Phins making all the right moves?

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Phins making all the right moves?

Post by mercury22nathan on Thu Mar 16, 2017 9:10 am

...it’s clear how much the Dolphins’ cap has been helped by tough decisions last offseason.

Consider this: If the Dolphins had given Vernon and Miller and Derrick Shelby and Rishard Matthews exactly what their new teams gave them (Giants, Texans, Falcons and Titans, in order) and structured the contracts in an identical way, they would have a combined cap charge of $33 million this upcoming season.

Now look at the 2017 cap charges of the players the Dolphins have re-signed, signed or acquired this offseason: Julius Thomas ($7.1 million), Andre Branch ($5 million), William Hayes ($4.75 million), Kenny Stills ($3.7 million), Anthony Fasano ($2.75 million), Lawrence Timmons ($3.775 million) and Nate Allen ($3.4 million) and Ted Larsen ($1.4 million).

Those eight contracts add up to a cap hit of $31.9 million - less than the $33 million for the four aforementioned players.

But that eight-for-four trade would be one the Dolphins would make any day, even more so considering the Dolphins parlayed last year’s four free agent losses into three compensatory draft picks: at the end of the third round and two at the end of the fifth.

http://www.miamiherald.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/barry-jackson/article138681013.html

thoughts?

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Re: Phins making all the right moves?

Post by rightchea on Thu Mar 16, 2017 10:30 am

I have to agree, Miami saved a lot of money releasing them but at the same time didn't spend their money well on who they got/kept could have done better

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Re: Phins making all the right moves?

Post by white1 on Thu Mar 16, 2017 10:33 am

Well, it's clearly a new approach only time will tell if it works.

Unfortunately, the Patriots are clearly working to maximize talent NOW thinking Brady is only getting older, so they just had a monster offseason. So, will be totally uphill for us in the foreseeable future.

The recipe seems pretty clear to me under Gase - Grier - Tannenbaum. If you're a free agent, you're likely getting a below market value, short term contract. Last year as well as this year, our outside acquisitions get deals in the 1 - 3 year range. Two year deals have been common. No Suh-level deals at all, and we have passed on the big money players (like the two guards this year, and DE Calais Campbell).

While last year we did not give big money to really any of our players, now that Gase knows the roster we are locking up our own. When the circumstances align, meaning we highly value players that fit the system well, and do things exactly like the team wants them done. That's where the big money is now going. See the deals for Reshad Jones and Kenny Stills. I believe Landry and Alonso will get done at some point as well.

I agree with this approach, and it's the right way to build the team. The draft classes must be solid for this to work. The good news is, many of our starters were drafted by Miami. James, Tunsil, Pouncey, Ajayi, Landry, Tannehill, Parker on offense. On defense, at this point really only Jones and Howard/Lippett. So clearly we need an infusion of youth on that side of the ball. Again, not a bad approach to get the offense together first, then build a defense. Typically it takes an offense longer to really develop, a defense can be built almost overnight if you draft and sign the right players.

Just to restate my point from above, the problem for us is the Pats are a powerhouse and they are not slowing down. They are in the midst of making a serious dynasty style run. Their roster has very few shortcomings, if any, and we are still patching holes. Belichek - Brady is looking to be a legitimate Hall of Fame combination, which just sucks for us. The two coordinators seem to sense history in the making, and are probably not going anywhere. Wild card and winning in round 1 of the playoffs IMO is the only realistic short term goal.

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Re: Phins making all the right moves?

Post by JMP on Thu Mar 16, 2017 10:38 am

IMO the offense has not been improved yet. The two guard positions are huge, gaping holes that have not been addressed at all. Larsen is mediocre at best, and I'm hearing that the plan at RG is to re-sign Bushrod. So, we've gotten worse at OL and haven't gotten significantly better anywhere else...unless you think Julius Thomas is an upgrade- personally, I don't.

On defense, we've added veteran stopgaps at DE, LB and S. Maybe the run D is a little bit improved, but I'm not sure these moves make us significantly better on D at all. I think re-signing Branch was a mistake.

I'm glad we're not breaking the bank on on one player, but none of these moves help us long-term. We need an A+ draft.

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Re: Phins making all the right moves?

Post by white1 on Thu Mar 16, 2017 10:48 am

I'm glad we're not breaking the bank on on one player, but none of these moves help us long-term. We need an A+ draft.

I totally agree on this point. I think what many teams are learning, and the Fins have learned and are practicing, is that free agency rarely nets a move that helps long-term either. You either drastically overpay for a player that works out, and hurt your cap too much in the process, or you pay for a player that does not work out at all and hurt yourself twice as bad. The draft is the key, and those teams that don't draft well will never contend.

unless you think Julius Thomas is an upgrade- personally, I don't.

I'm cautiously optimistic here. Our blocking with Fasano over Sims is definitely an upgrade. So, the core of our offense likely remains the running game and our extra blocker is an upgrade. Not a bad move, and unexpected for me. Last year Cameron was a total bust, so I think Thomas has no choice but to be an upgrade, and Gase knows very well exactly how he will fit in this offense. Gray I think will be an effective backup, he's in the H back mold and that's the role that Thomas plays for us. There's still room to grow for Gray, and one thing I saw last year is our own players were actually developing - a good sign to see with this new coaching staff.

I agree with your point on the need for an upgrade at Guard. Larsen is a solid pickup. What happens in the draft will determine if he starts or not. His capability to back up Pouncey is a great thing to have. Bushrod? Another guy good to have for depth, can't say I'd be really stoked to see him starting week 1. Pro bowl guards have been drafted in the 2nd round, so it's not unrealistic that we'll find a good one and it does not necessarily have to be in round 1.



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Re: Phins making all the right moves?

Post by Birdmond on Thu Mar 16, 2017 11:04 am

I've got a beef with the Larsen signing but other than that I'm pretty pleased. Larsen is an OK center but I think he's aweful at guard.

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Re: Phins making all the right moves?

Post by JMP on Thu Mar 16, 2017 11:17 am

white1 wrote:
I'm cautiously optimistic here.  Our blocking with Fasano over Sims is definitely an upgrade.  So, the core of our offense likely remains the running game and our extra blocker is an upgrade.  Not a bad move, and unexpected for me.  Last year Cameron was a total bust, so I think Thomas has no choice but to be an upgrade, and Gase knows very well exactly how he will fit in this offense.  Gray I think will be an effective backup, he's in the H back mold and that's the role that Thomas plays for us.  There's still room to grow for Gray, and one thing I saw last year is our own players were actually developing - a good sign to see with this new coaching staff.

I'm not sure Fasano over Sims is a significant upgrade. Sure, Fasano is a better blocker, but is he that much better of a blocker that we'll see a noticeable difference? I'm not sure. Thomas, IMO, is a waste until proven otherwise. I would have re-signed Sims and drafted a pass-catching TE...I'd feel much better with that than Thomas/Fasano. I do like Fasano...I just think he's a short-term, one-dimensional player and we'll be looking to replace him next season. Gray is a journeyman #3 TE that's kicked around the NFL for years...I'm not sure there's much room for growth at this stage of his career - I think he is what he is. I'm fine with him as a #3, but if he has to start at any point that's probably not a good thing. And I don't think Duarte is an NFL player. It sucks that we're probably not going to draft a legit TE in what may be the best overall TE class ever, but it is what it is.


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Re: Phins making all the right moves?

Post by JMP on Thu Mar 16, 2017 11:28 am

mercury22nathan wrote:
...it’s clear how much the Dolphins’ cap has been helped by tough decisions last offseason.

Consider this: If the Dolphins had given Vernon and Miller and Derrick Shelby and Rishard Matthews exactly what their new teams gave them (Giants, Texans, Falcons and Titans, in order) and structured the contracts in an identical way, they would have a combined cap charge of $33 million this upcoming season.

Now look at the 2017 cap charges of the players the Dolphins have re-signed, signed or acquired this offseason: Julius Thomas ($7.1 million), Andre Branch ($5 million), William Hayes ($4.75 million), Kenny Stills ($3.7 million), Anthony Fasano ($2.75 million), Lawrence Timmons ($3.775 million) and Nate Allen ($3.4 million) and Ted Larsen ($1.4 million).

Those eight contracts add up to a cap hit of $31.9 million - less than the $33 million for the four aforementioned players.

But that eight-for-four trade would be one the Dolphins would make any day, even more so considering the Dolphins parlayed last year’s four free agent losses into three compensatory draft picks: at the end of the third round and two at the end of the fifth.

http://www.miamiherald.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/barry-jackson/article138681013.html

thoughts?

That "8 for 4" trade looks nice when you look at dollars, but really most of the 8 players are stopgaps who no one else wanted and we'll be replacing most of them in a year or two anyway - and none of them are really all that good.

None of these moves really matter unless the Phins have a stellar draft, because we need to start building long-term and not just a year or two ahead.


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Re: Phins making all the right moves?

Post by rightchea on Thu Mar 16, 2017 3:19 pm

Birdmond wrote:I've got a beef with the Larsen signing but other than that I'm pretty pleased.   Larsen is an OK center but I think he's aweful at guard.  

I think it was an okay pick up.....explain your hate

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Re: Phins making all the right moves?

Post by finfanatic on Thu Mar 16, 2017 4:12 pm

Losing Vernon hurt IMHO! Yeah, I would have been against signing him for what the Gmen paid him, but that DE spot has been atrocious since he left. Branch is eh-okay, but nothing to get excited about.

The 8 for 4 trade looks like a swap for cheap depth, but it could look fairly good...assuming the draft picks pan out.

I expect Tannenbaum to trade them to move up and get the absolute stud of a long snapper that will instantly turn the Phins into Super Bowl contenders though!!! Rolling Eyes

Very Happy

I know Birdmond... Twisted Evil thinks Tannenbaum is great, but I lack confidence in him.

I just hope Gase is getting more control and say so over the team's roster. Keeping Stills seems like a good indicator Gase might be getting some control IMO.

They really need to figure out who was the decision maker on the Caroo trade up last year and lock that person in the broom closet until AFTER the draft!! Like until August 30th or so. Shocked

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Re: Phins making all the right moves?

Post by rightchea on Thu Mar 16, 2017 5:14 pm

Miami just resign bushrod

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Re: Phins making all the right moves?

Post by white1 on Thu Mar 16, 2017 5:29 pm

I think it's fine. He started all games at RG last year, first season playing that position and he played well. He has 17 games experience now at RG.

Okay so let's draft a guy at RG/LG. He wants to play? Beat out the veteran in front of you during camp. Period. Any questions?

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Re: Phins making all the right moves?

Post by HalCHorn on Thu Mar 16, 2017 9:44 pm

I think we will have the option of an instant starter at G in either the first (Lamp) or second (Moton) round.

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Re: Phins making all the right moves?

Post by JMP on Fri Mar 17, 2017 9:12 am

Bushrod was terrible IMO, especially at run blocking. Both guard spots look like major weaknesses right now. Hopefully we'll add at least one starting-caliber guard before all is said and done.

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Re: Phins making all the right moves?

Post by Birdmond on Fri Mar 17, 2017 9:43 am

I give Bushrod a pass because he was coming off injury and playing a new position. He's old but I still say he's better than Larsen. I'd be shocked if a guard is not drafted before the 4th round.

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Re: Phins making all the right moves?

Post by JMP on Fri Mar 17, 2017 9:53 am

Larsen as a backup center is OK. But if he is starting at guard...not good.

Bushrod is a pro, and he gives great effort. He's just not a guard. I'd be fine with him as the backup swing tackle, but he's a weak link at guard IMO.

Honestly, I'd start Urbik over either of these guys.

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Re: Phins making all the right moves?

Post by Birdmond on Fri Mar 17, 2017 12:51 pm

HalCHorn wrote:I think we will have the option of an instant starter at G in either the first (Lamp) or second (Moton) round.

Lamp makes so much sense but on the other hand it's a depressing pick when you consider the defensive talent on the board.

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Re: Phins making all the right moves?

Post by white1 on Fri Mar 17, 2017 1:34 pm

Lamp makes so much sense but on the other hand it's a depressing pick when you consider the defensive talent on the board.

That's exactly why I don't think it will be our pick. You can't pass on a defender who has the potential to be elite, in favor of a guard you think will be good. You just can't. If you run the draft that way, over time you end up with a roster full of good but not great players, and no one is elite. It won't win you anything meaningful.

No, if an elite defender is there you take him. Suffer with stop gaps at guard if you have to. You cannot pass on elite talent and reach for need.

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Re: Phins making all the right moves?

Post by HalCHorn on Fri Mar 17, 2017 1:37 pm

To be fair, Lamp is talked about as potentially elite at his position too. Zach Martin is the comparison many are making, only with the ability to play all 5 positions on the line. That looked like an elite performer against Alabama.

There's several picks I wouldn't be disappointed with at 22.

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Re: Phins making all the right moves?

Post by white1 on Fri Mar 17, 2017 1:48 pm

If he is an elite prospect it's a good pick. That was my only point.

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Re: Phins making all the right moves?

Post by JMP on Fri Mar 17, 2017 2:14 pm

If Lamp is there, would the Phins even consider him? Maybe I'm wrong, but it seems to me that this regime doesn't place any value at all at the guard positions. Last season we started a rookie at LG who had never played guard before (Tunsil) and a declining veteran coming off an injury at RG who also had never played guard before (Bushrod). This offseason, we signed a cheap, subpar journeyman guard and resigned Bushrod - who was widely considered a free agent bust in 2016 and one of the worst guards in the league. I have a bad feeling we're not going to do anything at all to address the position in the draft - maybe just a late-round project.

I've always said that we don't need top-tier O linemen to win. But at the same time, we won't win with bottom-of-the-barrel linemen. Right now, our guard position is as bad as it gets on both sides...and we also have a gimpy center that will almost certainly miss games. This OL has the potential to completely derail the season unless something is done to fix it.

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Re: Phins making all the right moves?

Post by white1 on Fri Mar 17, 2017 2:24 pm

I think a guard, especially an elite prospect, would be considered if available in round 1.

However, there are other worthy needs on this roster. Consider SLB. We may have less there than we even have at guard. Unless you consider Neville Hewitt a viable starter, or you're happy with an injury-compromised Koa Misi. So, if Hassan Reddick or another prospect with elite potential at SLB is available, that could be another great selection to make.

You could make the same argument at safety. Nate Allen is a stop gap. If an elite free safety falls to us, why not draft him?

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Re: Phins making all the right moves?

Post by JMP on Fri Mar 17, 2017 2:38 pm

white1 wrote:I think a guard, especially an elite prospect, would be considered if available in round 1.

However, there are other worthy needs on this roster.  Consider SLB.  We may have less there than we even have at guard.  Unless you consider Neville Hewitt a viable starter, or you're happy with an injury-compromised Koa Misi.  So, if Hassan Reddick or another prospect with elite potential at SLB is available, that could be another great selection to make.

You could make the same argument at safety.  Nate Allen is a stop gap.  If an elite free safety falls to us, why not draft him?

That's the problem...there are too many needs on this roster, especially if you include all the stopgaps we have at key positions across the board on defense. Pretty much any position we take will fill a need, so we can easily go BPA and fill holes at the same time. That's certainly a good thing, but it does highlight how sketchy this roster really is.

At 22, my top 3 right now are Reddick, Melifonwu and Peppers. There's other players I could be on board with, but I'd be overjoyed if we can land one of those three. I would add Jordan Willis to my want list, but given how much money we have tied up at DE I think it will be tough for a rookie DE to get playing time.

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Re: Phins making all the right moves?

Post by JMP on Fri Mar 17, 2017 3:25 pm

And speaking of the draft, the more I look at all the good prospects in this class, the more I wish we never traded for Carroo. We could have really upgraded the roster in a big way if we still had our original 3rd and 4th rounders, in addition to the comp picks we got. No

That Carroo trade was Tannenbaum's version of a Jeff Fireland special... a crappy gift that keeps on giving. Sad

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Re: Phins making all the right moves?

Post by Birdmond on Fri Mar 17, 2017 4:05 pm

Lamp could also play tackle if need be. I heard Jonathan Allen from Bama say Lamp was the best player he faced all year. I actually think Lamp will go top 15. I can't wait for the draft. I'd be ecstatic if the first two picks were D and Pat Elflien dropped to us in round 3.

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