Miami Dolphins: Head coach Brian Flores conducts the reboot

With the largest Cap Space of all teams in front of the Free Agency, the Miami Dolphins are strengthening themselves in many areas. But before the draft there are some more construction sites.

It was the biggest Cap Space of all teams. With almost 100 million dollars, the Miami Dolphins entered this year’s Free Agency – and were able to win over several top-class players.

Prior to his second year as head coach, Brian Flores placed great emphasis on filling the biggest weak spots of the past season with new personnel and to initiate the upheaval in Florida as quickly as possible.

And in doing so, the coach is relying on some familiar faces from the past.

Cornerback position as new showpiece?
From now on, Miami is home to the two highest-paid cornerbacks in the NFL: Byron Jones and Xavien Howard signed for five years and collected 82.5 million and 76.5 million dollars respectively.

Jones was one of the fattest fish on the market and is expected to strengthen the passport defense significantly. Last season the Dolphins already relied on man coverage (fourth place in the league) in 61 percent of defensive plays, but on the bottom line they did not make enough profit.

With the signing of one of the most efficient man-to-man defenders in the league, the team should be able to make significant progress.

A shortcoming that Jones also brings with him, however: producing turnovers is not exactly his prime discipline. In 79 games in the NFL, he only gets two interceptions.

The team is going a very expensive way with their star cornerback duo and hopes that a dominant passing defender on both sides of the field will force their opponents to make mistakes and consequently improve their interception numbers.

Fundamental renewal of the defensive line
Head coach Brian Flores at the Free Agency attached great importance to the holey defensive line. This was also desperately needed, because with only 23 sacks the franchise finished last season in last place, just as it did when creating pressure on the quarterback (122 times). The Dolphins were also among the ten worst teams in almost all relevant categories in this position group.

Middle linebacker Kyle Van Noy (four years, $51 million), as well as defensive ends Emmanuel Ogbah (two years, $15 million) and Shaq Lawson (three years, $30 million) are expected to provide the Front Seven with much-needed experience, an upgrade in running defence and more reliability in pass rush.

Linebacker Elandon Roberts, who can also be used as fullback and in the special teams, will also provide more depth in these positions. With Kamu Grugier-Hill the Dolphins get another linebacker, who has played 16 games for the Philadelphia Eagles over the past two years.

Although the pass rush has just been significantly strengthened, none of the aforementioned players are among the absolute elite of the league. Here, the experience of Coach Flores will be particularly important in making the hunt for the opposing quarterback more difficult to calculate collectively and thus more successful.

Offensive Line receives upgrade
And also on the other side of the field the Dolphins have found a new starter with Offensive Guard Ereck Flowers. An Offensive Line that finished last season in Pass Blocking should give Flowers, with its proven strength in this category, a big boost.

The commitment of Center Ted Karras (one year, four million dollars) was also somewhat underestimated in the media. Karras replaced David Andrews, who had been on the starting grid for the New England Patriots for the entire past season and proved his qualities as a starter.

Karras already knows his new coach Flores well from his time with the Patriots, which should make it easier for him to settle in. By the way, the same applies to the two defence players Van Noy and Roberts.

Running Back Howard as a bargain?
Miami paid the majority of their new arrivals a princely wage. Anything but overpaid, apart from Center Karras, is also Running Back Jordan Howard, who signed for two years and a moderate $9.75 million. Especially the performance of the 25-year-old should not be underestimated.

With 4532 scrimmage yards since 2016, Howard ranks eighth among the running backs. His 32 touchdowns over the same period put him in 11th place on his position – a steal considering his performance.

Dolphins want a quick turnaround
Despite the numerous new commitments, the Dolphins were not able to close all the gaps overnight and still have some positions that urgently need to be upgraded before the draft.

However, with a few trades last season, Miami have accumulated three first-round and two second-round picks this year alone, and can look back on several

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2 years ago
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AFC
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