The Miami Dolphins are officially on the clock. The Dolphins' season-ending, 20-10 win over the New England Patriots was pointless — except that it means come April 28, the Fins will occupy the eighth slot in the NFL draft. Before the game, they had a chance to pick as high as third if they'd just found a way to lose to Brady as usual.
The Fins have plenty of other issues to address before the draft. Over the weekend, the team fired general manager Dennis Hickey. And since this was interim coach Dan Campbell's last hurrah, the Fins are without two vital decision-making positions at the moment.
The Fins are reportedly set to fill the GM vacancy with longtime Dolphins scout Chris Grier. He has spent more than 15 years with the Dolphins in some form of scouting capacity, and he is the man in charge of the team's college scouting department.
As sweet as any win over Bill Belichick feels, Sunday's victory did little to help the Fins in the long run. The Dolphins had reason to find a way to defeat, but the Patriots seemed less than motivated to get into a fight with a team that had nothing to lose.
Rather, the Patriots continually ran the ball and rarely threw downfield — to the point Brady had one completion for negative one yard in the second quarter — seemingly choosing health over a chance at home field advantage throughout the playoffs.
The Dolphins will now pack away the football equipment, send the players to their usual January vacation spots, and get to figuring out who will be here to greet them when they return. According to owner Stephen Ross, the team will conduct a thorough search and current player-favorite interim coach Dan Campbell will get himself an interview for the job.
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The Campbell chant broke out when Ross was talking about bringing the best coach in here for 2016.— Adam Beasley (@AdamHBeasley) January 3, 2016
Between now and next September, the Dolphins roster is bound to see some serious churning. At the very least the team has serious needs at corner, linebacker, safety, offensive guard, and tight end. It's not only that the team needs players at these positions, but they need multiple starters in a few places of need. Lamar Miller is entering free agency, which could open up another hole the team needs to fill. There is also a good chance the team move on from high-priced veterans like Brent Grimes and Cameron Wake if they are not interested in reworking their expensive 2016 deals.
One place you would think the Dolphins are set for 2016 is quarterback, but that might not be the case. Bleacher Report's Jason Cole reported over the weekend that if the Fins' new coach wants to get rid of Ryan Tannehill, he's done with the team. So while Mike Tannenbaum has authority over decisions, and new GM Chris Grier makes personnel moves, apparently the new coach will have the power to change the most important player on the team all by himself. That's so Dolphins.
Other than that, all signs point to a championship roster coming in place! Just kidding, it's going to be another long, painful offseason for Dolphins fans. But that's nothing they aren't used to.