From blockbuster trades to updated contract negotiations, it's been a busy offseason for the Miami Dolphins front office.
General Manager Chris Grier and Assistant General Manager Marvin Allen met with media members Wednesday to discuss the team's recent offseason moves and preview the upcoming 2023 NFL Draft.
One topic of discussion was the team's decision to exercise quarterback Tua Tagovailoa's fifth-year option. Allen made clear the team and front office are excited for Tagovailoa to continue leading the franchise as its starting quarterback.
"We have all the faith in the world in him," Allen said. "He's our quarterback and we think, moving forward, he's going to be the quarterback that gets us to where we want to go."
Tagovailoa led the NFL in passer rating (105.5), red zone passer rating (112.2) and third-down passer rating (130.1) in 2022 and is thrilled to enter 2023 in the same offense for the second straight year.
"It's been a lot better of an offseason knowing that I don't have to learn a new system," Tagovailoa said. "I don't have to learn new formations, new motions, new snap points, new cadences. It's good to know that I already have a year under my belt within the offense. There's always going to be nuances, but it's not like a drastic change. So this is really good … We're all really excited to get things going."
Tagovailoa enters the 2023 offseason with some new wide receivers in Braxton Berrios and Chosen Anderson, two weapons with South Florida ties.
Berrios, a first-team Associated Press All-Pro kick returner in 2021, played collegiately at the University of Miami from 2014-17. Anderson, who's recorded 750-plus receiving yards in four of his seven NFL seasons, including reaching 1,096 yards in 2020, is a Fort Lauderdale native and played at nearby South Plantation High School.
Both wideouts are joining a talented receiving corps spearheaded by one of the league's most proficient duos in Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle.
"Braxton obviously has been a good returner in this league," Grier said. "We've known him obviously from the University of Miami here. So just watching him over his career, he's a professional and a great teammate. It's been fun getting to know him again in the building here over the last couple of days. He'll be our returner as well as playing some slot receiver, so we're excited for the versatility and the things he can do."
As for Anderson, the lure of coming back home was strong, but it also had to be the right fit for both sides.
"We told him we wanted him to come in and spend some time with him and get to know him," Grier said. "So he and I talked one day for about an hour-and-a-half and he got Mike (McDaniel) for over an hour. He and Wes (Welker) talked a bunch over a couple of days. We told him what the role would be and he was excited and all in on it and was excited to come here. I've enjoyed getting to know him and talk to him, so I am excited to add him."
Perhaps the biggest offseason news thus far, however, is the Dolphins' trade for three-time first-team All-Pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey.
Grier detailed the process of acquiring Ramsey and what the six-time Pro Bowl selection can bring to the organization.
"You guys have heard us talk for years about opportunities. We always investigate and do that, so we did our work," he said. "At the end of the day, for us, it made sense … So we're very excited to add him. He's been a very good player in this league. We still think he's a very good player."
When asked about playing alongside Ramsey, cornerback Xavien Howard praised Ramsey's physicality, adding that his presence will keep competition high on defense.
"I love it. I feel like we're definitely going to push each other and push everybody in the secondary, the whole defense, I'd say. They're going to start with us. I love it. I'm looking forward to competing."
In addition to talent acquisition in free agency, the 2023 NFL Draft is next week. Despite the team's first pick not coming until late in the second round (51), Grier and Allen are weighing all their options to put together the best possible roster.
"We've had a couple of teams in the bottom half of the first round reach out, saying they would be interested in coming down possibly if their guys aren't there, and if we'd be interested in moving," Grier said. "So for us, again, any opportunities we can to get a player, we'll look at it. So no serious conversations but we've had those and we'll keep those options open."
While Grier has shown he's not afraid to make a big move, Howard, a second-rounder himself and the longest-tenured Dolphin, serves as a strong reminder that there is plenty of value found after the first round.