Losing a draft pick isn’t as big of a deal as not knowing who your starting quarterback is going to be.
The NFL handed down its punishment to the Miami Dolphins and owner Stephen Ross earlier today. The Dolphins lost their 2022 first-round pick, their 2024 third-round pick and Ross was fined.
However, I don’t think the loss of picks is a big deal for Miami—that is, unless quarterback Tua Tagovailoa struggles this season. If Tua can succeed, I believe this team is still in a good spot to have a successful season. If Tua struggles, they are going to wish they had that draft pick in a hurry.
What this means for Miami’s future
Miami still has the 49ers’ 2023 first-round pick. So, losing its own pick only matters if the team needs to trade up in the draft for a top quarterback prospect or cobble together a package for a star quarterback next offseason. I wouldn’t be worried about the loss of picks affecting the team’s on-field performance this season.
Miami’s long-term future always depended on the young quarterback’s success. Now the safety net of additional draft capital has been taken away, and that would absolutely worry me as a general manager.
The Dolphins set themselves up to have a backup plan if Tagovialoa didn’t improve this coming season. Instead, they’ll hope Tagovailoa stays healthy and proves their selection of him in the 2020 draft was the right one
The Dolphins did a lot of good things this offseason like hiring Mike McDaniel, trading for Tyreek Hill and signing Terron Armstead. The punishment was directed at owner Stephen Ross more than the team itself. To get the best out of Tagovialoa, I would lean on Hill and Armstead.
Hill’s separation makes him a dynamic target at any level of the field. Armstead is a veteran leader, with who I would feel comfortable both protecting and guiding my potential franchise quarterback.
Those additions will go a long way in helping Tagovailoa reach his ceiling as a player too. If that happens, Miami won’t be too worried they’re missing an extra pick. They’ll have found their franchise quarterback.
Additionally, since the Dolphins are relying on the 49ers to have a poor season, their Dec. 4 matchup with the team will have extra intrigue. Also, McDaniel can prove he can be a successful head coach in the league by beating his former boss.