Key Signings: Richard Marshall, CB/S; Paul Soliai (re-signed); David Garrard, QB; Legedu Naanee, WR; Gary Guyton, LB; Artis Hicks, OL; Joe Philbin, HC
Key Losses: Brandon Marshall, WR (trade); Kendall Langford, DT/DE; Phillip Merling, DE; Chad Henne, QB; Vernon Carey, OL
Draft Picks: Ryan Tannehill, QB, Texas A&M (8); Jonathan Martin, OT, Stanford (42); Olivier Vernon, DE, Miami (FL) (72); Michael Egnew, TE, Missouri (78); Lamar Miller, RB, Miami (FL) (97); Josh Kaddu, OLB/DE, Oregon (155); B.J. Cunningham, WR, Michigan State (183); Kheeston Randall, DT, Texas (215); Rishard Matthews, WR, Nevada (227)
That is the word that best describes Miami's offseason. Heck, that aptly describes Miami's past decade. It helps explain why Miami's season-ticket subscriptions have dwindled by half over that span, down to about 30,000.
Who can blame fans? After a decade of mediocrity or worse and 13 years into the post-Dan Marino era, the Dolphins are still searching for a franchise quarterback and stability all around.
Jeff Ireland and the Dolphins have been panned for almost every move they have made this offseason, including their future appearance on HBO's Hard Knocks.
Is it all warranted?
Free Agency: C-
Great teams seem to thrive utilizing the "draft and develop" mode of operation. Just look at the Green Bay Packers, who have done little in free agency over the years—particularly on offense—yet boast one of the league's best teams.
The Dolphins might have done little in free agency, but they do not have the track record to call that a positive thing, even if their lack of activity was by design.
They whiffed on Peyton Manning and then lowballed Matt Flynn—though it seems if they really wanted Flynn, they could have had him—and wound up with David Garrard as their big quarterback signing, a 34-year-old quarterback coming back after a season-long sabbatical while recovering from back surgery.
Other than the quarterback debacle, they made some quality, low-key signings. Richard Marshall will be a boon to the secondary, and Artis Hicks will provide quality depth on the offensive line while vying for a starting job on the right side.
And, yes, the Dolphins signed Chad Ochocinco to a low-risk deal, but that did not move the needle as far as this assessment goes. The Dolphins do not exactly have Green Bay's receiving corps, and they can cut him easily if he is a problem or does not produce.
This may have come as a surprise to some of Jeff Ireland's detractors, but the Dolphins had a solid draft highlighted by great value at several picks.
Though taking Tannehill eighth overall is seen as a reach, can you really blame Miami? He was Ireland's man, and it could not risk losing him by trading down. He compares favorably to fellow eighth-overall pick Jake Locker from 2011, and he is the first quarterback the Dolphins have taken in the first round since Dan Marino back in 1983.
Jonathan Martin was a great value for Miami with its second-round pick. His finesse style of play will fit in nicely with Miami's new zone-blocking scheme (ZBS), and he will be a massive upgrade over Marc Colombo despite not having played right tackle since high school.
The real steal of the draft came in the fourth round, where Miami was able to land Lamar Miller. The talented running back fell because of medical and intelligence concerns, but he is a first-round talent with game-breaking talent when healthy.
Overall Grade: C
The offseason has done little to stem the tide of criticism from around the league. It has become increasingly apparent that Stephen Ross is dictating big decisions, namely the Hard Knocks appearance and unsurprising Chad Ochocinco signing.
Hopefully that is the extent of Ross' meddling—agreeing to go on HBO's show was more about PR than anything.
This is a make-or-break year for Jeff Ireland. If his moves and draft picks pan out—at least to a certain degree, considering the offense is being rebuilt—he could buy himself one more season. If not, well, it will not be pretty for him in Miami.