They have made the National Football League playoffs only four times since and just twice in the last 20 years.
It has been an embarrassing stretch for a team that plays in a region that is absolutely crazy about football.
But this offseason, the Dolphins have made some key additions.
First, they traded for Tyreek Hill, one of the best wide receivers in the league and perhaps the speediest one around.
Now, they have added running back Sony Michel, a man who has won two Super Bowls in just four pro seasons.
This comes on top of other key moves the franchise has made over the last couple of years.
The message is clear: Owner Stephen Ross and general manager Chris Grier are dead-serious about not only getting to the playoffs but also making a run at finishing first in the AFC East.
The Dolphins Are Not Playing Nice Anymore
After going 5-11 in 2019, Miami decided that enough was enough and that an overhaul was needed.
It took Tua Tagovailoa with the fifth pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, and although he hasn’t put it all together yet, people within the organization still have high hopes for him.
Many feel the Dolphins made a big mistake by not taking Justin Herbert with that pick, but Tagovailoa has shown enough promise.
Good morning Fins Fam! 🐬
— Cameron Sparks (@Cam3ronSparks) May 6, 2022
Then came the development of Xavien Howard, a cornerback whom the Dolphins had taken in the second round of the 2016 draft.
He blossomed in 2020, leading the NFL in interceptions and passes defended, which got him his second Pro Bowl nod and his first selection to the All-Pro First-team.
The Dolphins continued the building process in 2021 by taking wideout Jaylen Waddle with the sixth selection in the draft.
He had an impressive rookie year with 1,015 yards and six touchdowns on 104 receptions and a rock-strong 74.3 catch percentage.
Now, Miami will not only enjoy the services of Hill and Michel, but also Raheem Mostert, a running back they signed as a free agent.
— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) November 21, 2021
He has been injury-prone, but in five seasons with the San Francisco 49ers, he proved to be a solid back, putting up 772 yards, eight touchdowns and 5.6 yards per carry in 2019, the one season he appeared in every game.
That was the season the 49ers went to the Super Bowl.
Miami’s new head coach, Mike McDaniel, is certainly familiar with Mostert, as he coached him the last five seasons in San Francisco.
McDaniel started out in 2017 as a run game coordinator under head coach Kyle Shanahan, and last season he was promoted to offensive coordinator.
It All Rides On Tagovailoa
As impressive as the Dolphins’ personnel moves have been the last two years, they will only go as far as Tagovailoa takes them.
He has been up and down in his two NFL seasons, and after Miami started 1-7, he showed spark through the rest of the schedule, posting a passer rating of over 100 in four straight games while helping to lead the team to seven straight wins.
If, or when Tagovailoa becomes a Pro Bowl-caliber QB, the Dolphins may be poised to win the AFC East, perhaps not in 2022, but soon after that.