It’s been a long time since Don Shula and the Dolphins were one of the NFL’s model franchises.
Miami hasn’t won a playoff game since 2000 — with coach Dave Wannstedt and quarterback Jay Fiedler.
Last year, coach Adam Gase was hoping to build on his team’s 10-6 season and playoff berth in 2016.
Then, starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill blew out his knee during training camp, and Miami resorted to luring freshly retired Jay Cutler out of the broadcast booth.
That didn’t work. The Dolphins went 6-10 and Cutler is likely going back to TV.
It seems that even when something good happens, it doesn’t occur without stress.
Take last month’s NFL draft.
Many reports had the Dolphins looking to select one of the five quarterbacks who eventually went in the first round.
For whatever reason, that didn’t happen, but Miami got a gift with highly touted Alabama safety Minkah Fitzpatrick sitting there at No. 11.
But according to the Boston Globe’s Ben Volin, Miami owner Stephen Ross tried to persuade the front office to trade back to acquire more picks and save money on signing such a high selection.
Team president Mike Tannenbaum and general manager Chris Grier stuck to their guns, and Miami had what most experts consider a steal.
— Marcus Spears (@mspears96) April 27, 2018
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 27, 2018
One of the interesting parts of Ross’ reported argument is the notion that the owner is indeed trying to save money.
Miami has been active in free agency in recent years, highlighted by the signing of Pro Bowler Ndamukong Suh, who was released prior to the draft.
After cutting bait, Ross spoke to reporters at the NFL’s annual meetings, and he sure sounded like someone who doesn’t totally trust his front office.
“Anything they promote, I question why. You want to know why,” he said. “There has to be a justification for it and you want to hear what their plan is. We’re constantly reviewing it. Certainly. You just don’t do things and say, ‘Hey, why was that done?’ You’ve got to ask that question.”
That’s not exactly a vote of confidence. It might be a good idea for team management to get off to a good start in the 2018 season.
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