Friday, July 19, 2024

Dolphins defence ripped apart for 2024

The Miami Dolphins will enter the 2024 league year with the prospect of not only a new DC but of a number of new pieces throughout the defensive unit.

While the cap space has been hotly debated, and numerous cuts suggested to get under the cap and allow the Dolphins to make moves, it should be remembered that all the players cut will need to be replaced, and most of them are starters.

So while the offence is definitely in win-now mode, the defence, at this point in time looks to be very much a work in progress, or potentially in rebuild.

Dolphins will be down at least 4 starters

Let’s start with the defensive line. Christian Wilkins is the biggest free-agent on the defence and is almost certainly gone. If the Dolphins were going to re-sign him it surely would’ve happened last season. Wilkins believes he is one of the top IDL in the league, plus he can play every position along the line.

In Anthony Weaver’s defence players will be expected to play multiple positions, and be able to line up in one position and transition to another as the play unfolds. It’s a modern system implemented in many places across the league and helps to confuse quarterbacks.

But the thing is, this system is perfect for Wilkins. Will the Dolphins change tack and keep him? Doubtful.

Andrew van Ginkel is another free-agent but is expected to return.

There has been talk of cutting Jerome Baker to save cap space, but here’s why I think that’s a crazy idea. Late season injuries to Bradley Chubb and Jaelen Phillips will almost certainly see them missing the first half of the Dolphins season.

So, assuming Wilkins leaves, you’re already down 4-starters (Wilkins, Chubb, Phillips, Howard). If you remove Baker as well you’re at 5 new starters needed, all of which will be of the lower paid variety. And don’t forget in the case of the Chubb and Phillips replacements these players know they’re not starting the end of the season.

Cutting Ogbah was a no-brainer, but also highlights that Miami has no intention of paying whoever they get to cover C + P. Howard’s cutting was largely expected for a while, but that doesn’t mean the secondary is in great shape.

Remember when Ramsey was out last season the corners opposite Howard were a veritable revolving door. Whether it was Kohou or Apple out there it was not pretty. Kohou gets good media and twitter but he also led the team in touchdowns given up with 7.

For reference 7 is the same as the second (Apple 4) and third (Bethel, Holland, Elliott – 3) combined. Howard gave up 2.

Kohou also gave up the second worst completion percentage of the regular secondary players with 84.5% of passes thrown his way being completed. He had 2 PBU’s and 0 interceptions.

So there is a lot of work to be done finding young gems and potentially developing a player like Cam Smith back into what the Dolphins envisioned when they drafted him.

But this defence will look very different, in both scheme, and personnel next season.

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