They say you can't win a Super Bowl in the offseason. Surely awards aren't handed out for winning the offseason. When it came to free agency, the Miami Dolphins chose conservatism rather than flashy names. The Dolphins chose to spend frugally rather than wastefully.
What's so puzzling about the Dolphins dive into free-agency is that after signing one book end left tackle in Branden Albert, they chose to pull back the distribution from the Bank of Stephen Ross and acquire talent in Cortland Finnegan to play cornerback and Shelley Smith to fill the vacant left guard position. One teams' castoffs aren't necessarily the Dolphins' treasure.
Bringing back a younger and more vibrant Randy Starks versus a wiser and more apt at stopping the run Paul Soliai at the defensive tackle postion. What exactly was the problem with signing Soliai during the season? Didn't the Dolphins defense struggle to stop the run all season? Wasn't the linebacker position mostly to blame?
In addition, GM Dennis Hickey has found players consistent with swagger, leadership, and playing at positions that don't factor into the score unless defensive touchdowns are highly valued. Yes, the GM chose to get guys that are less of a factor and more of stop gap type of players such as Louis Delmas in place of Chris Clemons, Cortland Finnegan in place of Nolan Carroll/ Dimitri Patterson, and Brandon Albert (Signed for a monster deal) to protect quarterback Ryan Tannehill's blind side.
Where are the playmakers that some thought Dennis Hickey would bring in? Where are the guys that can only help 3rd year quarterback Ryan Tannehill in the red zone? Maybe a tight end, perhaps a power running back, perhaps a big receiver that goes up for the football, could have been helpful.
However, much of the recent tinkering and tweaking led to additions of veterans suggests the Dolphins will build through the draft. While experienced teams at winning such as New England (Darrell Revis) and Denver (Aqib Talib) mobilized as if they will see eachother in the playoffs again next season, the Dolphins chose to hang back and see what everyone else is doing.
With a two year contract in Miami, GM Dennis Hickey better make damn sure he as a plan, but the executuon of the plan will be critical in the Dolphins rebounding from mediocrity to being one of the best.
Question is, can HIckey's moves push the Dolphins past the top teams in the AFC?
Another question, that seems impossible to answer at this point and time.