Now that the Dolphins have officially signed Ndamukong Suh to a record-breaking contract worth $60 million guaranteed, the team can set its sights on making some other important decisions that will shape the team moving forward. With that much money committed to one player over the next six years, the Dolphins will have to be creative and extra careful with the rest of the choices they make in building their football team into a contender.
Lots of things are still up in the air for the Phins, as with many teams this time of year. Things are moving fast, and the team is scrambling to crunch numbers and formulate the best plan to succeed in what will be a crucial 2015 campaign for Head Coach Joe Philbin and General Manager Dennis Hickey.
Here are five issues the Dolphins must resolve quickly.
— Dolphins Report (@dolphins_fanly) March 11, 2015
5. Decide just how important Charles Clay is
Now that the big fish is in the boat, the Dolphins need to decide just how important Charles Clay is to the team. Clay has already been in Buffalo, and part of his touring of the city included looking for places to live, so it appears the Dolphins will have a big decision to make in regard to the former sixth-round pick.
Reports are now that the Cleveland Browns are trying to get in late on the Clay bidding, so it appears the Phins will have to pay a premium rate for Clay, if that's even possible for them to do anymore after shelling out so much money to Suh. With free agent tight end Jordan Cameron in town today for a visit, they may have already made their choice.
— 560 WQAM (@560WQAM) March 10, 2015
4. Commit to Mike Wallace or don't. Enough already.
The Dolphins need to publicly commit to Mike Wallace; it's time. With new wideouts around the league getting crazy money in free agency this season, Wallace's $9-plus million owed in 2015 doesn't seem so outlandish any longer, so commit to him already. The Dolphins are in danger of losing Charles Clay, have cut two wide receivers in Brian Hartline and Brandon Gibson, and have little else outside of second-year pro Jarvis Landry in the form of a playmaking pass catcher; so it seems like an easy decision to keep the best one you have.
Tannenbaum on Dion Jordan: "He was obviously a top pick, very talented player... I haven't actually met him yet." Points out his versatility
— Andrew Abramson (@AbramsonPBP) March 12, 2015
3. Youth movement at linebacker time.
The Dolphins are trying to rid themselves of Dannell Ellerbe and Phillip Wheeler, that much is certain -- but who will replace them? If the Dolphins are unable to sign a starter, they may turn to drafting one early, or go with what they have, young as that may be. Between Koa Misi, Jelani Jenkins, Dion Jordan, and some other young talent, there may be enough here to get by.
The Dolphins signed Ellerbe from Baltimore to a five-year, $34.75 million contract that included $14 million in guaranteed money just two years ago, but things haven't gone according to plan; the smart move may be to find cheaper, up-and-coming talent to supplement what they already have.
Matt Moore's options are dwindling. Wouldn't be surprising now if he comes back to #Dolphins at slightly reduced rate.
— Andrew Abramson (@AbramsonPBP) March 11, 2015
2. Ummmmm, who is the backup QB?
The Dolphins might want to figure this out, because the options are dwindling for everyone involved, not just Matt Moore. Ryan Tannehill is, and will always be, the key to this Miami Dolphins team; but he's one play away from being gone. If Tannehill is lost, the season is lost, unless you have someone capable of at least being a caretaker. The Arizona Cardinals found this out the hard way last season. Backup quarterbacks are not all created equal.
1. Who will team with Lamar Miller in the backfield?
The Dolphins should be in the market for a backup running back/running mate for Lamar Miller. This draft is deep at running back, so the Dolphins may look to go that route in finding a back who will complement Miller's shifty/speedy ways. With Knowshon Moreno going down last season and not expected to return, the Dolphins were left with not much else, re-signing Daniel Thomas and giving Damien Williams more time. This year, if they are to contend, they must find a difference maker to pair with Miller. Most teams have more than one capable back -- the Dolphins right now do not.
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