In the NFL, you should trust your eyes just as much as your ears — if not more so. Take, for instance, the Miami Dolphins’ decision to sign Isaiah Wynn to a one-year contract.
What the Dolphins told us Sunday without saying a word: Austin Jackson’s margin for error is not particularly wide.
The Dolphins are all-in for a Super Bowl in 2023, and they don’t intend to let any one player stand in their way, no matter his draft pedigree.
What Miami Dolphins’ Isaiah Wynn Signing Means
NFL Network first reported the signing. The terms of Wynn’s contract were not immediately available, but the fact that he’s signing a one-year deal in May — coming off an underachieving season cut short by a significant foot injury — suggests it’s a value deal for Miami.
How valuable the deal is won’t be known until we see Wynn on the field in training camp and preseason games.
But if he can find the form that made him a first-round pick and a 40-game starter for New England, it could be one of Chris Grier’s savviest moves this offseason.
In essence, the Dolphins are betting that either Wynn or Austin Jackson — another former first-rounder on a contract year– are good enough to protect Tua Tagovailoa’s blind side.
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Building a wall the (at least) three-times-concussed Tagovailoa should have been the No. 1 priority this offseason.
Instead, Grier and Mike McDaniel stayed the course, bringing back their entire projected starting offensive line from 2022. We say projected because Jackson hardly saw the field due to injuries.
The Dolphins seem to have been plotting this sort of move, if not this exact transaction, for months. And after adding little to the position this cycle other than seventh-round rookie Ryan Hayes, the time had come to address the biggest remaining need.
McDaniel said the following in late March when asked about potentially adding a veteran lineman:
“Oh, always have plans. There’s an opportunity cost for everything. So, I think one of the things in regard to the offensive line is that of course, you’re always going to want to upgrade every position. In the particular circumstance with the offensive line, do I think in order to upgrade the position for us with the talent that we have, do you want to spend $12-20 million to do that? Is that the best way to spend your money? In our particular circumstance, you’re always trying to figure out what the perfect solution is for your team.
“In our circumstance, I want to get the guys that we have on the team better. Okay, but I also want to take advantage of, we have some ideas and thoughts of players that are still out there. We’re taking our time with the market and seeing how that plays out, and there’s some stuff we have in thoughts of the draft. But of course, that will be addressed.
“Obviously, from last season, depth can and will be tested, but you’re trying to do it within the framework of what’s the best and all your needs of your team and what you can manage as a coaching staff and what you need to outsource with additions of players that can’t be coach-driven.”
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The Dolphins have already put Jackson atop their 2023 depth chart at right tackle, but plans in May can change about three times by September.
Wynn was an above-average left tackle during his time in New England, and at the very least, gives the Dolphins protection at both tackle spots in case of injury.