Miami Dolphins Keep Losing, Players Reportedly Planning to Quit

By Brad Shumer
Sports Business Writer

The stadium of the Miami Dolphins (Photo courtesy of

The NFL season is just over two weeks old. However, following the Miami Dolphins’ embarrassing 59-10 loss at home in the season opener against the Baltimore Ravens, Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio reported “multiple Dolphins players contacted their agents after Sunday’s season-opening blowout loss and directed them to attempt to engineer trades elsewhere.”

It is believed among the players that the coaching staff, despite claiming their attempt to win, aren’t serious about winning and are all about stockpiling high draft picks for the future. Dolphins first year coach Brian Flores has consistently denied any notion that the team is trying to “tank” or purposely lose. Following a trade of tackle Laremy Tunsil and receiver Kenny Stills to the Houston Texans, it is hard for the players to believe that the team is not trying to tank. The Dolphins have insisted that they have not heard from any agents or players regarding the demand to be traded and that they have not received any requests from players to be dealt.

Tanking has become very common in the NBA and is starting to grow in popularity in the MLB as teams look for success down the road. The strategy hasn’t caught on in the NFL for a few reasons.

First, the level of parity means a team can go from being really bad to a Super Bowl contender. Take the Los Angeles Rams for instance: they were 4-12 in 2016 and played in the Super Bowl just two years later.

Next, the players may not be sold and not want to get on board for financial reasons. Guaranteed contracts in the MLB and NBA means a player will get paid regardless of how the team performs. That security blanket does not exist yet in the NFL, and if the owner’s get their way, never will.

Finally, Career longevity and long-term health in the NFL are huge concerns compared to the MLB or NFL. Players know that their window of opportunity may be short and constantly shrinking, and do not want to spend this time on the field losing.

It is hard to blame the Dolphins for going into a complete teardown. They have made the playoffs just twice since 2001 and part of that is due to their inability to commit to a long-term plan. Ten different quarterbacks have finished the season as the team’s passing leader during this stretch. The Fins have a couple of options: they can either be patient with 22 year old Josh Rosen and give him time to develop, or they can try to lose as much as possible, and increase their chances of landing Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa or Oregon QB Justin Herbert with the No. 1 pick in the 2020 draft. Both of these strategies would be an upgrade over what they have done over the last 20 years or so. The Dolphins without much of a doubt will face growing pains as they attempt to hoard high draft picks and brighten up their future with said high draft picks.


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