The Miami Dolphins made plenty of splashes in free agency, and the biggest moves were directed at giving second-year signal-caller Ryan Tannehill better weapons. The Dolphins added a big-name (and big-money) deep threat in Mike Wallace, an intriguing wideout in Brandon Gibson, and former division rival TE Dustin Keller. It’s a nice mix of new faces for Tannehill, as Wallace can stretch the field, Keller can be a great safety net and give the Dolphins the solid pass-catching TE they wanted, and the Dolphins were also able to keep Brian Hartline, who has a great rapport with Tannehill and is coming off of a big 2012 season. Whether or not they overpaid for those guys doesn’t seem to be an issue with the Dolphins, because Jeff Ireland was prepared to spend on those players in order to improve the team offensively.
Miami Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill (17) warms up before the start of the game against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports
But with a patchwork offensive line, Ryan Tannehill still doesn’t have it easy. The Dolphins success next season largely rests upon Tannehill’s shoulders, but he has plenty of upside after showing flashes in an up-and-down rookie year. In fact, it sounds like he isn’t the only second-year player on the team that is impressing this offseason (Lamar Miller gets the most praise), as Chris Mortensen reported on ESPN that Tannehill is generating a lot of buzz and praise.
According to Mortensen, Tannehill’s receivers are praising him for an improved deep ball, and that’s going to be crucial will plenty of deep threats surrounding Tannehill. His ability to get rid of the ball quickly was also praised, and that’s going to be even more important for Tannehill; the offensive line is arguably the team’s biggest weakness.
The Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson reports that the Dolphins have not approached veteran defensive tackle Paul Soliai regarding a contract extension, and his contract runs out at the end of this season. Randy Starks was franchised, and the Dolphins have a decision to make. It is extremely unlikely for the Dolphins to be able to keep both, and Jackson tells us that the Dolphins will “likely” be choosing one or the other next free agency. Both players are about the same age, but Starks is the better player (though not by much). At the end of the day, the Dolphins will likely end up keeping the cheaper player.