Between now and the start of the new league year in March, TGS is providing brief summaries looking ahead at the offseason from the perspective of each NFL team. In this edition, we look at the Miami Dolphins.
2016 record: 10-6 — 2nd place, AFC East
What’s new? They’re actually coming off a successful season, and quarterback Ryan Tannehill is healthy.
Projected salary cap space: $30 million — Or about the league median.
Key in-house free agents: WR Kenny Stills, TE Jordan Cameron, DE Andre Branch
Stills isn’t a high-percentage guy, but he has big-play ability. He caught a team-high nine touchdown passes in 16 starts. He’d be a tough loss, but I doubt they’d miss Cameron, Branch, Jermon Bushrod or Jelani Jenkins.
Key needs: Linebackers, a run-stopping defensive tackle, one starting-caliber guard and a tight end.
Draft breakdown: They hold the No. 22 overall pick and the No. 54 overall pick but then they’re not slated to pick again until Round 5.
Other potential priorities: The defense lacked bite last year. It’ll have to be better with Matt Burke replacing departing defensive coordinator Vance Joseph. Oh, and they need to keep Tannehill healthy.
Outlook: The Dolphins probably won’t make a big splash, but they don’t need to. Problem is the Patriots should be just as good and Miami doesn’t have a lot of draft currency.