The AFC West more or less hijacked the unofficial start of NFL free agency prior to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Buffalo Bills each making some noise with their respective moves, the latter of which resulted in Von Miller going to Buffalo.
But the Miami Dolphins actually have made some underrated additions to improve their talent at the skill positions, which offensive minded head coach Mike McDaniel surely will try to exploit throughout the 2022 campaign.
The Dolphins, who ranked 22nd in points scored, 25th in total yards, 30th in rushing yards and 31st in rushing yards per attempt under former head coach Brian Flores, went out and signed a pair of running backs in Chase Edmonds and Raheem Mostert as well as fullback Alec Ingold and an under-the-radar wideout.
Edmonds, who will enter his age-26 season, agreed to a two-year deal for $12.6 million. The former fourth-rounder is a dual-threat back who is coming off a career-high 592 rushing yards and 311 receiving yards despite playing just 12 games in 2021. He was beat out for goal-line duties by James Conner, but Edmonds’ speed and agility (4.55 40-yard dash in 2018) makes him an improvement to a previous depth chart headlined by Myles Gaskin and Salvon Ahmed.
Mostert is a bit more of a lottery ticket given his inability to stay healthy since entering the league in 2015. Mostert, at his best, went off for 950-plus total yards in 2019 — his lone 16-game season, which came with McDaniel serving as San Francisco’s run-game coordinator. Mostert played just nine games over the previous two years — he was hurt in the regular-season opener last season — which is likely why he signed a modest one-year, $3.125 million deal.
Still, if the Dolphins can get a full 16-game season out of either or both, a combination of Edmonds and/or Mostert, with Gaskin providing depth, is a strong backfield. They’ll have the privilege to run behind Ingold, who signed a two-year deal worth up to $7.5 million, after playing his first three seasons with the Raiders organization.
The Dolphins also added former Dallas Cowboys wideout Cedrick Wilson to a three-year deal to give Miami a three-receiver set that features Jaylen Waddle, DeVante Parker and Wilson. Tight end Mike Gesicki, who is set to play on the franchise tag, also gives quarterback Tua Tagovailoa another pass catcher. Wilson is coming off a third season in Dallas in which he recorded career highs in receiving yards (602), catches (45) and touchdowns (six). Wilson benefitted from facing opponents’ third or fourth cornerbacks in Dallas, but he’ll likely benefit from much of the same in Miami given the WR1 upside of Waddle.
Through the early going, it looks like McDaniel, formerly the offensive coordinator of the San Francisco 49ers, has tried to collect some high-upside players at the skill positions, and other teams around the AFC East and conference may want to take notice.