I’ve said this before, and I’ll continue to say it — the quickest way for the Dolphins to make Tua Tagovailoa a better quarterback is getting him a strong running game.

The Dolphins took a major step in making Tagovailoa a better quarterback last year by trading for wide receiver Tyreek Hill, who most likely is headed for the Hall of Fame.

Now, the Dolphins need to finish the job in free agency this year and get a workhorse running back.

In fact, acquiring a No. 1 running back should be the Dolphins’ top priority in free agency. Game-changers are available.

Cost is almost irrelevant.

This current window of opportunity might not be open long.

Franchise tags, which must be issued by Tuesday, are more relevant than price tags in this case.

If the Dolphins could acquire a free agent running back such as Las Vegas’ Josh Jacobs, Dallas’ Tony Pollard, Philadelphia’s Miles Sanders, or the New York Giants’ Saquon Barkley, the offense certainly would be more balanced and much improved, making Tagovailoa’s job much easier.

The workhorse running back shares offensive responsibility with the quarterback, gives the offensive play-caller more options, and offers a chance for the offensive line to be physical. All of those would greatly benefit the Dolphins.

The Dolphins don’t have a starting-caliber running back under contract. Starter Raheem Mostert and recently-acquired Jeff Wilson Jr., both of whom played for coach Mike McDaniel in San Francisco, are free agents.

The Dolphins could return either Mostert or Wilson (my preference would be Wilson), but it should be with the understanding they’re the No. 2 running back.

Of course, the Dolphins won’t necessarily have their pick of the free-agent running backs.

Jacobs, Pollard and Barkley could all get the franchise tag.

That would leave the Dolphins to battle it out for Sanders with teams such as, perhaps, Buffalo. It’d be a worthwhile fight.

Sanders, 27, rushed for a career-best 1,269 yards last season and 11 touchdowns. He averaged 4.9 yards per carry, which is right at his four-year career average of 5.0 yards per carry.

He had nine runs of 20 or more yards last season. The Dolphins had 10 such runs as a team.

Sanders, who had 50 receptions as a rookie, isn’t known as a receiver. He had 20 receptions for 78 yards last season.

But combined with Wilson or Mostert or someone else, receptions from the running back position shouldn’t be an issue.

None of this …read more

Source:: The Mercury News


Chris Perkins: Dolphins’ priority in free agency should be running back

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