Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Dolphins' 2013 Offseason Primer: Money will talk


The Miami Dolphins' 2012 season was all about establishing a new culture centered around first-year head coach Joe Philbin and rookie quarterback Ryan Tannehill.

Little was expected from the Dolphins on the field going into the year, but the team managed to briefly flirt with Wildcard contention before fading in the second half of the season en route to a 7-9 finish.

As did his team, Tannehill had highs and lows to his season, but he did not definitively answer whether or not Miami has landed it's long-awaited franchise quarterback. (photo: June Rivera, Flickr)

Big front office/coaching moves: Nothing major, with Zac Taylor being promoted to quarterbacks coach and Marwan Maalouf being added to the staff as an assistant special teams coach.

Key Free Agents: LT Jake Long, CB Sean Smith, DT Randy Starks, WR Brian Hartline, RB Reggie Bush, QB Matt Moore, TE Anthony Fasano, FS Chris Clemons, DT Tony McDaniel, WR Marlon Moore.

First Round Draft Position: 12th.

Draft Picks By Round: 1st (1), 2nd (2), 3rd (2), 4th, (1), 5th (1), 6th (0), 7th (2)


- Miami stands to lose a large number of starters and key role players to free agency, potentially opening huge holes all over an already-depleted roster. Consequently, the team also has an estimated $40-50 million in cap space to fill those holes, along with eight total draft picks. The Dolphins must capitalize on this opportunity to drastically reshape their roster, and must trust embattled general manager Jeff Ireland to make these key decisions. For better or for worse, Miami's short-term future is in Ireland's hands.

- The number one mission of the Dolphins in 2013, and the primary focus of this entire coaching regime, is to develop Tannehill into a top-tier NFL quarterback. In this stage of his career, the best way the Dolphins can help to do that is to surround the young signal-caller with quality complementary weapons. The wide receiver and tight end positions have been prioritized, as has been shoring up an offensive line that played inconsistently in 2012 and may lose it's most talented player in Jake Long.

- Aside from the play on the field, 2013 is a big year for the Dolphins as a brand. The team has announced plans to introduce a new logo and uniforms before the draft, as well as plans to renovate the aging Sun Life Stadium. Owner Stephen Ross certainly hopes to couple the brand refreshment with more winning and the development of a star quarterback, as he strives to win back the hearts of the notoriously front-running South Florida sports market.

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