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Miami Dolphins 2021 free-agency outlook

The Miami Dolphins enter 2021 with plenty of draft picks and cap space, but they also have some questions to answer at quarterback.

Miami Dolphins v Buffalo Bills Photo by Timothy T Ludwig/Getty Images

The Miami Dolphins missed the playoffs by the slimmest of margins in 2020, falling out of the race during the final week of the regular season. While their 10-6 record still represents a remarkable leap forward for the team and young head coach Brian Flores, the franchise still faces major questions, particularly at quarterback.

The Dolphins made Tua Tagovailoa the No. 5 overall pick this past April and the young signal-caller has yet to prove whether he can provide a long-term solution at the position. At times, Tagovailoa resembled the form he displayed at Alabama, abusing defenses on run-pass options and bootlegs. However, when forced to operate on straight dropbacks, the rookie too often faltered. The team needs more time to figure out what kind of player Tagovailoa will become.

This ambiguity creates multiple problems. The Dolphins own the No. 3 overall pick thanks to the highly favorable trade of Laremy Tunsil to the Houston Texans in 2019. Despite Tagovailoa’s presence, that pick could conceivably bring a different quarterback to Miami not unlike how the Arizona Cardinals drafted Kyler Murray one year after taking Josh Rosen. Additionally, the Dolphins appear to have a shot at Deshaun Watson, the superstar quarterback who recently demanded a trade from the Texans. Accordingly, Miami doesn’t lack for intrigue this offseason.

Lost revenue due to COVID-19 will impact every team. However, with so many free agents, the league-wide drop in salary-cap space could make things difficult. The 2020 number came in around $198 million with the 2021 number potentially falling to $180.5 million, according to Over The Cap, but is subject to change.

Options for franchise/transition tags

The Dolphins don’t have any major pending free agents to consider for the franchise or transition tag. Ted Karris, the most meaningful name on the list, has started every game at center for Miami in 2020 and served as a full-season starter for the New England Patriots the year before. While Karris should have a decent market, the team doesn’t need to tag him in order to bring him back.

Salary cap

Estimated 2021 cap space (Feb. 2): $23,719,465

2021 transactions

Free-agent signings


Free-agent departures




Notable unrestricted free agents

* Denotes Restricted Free Agent (RFA)

Dolphins 2021 Free Agents

Pos Player 2020 Team 2021 Team
Pos Player 2020 Team 2021 Team
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick Dolphins
RB Matt Breida Dolphins
RB DeAndre Washington Dolphins
WR Isaiah Ford Dolphins
WR Mack Hollins Dolphins
C Ted Karras Dolphins
LT Julie'n Davenport Dolphins
LG Adam Pankey* Dolphins
IDL Davon Godchaux Dolphins
LB Elandon Roberts Dolphins
LB Kamu Grugier-Hill Dolphins
LB Vince Biegel Dolphins
S Kavon Frazier Dolphins
P Matt Haack Dolphins