With Raheem Mostert, Jeff Wilson, Myles Gaskin, and Salvon Ahmed all set to hit free agency this offseason, the question lingers: Do the Miami Dolphins need to spend big at running back?
Well, there’s certainly no shortage of options, both through free agency and the draft. Some notable free agents this offseason include Tony Pollard, Saquon Barkley, and Josh Jacobs, and soon-to-be NFL players Bijan Robinson, Jahmyr Gibbs, and Tank Bigsby cap off a strong list of college prospects entering the 2023 NFL Draft. (For a more in-depth look at Miami’s options at running back this offseason, check out James McKinney’s article for The Phinsider here: What Should The Dolphins Do At Running Back?)
Of course, in recent years, many Dolphins fans have asked general manager Chris Grier to take a big swing at running back, and any of the names previously mentioned would indeed be big swings. But, while Grier is no stranger to knocking one out of the park, they rarely, if ever, come at running back. In fact, in seven years as the the Dolphins’ GM, Grier has only drafted a running back once before the 4th round (Kenyan Drake, 3rd round, 2016).
However, while his “RB-By-Committee” strategy may not inspire excitement among fans, recent history suggests Grier is simply following league trends.
Take a look at the leading rusher from the last 14 Super Bowls and their base salary: pic.twitter.com/sBC97Upzh0— Marcus Mosher (@Marcus_Mosher) February 13, 2023
As per @Marcus_Mosher on Twitter, over the last 14 years, the leading rusher for the eventual Super Bowl winning team has only once had a base salary above $2,000,000.
In fact, of the 15 most expensive running backs (by base salary) in the NFL in 2022, only seven made the playoffs. These days, the majority of playoff teams have the bulk of their salaries spread across five positions: quarterback, left tackle, edge rusher, corner, and wide receiver.
So, while signing a Saquon Barkley or trading up for a Bijan Robinson would certainly create a buzz in April, recent history suggests it doesn’t lead to lifting the Lombardi Trophy the following February. The Dolphins have plenty of options at running back this offseason, but splashing the cash may not be the wisest choice.
What do you think the Dolphins should do at running back this offseason? Should they spend big? Let us know in the comments below!