Twenty years later, Miami has assembled its best team since.
The Dolphins currently need only a left tackle and a starting cornerback to be complete. That's it. Two players.
With the recent signings of Lance Louis, Vaughn Martin and Brent Grimes, Miami's available money for free agents has almost been depleted. This doesn't mean that general manager Jeff Ireland is done shopping.
Miami may be able to squeeze out one more significant free-agent signing, and then it has 11 selections in the 2013 NFL draft.
The possibilities are tantalizing.
Head coach Joe Philbin has an intelligent, athletic, strong-armed quarterback in Ryan Tannehill and now has the weapons to open up the offense, Green Bay style. Mike Wallace, Brian Hartline, Dustin Keller, Brandon Gibson and Davone Bess are arguably the best group of receivers in the league. Lamar Miller, out of the backfield, will surprise those who have not followed the University of Miami in recent years.
How about a little Tavon Austin frosting on that cake?
Tannehill will receive snaps from Mike Pouncey, who will be a perennial Pro Bowler. Richie Incognito was in the Pro Bowl this year, and Lance Louis will provide an upgrade over John Jerry. Jonathan Martin is a solid right tackle who can switch over if needed. The line would be formidable with Luke Joeckel, Eric Fisher or Lane Johnson at left tackle.
The defense will feature a wall in the middle with Randy Starks and Paul Soliai, a world-beating left end in Cameron Wake, and Reshad Jones, a rising star at strong safety.
The linebacker corps, featuring Dannell Ellerbe, Philip Wheeler and Koa Misi, is young and athletic.
Dimitri Patterson and Richard Marshall are solid as third and fourth cornerbacks. Who will be on the opposite side of Brent Grimes? How about Desmond Trufant?
The Dolphins have depth as well with Matt Moore, who could start for a handful of teams, and Nate Garner, a top-notch sixth lineman.
Who says you have to build through the draft? Probably some caveman like Bill Parcells.
What happens next is a mystery, but it is a certainty that the Miami Dolphins will be contenders in 2013.
*Salary info courtesy of Spotrac.com
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