Perhaps the surest sign yet that the Dolphins are indeed open to taking a quarterback at 11?
“It’s always good to see all of the quarterbacks live,” Dolphins general manager Chris Grier said, explaining Gase’s presence. “You want to see all the guys you’re interested in seeing, but also at other positions as well. It was good having him here. He hopes he’s never here again. Hopefully he’s winning too many games for him to be here.”
It must be said: the Dolphins insist that a healthy Ryan Tannehill is their starting quarterback in 2018.
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So how could a team that went 6-10 justify using a first-round pick who would be a backup as a rookie?
Team executive Mike Tannenbaum laid out the Dolphins’ rationale for making such a pick:
“You have to balance winning for today and developing for tomorrow. Last year didn’t go, obviously, the way we hoped. It gave us a chance to reflect on some things we could do better. Part of that is making sure we have good depth at as many positions as possible, knowing that over the course of a 16-game season, they’re going to play. That’s what history shows us.”
Tannenbaum said the team’s mission between now and the draft is to build a complete roster, so that if one of the top quarterbacks falls to Miami in Round 1, the Dolphins will be comfortable taking him.
“We’re going to work really hard over the next couple of months to give ourselves as much flexibility as we get closer, assuming we stay at 11, so we can take the best player for us at 11,” Tannenbaum added.
This and that
▪ The Dolphins must decide by May whether to pick up DeVante Parker’s fifth-year option, which is guaranteed in case of injury. Parker would be due in the neighborhood of $9 million in 2019 — so if the Dolphins do exercise that option, they will be betting that Parker will be much better in the next two years than he was the last three.
Injuries and inconsistency have hindered a promising career; Parker has never had more than 57 catches, 744 receiving yards or four touchdowns in any NFL season.
“We want to see him reach his potential,” Tannenbaum said. “I know it’s important to him. Obviously, he’s dealt with injuries, which is, I’m sure, as frustrating to him as it is to us. We’re going to keep working with him and try to get him to be the best player he can be. Obviously, he has a big ceiling and a lot of ability. Obviously, works hard at it. I think it’s important to him. In terms of where we’ll go with his contract and his option, we’ll have plenty of time to make that decision. That’s a ways down the road.”
▪ Charles Harris is another Dolphins first-round pick who needs to play better in 2018. Harris had just two sacks as a rookie.
“I think the last six games, he played really well,” Grier said. “You could see him learn, get his feet wet and develop. ... We’re excited about his future. The guy loves football. He doesn’t say much. He just comes in, he’s a grinder. We’re excited for him in the future.”
▪ Linebacker Raekwon McMillan, who tore up his knee on his first preseason snap as a pro, is “right on, or ahead of schedule” and should be ready for the team’s spring workouts, Grier said.
“We’re looking forward to getting him on the field,” Grier added. “That was a big loss for us. We had high expectations for him.”