Front of­fice’s cred­i­bil­ity con­tin­ues to shrink,

The Palm Beach Post - - SPORTS - Hhabib@pb­ Twit­ter: @gun­ner­hal

Hal Habib

Mike Tan­nen­baum was talk­ing about the lon­grange vi­sion sub­scribed to in the Dol­phins’ front of­fice. In do­ing so, he threw out terms like “macroe­co­nomic mod­el­ing” the de­ci­sion-mak­ers were piec­ing to­gether. He talked about how cap man­age­ment is an “al­lo­ca­tion of re­sources.”

“To have sus­tain­able suc­cess in a cap sys­tem, you’re go­ing to have to hit on your draft choices,” he said. “We want to re­tain as many of those as rea­son­ably pos­si­ble. With that said, over time, some of those play­ers are go­ing to grad­u­ate, which, if and when they do, you want to cel­e­brate it. That means they’ve been drafted well, they’ve been coached well, they’ve been de­vel­oped well.”

Do three years pro­vide enough of a score­card to judge all the well­ness Tan­nen­baum was es­pous­ing? Be­cause Mon­day was al­most the three-year an­niver­sary of when he said that quote — March

11, 2015, at the an­nounce­ment of the sign­ing of free-agent de­fen­sive tackle Ndamukong Suh.

Tan­nen­baum, the ex­ec­u­tive vice pres­i­dent of foot­ball op­er­a­tions, knew the Dol­phins were dump­ing a huge per­cent­age of their eggs in Suh’s bas­ket. He knew that for the Dol­phins to per­form, uh, well, with Suh, not only would Suh have to per­form up to the stan­dards he set in Detroit, but the front of­fice would have to have as many hits as Suh did.

There can­not be a need to make a case for the many ways vir­tu­ally none of this panned out. A cou­ple of 6-10 sea­sons sand­wiched around one 10-6 scream fail­ure. And there’s the fact that the Dol­phins ended up writ­ing checks for nearly half of the record $114 mil­lion con­tract they handed Suh be­fore their divorce.

As out­lined in this space ear­lier, there’s also the trickle-down cap hit Tan­nen­baum warned about that helped Jarvis Landry “grad­u­ate” to Cleve­land — un­less, of course, it was equal parts of this nar­ra­tive to “change the cul­ture” we’re be­ing fed now, too.

All this would be in­fin­itely eas­ier to swal­low if this front of­fice had earned the kind of credit in PR terms that it never had much use for in a salary-cap sense. If you’re will­ing to credit Tan­nen­baum for get­ting two low picks and cap relief for trad­ing Landry to the Browns, you also have to hold him ac­count­able for cre­at­ing the need for that cap relief in the first place.

So do you trust this front of­fice?

Are you com­fort­able with its plan, what­ever it may be?

Tan­nen­baum him­self said the Dol­phins had to hit on their draft picks. Let’s start with 2012, ad­mit­tedly pre-Tan­nen­baum, be­cause that’s when they drafted quar­ter­back Ryan Tan­nehill:


To­tal Dol­phins picks: 24 Still on team: Only Tan­nehill, DE Ter­rence Fede and pos­si­bly DB Walt Aikens, a free agent, and T Ja’Wuan James


Dol­phins picks: 6

Still on team: 4 (WR DeVante Parker, DT Jor­dan Phillips, CB Bobby McCain, CB Tony Lip­pett)


Dol­phins picks: 8

Still on team: 7 (T Laremy Tun­sil, CB Xavien Howard, RB Kenyan Drake, WR Leonte Car­roo, WR Ja­keem Grant, CB Jor­dan Lu­cas, TE Thomas Duarte). QB Bran­don Doughty is on prac­tice squad


Dol­phins picks: 6

Still on team: 5 (DE

Charles Har­ris, LB Raek­won McMil­lan, CB Cor­drea Tanker­s­ley, G Isaac Asi­ata, DT Davon God­chaux), DT Vin­cent Tay­lor.

OK, so not ev­ery pick is go­ing to pan out. What about the play­ers who do ex­cel? They don’t for long. Not in Mi­ami. Last sea­son, Suh was the Dol­phins’ MVP, which stands for Most Vo­latile Perch. It’s the kiss of death. You win MVP, you may as well turn in your play­book.

Just look at this head­scratch­ing list:

2008 Dol­phins MVP: QB Chad Pen­ning­ton (played only four games with Mi­ami af­ter win­ning) and LB Joey Porter (lasted one more sea­son)

2009: RB Ricky Wil­liams (lasted one more sea­son) 2010: 7-9. None cho­sen 2011: QB Matt Moore (last sea­son likely his fi­nal one with Dol­phins)

2012: DE Cameron Wake (still around)

2013: CB Brent Grimes

(he and his wife left South Florida af­ter two ad­di­tional sea­sons)

2014: Tan­nehill

2015: S Re­shad Jones (still around), Landry (lasted two more sea­sons)

2016: RB Jay Ajayi (lasted only seven more games) 2017: Suh (gone faster than you could pro­nounce his full name).

Get­ting back to the cul­ture busi­ness, which we’d been led to be­lieve was well on its way to­ward a so­lu­tion, the cur­rent purge raises a ques­tion of lead­er­ship in the locker room. The only play­ers still on the ros­ter who have been hon­ored with the Dol­phins’ an­nual lead­er­ship award are cen­ter Mike Pouncey and Wake, and only Tan­nen­baum seems to know how safe those two are.

As­sum­ing Tan­nehill re­claims the start­ing job, he’ll be a team leader. Re­ceiver Kenny Stills will be an­other. Jones, a model of sus­tained ex­cel­lence, seems more the type of when he does speak, oth­ers will lis­ten. And on spe­cial teams, should he re-sign as a free agent, there’s Michael Thomas.

On a 53-man ros­ter, even in­clud­ing the maybes, that’s a mighty short list.

All is not lost. Tan­nen­baum is cor­rect when he points out how fre­quently the NFL play­off bracket gets flipped. He has pointed out on mul­ti­ple oc­ca­sions how five of the six teams to make the play­offs in the NFC were new­bies in 2017.

If it’s so easy, then, why have the Dol­phins made it only once since 2008?

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.