General Manager Chris Grier spoke to reporters at the owners meetings in Arizona on Monday. Here were some of his comments that stood out, along with some perspective:
“Right now it’s still a work in progress. We’re still evolving.”
— Grier discussed the current roster, which likely will undergo several more changes before the start of training camp in July. The Dolphins already have made some moves this offseason, but we’re still in the early stages of free agency, and then there’s the draft coming up and more potential moves in the second wave of free agency.
“I think it was very important to have the right type of guy. I think if you talk to anyone about Ryan and what type of person he is, he’s very popular in locker rooms.”
— Grier addressed the signing of veteran quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, indicating that one of the factors involved was his ability to get along with teammates. Fitzpatrick also has the right temperament to serve as a mentor for any young quarterback on the roster.
“I think it’s imperative that you have one that you can win with in this league. If we get to this year’s draft and we feel it’s him, we’ll be aggressive in trying to get him.”
— Grier made clear that the Dolphins are in the market for a franchise quarterback, but there’s no definitive timetable as to when that needs to be done. Obviously everyone involved would like it to happen sooner rather than later, but what matters most of all is getting it right.
“It would be important because I think it could send a message, which we want, that we want our good young players to be here. So we’re working on trying to get something done.”
— Cornerback Xavien Howard won team MVP honors last season after tying for the NFL lead with seven interceptions, and it’s clear he’s somebody the Dolphins would love to have around for several years. To that end, Grier said the team has been in negotiations with Howard’s agent in regards to a long-term contract.
“Eric was a very talented player coming out. He was someone that we liked coming out of college.”
— Grier discussed the acquisition of free agent cornerback Eric Rowe, who spent the past three seasons with the New England Patriots after playing as a rookie with the Eagles. Grier said the Dolphins almost traded for him before he was dealt to New England because his potential always has been evident. Injuries have held Rowe back a bit in recent years, but the Dolphins are hoping he can reach another level if he can stay healthy.
“We made the change. We talked about building the foundation and building it up the right way. So that's all it is. There's no tanking.”
— Grier said the whole blueprint for the Dolphins in 2019 is about setting up the right kind of foundation and building the team with a sound plan. This has been a consistent theme all offseason, to build a team that can achieve success over the long haul instead of being more focused on the immediate future.