The Miami Dolphins enter the 2023 offseason with a lot of work to do, particularly with their cap situation, which, with some work, can result in an abundant amount of cap space.
Assuming that they take the route, let's dive into what options the Dolphins have in free agency in regards to a position that desperately needs attention this offseason - running backs.
Here is a look at the Top 5 targets for the Dolphins, and the likelihood of each landing in South Florida.
Barkley had a bounce back year in 2022 with the New York Giants, but the team is reportedly unwilling to pay Barkley the salary he wants, and according to ESPN's Dianna Russini, the Giants are prioritizing signing quarterback Daniel Jones.
According to the New York Post's Paul Schwartz, the Giants and Barkley still have a gap in negotiations. The Giants aren't willing to go higher than an annual average of $12.5 million, and have little interest in paying Barkley on the $10.1 million franchise tag designation.
With that big of a gap, the odds are that Barkley hits the free agent market.
With an obvious need at running back, Miami would seem like an option, especially given Barkley's fluid fit into the Dolphins offense.
Last season, Barkley rushed for 1,312 yards, 10 touchdowns and hauled in 57 receptions, and while injuries are a concern, having Barkley be the lead in a running back committee would be ideal for the Dolphins.
But would they be willing to pay for Barkley, especially considering more pressing needs along the offensive line and a history of not shelling out for a back?
In all likelihood, Barkley will hit the free agent market and will have plenty of suitors
Chances of Dolphins Signing: 50%
Another big ticket free agent looking to cash in on the free agent market, and one who will have his fair share of suitors.
Jacobs is coming off an incredible season for the disappointing Las Vegas Raiders, rushing for 1,653 yards with 12 touchdowns to go along with 53 receptions.
CBS Sports made the case that the Dolphins should pursue Jacobs, despite head coach Mike McDaniels' utilizing a running back by committee in his schemes.
Jacobs is the safer option for Miami, as opposed to Barkley, but may come with a much higher price tag.
Chances of Dolphins Signing: 55%
Hunt is the perfect fit for the Dolphins offense, and given his success while playing alongside current Dolphins receiver Tyreek Hill during their days with the Kansas City Chiefs, he would be welcomed with open arms.
I love Hunt as a part of the Dolphins' running back committee and he gives them the explosive receiving option that Raheem Mostert did, at times, for Miami in 2022.
Regardless of where Miami goes for their main back, I think there is a good chance Hunt joins the Dolphins in a rotational role.
Chances of Dolphins Signing: 80%
Raheem Mostert was a great fit in Miami, and did well to rebuild his stock following a pair of injury plagued seasons with the San Francisco 49ers.
Mostert is the perfect fit for McDaniels' system, and while he is approaching 31 years old, he still is one of the fastest players in the league.
Injuries hammered the Dolphins last season, and while Jeff Wilson was a good late season addition, Mostert is the player they need to retain moving forward, which would give the Dolphins incredible depth and versatility.
Chances of Dolphins Signing: 90%
Wilson was a trade deadline acquisition that gave the Dolphins a little late-season thump, but faded away down the stretch.
Wilson is a great depth guy, and knows the offensive system. While I wouldn't focus on re-signing Wilson as an immediate priority for Miami this offseason, they gave up draft capital to acquire him, and McDaniels will likely want to keep him around.
Wilson heading back to Miami, along with Mostert, seems like the route, unless another team jumps into the bidding.
Chances of Dolphins Signing: 75%
The Ideal 2023 Dolphins Backfield
Of all the options above, including surveying the free agent pool, I believe Miami needs to sign a top tier back and fill out the roster with speed, depth, and versatility.
With the likes of Hunt and Mostert being options to slide out as receiving options, it could potentially make the Dolphins offense that much more dangerous.
Here is how I would setup the Dolphins backfield for 2023:
RB1: Saquon Barkley (less money than Jacobs, won't have the workload he had in New York)
RB2: Raheem Mostert (he was solid in Miami. Run it back)
RB3: Kareem Hunt (a great tool in the offensive arsenal)
RB4: Jeff Wilson (a tough runner who can hit the defense hard late in games)
Other options: Ezekiel Elliott, Mark Ingram, Rashaad Penny
What would your Dolphins backfield in 2023 look like? Answer in the comments
Comments / 0