MIAMI – "Tank for Tua!"
"Hurt for Herbert!"
"Lose for Love!"
No matter who is the Miami Dolphins quarterback of choice in the 2020 draft, it's clear that the organization is more focused on April 2020 than they are on 2019.
And that's a good thing.
The Dolphins were already set to battle for the basement in 2019. They likely assured it with a flurry of roster moves leading up to week one which saw them send away Laremy Tunsil, their franchise left tackle, among others.
But unlike past years when the decision makers would treat the salary cap like a credit card, restructuring contracts to put band-aids on a flawed roster NOW while preparing to pay the price later, Miami is now taking a different approach.
They're ripping off the band-aid.
And it's gonna hurt.
The Dolphins are paying off the credit card bill this year.
Miami has three players who will cost them more than $10.5 million on their salary cap this year (per Sportrac). They are:
1. Ryan Tannehill ($18.4 million)
2. Reshad Jones ($17.2 million)
3. Ndamukong Suh ($13.1 million)
Notice a trend? Two of them don't play for the team anymore (one hasn't taken a snap in a Dolphins uniform since 2017), and the other is likely to be gone by next season. They also each had their original contracts restructured by the previous regime, treating their deals like the aforementioned credit card.
Now, general manager Chris Grier and head coach Brian Flores are choosing to pay off that credit bill (nearly) all at once. Instead of spreading out cap hits over the next couple years, they're just choosing to treat 2019 as a season to hit "reset" and start fresh next year.
In the process, Miami has also stockpiled picks in the upcoming draft, which has the potential to be the best for quarterbacks since 1983, the last time they drafted a true franchise player in Dan Marino.
Admittedly, it was a bit strange to see the team's flurry of moves following training camp. Flores, who has made it clear how much he hates the idea of "tanking" and preaches competition to his players, will now field a roster that is tanking has little chance to compete.
But these are organizational decisions. And this is an organization which has repeated the same cycle of mediocrity for the last twenty years.
So, set your DVR for Alabama games. And Oregon. And Utah State (Jordan Love isn't mentioned as much as Tua and Herbert, but he's fun). And spend this season dreaming of the future because the present may not be fun.
But finally, the Dolphins are paying off that credit card bill.