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Miami Dolphins offseason moves earn strong praise from NFL executives

The Miami Dolphins made the playoffs this past season for the first time in six years. As the franchise now seeks to win its first playoff game since Dec. 30, 2020, ownership and the front office seemed to be on the same page for an all-in approach.

Whereas the Buffalo Bills and New England Patriots exercised a relatively quiet approach to the offseason, Miami was aggressive. It traded for All-Pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey, signed standout linebacker David Long Jr. and made Vic Fangio the highest-paid defensive coordinator in NFL history.

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Operating without any first-round picks, the result of the Bradley Chubb trade and NFL discipline, Miami utilized free agency and trades to fortify its roster. Now, they are viewed as a team on the rise that could be a viable AFC power in 2023.

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The Athletic’s Mike Sando spoke to NFL executives about how all 32 teams fared this offseason. Regarding the Dolphins’, several high-ranking officials from other teams praised Miami’s moves.

“I like what they have done. You can tell there are directives from the owner of being all-in, or at least that is what it looks like. It almost feels like it is this year or bust. They see the window — can you make something happen this year?”

Anonymous NFL executive on Miami Dolphins offseason approach

Miami was able to take advantage of a unique situation with Ramsey. The Los Angeles Rams wanted to offload him to begin their rebuild and the standout cornerback strongly preferred to play for the Dolphins. Thanks to those circumstances, Miami only had to trade tight end Hunter Long and the 77th overall pick to land one of the best defensive backs in football.

The Dolphins weren’t finished, adding Long Jr. to fortify their linebacker group. While the 26-year-old didn’t receive a Pro Bowl selection this past season, Pro Football Focus graded him as one of the top off-ball linebackers in the NFL.

By adding Ramsey and Long Jr., Miami provided Fangio with two important chess pieces for his scheme. Ramsey can be moved around freely in Miami, playing the “Star” position that has become increasingly popular around the league and Long Jr. improves the run defense.

As another NFL executive also pointed out, adding these players will help the Dolphins practice more effectively with better players competing against one another.

“I like Long, I like Ramsey with (new defensive coordinator) Vic Fangio and I like Mike White. Yeah, they are going for it. You got Ramsey and Xavien Howard going against Jaylen Waddle and Tyreek Hill in practice. Those will be some good one-on-one periods. I like that they are staying aggressive, going for it with a quarterback on a rookie deal. I have no issues with what they are doing.”

NFL executive on how the Miami Dolphins offseason moves improve entire team

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While the signing of Mike White drew limited fanfare, it was another investment many around the NFL liked. The 28-year-old quarterback is an effective fill-in starter who can take advantage of the talent around him. If Tua Tagovailoa misses time in 2023, the Dolphins have a viable option to take over without this offense collapsing.

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