Miami Dolphins jettison top talents, lack star power

Re-Building in Miami!

This spring plenty of players swapped teams or requested new homes. If you’re a fan of the Minnesota Vikings, San Francisco 49ers, Denver Broncos, and even the Cleveland Browns, you have to be excited for this coming fall. There is one team though, whose fans don’t have any reason to be happy. The Miami Dolphins took a step back this offseason, and they won’t recover for several years.

As of the start of last year, the Dolphins had seven Pro Bowl caliber players on their roster. Those guys, even if they don’t actually make the Pro Bowl, are high-tier NFL talents that can galvanize teams. Of those seven players, only Reshad Jones, Xavien Howard, and Cameron Wake are still on the team.

It started during the season when Pro Bowl running back Jay Ajayi, a scantily paid former fifth-round pick, decided he wanted out. Miami traded him to the eventual Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles. Fast forward a few weeks and rumblings start coming out about Jarvis Landry being unhappy. Even though the Dolphins franchise tagged him, Landry managed to get out of Miami by being traded to the Browns.

That’s how the story went for the Dolphins this year. They let go of their cost-effective running back, their record-breaking receiver, a potential Hall of Fame defensive tackle, and the center of their offensive line. It was a mass exodus of talent.

This whole situation does not bode well for head coach Adam Gase, who may be on the chopping block this year if the team does not deliver on the promise it displayed a few seasons ago. The team that showed so much potential is mostly gone now. Granted, the Dolphins have added Josh Sitton and Robert Quinn to their lineup, but that can’t hide the obvious holes that developed on their team on and off the field.

Wake, who is now 36 years old, is an underrated potential future Hall of Famer, Jones is a dynamic safety, and Howard might be part of the next class of great cover corners, but the stars can’t hide deficiencies at other key positions.

Miami made the right decision by drafting dynamic defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick in the first-round and then lucked out by landing Mike Gesicki in the second. Still, they’ll fall short of the playoffs again in 2018. The Dolphins just don’t have the pieces, and they have one of the worst locker rooms in the NFL right now. Although the team has started addressing its culture, Miami has a long rebuilding process in its future.

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