With offseason workouts and minicamps in the rearview mirror and training camps just a few weeks away, we assess the Miami Dolphins' offseason moves and assign a letter grade in the video above.
Best move: Is there any debate on Miami's best move? The Dolphins landed the biggest catch in the free-agent market by signing Pro Bowl defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh to a $114 million contract, which is an NFL record for a defensive player. Miami broke the bank for Suh. But the Dolphins landed a dominant defensive tackle in his prime and a new anchor of their front seven. Suh has been impressive and disruptive in offseason practices. He has a very good first step combined with the strength to penetrate the offensive line. An underrated aspect of Suh's game is the ability to make others around him better. Players such as Pro Bowl defensive end Cameron Wake and Miami's linebackers should benefit from Suh's presence in the middle of Miami’s defense.
Riskiest move: The Dolphins’ riskiest move this offseason is not solidifying the guard position. Miami has two major question marks at guard. Unproven linemen Dallas Thomas and Billy Turner began the offseason as early favorites to start. However, the positions remain wide open. Miami signed part-time starter Jeff Linkenbach in free agency and drafted Jamil Douglas to add competition. Eventually, the Dolphins must choose between two of these four players. There is a chance the Dolphins could pursue Pro Bowl guard Evan Mathis, who was recently released by the Philadelphia Eagles. But Mathis is looking for a sizable, multiyear contract that likely is too rich for the Dolphins, who already spent plenty of money this offseason.
In-house business: The Dolphins didn’t just focus on outside additions. Miami also took care of major in-house business with its star players. The Dolphins made a shrewd move to quickly sign quarterback Ryan Tannehill to a $96 million contract extension. Miami was the first team to extend its quarterback from the 2012 class and kept Tannehill under the $100 million threshold. Waiting until fellow Class of 2012 quarterbacks Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson likely get their extensions would have only raised Tannehill's price tag. The signing signifies that the Dolphins are Tannehill's team. Miami also made a big move on its offensive line by signing Pro Bowl center Mike Pouncey to a $52.15 million extension. Tannehill and Pouncey are two franchise building blocks in Miami for years to come.
Training camp outlook: The Dolphins are in very good standing heading into training camp. By all accounts, the offseason program was a success and, most importantly, the Dolphins avoided any major injuries that could cost them in the regular season. I've covered Miami and the AFC East division since 2011, and this is the most optimistic I’ve seen Dolphins players and coaches entering a season. There is a quiet confidence about this group knowing it has the most talent, on paper, that it has had in several years. The key between now and September is for Miami to make sure its "paper" talent translates well on the field.