these moves became reality, it looks like the Miami Dolphins will have another shot to nab Williams, who is looking for a new contract, or to be traded.
According to NFL Media’s Mike Garafolo, Washington coach Ron Rivera had positive interactions with Williams, but he still refuses to join the team unless he is given a new contact. The 31-year-old left tackle sat out the entire 2019 season after not receiving a new deal.
The Dolphins are marching into free agency with roughly $93 million in cap space, the most in the NFL. It is important to keep in mind that most of the league’s best players never reach free agency. The Dolphins can’t repeat the mistakes of 2013 and spend like crazy, just for the sake of spending like crazy.
It is unlikely that the Dolphins are to use all of their cap space, and it is just as unlikely that Miami will keep every player from its war chest of draft picks, so why not move a pick or two in order to trade for Williams, and offer him a deal that would run parallel with whichever rookie quarterback the Dolphins will look to in the future?
Miami has plenty of freedom in terms of cap space. To put it into perspective, Miami’s first pick, if it remains at five, or above, will become the fifth-highest player on the team. In fact, the Dolphins can move on from a few of their highest-paid players to free up even more cap space.
Unlike last year, Williams has proven that he is willing to sit out at long as needed in order to get the deal he wants. Rivera, in his first year in Washington, will look to rebuild the franchise with his version and could use a few extra picks — instead of Williams just taking up a roster spot.
While it is unclear what the price from Williams would be, but a second-round pick, or a couple of thirds, would not only give the Dolphins their tackle for the foreseeable future, but also not hurt their draft capital.
Finally, it is important to keep in mind that Williams is in search of a new deal. Taylor Lewan is currently making an average of $16 million per year as the highest paid left tackle, compared to Williams, who is making roughly $13 million a year. Not only can the Dolphins afford the pay raise he is looking for, but could also front-load it in order to maintain flexibility in the future.
The Dolphins can explore any avenue they please this off season, it is up to Chris Grier and company to establish a roster that could produce Miami’s first playoff win in 20 years.