NASHVILLE, TN – NOVEMBER 11: Dwayne Allen #83 of the New England Patriots dives over Jayon Brown #55 of the Tennessee Titans with the ball during the second quarter at Nissan Stadium on November 11, 2018 in Nashville, Tennessee. (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
For those looking for early evidence of whether Miami Dolphins GM Chris Grier was the right man for the job just got their first clue, and it’s not looking good early.
Do we already have a sign as to whether Chris Grier is the right man for the job as general manager of the Dolphins?
The signing of Dwayne Allen, itself, isn’t necessarily a bad move. He is under 30 years old and the deal is reportedly only $7M over two years so it’s not a huge financial commitment. And, maybe, he brings the “Patriot Way” to Miami. (Although, after being hammered with it for the past two years, I don’t believe in this ‘culture’ nonsense anymore.)
Where this signing makes Grier look bad is what it says about his player evaluation skills. While others, myself especially, believed the Dolphins should have selected now-Eagles tight end Dallas Goedert in the second round, Grier decided to go with the ‘sexy’ pick of Mike Gesicki.
It’s too early to say whether Gesicki will work out as a pass-catching threat but he clearly isn’t a skilled blocker. To compensate for his known deficiency in this area, Grier also used a fourth round selection on TE Durham Smythe. Finally, since neither Gesicki nor Smythe looked ready as rookies, the Dolphins signed Nick O’Leary off their practice squad to a two year contract last year. That is three tight ends acquired under Grier’s ‘watch’ that have now been nullified by the free agent signing of Allen.
There are those that will point to the fact that releasing O’Leary would only count $100k against the cap. You’re right.
There are those that would say that Adam Gase was given control over the 53-man roster. Their right too.
That said, Grier was the “GM” and is supposed to be this ‘savant’ talent evaluator that is going to lead the Dolphins into the next “golden age” in franchise history. If that’s the case, how does he justify the signing of Allen?
If Allen is needed, then Grier apparently missed ‘twice’ in the draft. If Grier didn’t miss on Gesicki and Smythe, then his first act as the leader of the Dolphins was to spend $7M on a ‘culture setter’ when he has been around for the last two years and seen that it doesn’t really matter. And if he made this signing solely on the recommendation of new head coach Brian Flores, then aren’t we just reliving the Adam Gase era all over again and what exactly is Chris Grier’s job then?
Now to revisit the original question. Does this signing mean that Grier was the wrong man to lead the organization? Not necessarily. Does it mean he is going to continue making the same mistakes as past GMs? No. However, if you agree with the points made above, it’s not a great way to start, is it?