The Miami Dolphins did the complete opposite of what the Denver Broncos are doing and that is embracing the rebuild.
In 2018, the Dolphins finished with a 7-9 record and fired head coach Adam Gase. Then, they hired Brian Flores.
After having the 31st-ranked offense and 29th total defense, Miami knew they had to make significant changes. Miami gave Chris Grier the title of general manager and allowed him to hire Flores.
In that offseason, Miami went ahead and cleared cap space by moving on from players in which they knew wouldn’t help the rebuild and had too big of a price tag. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill was traded to Tennessee; that move alone allowed the Dolphins to clear his $26.6 million cap hit.
Miami traded a second-round pick for Josh Rosen, but quickly knew he wasn’t the future during the 2019 season. This forced them to draft Tua Tagovailoa the following season.
In 2019, the Dolphins built from the inside out by drafting Christian Wilkins our of Clemson. Miami would continue to then build on the offensive line in that draft.
With plenty of cap space, the Dolphins knew they had a special cornerback and made sure to lock up Xavien Howard for the next five years.
Before the season started, Miami knew that their left tackle Laremy Tunsil wasn’t the guy for them to protect their quarterback’s blind side and knew he was on the verge of a long-term contract. Miami knew they needed more draft picks for the upcoming draft, so they sent Tunsil, wide receiver Kenny Stills and two late-round picks to the Texans for two first-round picks and a second-round pick.
Miami would also trade running back Kenyan Drake to Arizona for a conditional late-round pick. The Dolphins also sent former first-round pick Minkah Fitzpatrick to the Steelers for a 2020 first-round pick.
As Miami entered the 2020 offseason, they had the most money to spend in free agency and held three first-round picks, two second-round picks, and a third-round pick.
But wait, it gets better! Miami found a way to own two first-round picks and two second-round picks in the 2021 NFL Draft.
In free agency of 2020, Miami had the money to spend and gave cornerback Byron Jones a five-year deal to pair up with Howard in the secondary. Miami would also sign edge rusher Kyle Van Noy to a four-year deal. Van Noy played for Flores in New England and knew the system.
The Dolphins continued to build on defense, especially with the defensive line with Shaq Lawson and Emmanuel Ogbah.
When it came to the draft, Miami did the correct process by selecting their franchise quarterback in Tagovailoa, followed by offensive tackle Austin Jackson and cornerback Noah Igbinoghene.
Do you see the trend in getting at here?
The Dolphins were in a similar situation as the Broncos in 2019. Both teams hired a new head coach, but one team has gone the correct path and the other has been trying to put band-aids on wounds they can’t fix.
Denver has been stuck in the same situation since their Super Bowl 50 victory, but they’ve ignored the fact that they need to embrace the rebuild. The Broncos have gone through head coaches, coordinators and multiple quarterbacks to be in the exact same spot for five straight years.
Denver hired a new head coach in 2017 and didn’t embrace the rebuild as they’ve watched head coaches that were hired the same season rebuild their teams and make it to the Super Bowl like the Rams and 49ers. Anthony Lynn and the Chargers made moves and found a way to put a great roster together along with a franchise quarterback.
In 2019, the Broncos hired Vic Fangio and watched other teams embrace the rebuild and become legit playoff contenders like Kliff Kingsbury in Arizona, Matt LaFleur in Green Bay, and now Brian Flores in Miami.
Until the Broncos embrace the rebuild and make serious changes, nothing will change for this franchise. The Broncos must start looking at ways to free up cap space and find ways to acquire more draft picks to allow flexibility within the draft. If Drew Lock isn’t the guy like he’s trending, they must find a way to go get the guy that can get this team back to the promise land. Denver must find the right coaches to develop this team and get the best of their players.
Until the Broncos follow the same path as the Dolphins, they will continue to be a laughingstock around the NFL.
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