The Miami Dolphins are currently in a bidding war for reigning Superbowl champ, CJ Anderson. There is no doubt that the loss of Lamar Miller hurts the Dolphins, but signing Anderson could be the perfect fit. Keep in mind the Dolphins are not a run heavy team. Despite the regime change at head coach and offensive coordinator, the Dolphins still appear to be dedicated to a west coast style offense (which is on par with the trend of today’s NFL).
If the Dolphins had any intention of being a run heavy team, they would have given Lamar Miller whatever he asked for. On the contrary they allowed him to walk over less than a $2million dollar difference per year. They immediately pursued an aging Matt Forte after losing Miller, but they were only going to sign Forte if they could do it at their price. In the end the Jets were ultimately the victors in securing Forte after losing Chris Ivory to the Jaguars.
Now with all of the major free agent running backs already gone just one day in to free agency, the Dolphins must move quickly if they want to secure a veteran running back. Despite the current uncertainty surrounding the running back position, the Dolphins should not panic. The Dolphins acquired Jay Ajayi in last year’s draft and the coaching staff has already expressed confidence that he can carry the load as a 3-down back. This gives the Dolphins some flexibility. They won’t be forced to burn their first round pick on a running back just because Miller is out.
But acquiring some veteran support for young Ajayi will be critical. Anderson may be small but he has been extremely effective over the past 2 seasons. Last year he finished the season with 720 rushing yards, 183 receiving yards, and 5 total touchdowns. That was a slight drop off from his 2014 stats due to a committee backfield in Denver last season with Ronnie Hillman. An important fact to note is that during Anderson’s most productive season to date (2014) his offensive coordinator was none other than Dolphins newly hired head coach, Adam Gase. If there is anyone who knows how to get production out of Anderson, it’s Gase. Anderson looked elite at times in 2014; finishing the season with 849 rushing yards, 324 receiving yards, and 10 total touchdowns respectively. If the Dolphins are able to secure Anderson, he and Ajayi could be quite the 1-2 punch for this offense which already features a bevy of talent, including breakout star Jarvis Landry.
Adam Beasley reported this evening that the Dolphins offered Anderson a 4 year deal for $18 million today during his visit. Since Anderson is a tendered free agent, the Broncos will have 5 days to either match the Dolphins offer or let Anderson walk. The clock is officially ticking for Denver…