Report: Dolphins mulling changes to starting safeties this offseason

Kyle Crabbs
·2 min read

The Miami Dolphins’ efforts to overhaul their defense yielded plenty of success in 2020; the Dolphins rode the group through crunch time in a number of close games on their way to a 10-win season. Points allowed? Down. Turnovers? Up. Yards allowed? Down. This group wasn’t perfect, but they sure found their stride and certainly became a playoff caliber unit in 2020. But, as the saying goes, the NFL is the “Not For Long” for a reason.

According to a report from Barry Jackson & Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald, the Dolphins may be on their way to changing things up on the back end of their defense this offseason.

“A source said…Miami is carefully evaluating whether status quo at that position is the right way to go. As is often the case, there are financial issues that will factor in,” wrote the Herald.

“And the Dolphins love rookie third-rounder Brandon Jones and envision a prominent role for him in 2021.”

This would be quite the shift and evolution for the Dolphins — given that Rowe is a successful coverage option against opposing tight ends and McCain entered into a very vocal leadership role on the defensive unit in 2020. The Dolphins’ roster didn’t have a ton of savvy veteran players, but McCain was among them — and his communication skills definitely helped serve as glue to keep Miami’s coverages together through the season.

Jones, on the other hand, is definitely an exciting young talent and his appeal to the Dolphins’ staff is obvious. The team made him a 3rd-round selection and Jones did well to play in and around the box last season — serving as the kind of hybrid presence that makes Miami’s defense so confusing to opposing passers. But Jones will need to take steps in his coverage ability if he were to successfully take over a starting role from either McCain as the free safety or Rowe as the strong safety.

And, if the Dolphins choose to turn the room completely on its head for financial purposes, they’ll likely find themselves in the market for at least on to pair with Jones to ensure they can continue to thrive with a safety serving run fits in the box while the other plays the high-post in Miami’s defense next season and beyond.