Miami Dolphins 2020 off-season: Signings and NFL Draft

(Dolphins Wire)

By: Alex Baumgartner

The 2018-2019 season was not one to remember for Miami Dolphins fans. The team went 5-11, finishing tied for the fifth worst record in the NFL. There weren't very high expectations coming into last season. The team parted ways with quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who was the team’s starter for seven seasons. Starters Kenyan Drake, Laremy Tunsil and Minkah Fitzpatrick were also traded before October. Tannehill, Fitzpatrick and Tunsil all made the Pro Bowl; Tannehill won NFL Comeback Player of the Year. The Dolphins ended up with the fifth overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, so the entire season wasn't useless.

Free Agency 

Kyle Van Noy as a New England Patriot (Fansided)

Second-year head coach Brian Flores and the Dolphins front office went to work this off-season by making some big splashes in free agency. Miami signed pro bowler Byron Jones to a 5-year $82 million contract. Flores also picked up three former New England Patriot players including Kyle Van Noy, who was given a 4-year $51 million deal. The offensive-line was also beefed up with the signings of Ereck Flowers and Ted Karas. Shaq Lawson and Emmanuel Ogbah will add some depth to the defensive end position. Miami also acquired a new running back when they signed Jordan Howard from Philadelphia. 

Byron Jones is now the highest paid CB in the NFL (Michael Ainsworth/AP)

I love the signings that Miami made. With the addition of Jones, the Dolphins now have the two highest paid cornerbacks in the NFL; Xavien Howard and Jones will be the top corner duo in the league. Opposing quarterbacks will be wary to throw the ball deep with these two monsters in the secondary. The addition of Van Noy, Lawson and Ogbah will add more depth to this dolphins pass rush. Miami needed a new starting running back, so no complaints here on the signing of Jordan Howard. Flores who was the Patriots defensive play caller in 2019 made sure his defense was ready for the 2020 season with these free agent signings.

What’s Next

Miami still lacks a true starting quarterback. Ryan Fitzpatrick was the starter last year and he played a big part in getting Miami some wins on the board. But Fitzpatrick will not be the Dolphins QB of the future and backup Josh Rosen doesn’t look like he is in those plans either. No matter how stacked your defense or receivers are, you need a quarterback who can make big plays to win titles in the NFL. Here are some options for Miami at the quarterback position.

I really like Cam Newton as a player however, there has been no rumors regarding the former Carolina Panther heading to Miami. I see Brian Flores going after Newton, he probably wants to draft his quarterback. 

Tua Tagovailoa

Tua Tagovailoa at Alabama (Todd Kirkland/Getty)

I want Miami to get Tua Tagovailoa more than any other QB in the draft. Before the last NCAA season, Tua was the consensus number one pick. He went down with an injury in a game against Mississippi State last year and the status of his hip injury is up in the air. He is no longer going to be the top pick in the draft because of the injury and the amazing season LSU quarterback Joe Burrow had. Despite the injury concerns, Miami should do everything they can to get Tua, whether that’s staying at number five or moving up in the draft. Miami has three first round picks and with the San Diego Chargers sitting one pick behind them without a quarterback, Miami might have to move up before another team does and snags Tua. Tagovailoa put up impressive numbers at Alabama. In 32 games he threw for 87 touchdowns, 7,442 yards, had a 69.3 per cent passing percentage and rushed for nine touchdowns. A healthy Tua could very well be the best quarterback in the draft and Miami needs to pick him up before someone else does.

Justin Herbert

Justin Herbet (Gary A. Vasquez/ USA Today Sports)

If Tua is gone or if Miami decides to pass on him, Justin Herbert could be the next quarterback of the Miami Dolphins. The former Oregon Duck threw 95 touchdowns,10,541, had a 66.8 per cent passing rating in his senior year and he rushed for 13 touchdowns in his four years as QB. His big frame and ability to throw the ball will make him a good project for any NFL team. He is 6'6, making him six inches taller than Tua. Height isn't everything when we define a quarterback, but this kid will be able to take a hit. I don’t know if he can step in right away and be a year-one starter. If this is the case, Ryan Fitzpatrick will be the guy for 2020 and Herbert will sit on the bench. 

The Future

Miami won’t be competing for the AFC East title right away, but with the departure of Tom Brady from the New England Patriots, the division is very much up for grabs. The Dolphins made moves that have improved the team and with 14 draft picks in 2020, including five in the first two rounds, Miami will continue to improve their roster and eventually start competing for a playoff spot.