Right off the bat, I’m making some serious proclamations. I’m saying the Dolphins already have quality depth before the draft even happens, and that depth will be one of their key reasons that the Dolphins will have success this upcoming season. Talk about some Venus-level hot takes right there. But I really believe that the depth the Dolphins have acquired this off-season will be major in making this squad a very good team.
The Dolphins aren’t looking to win free agency by signing many flashy names while also giving them big-time franchise debilitating money. Sure, you can point to last year’s free agency where they signed Byron Jones, Van Noy, Karras, Lawson, and Ogbah, say isn’t that trying to win free agency? I’d say no. I’d say that was setting the foundation. Those guys were brought in to shore up huge holes. Half of the guys I said are now gone and have been replaced with cheaper, younger options.
The culture and tone have been set though it is always evolving. That’s why you can replace higher-priced free agents with cheaper, less-known guys. This is actually another one of the secret sauces. Perhaps this is the fancy sauce of the Dolphins. Actually, I’ve always thought that Sriracha is the condiment of the future, so culture and tone will be that.
Stone Cold Brian Flores will always have new players being brought in every year to replace a Seattle Slew of players that he gets rid of every year. That won’t be much of an issue because the constant culture will be the same and instituted by a few core players. Christian Wilkins comes to mind.
Here’s a list of the signings through trades and free agency the Dolphins have made. Trades are on top.
When you look at this list, you should be getting a real not about the Xs and Os; it’s about Jimmy and Joe’s vibe to it. There really isn’t any name that pops off the screen beside the highest-priced guy the Dolphins signed, Will Fuller. Other than that, it’s a gang of grinders that are all looking to make their mark in Miami.
Besides Fuller, there are only two names on this list that I think could eventually be starters for Dolphins in a capacity that has nothing to do with injury. That’s Justin Coleman and Adam Butler. I can see Coleman beating out Nik Needham for the starting slot corner spot, and I can see Butler being one of the main defensive tackles in their rotation. I actually can see a number of these guys being on the field for extended periods of time.
And that’s going to be important because we know every year that there will be injuries. You get to week 7, and you look up, and you see guys who never heard of in a Dolphin’s uniform. Then you think back to the off-season, and you say, “oh yeah, I remember them signing him.” You can set your watch to it.
These guys aren’t starters, but the way Flores is running the team when it’s time for these guys to step up, they often do. Think about Zach Sieler, Andrew Van Ginkel, Nik Needham, Eric Rowe, and Myles Gaskin. Those guys had nearly nothing in terms of having a track record in the league, and now those guys are starters or in a platoon-type situation.
That’s why I love what this team is doing. With all the picks they're acquiring, another one of the secret sauces, probably a chipotle ranch sauce, they’ll be bringing a large number of players every year. They don’t have to hit on all of them. They only need to hit on a few for a draft to be successful. You do that every year along with the free agents you bring in, and you have a self-sustaining machine that will be a tough out every week. You can’t ask for much more than that.
It’s just good to know that Flores has this team in a position for when a player goes down that the dropoff to the next guy isn’t as severe as it once was.
I can’t wait for the NFL Draft.
Sorry for getting off course about the sauces. I had the epiphany about the culture and tone mid-blog and thought it was important to keep it. Now I’m just hungry. Have yourself a Saturday.
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