In the world of professional sports, we have seen teams do moves to go “all-in”. What does it mean to go all-in? Basically, a team is going to take a huge risk and that risks involving sacrificing multiple draft picks in return for an elite player in return in hopes that will propel their chances of winning a championship in a short amount of time. With Miami trading for all-pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey for essentially nothing, the Miami Dolphins are telling people they are going all in. Going back to last offseason, they traded for wide receiver Tyreek Hill and during the season they acquired outside linebacker Bradley Chubb from the Denver Broncos. The amount of draft capital Miami gave up looks like this.
Tyreek Hill trade- Miami gave up a 2022 1st round pick, 2022 2nd round pick, two fourth-round picks for the 2023 draft, and a 2023 6th round pick.
Bradley Chubb- 2023 1st round pick and a 2024 4th round pick
Jalen Ramsey- 2023 third round pick
This is a lot of draft capital to give up, not to mention Miami signed left tackle Terron Armstead in free agency to help out the left tackle position. Miami also signed linebacker David Long Jr and they got him for a reasonable price. With all the moves Miami made, they are preparing to go all in for a Super Bowl run. However it will end with the team not achieving their goal.
This was always going to be a topic of discussion, but the health of Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is a concern. He has a lengthy injury history dating back to his playing days at Alabama, but since taking over as the starter for the Dolphins he has yet to play for a full season. Tagovailoa has suffered fractured ribs, fracturing his middle finger on his throwing finger and this past season he suffered two concussions in the same season. He is one concussion away from having to make a serious decision about his playing career, and that is a huge risk for the Dolphins. Miami picked up his fifth year option and I’m assuming that Miami is fully committed to Tagovailoa being their quarterback.
The Dolphins picking up Tua Tagovailoa’s fifth-year option and guaranteeing his $23.4 million salary for 2024 is the ultimate sign that they don’t have any plans to sign any high-priced quarterbacks this off-season. Tua is their man.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 10, 2023
To me, I feel that this is a huge mistake by the Miami Dolphins. Tagovailoa is a starting quarterback in this league, but he isn’t someone that can elevate the talent around him and as we saw that during this season. Tagovailoa is an above average quarterback, and he isn’t someone whose fifth option I wouldn’t have picked up. The reason as to why he had a great season was due to the system that he was in and head coach Mike McDaniel doing a great job with him. He also benefited from one of the fastest wide receiver duos in Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle.
Miami should have strongly considered upgrading at the quarterback position and finding someone that can elevate this offense to new heights, but since they didn’t they are stuck with him and they are gonna have to hope Tagovailoa takes the next step into leading the team to a Super Bowl. Miami’s offense was seventh in EPA/per play and fourth in Pass Offense DVOA. Some may credit him for this but I give credit to Mike McDaniel for this. He is out there executing at the end of the day but considering how he benefits from a good system, a wide receiver duo that can generate explosive plays at any time, I am not surprised he was able to put up those numbers. The offense has weapons but they are lacking at the quarterback position. Tight end Mike Gesicki is also a free agent and I would be surprised if he re-signs with the team this offseason.
Miami’s defense is going to be much better this season with new defensive coordinator Vic Fangio calling the defense, and with the additions of linebacker David Long Jr and cornerback Jalen Ramsey joining a defense that has outside linebacker Bradley Chubb, defensive tackle Christian Wilkins, cornerback Xavien Howard, and outside linebacker Jaelan Phillips. On paper the defense has potential to be a top 10 unit. However, we have seen teams with stacked defenses fall short due to the play of the quarterback position. We saw it last postseason with the Dallas Cowboys and their quarterback Dak Prescott.
Dallas had the second ranked best Defense in terms of DVOA, and 2nd in EPA/per play. But the offense struggled heavily against the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Divisional round. I understand Dallas’s receiving corps wasn’t particularly the best outside of wide receiver CeeDee Lamb and they did lose running back Tony Pollard earlier in the game but Prescott didn’t play well and he didn’t rise to the occasion against elite competition. I worry about how he can fare against the best of the best. Miami’s salary cap situation for next year isn’t particularly great, they are 30th in cap space for 2024 but I expect that number to change with restructures and cap casualties.
Miami is also in a very difficult conference in the AFC. Do I see Miami getting past the Kansas City Chiefs and quarterback Patrick Mahomes? No. What about the Buffalo Bills, Cincinnati Bengals, and the Baltimore Ravens? I doubt it. The Cleveland Browns and the Los Angeles Chargers? Unsure. Could they beat the Jacksonville Jaguars who are on the rise or the Denver Broncos who are going to be a much better team with Sean Payton coaching and Russell Wilson finding his groove? We shall see.
I feel that Miami is a playoff contender but they aren’t a team that I would consider a Super Bowl contender. The offensive line isn’t bad but they aren’t good, I’d consider them to be mediocre at best. The offense will be top five for sure but I don’t necessarily think this offense can be unstoppable with him Tagovailoa leading them. Miami’s ceiling as a team is a divisional round exit, I just don’t see this team reaching the Super Bowl anytime soon. Not with the uncertainty with Tagovailoa at the quarterback position in regards to his health, I believe Miami went all in when they shouldn’t have.
Not with the uncertainty at the quarterback position, not with the questions on the offensive line particularly at the right tackle and left guard positions. I do worry about the defense, they need to address the tackles and strong safety positions. I just don’t have a ton of faith in Miami winning a Super Bowl in the next two years. I commend the Miami Dolphins for going all in, but I don’t see a positive outcome happening for his team.