Chris Grier has been the general manager of the Miami Dolphins since 2019 and has a proven track record of minimal spending at the running back position.
In that first season as general manager, Ryan Fitzpatrick led the team with 243 rushing yards. Patrick Laird, an undrafted free agent, played in 15 games and averaged 2.7 yards per carry. Additionally, former fourth-round pick Kalen Ballage ran the ball a team-high 74 times for 135 total yards — 1.8 yards per rush.
Seventh-round pick Myles Gaskin led the team in rushing attempts and yards in 2020 after the “thunder and lighting” approach of speedy Matt Breida and physical Jordan Howard fizzled out after just a handful of games.
Gaskin led the team in rushing in 2021 and Mike McDaniel took over as head coach of the franchise in 2022. With the addition of McDaniel, the team continued the same trend by signing Chase Edmonds to a two-year deal, before trading him to the Denver Broncos for Bradley Chubb, and Raheem Mostert on a one-year contract.
Even then, all this is not enough to prevent us from thinking about what running back Saquon Barkley would look like on the Dolphins. Bookies.com believes that there is a 71.1 percent chance that Barkley is back with the New York Giants next season, but coming in second is Miami with an implied probability of 11.8 percent.
While those odds aren’t great, they’re the second-best in the league and an interesting sign considering Miami’s current salary cap situation. The Dolphins are projected to be roughly $16 million over the cap next season, a challenging obstacle when trying to sign a running back that is looking for a contract north of $12 million per season.
“Steve Ross, [owner of the Dolphins], is underestimated in his willingness to spend money to win,” ESPN’s Jeff Darlington said on the Joe Rose show on Jan. 25.
Miami’s owner hasn’t stopped swinging for the fences since purchasing the team in 2008 and has never been against spending money. The Dolphins have other holes on the roster and the team needs to move mountains in order to sign Barkley just a season after trading for Tyreek Hill.
It seems likely that Barkley will continue his career in New York, but Miami tends to lurk in the offseason as Ross waits to make the next big splash.