Dolphins go into 2018 with the roster Adam Gase wanted all along

Adam Gase has the roster he wants, but is it a winner? (AP)

DAVIE — Adam Gase probably wouldn’t call this the roster of his dreams, but the 2018 version of the Dolphins looks like the one he’s been wanting since he took the job two years ago.

For better or worse, and he absolutely believes it’s for the better, this is the group Gase wants. The team has unloaded players he found problematic in terms of attitude, inconsistency or disproportionate salary cap numbers, and he senses a change in the environment that he thinks will translate to on-field results.

“When I look at it — You kind of look at how does that group get along for that year?” he said. “How do they work together? Do they push each other? Are they all pulling in the same direction? Are guys going to quit on you? Are they going to push forward when things get hard?

“I feel like the way that we’re assembled right now and the way that our personnel department has put that locker room together, I like our makeup right now.”

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Clearly some of the answers Gase was getting to those questions over the last two seasons were unsatisfactory. Among other issues, he’s expressed that he thinks some players basically quit on him late last season when the Dolphins were scrapping for a playoff berth.

While the roster overhaul certainly had financial factors and helps the team smooth out its salary cap situation for 2019 and beyond, there’s no thought from Gase that this is a throwaway year. The Dolphins might very well end up picking high in the draft next spring, but that’s not their intention.

The biggest names gone are Jarvis Landry, Ndamukong Suh and franchise mainstay Mike Pouncey. Those three are now with the Browns, Rams and Chargers, respectively, and their collective 2018 cap hit is $35.8 million.

Gase has been raving about his new wide receiver room in particular. Kenny Stills, possibly his favorite player on the entire team, is the leader of that group. It also includes newly added 10th-year veteran Danny Amendola, who at 32 is the oldest, most experienced receiver the team has had during Gase’s run with Miami.

“I think when you’ve got a guy that’s been in a lot of big games, has won a lot of games, made plays in big games and the professionalism, you just see it,” Gase said. “The way he walks around, there’s just something about him that guys kind of gravitate to.

“I think between him and Kenny… those guys lead that group and have an effect on the other guys in the locker room in a positive way. That’s a big thing for us.”

The Dolphins did something similar at running back by bringing on Frank Gore, who will be a mentor to Kenyan Drake and rookie Kalen Ballage.

Overall, they almost certainly haven’t had a 1-to-1 replacement of the talent that’s exited, and that’s what will make this year so interesting.

While many point to the departures and call this offseason a net loss for the Dolphins, Gase is defiantly saying the opposite. He’s either going to crash and burn with a roster full of guys that are good in the locker room but just OK on the field, which could put his future in jeopardy, or he’ll look brilliant as he proves everyone wrong.

“I think we wanted to create the roster of what was the right fit for this locker room and for this team,” he said. “Sometimes you get put in a position where you have to make a decision, whether it be free agency or you feel like you’re in a situation where a number might be too high for you — or where you’ve got an opportunity to have a player that makes less money but you feel like the talent isn’t that big of a swing.

“That’s where we’re at right now. We like the makeup of our roster. I like our players. I like where our locker room is right now. I like watching these guys work. I’m excited to see these guys compete in OTAs and get this thing going in training camp and then see how we grow as the year goes on.”

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Mike Pouncey: Way Miami Dolphins released me ‘added fuel to the fire’

Mike Pouncey. (Bill Ingram/The Post)

Mike Pouncey said he was heartbroken when he and the Dolphins were parting.

Now it seems he’s bitter.

Pouncey, a Pro Bowl center, was released by the Dolphins last month after declining to take a pay cut. He quickly joined the Los Angeles Chargers.

Speaking to reporters in Southern California on Monday, Pouncey said he was unhappy that the Dolphins texted his agent, Joel Segal, to let him know he was being released instead of calling Pouncey directly.

“They have added fuel to the fire,” Pouncey said.

The comments were tweeted by Fernando Ramirez, a reporter for the NBC affiliate in San Deigo, and Dan Woike, who covers the Chargers for the Los Angeles Times.

Segal did not immediately return a message from The Post.

The Dolphins declined to comment.

But Pouncey’s comment likely surprised some in Davie. For one, his release came only after the Dolphins asked him to take a pay cut. After declining, Pouncey asked to be released, so the move couldn’t have come as a surprise.

Secondly, Pouncey at the time put an upbeat face on his departure, saying he gave Miami everything he had and was “heartbroken” to be moving on.

“At the end of the day I’m a Miami Dolphin for life,” Pouncey told The Post. “This city gave me an opportunity to play in the NFL. I think it was awesome. I had a hell of a ride here.”

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Adam Gase says Miami Dolphins’ offseason moves a net gain

Adam Gase has assembled the team he wants. (Getty Images)

ORLANDO—After the Dolphins jettisoned several stars this offseason, including arguably the best player one their offense and defense, coach Adam Gase insists this is the roster he wants.

Miami’s frenetic moves this month included sustaining the biggest dead money salary cap hit in NFL history to cut Ndamukong Suh, dealing three-time Pro Bowl receiver Jarvis Landry for late draft picks and dumping longtime center Mike Pouncey. Those seem like financially driven decisions, and perhaps they were, but Gase likes his chances with this group.

“I think this is closer to what we talked about when we first started,” he said this morning at the NFL league meeting. “Sometimes you have to go through a couple years and really figure guys out and who fits and who wants to move on or you want to move on from. I think we’re closer to what we’ve been looking for.”

The Dolphins can still make some cheap additions in this phase of free agency and they have eight picks in the upcoming draft.

While Gase’s defiance always rises in step with the amount of criticism he faces, he had conviction in defending a roster that has his fingerprints all over it.

Nine of the players who were starters at the end of last season were guys Gase inherited when he took the job in January 2016. That includes Suh and his scheduled $26.1 million cap hit for 2018, as well as Landry and Pouncey.

“The way I see it right now is we’ve added the pieces that really go with the group we already have,” Gase said. “Obviously when you have the players that have left, the caliber of players and guys that have had the production that they’ve had, we know you’re not going to replace one guy with one guy. We understand that.

“We just are trying to get the best fit for our locker room right now. That’s what we’re looking for anytime we bring anybody else in.”

While he admired Suh and spoke glowingly of his performance, it’s clear Gase doesn’t value the defensive tackle position as much as vice president Mike Tannenbaum did when signing him to that massive contract in 2015.

The Dolphins move on with veteran Jordan Phillips in the final year of his rookie deal, as well as Davon Godchaux and Vincent Taylor, players Gase helped select last year.

The priority has shifted to defensive ends, a position where Miami has a surplus. The team already had Cameron Wake and Andre Branch under contract for a combined $18.6 million for this season, plus 2017 first-round pick Charles Harris. There was already a question of whether there were enough snaps to go around for those three before the team traded a fourth-round pick to get Robert Quinn from the Rams.

“We’ll figure it out,” Gase said. “I’d rather have more than not enough.”

At receiver, it won’t be easy to fill the 100 catches and 1,000 yards Landry chipped in on an annual basis. He had a knack for bailing Miami quarterbacks out of emergencies and he stepped up as the team’s best red zone option last season.

The Dolphins plan to patch that with Kansas City’s Albert Wilson and New England slot receiver Danny Amendola. Wilson has high potential and Amendola has some impressive seasons on his record, but both were available for a reason.

Miami landed Wilson with a three-year, $24 million deal that averages out yearly to half of what it would’ve paid Landry on the franchise tag this year. He’s 25, has great speed, can play inside or outside and is coming off a career year of 42 catches, 554 yards and three touchdowns. It could very well turn out that the Dolphins are buying on him at exactly the right time, as they did with Kenny Stills.

However, the Chiefs seemed content to let him go as they revamped their receiver corps and there will certainly be some skepticism about making a 5-foot-9 receiver one of the focal points of the offense.

“Hey, he towers over Jakeem,” Gase smirked, referring to 5-foot-7 Jakeem Grant already on the roster.

Amendola is 32, but he’s durable and consistent. Last season’s numbers of 61 catches, 659 yards and two touchdowns fit among some of the best years of his career. Gase also likes the idea of adding a 10-year veteran with two Super Bowl rings to a receiver group that had no one over 25 last season.

He kept hitting on that topic throughout his hour-long chat with reporters. Whether or not it’s the real reason behind what the Dolphins have done recently and whether it’ll actually make any difference on the field, Gase’s message going forward is that he wants a more serious, unified locker room.

He talked about the new players being guys who “are not going to accept a lot of the (nonsense) that’s gone on in the past.” He conveyed that this is the group he would’ve built regardless of the Dolphins’ bleak salary cap outlook going into this offseason.

“I feel like we’ve added more guys than we’ve lost,” Gase said, counting the return of injured quarterback Ryan Tannehill as part of that math. “I know free agency, a lot of guys are taken away there, and whether we released guys or traded guys—We’re adding good pieces to the puzzle here.”

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Ex-Miami Dolphins center Mike Pouncey signs with L.A. Chargers for $15 million

Former Dolphins center Mike Pouncey will now team with Philip Rivers in L.A. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

It didn’t take Mike Pouncey long to find a new home.

Four days after he asked for his release from the Dolphins after rejecting a pay cut, Pouncey, a center, signed with the Los Angeles Chargers for $15 million over two years, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

Pouncey didn’t take any other visits.

Pouncey, a three-time Pro Bowl selection in Miami and ex-Gator, is expected to provide veteran leadership to the young guard tandem of Forrest Lamp and Dan Feeney.

He also will be counted on to give Philip Rivers more time to survey the field rather than having to unload passes to avoid sacks.

Meanwhile, another Dolphins lineman released last week, Ndamukong Suh, is continuing his free-agent tour. He already has visited with the Saints and Titans. Next on his agenda is the Rams, meaning he could end up in Los Angeles with Pouncey.

If Suh were to join the rising Rams, he’d be teaming on the defensive line with Aaron Donald.

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Loyal to the very end, Mike Pouncey gave Miami Dolphins all he had to give

Mike Pouncey addresses the media after the Dolphins signed him to a contract extension through the 2020 season in 2015. (Palm Beach Post file photo)

It would be tough to find a player more grateful to wear aqua and orange than Mike Pouncey. Even as he and the organization were finalizing their divorce, he was declaring himself “a Miami Dolphin for life.”

Critics will point to the games he missed — exaggerating their point along the way — but one stat from a season ago should end any debate about his contributions these past seven years: When Pouncey suited up, Jay Ajayi’s per-game rushing average doubled, to 130 yards.

Mike Pouncey. (Allen Eyestone/The Post)

No, Mike Pouncey won’t make the Pro Football Hall of Fame, but you can write his name, in ink, right behind Jim Langer’s and Dwight Stephenson’s as proof that the Dolphins have been more blessed at center than any other position. Yes, that includes quarterback, because the past 18 mind-numbing years cannot be ignored.

Yes, there were times Pouncey’s body let him down, and even in a moment of sheer honesty, he once questioned aloud how long it would allow him to survive in this league.

There also were times Pouncey let Pouncey down, making choices that made the organization wince.

There’s an important distinction to be made here, however, regarding the blind faith he put in old college buddy Aaron Hernandez and whatever role he played in the Bullygate scandal of Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin. Pouncey owned up to his mistakes, tried to grow from his mistakes, and in April 2015 was rewarded by the Dolphins with a contract extension worth $52 million over five years, had things worked out for that long.

Pouncey lasted 1 1/2 sentences into his news conference to announce the extension before emotion started to pour out of him. What might have been the most joyous moment of his career turned into a melancholy one by his own choosing as he reflected on “little stupid things” he’d done, then held it up against the faith the Dolphins were placing in him.

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He realized the two did not quite compute.

“There’s just so much stuff,” he said. “I look back at my career and I could have done so many things better. There’s stuff I put my family through. I’m just happy that it’s all over with now.”

Turning toward the Dolphins, he added, “They could have easily gave up on me a long time ago. They stuck with me. It’s something I will never forget.”

Too bad his brittle hips railroaded those plans, restricting him to five games in 2016, but for his return in 2017, teammates voted him recipient of the Ed Block Courage Award.

“He’s been probably our most consistent guy and he’s probably played his best ball in the back half of the season,” coach Adam Gase said in December.

The only centers in Dolphins history to make the Pro Bowl were Langer (six times), Stephenson (five) and Pouncey (three). How many Pro Bowl talents in this league would accept playing a season out of position? Pouncey did, spending 2014 at right guard (and making the Pro Bowl) because of chronic front-office failure to address needs at guard.

Ironic, you have to say, that Pouncey gets devalued by the Dolphins following the first season in the past five in which he didn’t miss any games. Pouncey wore those 16 games played as a badge of honor, sending out a “big middle finger” to everyone who doubted he could, and then pointing to nearly every reporter standing before him as non-believers.

In truth, Pouncey missed a total of only eight of 48 games the three previous years combined. To hear his critics, you’d swear he was out half the time.

The matured Mike Pouncey is one I’ll remember for a smile that could not be wiped off his face: How you feeling, Mike? Great, just great. The Dolphins lost last week? We’re gonna bounce back and play our best this week. The line around you is crumbling? We’ve got a great group of guys. We’ll get it together.

Mike Pouncey’s legendary Dodge Neon stood out slightly in the players’ parking lot at the training facility. (Courtesy of the Miami Dolphins)

Every locker room needs a tension-breaker. In December, when the offensive linemen held their Secret Santa gift exchange, guard Ted Larsen threw a beat-up Dodge Neon into the pot, partially for comic relief. Pouncey not only snatched it, he drove it to work, praying it would chug all the way to Southwest 30th Street, praying it would actually stop when he stepped on the brakes, and laughing with Mercedes-driving teammates who were laughing at him as he parked.

Sort of like that Dodge Neon, Pouncey gave all he had to give.

And what he had to give was plenty good.

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2018 NFL free agents: Dolphins signing Josh Sitton shows philosophy change

Josh Sitton and his amazing beard are headed to the Dolphins. (Getty Images)

The Dolphins have never come out and said this, but the current administration’s moves on the offensive line reveal what they’ve thought about guards: You can find them anywhere.

Their streak of signing under-the-radar free agents and waiting until the late rounds of the NFL Draft to address the position ended today with the agreement to bring in Josh Sitton on a two-year deal worth up to $18 million.

That’s a beefy contract for a beefy man. It’s reasonable, though, and gives them a quality player on the line without compromising any long-term rebuilding plans.

Sitton checks in at 6-foot-4, 320 pounds and was ranked the No. 5 guard in the league last season by Pro Football Focus. He’s a 31-year-old with four Pro Bowl selections and 147 games on his record between a long run with Green Bay and a two-year stop in Chicago (he did not overlap with Adam Gase there).

He’s certainly going to help Laremy Tunsil if Miami plugs him in at left guard. He’s played both guard spots and occasionally filled in at tackle over his 10-year career.

This is a different target than the Dolphins have pursued in the last two offseasons. A year ago, they signed journeyman Ted Larsen to a three-year, $5.7 million contract, scooped up Jesse Davis after he’d bounced around practice squads and waited until the 164th to select a guard in the draft. That pick, Isaac Asiata, wasn’t ready to contribute in 2017.

The 2016 offseason was similar. The Dolphins spent their first-round pick on Tunsil planning for him to move to left tackle as soon as possible, but asked him to do a year at left guard first because they still had Branden Albert. Gase recruited former left tackle Jermon Bushrod to change positions and play right guard.

None of the other names they’ve brought in are particularly recognizable, and not making guard a high priority seems like it’s undercut some of the resources the Dolphins have poured into the line.

They had first-round picks at left tackle (Tunsil), center (Mike Pouncey) and right tackle (Ja’Wuan James) last season, but the line was always suspect. Tunsil and James remain in place with a lot to prove, and the line’s overall challenge is tougher now that Pouncey has been released.

The Dolphins now have three starting caliber guards in Sitton, Davis and Larsen.

Sitton is by far the most accomplished of the group and wouldn’t be choosing Miami if it meant he’d be fighting it out for a starting job. He’s been primarily a left guard the last five years, so that’s probably where he fits with the Dolphins.

That pits Davis and Larsen against each other in one of the most intriguing position battles of Miami’s offseason. Maybe one of them can play center, though third-year man Jake Brendel intends to compete for that spot. The Dolphins worked Larsen at center last spring when they held Pouncey out of Organized Team Activities.

Having Larsen or Davis as a backup is a great option for the Dolphins, and that’s not to be overlooked. They had four players start at least six games at guard last year.

Offensive guard is probably the most boring position on the field to discuss, but it gets a little more interesting for the Dolphins now that they’re swinging big on Sitton.

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With Mike Pouncey’s release, Dolphins enter full slash-and-burn rebuild

Mike Pouncey is done after seven seasons with Miami. (Bill Ingram/The Post)

The Dolphins have fully entered rebuilding mode.

Their offseason unloading now includes longtime center Mike Pouncey, who is being released after refusing to take a pay cut at 28 years old when he believes he’s still in the prime of his career.

Even after dispatching Jarvis Landry to Cleveland and getting out of a massive financial obligation to Ndamukong Suh, the Dolphins still looked like they were trying to fill a few holes and make what they could out of what’s left. This creates a new hole, an enormous one, and the related trade for 49ers center Daniel Kilgore might not be enough to patch it.

Pouncey has been the best offensive lineman on the team for at least the last two seasons and was thought to be a pillar of what would be a revamped o-line. Now he’s a free agent, saving the Dolphins $7 million and salary cap space and a little over $17 million in salary that was earmarked for him in 2019 and ’20.

Pouncey’s played 93 games since Miami picked him No. 15 overall in 2011, making him the highest-drafted center of all time. He’s had at least three known hip surgeries. He’s made the Pro Bowl three times. But the numbers that end in millions are the ones that matter most.

There’s no hiding it anymore. This is a slash-and-burn offseason for the Miami Dolphins.

And teams usually aren’t very good the season after they dump this much talent.

The Dolphins were an inch away here or there from being a 3-13 team last season, and that feels like where they’re headed unless a lot of pieces unexpectedly come together in a way that’s difficult to envision today.

Maybe it’s not so bad, though. It’s going to be brutal to endure this fall, but it’s probably what’s best for the franchise at this point.

This is a departure from wandering aimlessly through the mediocre territory of going 7-9, or something like it, every year. It’s the textbook plan for a rebuild: Clear the books and pile up draft picks.

That’s how teams across sports are doing it, and it’s preferable over the delusion of the Dolphins convincing themselves they’re only a player or two away from contending.

They went 10-6 in Adam Gase’s first season as head coach, making the playoffs for the first time since 2008, but even that felt like a mirage. Gase inherited a team that had won between six and eight games for seven consecutive years, and what he was working with in 2016 wasn’t all that much better.

Of the Dolphins’ 10 wins that season, seven came against teams that went 5-11 or worse. Six of those were one-score games.

Last year was similar, winning on a missed field goal in the opener and rarely looking legitimately impressive outside of a second-half rally in Atlanta and the Monday Night Football stunner against the Patriots. They’ll always have that one.

Rather than keep that group intact after going 16-17 the last two years, counting the time Pittsburgh dismantled them in the playoffs, the Dolphins are blowing it up. No reason to cling to that. This is the right course. The big question now is whether vice president Mike Tannenbaum, general manager Chris Grier and Gase are capable of such large-scale reconstruction.

Everything from here on out will be about setting the team up for 2019, at the earliest, and filling in a few spots to arrive at something resembling a passable starting lineup. They signed four-time Pro Bowl guard Josh Sitton today, too, which is a strong and expensive addition, but wisely is only a two-year deal that won’t infringe on any future plans.

That’s the strategy now, and there’s no denying it.

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Check out The Palm Beach Post‘s Miami Dolphins page on Facebook

Miami Dolphins RT Ja’Wuan James appears to be staying put

Ja’Wuan James (right) seems to be staying with the Dolphins. (Allen Eyestone/The Post)

As the Dolphins shuffle their roster and look to solidify the offensive line, they’ll save themselves some work by keeping right tackle Ja’Wuan James.

Miami exercised a $9.3 million team option on James for the 2018 season, and it appears he will play on that contract this year. James and left tackle Laremy Tunsil both posted messages on Instagram hinting that they will continue to play together.

The Dolphins are able to rescind the option if James has recovered from the hamstring injury that ended his 2017 season in November, and coach Adam Gase indicated last month they were considering going that route.

“As far as medically, he’s healthy, and we’ve got to make a decision here coming up,” Gase said at the NFL Combine.

The team still has until Wednesday at 4 p.m. to rescind James’ contract, which would make him an unrestricted free agent. There would likely be a strong market for him.

The Dolphins drafted James, 25, No. 19 overall in 2014. He was healthy as a rookie and in 2016, starting all 16 games in both seasons, but played eight or fewer games in 2014 and ’17. Pro Football Focus ranked him the 17th-best tackle, left or right, in the league last season.

Gase seemed less impressed, saying he was inconsistent and hadn’t shown clear improvement in 2017.

“I think Ja’Wuan’s had some really good games, then he’s had some games where I’m sure he would say he wished he played a little better,” he said in November. “I think that’s been the story of the first half of our season: inconsistent across the board with everybody on offense. (Mike) Pouncey’s the only one I can say every game I’m seeing the same things that are good.”

By playing under the team option this year, his salary will eclipse the total of $8.4 million he earned over his first four seasons.

Keeping him gives Miami three starters locked in for the upcoming season. In addition to him and Tunsil, the Dolphins have Pouncey entrenched at center.

They have two guards in Jesse Davis and Ted Larsen, but the question now is whether they’re content to push ahead with this starting five. Larsen played left guard last season, but said he wanted to switch to right. Davis played both guard spots and right tackle for the Dolphins.

The team said one objective this offseason was to determine where Davis fits best, and hanging on to James rules out right tackle.

The Dolphins can still consider alternatives at guard in free agency, though one of the top targets is off the market. Former Carolina guard Andrew Norwell agreed to a five-year, $66.5 million deal with the Jaguars this morning.

Miami also has options in the draft, where it picks No. 11 in the first round and No. 42 overall in the second.

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‘Travesty’ and trepidation: Past, present Miami Dolphins sweating out Jarvis Landry drama

O.J. McDuffie celebrates a first down for the Dolphins in 1993. (Richard Graulich / Palm Beach Post)

HOLLYWOOD — One was a featured back for the Dolphins, the other, Dan Marino’s go-to man when it came to moving the chains.

Together, Terry Kirby and O.J. McDuffie likely sound like many fans sweating out the ever-increasing prospect of the Dolphins parting with Jarvis Landry.

“It would be a travesty,” Kirby said.

“If you let a guy like that go, you better have a contingency plan,” McDuffie said.

Terry Kirby had 1,264 combined yards from scrimmage as a rookie in 1993. (Getty Images)

They were two of the Dolphins past and present surveyed at the gala dinner hosted by the Jason Taylor Foundation at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.

The Dolphins have made Landry their franchise player but have granted him and his agent permission to try to facilitate a trade. Those at the gala dinner did not appear to find that prospect appetizing.

McDuffie is the last person who needs to be convinced of Landry’s value. There was a time that McDuffie was Landry, fearless in traffic in pursuit of first downs. It’s no coincidence both answer to the nickname Juice.

“They’d call me a possession receiver,” McDuffie said. “I say, ‘Yeah, I make sure we keep possession of the football. And that’s what it’s all about — moving the chains, doing the dirty work.”

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Bottom line, from McDuffie’s perspective: “I would do everything I can if I were them to keep him around.”

It’s a no-brainer for Kirby, selected in the third round in 1993, 53 picks after first-rounder McDuffie.

“Why wouldn’t you keep him here, because he’s the nucleus of your team?” Kirby said. “People want to come here because of him.”

Losing Landry would leave a receiving corps of Kenny Stills, a proven deep threat, and a lot of question marks, not the least of which is DeVante Parker.

“Can anybody go inside?” McDuffie said. “Inside, you can’t just be fast or quick or whatever. You’ve got to be really smart on the inside because so much happens, a lot faster on the inside than it does on the outside. So you’ve got to have somebody who can handle all that.”

Running back Ronnie Brown was the second overall pick in 2005 and had 1,915 yards his first two seasons. (Allen Eyestone / The Palm Beach Post)

There was a time last season when coach Adam Gase called his offense “garbage.” And that was with Landry, the team’s co-MVP two seasons ago.

“If you don’t have a long ball, what else do you have? You’ve got possession offense,” Kirby said. “It’s mind-boggling.”

Ronnie Brown, a former running back and 2005 first-round pick, said losing Landry would muck up an already tricky situation because quarterback Ryan Tannehill missed 2017 with a knee injury.

“Now he’s going to have to have a new receiver that he’s not familiar with,” Brown said.

Landry showed up for optional workouts last offseason in a good-faith gesture he hoped would be rewarded.

“As a player, you want to send the right message to your teammates, like, ‘Hey, I want to be here,’ ” Brown said. “You want the organization to receive that and kind of credit you for that.”

Taylor, the host of the evening, experienced tough negotiations himself. He too was a Dolphins draftee who performed beyond expectations only to eventually wake up one day and learn what he had to offer didn’t match the organization’s view of what it could offer him.

“Having been on that side as a franchise player, and having been on that side in being traded and released, it’s a business for both parties,” Taylor said. “We only get a couple of cracks at this apple if we’re lucky.”

So Taylor has empathy for both sides.

“Landry has done some unprecedented things in this league in his first four years,” Taylor said. “He’s very deserving of a contract and some stability, and the Dolphins also have an obligation to control their cap. There’s not a ton of money out there right now cap-wise, but Mike Tannenbaum and Chris Grier and those guys will work it out and figure out what’s best for the organization.”

Safe to say there are plenty in the locker room who hope what’s best for the Dolphins is figuring out a way to bring back No. 14.

“Jarvis is going to get what he’s earned in this league and that’s the way it’s going to go,” center Mike Pouncey said. “I think he wants to be in Miami and he’ll be a Miami Dolphin.

“I hope we sign him back.”

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Miami Dolphins’ Mike Pouncey ‘not concerned’ about apparent threat by Jonathan Martin

Mike Pouncey said he hopes former teammate Jonathan Martin (above) gets the help he needs. (Allen Eyestone/ Post photo)

HOLLYWOOD — If Jonathan Martin thought his bizarre post last week would send a message to Mike Pouncey, he’s mistaken.

Martin, a former Dolphin, posted an image on Instagram of a rifle and bullets and the words, “When you’re a bully victim & a coward, your options are suicide, or revenge.” Pouncey’s name was among those he listed in an obvious reference to the bullying scandal of 2013.

Martin also listed Harvard-Westlake, his high school in California, which took the issue seriously enough to file a restraining order against him, according to multiple reports.

But Pouncey shrugged any suggestion he might feel threatened.

“For what?” Pouncey said. “I’m not concerned about anybody coming looking for me.”

Pouncey, the Dolphins’ center, spoke to The Post at the annual dinner gala at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino to benefit the Jason Taylor Foundation.

Harvard-Westlake’s restraining order prohibits Martin from coming within 150 yards of his alma mater, which closed for a day upon seeing his post.

Martin reportedly is being treated in a mental health facility.

During the 2013 season, Martin blamed then-Dolphins teammates Richie Incognito and Pouncey for bullying him, triggering an NFL investigation and leading to Martin’s departure from Miami and eventually the NFL. Incognito also was tagged on the Instagram post.

“None at all,” Pouncey said of his reaction when he saw the post. “But I was concerned for him and that he needed to get some help.”

Asked if he’s surprised that Martin apparently holds such negative feelings toward him after 4 1/2 years, Pouncey said, “I have no idea. You have to ask him. It doesn’t bother me one bit.”

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