By Brandon J. Koch
A big thanks to Dolphins beat reporter for ESPN, Cameron Wolfe, for taking time to answer some questions.
Who are the players currently on the Dolphins roster that are apart of the future?
CW: You can start with cornerback Xavien Howard, who is clearly the Dolphins best player. He signed a deal in May that made him the NFL’s highest-paid cornerback and at 26 years old he should still be playing at a high level when Miami can compete. After Howard, the list gets shorter and its led primarily by young defenders like Christian Wilkins and Jerome Baker.
Is Flores apart of the plan at head coach, or is he just a one year stop gap?
CW: Yes, he’s a part of the immediate future and I believe he’s back in 2020 no matter what his final record is at the end of this season. Flores’ evaluation should begin in 2020 when he has a better talent base to actually compete so I think he’s guaranteed at least two years and he most likely will see three seasons at minimum.
Where does Josh Rosen go from here after being benched again?
CW: Rosen is handling his benching admirably given that this situation, and his own NFL career hasn’t been ideal thus far, but his next step is just to watch Ryan Fitzpatrick and hopefully pick up some of the intangibles that have allowed the veteran to play in the league so long. The benching is a sign that the Dolphins don’t foresee Rosen as their quarterback of the future. Best case scenario for Rosen is he gets another chance to start for Miami this year, shows some improvement and the Dolphins trade him to another team next offseason which could use give him a more insulated system to succeed in.
Is this the worst constructed roster you have seen?
CW: Yes, it definitely is. The Dolphins have maybe seven or eight players on their roster who start on an average NFL team, which is a clear sign of how far they are away from becoming contenders. This rebuild will take multiple years. It could be argued that Miami has the worst collection of talent in recent memory, and there seems to be no position group on this roster that is better than league average.
Who are some players the Dolphins will be looking to trade before the deadline?
CW: Kenyan Drake is the big name to watch. rake has been trying to be the man in the Dolphins’ backfield for four seasons, but two different coaches have decided he’s a better fit as a rotational back. He has shown instances of frustration with his role throughout his time in Miami, and he’s in a contract year. Drake has big-play ability and often shows elusiveness as a runner and receiver. He could help a contending team, and it’s easy to foresee Miami parting with him for the price of a fifth-round pick. Other potential players to watch could be either of Miami’s quarterbacks or DeVante Parker if the price is right.
If you could, talk about the Dolphins offense and defense and what you have seen from both sides of the ball.
CW: It hasn’t been good for either side of the ball to be frank. The Dolphins have the NFL’s worst rushing offense and the second-worst rushing defense – a big sign that the issues start in the trenches on both sides of the ball. Miami also has the NFL’s youngest team so there seems to be a lack of experience at key positions. The best part of both sides of the ball are in the skill players – Preston Williams, DeVante Parker, Kenyan Drake and Albert Wilson provide some playmaker ability at receiver and running back. On defense, Xavien Howard, Reshad Jones and Bobby McCain are strong NFL contributors that test offenses. But otherwise, Miami doesn’t have much to hang its hat on.