The Miami Dolphins are not going to be competitive in 2019, because they are not going to try to be. According to the Miami Herald, the Dolphins plan to suck on purpose (for once) in 2019, so as to put themselves in a position to draft Tua Tagovailoa.
Nothing against Tagovailoa, but: What?
Tanking is a dirty, shameful thing that should be used only in the most desperate and extreme circumstances. This? This is taking a 7-9 team and trashing it just to get the … second- or third-best quarterback prospect in college football?
If you’re going to engage in this kind of behavior, the guy you tank for is Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence, who cooked Alabama in the national championship game. Since Lawrence is a true freshman, the Dolphins would have to wait until 2020 to draft him. But that just gives Miami more time to get really bad.
And the Dolphins could use that, because the organization says it plans to tank organically, which is to say the Dolphins don’t intend to throw games, they just plan to put together a team that’s so bad they don’t have to.
Many Dolphins fans believe “tanking” to mean that the coaching staff, players, and everyone in the organization will do what is necessary to lose. That is an artificial approach the Dolphins are definitely not going to take. The Dolphins aren’t going to throw games on purpose. Miami’s approach to tanking will be organic. The club will not dive into the deep end of the free agency pool in 2019, as I reported inartfully in my column Tuesday morning. So every significant roster need the Dolphins have now — offensive line, defensive line, cornerback, quarterback — will not be filled with the best (highest-priced) player available at the position.
I’d hate for this piece to come off as a prediction of failure for Tagovailoa. To me, he looks like about as good a quarterback prospect as any in the 2019 draft class. I just don’t know that we’re looking at Peyton Manning or Cam Newton here, and I’m not sure it sounds like such a good idea to willfully create a losing culture just for the right to draft a guy who looks like he might just as easily be Jameis Winston as Patrick Mahomes.
The risk-reward is a little off on this one