What The Miami Dolphins Future May Look Like

Luca Rodriguez, Staff Writer

The Miami Dolphins fell short of the playoffs with a blowout loss to the division rivals Buffalo Bills in week 17. The 56-26 defeat may have robbed the team of finishing first in scoring defense and potentially cost Head Coach Brian Flores the National Football League Coach of the Year Award. 

However, the team was never supposed to be a contender in 2020 after blowing up their roster in 2019. The 2020 season was undoubtedly a rebuilding situation for the Miami Dolphins. The week 17 losses by the Houston Texans and the Dolphins could actually have helped the Dolphins in their rebuilding process.

Those results confirm that despite having 10 wins in 2020, the Dolphins hold the 18th pick of the 2021 draft. Along with this, they have four picks in the top 50. Two of the top 50 originally belonged to the Houston Texans, but given to Miami through the Laremy Tunsil trade, including the 3rd overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft. 

On top of this, according to Spotrac, the Dolphins enter the 2021 offseason as the eighth-most salary cap space in the league, at $32.8 million. This comes without any big impending free agents on the roster who could be expensive or major clogs for next year. 

Head Coach Brian Flores, general manager Chris Grier and chairman Stephen Ross may decide to use the money to better support young quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. This could potentially mean purchasing an additional insurance policy for him, get more weapons around or just strengthen an already-solid defense. 

Tagovailoa’s rookie season did not play out as many fans hoped after he was acquired as the fifth overall pick in last year’s draft. The young quarterback sat on the bench multiple times over the season for veteran quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. Yet, as there is talk about the Dolphins acquiring Justin Fields if available at the third overall pick, the organization indicates that Tua is the official starter going forward.

This leaves other options for draft day, like offensive linemen Penei Sewell. While the offensive line was the main focus of last year’s draft for the Dolphins, the New York Jets and Jacksonville Jaguars may choose Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields as their first two picks. This gem falling in Miami’s lap may be too much to pass upon. If not, receivers Ja’Marr Chase and Devonta Smith have Dolphins fans dreaming of the thought of one of these superstars lining up besides Devante Parker on Sundays. The Dolphins could also pay for big-time free agents such as Allen Robinson II. 

“Brian Flores has done a great job with this team, so I trust his decision-making, but I sure would love to see Devonta Smith in a Dolphins jersey next year,” Miami Palmetto freshman David Bettancourt said.

Whatever direction the team decides to go, the future remains bright as the Dolphins look to make a serious playoff run and possibly even Super Bowl contenders.