Five Decisions the Miami Dolphins Must Make Before Next Season

A Miami Dolphins fan cheers during a game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium in Ohio.
A Miami Dolphins fan cheers during a game against the Cincinnati Bengals at Paul Brown Stadium in Ohio. Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images
Last weekend's 34-3 blowout loss to the Tennessee Titans not only ended all hopes that the Miami Dolphins might turn a 1-7 beginning of the season into an improbable playoff run, but it also rekindled debate surrounding the future of the team. Everything is rainbows and butterflies when you're on a seven-game winning streak, but reality has a way of crashing back down to earth when you get your butt handed to you the way Miami did last weekend.

To put things bluntly: Social media has been a shitshow as Dolphins fans have spent the past few days trying to sort through the rubble that is, once again, a season lost to mediocrity.

Who stays? Who goes? What changes need to be made? Here are five obvious answers.

Fire Chris Grier

At this point, the Dolphins need someone else buying the groceries before they start preparing any new meals. General manager Chris Grier has botched a rebuild, burning valuable assets on players that don't even take the field, much less play up to the level at which they were selected in the draft.

It's not only the draft where Grier has fallen short, though, it's in free agency. Look at the list of players he signed this past offseason. (See embedded tweet above.) A total disaster. Heading into an offseason in which the Dolphins have a huge amount of money to spend, there is no reason to entrust Grier with another round of spending. And don't even get us started on his disastrous handling of the Deshaun Watson situation.

Move on. Demand better. Get someone fresh looking at talent and where assets need to be assigned.

Brian Flores Stays

Brian Flores has just about the same record in Miami through three seasons as the man he replaced, Adam Gase. That's not fair, though. Flores was handed a team in disarray, purposely trying to lose in his first season. He's since seen enormous highs and terrible lows, but his performance overall lands somewhere in the middle and is worthy of another season of evaluation.

Flores was being called a Coach of the Year candidate after the Dolphins won seven games in a row, but the reality is that he's the same coach that put the team in its 1-7 position to begin with. He owns it all, not just the good parts. He also holds the part of the blame for how the Deshaun Watson situation was handled. More on that next.

No Deshaun Watson

Either you have some ethical standards or you don't. The Miami Dolphins are a football team, but in the end, they are a brand. Brands cannot associate themselves with a man who has had 22 sexual misconduct civil lawsuits filed against him. There are other quarterbacks on this planet. Sometimes it's nice to remember sports aren't that important, and having some ethical standards for who you hire should always be the priority.

Guilty or not, the Dolphins should rid themselves of the Watson rumors once and for all. His reputation is shot. Is this really the sort of message you want to be sending to Dolphins fans? That ethics don't matter?

Address the Offensive Line Issues

Priority number one this offseason has to be the Miami Dolphins looking to revamp their entire offensive line. Not shuffling one or two pieces, but likely some big signings and an entirely new look. There's Austin Jackson and Jess Davis, but other than that there are very few salvageable pieces on the Dolphins offensive front.

Once again, Miami will likely need to spend a first-round pick on an offensive tackle. Just like they've been doing for decades, with little to no success. When they did get it right, they traded the player (Larmey Tunsil) for more picks they'd then proceed to waste.

One More Season for Tua

At this point, the Dolphins are committed. They'll bring Tua Tagovailoa back as their quarterback in 2022 out of necessity and lack of options, barring some unforeseen crazy event, like caving and trading for Watson or acquiring Russell Wilson or Aaron Rodgers.

Tagovailoa deserves another season with an offensive line that protects him, gives him time, and strikes fear into the hearts of opponents. The Dolphins could find themselves regretting letting Tagovailoa go if they don't try everything and give him at least one more season. 
KEEP MIAMI NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Ryan Yousefi is a freelance writer for Miami New Times, a lover of sports, and an expert consumer of craft beer and pho. Hanley Ramirez once stole a baseball from him and to this day still owes him $10.