This is pretty much it.
The Dolphins have added a few, lost a few (stow those #23, #14, #93 and #51 jerseys deep in closet) and are pretty much through free agency and the draft.
Vegas isn’t convinced. But the games aren’t played in Vegas (at least not yet).
Is Miami’s roster balanced? Well, according to Spotrac, the Dolphins have 59 percent of their current cap devoted to defense, which is second in the NFL. Will Miami’s defense play up to that level of spending? We’ll see.
Miami has reasonable expenditure at quarterback, running back, tight end and defensive back. The Dolphins must, must, must get better production from their defensive line and linebackers for what they’re shelling out.
But it’s not always about money. Miami felt it needed to change the vibe and the chemistry in the locker room. And I’m tired of writing about that and you’re tired of reading about that. And so we’ll mention in passing that perhaps adding some guys with championship experience will grow the culture. And all that.
But let’s look at the roster, highlighting key players. Let’s see where we should have some confidence and still have some serious concern.
• Defensive End: (Cam Wake, Robert Quinn, Charles Harris, Andre Branch, William Hayes) — This group should produce plenty of pressure, plenty of sacks and plenty of turnovers. If not, something’s wrong.
• Safety: (Reshad Jones, Minkah Fitzpatrick, T.J. McDonald) — We’re not sure what Miami will end up doing with McDonald, but Jones and Fitzpatrick can be one of the NFL’s top duos, this season.
• Starting QB: (Ryan Tannehill) — All of Miami’s eggs are in the RT17 basket. If healthy, he’s a Top 12 QB.
• Running Back: (Kenyan Drake, Frank Gore, Kalen Ballage) — Drake has the talent to be a Pro Bowl running back. If he studies and follows Gore, it should have a positive impact. The Herculean Ballage was a very good fourth-round choice.
• Tackles: (Ja’Wuan James, Laremy Tunsil, Sam Young) — If James and Tunsil live up to their physical abilities, Miami would have one of the best pair of bookend tackles in the game. But they were not close to that last season.
• Wide Receiver: (DeVante Parker, Danny Amendola, Kenny Stills, Albert Wilson) — Adam Gase has a variety of skill sets to work with. But the key to the whole group hinges on this: is Parker actually a star, or a bust?
• Defensive Tackle: (Jordan Phillips, Davon Godchaux, Akeem Spence, Vincent Taylor) — The addition of Spence via trade may be worthy of giving Mike Tannenbaum kudos, as we once did with the William Hayes deal.
• Punter: (Matt Haack) — Miami tied for eighth in the NFL in punts inside the 20.
• Cornerback: (Xavien Howard, Cordrea Tankersley, Bobby McCain, Tony Lippett) — Howard improved later in the season after a slow start, and McCain is solid, but Tankersley must make a giant leap forward in his sophomore season.
• Linebacker: (Kiko Alonso, Raekwon McMillan, Stephone Anthony, Jerome Baker) — The return of McMillan from injury should help, but where is Alonso playing in two-linebacker sets and three-linebacker sets? And how ready is Baker to contribute immediately?
• Interior Offensive Line: (Daniel Kilgore, Jesse Davis, Jesse Sitton) —Kilgore was Pro Football Focus’ 23rd-ranked center. Davis has enormous potential but must increase consistency. Sitton was a key free-agent addition.
• Tight End: (Mike Gesicki, Durham Smythe, MarQuies Gray, A.J. Derby) — Perhaps Gesicki will quickly emerge as Miami’s Rob Gronkowski. Would be nice, wouldn’t it?
• Backup QB: (Brock Osweiler, David Fales) — We’ll see.
• Kicker: (Jason Sanders, Greg Joseph) — Same.