NFL executives have major concerns for Miami Dolphins after big offseason losses

4 Min Read
Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Numerous NFL executives provided dreary outlooks for the Miami Dolphins after the team lost multiple key contributors this offseason.

“You can make the case they have exhausted the model even before paying the quarterback,” one executive told The Athletic.

Robert Hunt, Christian Wilkins, Xavien Howard and Andrew Van Ginkel are among the players who suited up for the Dolphins during the 2023 season that are no longer members of the team.

“I think they got in trouble just acquiring people thinking last year was going to be a bigger year for them than it wound up being,” another exec said.

One executive pointed out a concerning reality regarding a loss of homegrown talent.

“What is interesting about them is the players they lost were homegrown, drafted players, which is not how you want things to go,” that exec said. “You want to extend your own. But they are on their third defensive coordinator in three years, and that changes how players are viewed. Van Ginkel was probably the one that hurt the most (after Wilkins). And then think of all the surplus value Wilkins got from not being tagged.”

Van Ginkel agreed to a two-year, $20 million deal with the Minnesota Vikings in March, just weeks after he expressed interest in remaining with the Dolphins franchise.

In 11 starts and 17 games played with the Dolphins in the 2023 regular season, he totaled 69 combined tackles, 42 solo tackles, 27 assists on tackles, eight tackles for loss and 19 quarterback hits. He also recovered one fumble and came up with one interception in his fifth season in Miami. Van Ginkel was selected by the Dolphins in the fifth round of the 2019 NFL Draft.

Moving on to another major loss for the Dolphins, Wilkins inked a lucrative deal with the Las Vegas Raiders worth $110 million over four years. He was one of Miami’s more effective players during the 2023 campaign, considering he finished with nine sacks to go along with 65 combined tackles, 38 solo tackles, 27 assists on tackles, 23 hits on the quarterback and 10 tackles for loss.

Like Van Ginkel, Wilkins was selected by Miami in the 2019 NFL Draft, though he was selected much earlier in the draft. The Dolphins used the No. 13 overall pick on the Massachusetts native.

Those are just a couple examples of key players who will no longer be playing in South Florida.

While the Dolphins put together an impressive 2023 regular season, the team flamed out when it mattered most. Miami lost to the Kansas City Chiefs in the playoffs by 19 points on Jan. 13.

Despite losing several talented players in the offseason, the Dolphins still have some of the best offensive players in the NFL in Tua Tagovailoa, Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle. However, if the executives’ comments are any indication, there seems to be skepticism in NFL circles regarding whether the Dolphins can take that next step as a team and succeed in the playoffs.

Share This Article
Jesse is a 23-year-old sports journalist. He has experience covering football at the high-school and professional levels.