Dolphins: Year Tua

Should Miami Trade for Deshaun Watson

  • Yes. Deshaun is a star. Take the known entity.

    Votes: 68 70.8%
  • No. Build around Tua and forge a stronger overall team.

    Votes: 28 29.2%

  • Total voters
    96
  • Poll closed .

dwainw

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Isn't an argument for Tua over Herbert simply argument for reserving judgment? Ample reasons have been given for why Tua "underperformed" last year. The Dolphins have also demonstrated that they have a plan, and that plan started with drafting Tua, knowing full well he was coming directly off a career-threatening injury and that the Phins had work to do to shore up their line and improve their receiving corps. The Dolphins plan was arguably a 3-year plan, that continues into next year's draft. I think @rymflaherty captures the sentiment best--or at least more accurately--with this:

I thought drafting Tua was the logical move, so I’m at peace with the situation, regardless of what happens.
There will be plenty of time for regret (not to be confused with second-guessing) down the road, if it comes to that. Now isn't that time.
 

sodenj5

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There isn't a team in the NFL who would choose Tua over Herbert right now. It's not even close.
Isn't an argument for Tua over Herbert simply argument for reserving judgment? Ample reasons have been given for why Tua "underperformed" last year. The Dolphins have also demonstrated that they have a plan, and that plan started with drafting Tua, knowing full well he was coming directly off a career-threatening injury and that the Phins had work to do to shore up their line. The Dolphins plan was arguably a 3-year plan, that continues into next year's draft. I think @rymflaherty captures the sentiment best--or at least more accurately--with this:



There will be plenty of time for regret (not to be confused with second-guessing) down the road, if it comes to that. Now isn't that time.
Eh. It’s just because it’s the offseason and people think Miami should have buyer’s remorse. I do not.

There was an article where someone interviewed Tua’s trainer recently and he said he estimates Tua played last year at 60% health. Meaning he was good enough to play and not risk any injury to his hip, but physically he was not near his peak due to the recovery from the hip.

That lead to him saying that his throwing mechanics were different because he didn’t have the same lower body torque that he normally generates and was using a lot of arm in his throws.

Tua himself said that his mechanics feel better, that he’s driving with his legs more and his arm is more or less following.

I’m not saying that this will certainly lead to success for Tua, but there was a physical and psychological barrier he had to overcome by playing last year.

It may have looked less than ideal at times, but those 9 starts are an invaluable building block for Tua moving forward. He was able to go into the offseason physically unscathed and had a clear plan as to what he needed to work on and do better to succeed at the NFL level.
 

johnmd20

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Eh. It’s just because it’s the offseason and people think Miami should have buyer’s remorse. I do not.

There was an article where someone interviewed Tua’s trainer recently and he said he estimates Tua played last year at 60% health. Meaning he was good enough to play and not risk any injury to his hip, but physically he was not near his peak due to the recovery from the hip.

That lead to him saying that his throwing mechanics were different because he didn’t have the same lower body torque that he normally generates and was using a lot of arm in his throws.

Tua himself said that his mechanics feel better, that he’s driving with his legs more and his arm is more or less following.

I’m not saying that this will certainly lead to success for Tua, but there was a physical and psychological barrier he had to overcome by playing last year.

It may have looked less than ideal at times, but those 9 starts are an invaluable building block for Tua moving forward. He was able to go into the offseason physically unscathed and had a clear plan as to what he needed to work on and do better to succeed at the NFL level.
The jury is obviously still out. It could change.

But if you gave every NFL team a choice between Herbert and Tua, 32 would take Herbert. That's all. This is based upon actual performance, and not "potential". This doesn't mean Miami should have buyers remorse and Tua could end up being great. They could both end up great, it would not surprise me.

But Herbert is the surer option at this point. He was impressive last year. Tua was shaky and the hip might have had something to do with that.
 

sodenj5

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First day of mandatory minicamp work for Miami, and Xavien Howard appears to be a no-show.

View: https://twitter.com/cameronwolfe/status/1404787536980021250?s=21


Bit of a slippery slope here for Miami. When Howard signed his deal, they made him the highest paid corner in the NFL. He also wasn’t complaining about his deal when he missed 11 games in 2019 and Miami gave him a 7 million dollar roster bonus as part if. To his credit, he played 16 games last year and had an All-Pro season.

Last season was his first season of new money on his extension. Miami has him signed for an additional 4 seasons, including this year. Miami could, in good faith, restructure his deal and give him some more money up front, but they’re under no obligation to do so.

Howard doesn’t have a ton of leverage. Is he going to leave 13 million on the table this year to hold out? I doubt it. I get why he might be unhappy, but he signed a market setting deal, and he didn’t even hit free agency. Miami gives him a raise, then what’s to stop every player that outperforms their deal one year in from wanting more money?

My prediction is he shows up for training camp and plays this year and Miami looks to either revamp his deal or trade him in the offseason.
 

sodenj5

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If decision making was a concern for me? I'd care a little.
its clearly not the "end of the world." I can't say I'd be too excited with Mac coming in 2nd year to minicamp and throwing 5 INT in his first day but YMMV. Sort of when Stidham laid an egg last year in camp.
Obviously less than ideal results. Offense better shape up fast because they only have…*checks notes*… 100 days until kickoff.

Putting in a request for no monsoons Week 1 in NE. Thanks in advance.
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

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That is news is definitely a sign that there's too much coverage of the NFL these days.
Eh, I dunno. Its a story line - no different than "Cams body language if Mac gets more reps" - where the foundation was laid a while ago.

Let me propose a few super useful, hypothetical questions:
  • Do you think Tom Brady ever threw 5 interceptions in one day of training camp?
  • Pretend he did in Tampa - would there be a story/narrative about his age?
  • If Cam Newton does it tomorrow, with his history, would there be cause for a little concern?
The concern with Tua was his decision making, especially after the first read. Theres tons of reasons why this could just be a nothingburger. Theres also some smoke billowing after last year.

When players kick the shit out of training camp, thats when shoulder shrugs make sense as to how it relates to actual gametime performance. Training camp is supposed to be easier, and its supposed to be practice. When a player struggles in camp? Thats when antennas may start to go up. Again...its easier, slower speed, and a practice mentality. Why are they struggling?
 

sodenj5

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Eh, I dunno. Its a story line - no different than "Cams body language if Mac gets more reps" - where the foundation was laid a while ago.

Let me propose a few super useful, hypothetical questions:
  • Do you think Tom Brady ever threw 5 interceptions in one day of training camp?
  • Pretend he did in Tampa - would there be a story/narrative about his age?
  • If Cam Newton does it tomorrow, with his history, would there be cause for a little concern?
The concern with Tua was his decision making, especially after the first read. Theres tons of reasons why this could just be a nothingburger. Theres also some smoke billowing after last year.

When players kick the shit out of training camp, thats when shoulder shrugs make sense as to how it relates to actual gametime performance. Training camp is supposed to be easier, and its supposed to be practice. When a player struggles in camp? Thats when antennas may start to go up. Again...its easier, slower speed, and a practice mentality. Why are they struggling?
Apart from the fact that it was pouring yesterday, both Tua and the coaching staff are doing the right thing. They’re emphasizing that he be aggressive and try and push the ball downfield and into tight windows.

In an actual game scenario, Miami likely isn’t trying to throw the ball 30 yards downfield into the teeth of a tropical storm. And Tua might be taking an easier completion than some of the balls he was trying to fit in yesterday.

I’m actually far less worried about Tua’s decision making and was more concerned about how conservatively he played at times. This is the reaction in place to correct that. In a controlled environment, they’re pushing Tua outside his comfort zone when the reps and results don’t matter. Now is the time to do that, and it’s exactly what Miami is doing.

FWIW, Tua was better today.

View: https://twitter.com/safid_deen/status/1405223230043049990?s=21
 

johnmd20

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That is news is definitely a sign that there's too much coverage of the NFL these days.
Ain't that the truth. It is literally June 16th. None of this means anything or gives any indication of how Tua is going to be.

That said, Herbert is still better than Tua and there is no way he would throw 5 picks in a monsoon.
 

rymflaherty

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I saw the tweet in the Covid thread about only two teams reaching the 85% vaccination threshold...
It feels good that my first thought was that one of the teams would be Miami and then to have that confirmed.
I mention it only because for over a decade it felt like the only time the organization was mentioned nationally it was an embarrassment - courting Harbaugh, bullying scandal, questions to Dez, cocaine coaches, etc etc.
Not only am I excited to see what the team does on the field, but it once again feels like a team and organization I want to support and root for, and there was an extended time, not too long ago, where neither of those things were true.
 

sodenj5

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View: https://twitter.com/mikesilver/status/1415402466737197059?s=21


Thread detailing the latest on Xavien Howard. It doesn’t seem like Miami is particularly motivated to renegotiate X’s deal one year into his 5 year extension.

I know the NFL is Not-For-Long and X is trying to cash in at his peak value, but if he wanted money over security, he shouldn’t have signed a 5 year extension. Bottom line is he took the security of the longer deal because he has been hurt so frequently. Miami made him the highest paid DB in the league without him hitting free agency and paid him a bunch of money up front.

A trade may be the only resolution if X doesn’t budge off his demands and Miami (probably rightfully) doesn’t want to renegotiate a deal with 4 years left on it.
 

rymflaherty

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Any chance Howard would settle for more money guaranteed?
Admittedly, I’m not even entirely sure if that’s possible or if there’s precedent for that, but I’m racking my brain for some sort of compromise and that was all I could come up with; rewarding his play by guaranteeing more of the existing contract.

I really want Xavier on the field for Miami, but I certainly see why the team would be unwilling to rip up the current deal, considering the organization went above and beyond (think that would have been consensus at the time) for him just a couple years ago.
 

sodenj5

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Any chance Howard would settle for more money guaranteed?
Admittedly, I’m not even entirely sure if that’s possible or if there’s precedent for that, but I’m racking my brain for some sort of compromise and that was all I could come up with; rewarding his play by guaranteeing more of the existing contract.

I really want Xavier on the field for Miami, but I certainly see why the team would be unwilling to rip up the current deal, considering the organization went above and beyond (think that would have been consensus at the time) for him just a couple years ago.
He’s 6th in AAV now, but he also got paid the majority of his guaranteed money the last 2 years. A smart move on Miami’s part.

Don’t know what the resolution is, which is probably why they are where they are. In reality, X’s value to Miami is probably greater than 1 first rounder. He has a rare skill of taking the ball away better than almost anyone else in the league. The drop off from him to Byron Jones or Noah Igbinoghene will be steep in terms of takeaways and coverage ability.

Miami’s defense would definitely be worse off without Howard. No two ways about it.
 

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Josh Allen has to be loving the Howard and Gilmore drama.
Probably sending them tweets "DONT Settle for a Penny less they you guys deserve!" :D
 

sodenj5

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First day of training camp. Obvious headlines are Xavien Howard and Tua.

Miami Herald just put out an article summarizing some of the players offseason workouts and they had a blurb about Albert Wilson:

Looks more explosive than even before his hip injury in 2018. Impressive quickness, agility, and speed coming out of his breaks. Wouldn't be surprising if he has a big year, if he stays healthy. Consistent with reports out of camp this past spring. A player to watch.

That has me, probably too excited. Wilson was amazing in 2018 before suffering that hip injury. Looked like he was starting to get his speed back towards the end of 2019, and set out all of last year after opting out due to COVID.

If he can regain that 2018 level of speed and explosion, he fits Tua’s game perfectly. Get him the ball quickly in space and let him work. Never forget the 2018 game versus the Bears. Wilson single handedly dismantled the Bears defense.
 

sodenj5

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Welp, so much for him showing up on time for camp.

His beef is with his previous agent, not the Dolphins. No one made Howard take that deal, but Howard was hurt and chose longer term security over maximizing every dollar. You can’t have it both ways.

If he truly didn’t know what he was getting into with his last deal, his agent is to blame, because that’s his job.

I also don’t blame Miami for being fairly rigid because Howard still has 4 years on his deal. They cave to him, and every player that has a good year is going to try and cash in.
 

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Tough spot for Flores but I think he has to hold the line here. Wonder what Howard could get in trade, if they decide to go that route. If overthecap is right, Miami would only take $1.4M cap hit next 3 years if they trade him.
 

sodenj5

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Tough spot for Flores but I think he has to hold the line here. Wonder what Howard could get in trade, if they decide to go that route. If overthecap is right, Miami would only take $1.4M cap hit next 3 years if they trade him.
The new CBA has made it pretty hard to hold out. If Aaron Rodgers is showing up to training camp, you know guys like Howard can’t afford to hold out.

Howard’s only real out is going the Minkah route. You have to make a stink about it and be a bit of a malcontent and a distraction. If Howard just goes about his business waiting for a trade, Miami is probably fine with that.
 

snowmanny

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Tough spot for Flores but I think he has to hold the line here. Wonder what Howard could get in trade, if they decide to go that route. If overthecap is right, Miami would only take $1.4M cap hit next 3 years if they trade him.
I don’t get how trading him to some other team that pays him what he wants is “holding the line.” But perhaps I am misunderstanding your post.
 

BigSoxFan

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I don’t get how trading him to some other team that pays him what he wants is “holding the line.” But perhaps I am misunderstanding your post.
Two separate thoughts in my post. I think Miami should call his bluff and not trade him. But if they decide to move him to rid themselves of potential distraction, he seems pretty movable based on his contract so I was curious about the potential return he would fetch. Feel like it would be pretty substantial.
 

sodenj5

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Two separate thoughts in my post. I think Miami should call his bluff and not trade him. But if they decide to move him to rid themselves of potential distraction, he seems pretty movable based on his contract so I was curious about the potential return he would fetch. Feel like it would be pretty substantial.
Two most frequently mentioned teams I’ve seen are New Orleans and Arizona. Arizona seems to be in more of a win-now mode. I imagine Miami would ask for multiple first rounders. Maybe the Cardinals feel like Howard puts them over the top in the NFC and they cough up two firsts.

Frustrating because Miami should be entering the “compete for the playoffs” phase, not the “trade away your best player for draft picks” phase. Again.
 

sodenj5

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Flores had a radio interview this morning and spoke about Howard. Link to a summary below.

https://www.si.com/nfl/dolphins/.amp/news/miami-dolphins-coach-brian-flores-addresses-xavien-howard-situation?__twitter_impression=true


Flores says he's hoping something "can be worked out" with Howard.

"Where there's a will, there's a way," Flores said. "I think we just continue to have discussions with him, his representation and keep the lines of communication open, continue having dialogue and hopefully you know, work something out. At the same time, we've got 90, 89 other guys that we'll be working with to include X and try to build this team and improve on a day-to-day basis and build team chemistry, and that's where most of our focus is.

Sounds like Flo legitimately wants to keep Howard around. He has been heaping praise on Howard all offseason saying how he wants him to be on the team since the start of OTAs.

If you’re Miami, you need to come up with a creative solution to keep Howard happy. Give him some more guaranteed money, or restructure the deal without changing the figures too significantly.

A win-win where Miami can say the dollar figure didn’t change, but Howard gets what he wants, which is likely more guaranteed dollars since he got all his guaranteed money up front.
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

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Howard for Gilmore.

Get it done, Theo!

Edit - to add a little more substance, Howard is basically playing the final three years of his contract non-guaranteed. Not just can they cut him and he gets nothing, but it's also structured so his dead cap hit is basically nothing. Hes playing with NO safety net in the prime of his career as a top corner.

I dont blame him for wanting some security. Dude even says in his IG post that hes looking for more guaranteed money, not a completely new deal. And I dont blame the Dolphins, after gambling a ton up front on his contract, to want to reap the benefits.

His contract is guaranteed this year. I dont see the harm in guaranteeing 50-50-25 over the final three years. Shift some shit around with signing bonuses so it doesnt kill your cap, and just get it done. Losing a top corner over it seems dumb.
 
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sodenj5

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Howard for Gilmore.

Get it done, Theo!

Edit - to add a little more substance, Howard is basically playing the final three years of his contract non-guaranteed. Not just can they cut him and he gets nothing, but it's also structured so his dead cap hit is basically nothing. Hes playing with NO safety net in the prime of his career as a top corner.

I dont blame him for wanting some security. Dude even says in his IG post that hes looking for more guaranteed money, not a completely new deal. And I dont blame the Dolphins, after gambling a ton up front on his contract, to want to reap the benefits.

His contract is guaranteed this year. I dont see the harm in guaranteeing 50-50-25 over the final three years. Shift some shit around with signing bonuses so it doesnt kill your cap, and just get it done. Losing a top corner over it seems dumb.
Miami was smart front loading his deal when they had all that cap space because they insured that if Howard couldn’t stay healthy, they could move on from him without much pain.

Agree that if they make the concession of increasing the guaranteed dollars, they technically aren’t really losing in terms reworking his deal, and Howard locks in some more dollars in his prime.

The drop off from Howard to Jones and Igbinoghene would be steep in terms of takeaways. Jones and Noah might be passable in terms of coverage, but Howard’s ability to turn passes into INTs is rare, even among elite players.
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

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Miami was smart front loading his deal when they had all that cap space because they insured that if Howard couldn’t stay healthy, they could move on from him without much pain.

Agree that if they make the concession of increasing the guaranteed dollars, they technically aren’t really losing in terms reworking his deal, and Howard locks in some more dollars in his prime.

The drop off from Howard to Jones and Igbinoghene would be steep in terms of takeaways. Jones and Noah might be passable in terms of coverage, but Howard’s ability to turn passes into INTs is rare, even among elite players.
My assumption on how this plays out is - Dolphins don't adjust too much on the contract this season. If he plays well this season and doesn't have a serious injury, they alter his contract for the final three years and give him a good chunk of guaranteed money.

Howard is going to play. Worst case he sits out 8 games, but I'd be shocked if he even did that. He's getting paid big time dollars, and hes not going to walk away from that. That puts the ball squarely in the Dolphins court. If they give him guaranteed cash now for the next three years, they're at risk of bigtime money being tied up with an injured player or player in decline.

If he plays well and walks out relatively unscathed at the end of this season, then there's almost no reason NOT to give him guaranteed money. Barring a career ending injury, they'll be bringing him back for all three of those years. Tear his ACL/Achilles/etc in the 2022 season? they're still going to bring him back for 2023. And even if he plays poorly in 2023, they'll STILL bring him back in the 2024 season with the hope that he played poorly because it was his first year back from a major injury.

So, thats how I expect this to go. Howard bitches this year - rightfully - but plays out the year. If he plays well, the Dolphins restructure his contract and give him a good size bonus, more guaranteed money, and potentially a raise to boot. Howard happily signs and suddenly has complete faith in the Dolphins organization again.
 

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My assumption on how this plays out is - Dolphins don't adjust too much on the contract this season. If he plays well this season and doesn't have a serious injury, they alter his contract for the final three years and give him a good chunk of guaranteed money.

Howard is going to play. Worst case he sits out 8 games, but I'd be shocked if he even did that. He's getting paid big time dollars, and hes not going to walk away from that. That puts the ball squarely in the Dolphins court. If they give him guaranteed cash now for the next three years, they're at risk of bigtime money being tied up with an injured player or player in decline.

If he plays well and walks out relatively unscathed at the end of this season, then there's almost no reason NOT to give him guaranteed money. Barring a career ending injury, they'll be bringing him back for all three of those years. Tear his ACL/Achilles/etc in the 2022 season? they're still going to bring him back for 2023. And even if he plays poorly in 2023, they'll STILL bring him back in the 2024 season with the hope that he played poorly because it was his first year back from a major injury.

So, thats how I expect this to go. Howard bitches this year - rightfully - but plays out the year. If he plays well, the Dolphins restructure his contract and give him a good size bonus, more guaranteed money, and potentially a raise to boot. Howard happily signs and suddenly has complete faith in the Dolphins organization again.
Sounds pretty plausible. On the front end of the deal, there’s a ton of variables in play and 6 years (last year of his rookie deal+5 year extension) is a long time, especially in the NFL.

Three becomes much more palatable, as you outlined.
 

sodenj5

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Through the first few days of camp, the star of the show has to be Albert Wilson. He and Tua are connecting on deep balls repeatedly and he’s playing like he’s taking someone’s job this summer.

This throw below is the best I’ve seen out of Tua so far. Absolute pinpoint location on a ball to Wilson where he’s covered pretty well.

View: https://twitter.com/miamidolphins/status/1421620670467874823?s=21
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

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Any hype is good hype: on a recent Simmons podcast he had his sports card person on. He said one of his favorites is Tua. Says his price point on cards is so low relative to his peers, and he could see that jumping a ton after this season.
 

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Any hype is good hype: on a recent Simmons podcast he had his sports card person on. He said one of his favorites is Tua. Says his price point on cards is so low relative to his peers, and he could see that jumping a ton after this season.
Dude, I’ve been stalking Tua rookies for months now. I thought in the offseason they would die down a bit but his Prizm cards are still hundreds/cards.
 

rymflaherty

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You know Tua’s been playing well when even Omar Kelly is saying that he’s looked good.

The Athletic Football Podcast is at Dolphins camp(the episode that released today), just started that. Interested to hear what they have to say.
Leading up to camp it seemed everyone had turned against Miami, at least amongst the media I consume. Lots of “I’m not so sure about that team” and picking the under 9.5 wins.
 

Clears Cleaver

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Tua biggest issue was when he faced pressure in his face. I’m pumped that unanimous opinion is he is markedly better so far, but need to see him against a real rush. Much harder to complete 60 yard bombs with guys in your face. But...I can’t be more excited to see him make the jump. And having Waddle, Wilson and Foster to go with Devonte et al is pretty sweet
 

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Seems like the consensus is he looks better, his ability to push the ball down the field looks much better, and the offense holistically looks better with the new guys and coordinators in place.

For once, I’m with Clears. I’m not allowing myself to get too excited over the camp reports. It’s good that things seem to be trending positively, but until we see it manifest out on the field, I’m trying to keep my expectations in check.
 

Clears Cleaver

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So, after two weeks in camp it seems that the secondary is an issue and the line is not settled at all. Noah Igbewhatever sounds like a total bust at this point and the safety from last year from Texas is not looking like a starter. They NEED X to sign and stay healthy and Jones to start earning his $14M per year. The line is far from settled and there is little depth...again. Maybe Grier can trade some of the WR depth (maybe even Parker???) for help in secondary or on the line before camp breaks.
 

pdaj

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Had to get done. Happy they reached a resolution. Sounds like they’ve given him some more guaranteed money this year with the understanding that if he plays like he did in 2020, they’ll take a serious look at redoing his deal.
Of course, this is huge. For a team built like the Dolphins, the defensive unit has to be very strong to reach its full potential. Miami may have been able to get significant draft assets for Howard, but he was irreplaceable on the football field, considering that the team is trying to win now.

I'm a big, big fan of incentives. From the perspective of a behavior analyst, teams would likely benefit from incorporating incentives more often.

Can't wait for games to start. #Tua
 

sodenj5

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Of course, this is huge. For a team built like the Dolphins, the defensive unit has to be very strong to reach its full potential. Miami may have been able to get significant draft assets for Howard, but he was irreplaceable on the football field, considering that the team is trying to win now.

I'm a big, big fan of incentives. From the perspective of a behavior analyst, teams would likely benefit from incorporating incentives more often.

Can't wait for games to start. #Tua
It’s as close to a win-win as you can get. Howard stays healthy and plays well, Miami will happily pay him 16 million this year. If he gets hurt and misses games, which is the norm for him, Miami is somewhat protected and not on the hook.

At a certain point, you can’t trade away all of your best players. Miami is beyond that point. If another player wants to rack up 10 picks, and add All-Pro and Pro Bowl to their resume and ask for a raise, those are problems Miami wants to have.

Two or even three first round picks cannot replace Xavien Howard in 2021 or 2022.
 

Kenny F'ing Powers

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12,035
Looking at the restructure, the only surprise is that they did it this year and not next. Everything else basically aligns with my prediction above, even down to the player/agent praising how great the organization is.

This was pretty unsurprising, really.