The Dolphins were a playoff team last year, if only for one game. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill’s season-ending injury in week 14 prevented a longer postseason run. This year it looks like Tannehill will be out for the whole season and head coach Adam Gase has coaxed Jay Cutler out of retirement for one final campaign.
Last year: 10-6
Subtractions: LT Branden Albert
Additions: QB Jay Cutler, TE Julius Thomas, TE Anthony Fasano
Notable Rookies: DE Charles Harris, LB Raekwon McMillan, CB Cordrea Tankersly
Tannehill was having a career year when his season ended last year but Tannehill reinjured his knee early in training camp so we won’t get to see what his followup season would have looked like. Instead it’s big-armed Jay Cutler, who was out of football and ready to go into broadcasting until Gase came calling. To be fair one of Cutler’s best years in Chicago came with Gase as his offensive coordinator. Around Cutler virtually all of last year’s team is intact, but will that continuity be enough to win football games? Miami resigned Kenny Stills in the offseason, keeping together a wicked receiving corps that also features Jarvis Landry and DeVante Parker. Returning running back Jay Ajayi is electrifying but inconsistent. He had three games last year with 200+ rushing yards but twelve games with less than 80. On paper it looks like tight end Julius Thomas could end up being a steal; one of Coach Gase’s favorite offensive formations features three bunched wide receivers and a tight end, and Thomas is more talented than any option Gase had there last season. Miami’s already-dynamic defensive line will be helped along by the team’s top draft pick Charles Harris as he fights for playing time. The Dolphins have a great deal of talent on both sides of the ball and while it remains to be seen whether they can top the Pats for the AFC East title, they stand a great chance at winning a wild card spot.