During the 2022 offseason, the Miami Dolphins spent a lot of resources and assets to upgrade the roster around Tua Tagovailoa. They wanted to ensure that he had as good of a chance as possible to succeed, so they made a blockbuster trade acquiring Tyreek Hill from the Kansas City Chiefs.
The move has paid off, as Miami has one of the most efficient passing offenses in the NFL. Tagovailoa has faced a lot of scrutinies thus far in his career, but there is no denying the production that he has provided this season.
Hill and Jaylen Waddle are arguably the best wide receiver duo in the NFL as they have combined for 132 receptions and 2,026 yards and 10 touchdowns. That is elite production, but if the Dolphins want to sustain this level of success, they need to continue upgrading the roster around Tagovailoa and their explosive wide receiver duo.
Beyond those two, the rest of the team has combined for only 1,033 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns. Even more concerning is the running game production or lack thereof. Miami is currently ranked 29th in rushing yards this season with 977.
For this offense to reach its full potential, they need to find some semblance of a running game. They tried upgrading the running back depth chart similarly to the passing game, but it wasn’t nearly as successful.
They are hopeful that Jeff Wilson Jr., who they acquired from the San Francisco 49ers ahead of the trade deadline, can help them get on track alongside Raheem Mostert. Chase Edmonds was another signing along with Mostert, but he has since been traded to the Denver Broncos as part of the return package for Bradley Chubb.
It will likely take some cap maneuvering and a sizable commitment, but the Dolphins need to already be planning on making a run in free agency at a running back upgrade. They should aim for the top and pursue Saquon Barkley.
Barkley has been rejuvenated this season, showcasing once again why he was selected No. 2 overall in the 2018 NFL Draft. Barkley has been the centerpiece of the New York Giants’ offensive attack under Brian Daboll. He currently leads the NFL in rushing yards and touches as New York is riding him hard.
This has been a huge bounceback season for Barkley, who has struggled the last three seasons with injuries and ineffectiveness behind a putrid offensive line. Daboll has done a great job of getting the most out of this roster and on a weekly basis, Barkley showcases jaw-dropping athleticism and football ability.
Adding a player as explosive as him to this Dolphins’ offense would make them the best unit in the NFL. Teams already struggle to keep up with the speed of Hill and Waddle; imagine how tough Barkley would be to stop with defenses not able to stack the box and being stretched thin attempting to slow them down on the perimeter?
Miami doesn’t currently have a running back on the roster under contract for 2023, so the position will be one that they look to address during the upcoming offseason. Barkley will not be cheap, but he is worth the price it will take to land him as he is right there with Christian McCaffrey as the best all-around running back in the NFL.
Tagovailoa is already thriving this season, but if there was a competent running game complementing him, his game could reach new heights. Tasked with keeping up with the Buffalo Bills and burgeoning New York Jets in the AFC East, Miami’s lack of a running game could come back to haunt them. Acquiring Barkley would quell all those worries.