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by Free Sports Picks - 4/2/2022 2:02 AM

Some folks may find this analysis premature in that the NFL draft hasn't occurred yet. Also, there is the fact that people are still tying Tom Brady to the Dolphins even though the Miami front office has denied it. Still, we figured we would put together this preview and then possibly revisit it after the draft and after any major pickups occur.

In 2021, the Miami Dolphins split their season into two halves. It was the only occasion in NFL history that a team went on a seven-game losing run and then a seven-game winning streak in the same season. Deshaun Watson was the subject of nonstop rumors leading up to the trade deadline. The Dolphins, on the other hand, are out of the Watson race after sacking former head coach Brian Flores and seemingly have committed to Tua Tagovailoa.

The Dolphins have acted boldy and hired former San Francisco 49ers offensive coordinator Mike McDaniel on February 6 after weeks of seeking for a new head coach. The Dolphins have the draft money to execute a big move this offseason thanks to their enormous transaction with the 49ers last year.

Pending Free Agents

According to statistics provided by Over the Cap, the Dolphins had the most cap space in the NFL at the start of the off-season, at $62.8 million.

Only a handful of their impending free agents, on the other hand, played a significant role last season.

Mike Gesicki

In recent years, Gesicki has become a reliable weapon in the game. In 2021, however, he had a breakout year, catching 73 passes on 112 targets for 780 yards. Tagovailoa's seasoned tight end was a game changer, as 39 of his 73 receptions resulted in first downs.

Last year, the Dolphins invested a third-round selection on Hunter Long, but Gesicki has been the one to step up. Gesicki has been secured for one more year with the franchise tag.

Casualties from the Cap

The Dolphins will continue to cut players who fail to meet their standards.

The majority of the roster is divided into two groups. Players on rookie contracts, for example, are unlikely to be released because of the little cap room obtained. The second group is veterans who are deserving of their contract. Xavien Howard, for example, has a $16.4 million cap charge for next season but is well worth it.

Allen Hurns (Savings of $2.6 Million) & Tyreek Hill

Hurns hasn't appeared in a regular-season game in almost a year. Hurns recorded 32 receptions in 14 games for the Dolphins the last time he was on the field.

Hurns has been released by the Dolphins, despite being an excellent locker room leader for younger wide receivers like Jaylen Waddle. The Dolphins immediately put that new money to use and surprised the entire league when they were able to snatch 6 time pro-bowler Tyreek Hill from the Chiefs. This move makes the Dolphins the owners of perhaps the most explosive WR duo in the league and Miami's best one-two combo since the days of Mark Duper and Mark Clayton.

Targets for the Free Agents Market

The Dolphins have more cap room left, so expect them to be still be active on the free market. The Dolphins boast one of the greatest defenses in the league. Their offense, on the other hand, needed a lot of work and the team has addressed most of those needs.

Miami must still improve the offensive line. Not only did they allow the 11th most sacks in the NFL last season, but the offensive line also failed to run blocks. The Dolphins are expected to sign one more high-profile offensive lineman in free agency.

New Orleans Saints' Terron Armstead (Signed)

The Saints, unlike the Dolphins, are stuck in salary cap hell. This summer, they are expected to be far over the salary cap. In recent years, Armstead has become one of the top left tackles in the NFL. From 2018 to 2020, he was named to the Pro Bowl three times in a row. Armstead was well on his way to a fourth consecutive pro bowl selection if not for an elbow injury that restricted him to eight games last season.

Liam Eichenberg, a second-round selection in 2021, started at left tackle for the most of the season. He is, however, more suited to the right side. Armstead's addition and Eichenberg's move to right tackle would improve two offensive line positions.

Expectations for the first half of 2022

The Dolphins improved to 8-7 before falling to the Tennessee Titans in Week 17 after beginning the season 1-7. Unfortunately, the Dolphins missed out on a postseason berth as a result of the defeat. Miami has now missed the playoffs for the fifth year in a row. That might, however, change next season.

If the Dolphins seriously want to reach the NFL playoffs, they must capitalize on their draft selections and free agency signings. Miami will miss the playoffs in 2022 if Tagovailoa fails. We could easily see the Miami Dolphins finish the regular season at 12-5 if Tua plays even above average football in 2022.

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