The Miami Dolphins went from being one of the worst teams in the NFL to a 10-6 team that just missed the playoffs in only one offseason. Their growth as a whole has been tremendous and it is seen in every component of their team.
Miami’s front office has done a great job in free agency and in the draft, their coaching has been fantastic and as a result, their team has improved dramatically.
Going into next season, the pressure is going to be on Miami to make the playoffs. They have a good team, but not a great team.
With over $25 million in cap space heading into free agency, the Dolphins can really make a splash.
Here are three free-agent targets for the Dolphins heading into next season.
1. Dolphins sign a Wide Receiver
The Dolphins haven’t had a legitimate No. 1 wide receiver in a few years now and last year it showed.
Although the Dolphins quarterback, Tua Tagovailoa, is taking a ton of criticism for his average quarterback play, Miami’s receiving core is among the weakest in the NFL.
DeVante Parker has been solid for the Fins over the last few years, but acquiring a real-deal No. 1 target on the outside could make this offense far more dynamic.
Allen Robinson is the top receiver heading into free agency and he is coming off of an impressive season with the Chicago Bears.
Robinson is a big, strong, receiver with great hands and solid route running abilities. He would be an excellent target for Tagovailoa next season. His reliability as a pass-catcher as well as his massive catch radius should correct any amateurish inaccuracies on contested catches.
Robinson has had back-to-back 1,100-plus yard, six-plus touchdown seasons with Mitchell Trubisky and Nick Foles throwing him the ball in Chicago, just imagine what he could do in Miami with Tagovailoa.
Allen Robinson should be priority No. 1 for the Dolphins.
Cheaper Alternative: Corey Davis
Corey Davis is coming off his best season with the Titans as a WR2. Davis almost eclipsed 1,000 yards receiving while getting in the end zone five times last season. He showcased his ability to be a red zone threat and a deep threat for a team that was running focused.
Davis would be a fraction of the cost of Robinson and could still be the top receiver the Dolphins are looking for.
2. Dolphins sign a Running Back
The Dolphins started the season with Jordan Howard and Matt Breida splitting carries before rolling with Myles Gaskin as their premier back.
Regardless of who they featured in the backfield, there is no doubt that the Dolphins could use an improvement at running back.
The Dolphins could go after Todd Gurley in free agency who would give them an every-down running back and a threat out of the backfield.
A young quarterback’s best friend is a running back who can catch out of the backfield. Gurley would add a dynamic element to the Dolphins’ offense.
Alternative option: Leonard Fournette
Fournette has been solid for the Bucs over the last few games of the season but has been rather disappointing since leaving Jacksonville.
Fournette may cost the same as Gurley but likely won’t give the Dolphins the same production in the passing attack.
3. Dolphins sign an Outside Linebacker
The Dolphins’ defense was the backbone of their team last season. Coach Brian Flores is a defensive-minded coach and Kyle Van Noy is heading into free agency so the Dolphins are probably in the market for a replacement.
Lavonte David not only would be a replacement but an upgrade.
David is a high-IQ linebacker who excels in pass coverage. He is a great tackler and covers a ton of ground when in coverage.
David would be a perfect fit in this coverage-focused defensive team.
Cheaper alternative: KJ Wright
KJ Wright has been a staple in the Seahawks defense for 10 seasons but is set to hit free agency at age 31 coming off of his weakest season since 2013.
Wright is excellent in the run game and could give the Dolphins some versatility at the linebacker position.
Although a very capable linebacker, the aging run-stopper may not have quite the value on the open market as David. He would be an awesome second option.
The Dolphins head into the offseason with two first-round picks and an opportunity to make this roster one of the most well-rounded in the NFL.
With an abundance of cap space and on the brink of a playoff spot, the Dolphins will not only be active but will be aggressive in acquiring a star player in free agency.