Reasons to be Cautious:
Ryan Tannehill – I don’t buy into Tannehill. Ask most people if he had a good year, and they would say yes. I would say any time you throw more INTs than TDs it was not a good year (13/12). In fact, Tannehill turned the ball over 22 times! To me, Tannehill is that QB that scouts tell themselves can be great because he has “all the physical tools” and “can make all the throws.” At 6’4” 222 lbs with a good arm and good athleticism, it is easy to see why they like him. However, I see a guy that lacks the years of experience which are so valuable (3 years of QB experience) and has questionable accuracy 58.3% – he is also missing 3 of his top 4 receivers from 2012 (Bess, Fasano, Bush). I didn’t like this pick by the Dolphins and I believe the Dolphins will be looking for a new QB within the next 3 years.
Offensive Line – The line gave up 37 sacks last year…then lost a top LT (Jake Long) via free agency and moved a poor RT (Jonathan Martin) to LT to replace him. While Long had a down year, he is still a very good LT and Martin sucked on Tannehill’s front side, now he guards his blind side. Tough to make any throws from your back.
Mike Wallace – Is there a more overrated and over paid WR? 64 catches and 836 yards gets you $60 million? Wow. Davone Bess (the guy he is essentially replacing) had 61 catches for 778 yards and Cleveland got him for 3 years $11.5 million. I don’t like this signing for a lot of reasons: 1) He is being paid as a top 5 WR but is not even a #1 – 6’0” 195 lbs and never had 75 catches – he wasn’t even the top option on the Steelers last year (Brown); 2) He has speed, but he has questionable hands – ask Steelers fans about this; 3) He had 836 yards with Roethlisberger as his QB – unless you think Tannehill is better than Roethlisberger, how do these numbers improve?; 4) His best attribute is the deep threat, yet, in order to throw the deep ball the QB has to have time in the pocket and last year Miami gave up 37 sacks; 5) He has maturity issues and is a questionable locker room guy – not a good thing for a young QB to have to deal with.
Loss of Leadership – The loss of Long, Bush and Karlos Dansby (leading tackler) is big from a talent perspective, but huge from a leadership perspective.
The Defense (not named Cameron Wake) – They were 21st overall and 27th against the pass and they got rid of their leading tackler and leader in general. I don’t like the signing or Ellerbe or Wheeler.
Management – Ireland is trying to save his job by spending wildly. When has that ever worked? Remember the Haynesworth Redskins team? Or Philadelphia’s “Dream Team?” The team that “wins” the offseason rarely carries that success over to the field. Ireland has gambled big time on this team and I believe gambled poorly. He structured all the deals for low 2013 cap hits which balloon in the following years – i.e. Wallace counts for just $3.25 million against the 2013 cap – that number is $17.25 million in 2014! Think about this: in 2013, Wallace, Hartline, Moore, Ellerbe and Wheeler count just $12.725 million against the cap (about 10%) – in2014, those 5 will count $43.275 million against their cap (more than 33%).
This team is a hot pick amongst “experts” to have a good year and possibly even challenge for the AFC East title. If you can’t tell, I am not buying in. I think 7 wins is the ceiling for this team. I don’t like the QB, don’t like the O-Line, don’t like the coach, don’t like the management or vision, and don’t like the defense. If not for the injuries to the Bills QBs, the Bills might have a shot at 2nd in the East.