When the American Football League wanted an expansion team, Joseph Robbie and Danny Thomas jumped at the chance.
A contest was held in 1966 to choose the name of the team, with the “Dolphins” as the overwhelming favorite.
The Miami Dolphins have mostly been known for their glory years in the 1970s and 1980s, and the Dolphins are the only team to have ever completed a perfect season (1972).
Currently, the organization is actively rebuilding to make the team more competitive in the AFC East.
Team Management and Roster for the Miami Dolphins
Stephen Ross is the owner of the team, and he has brought in Marc Anthony, Gloria Estefan, Venus Williams, and Serena Williams as minority owners.
When Ross hired Brian Flores as the new Head Coach in 2019, Flores did the best with the team he had, winning five games. In 2020, he’ll look to improve upon that record.
Chan Gailey will serve as the Offensive Coordinator, and Josh Boyer was hired as the Defensive Coordinator in January 2020.
For the current team roster, the Dolphins drafted Tua Tagovailoa in Round 1 of the 2020 NFL Draft because of the spark he provided on the field at the University of Alabama. In three years, he threw 87 touchdowns and only 11 interceptions.
But Tagovailoa also suffered a devastating hip injury in college, and the Dolphins will ease him into a starting role.
Veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick is projected to be the starting quarterback for most of the season. Josh Rosen is also on the roster.
At running back, Jordan Howard is expected to lead the backfield in touches. In 10 games with the Philadelphia Eagles last season, Howard rushed for 525 yards and scored six rushing touchdowns.
Matt Breida will also see playing time and is expected to be utilized as a pass-catching back.
At receiver, DeVante Parker will be leaned on heavily. Last season was the best of his career – he recorded 1,202 receiving yards and hauled in 9 touchdowns.
Behind Parker will be receivers Isaiah Ford, Preston Williams, Chester Rogers, Jakeem Grant, and Gary Jennings.
Tight end Mike Gesicki had a nice bump in production in 2019, and many are expecting another leap forward for the 24-year old tight end in 2020.
Shaq Lawson, Christian Wilkins, Kyle Van Noy, and Byron Jones will be the leaders on defense.
Super Bowl Championships
From 1971-1984, under former Head Coach Don Shula, the Dolphins appeared in five Super Bowls.
The Dolphins lost to the Dallas Cowboys in 1971, but the team won back-to-back championships with victories in 1972 and 1973.
Miami battled with Washington in the 1982 Super Bowl and the San Francisco 49ers in the 1984 Super Bowl, but the Dolphins were unable to win either matchup.
Famous Players From the Miami Dolphins
The most famous player in franchise history for Miami is Dan Marino.
The legendary quarterback led the NFL in passing yards five times, led the league in touchdowns three times, and he was selected to the Pro Bowl nine times.
But he has also been very active off the field. He started the Dan Marino Foundation in 1992, co-owned a NASCAR racing team in 1998, an appeared in two movies: Ace Venture: Pet Detective and the Adam Sandler film Little Nicky.
Marino also was in advertising campaigns for NutriSystem, Hooters, and Papa John’s.
Jason Taylor, Bob Griese, and Cameron Wake are also well-known players from their days with the Dolphins.
Odds for the Miami Dolphins to Win the Super Bowl
Miami is not expected to get very far this season.
The odds of the Dolphins winning a Super Bowl are +8000, according to FanDuel. In comparison, the odds for the Baltimore Ravens and the Kansas City Chiefs to win are +650.
In Week 1 against the New England Patriots, the Patriots are favorites (-6.5) to win.
Miami Dolphins Betting Preview
The Miami Dolphins began the 2019 season on the short list of teams expected to contend for the No. 1 overall pick, which at the time was widely expected to be Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa.
The Dolphins were on the right track after losing their first seven games, but they rallied to win five of their last nine, including one in dramatic fashion over the New England Patriots in the finale. Ironically, that didn’t prevent them from being able to draft Tagovailoa, who suffered a hip injury and dropped to the Dolphins at No. 5 overall.
Key offseason moves
The Dolphins made plenty of headlines during the 2019 season by trading away some of their best players for draft picks in an attempt to build for the future. They shipped OT Laremy Tunsil to Houston, S Minkah Fitzpatrick to Pittsburgh, RB Kenyan Drake to Arizona, and QB Ryan Tannehill to Tennessee.
Those trades gave Miami a total of 11 picks in the draft, including three in the first round. The Dolphins didn’t stop there. They signed 11 free agents, too.
They made their biggest splash in free agency by signing Dallas CB Byron Jones to a five-year deal worth $82.5 million, including $57 million guaranteed. Jones is not necessarily known as a ball hawk, but he limited quarterbacks to a 53% completion percentage when they targeted receivers he was covering.
He gives Miami a better chance to play man defense, which often leads to pass rushers getting more opportunity to pressure the quarterback.
That’s music to the ears of one of the team’s other signings - LB Kyle Van Noy.
With division rival New England last year, Van Noy had career-highs of 6.5 sacks, three passes defended, three forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries. The biggest strength Van Noy brings, however, is his versatility. He is well known as an all-around linebacker.
Dolphins head coach Brian Flores knows all about how valuable Van Noy can be. Flores was the Patriots’ linebackers coach from 2016-2018.
The move that has Dolphins fans salivating for the future, however, is the selection of Tagovailoa. The brief injury history that led to the Alabama superstar’s fall to No. 5 seems to be merely a footnote in the tale because of how great he was when he was healthy.
As a sophomore at Alabama, he passed for 3,966 yards, 43 touchdowns, and six interceptions despite sitting out almost every fourth quarter because the Crimson Tide often were ahead by a comfortable margin. He was on his way to an even more productive season as a junior in 2019 when he suffered a dislocated hip in the ninth game and sat out the rest of the season following surgery.
Miami fans likely will have to wait to see him in a featured role, though, because of the limited preseason due to the global pandemic. He’ll likely back up Ryan Fitzpatrick at least in the early going.
Top 3 players
WR DeVante Parker: Just when it looked like Parker was going to become a first-round bust by struggling like never before during his fourth season in Miami, he rewarded the team’s patience with a breakout performance in 2019. Parker had career-lows of 24 receptions, 309 receiving yards, and one receiving touchdown in 2018. Then, in 2019, he erupted for career-highs of 72 receptions, 1,202 receiving yards, and nine touchdowns. He had four games with at least 100 receiving yards in the last seven games. He had only four such performances in the first 62 games of his career.
The Dolphins need him to repeat that performance if their offense is going to be a threat.
DT Davon Godchaux: It’s rare for a defensive tackle to finish in the top three on his team in tackles, but that’s exactly what Godchaux did last season. He finished with 75 total tackles, and according to Pro Football Focus, he was tied for the league lead among interior defenders with 52 solo tackles. He has been extremely consistent during his three seasons, and he should continue to play a high level, especially playing next to former Clemson standout Christian Wilkins.
QB Ryan Fitzpatrick: With 15 NFL seasons under his belt, Fitzpatrick is still making plays. The veteran combines a gunslinger approach with a fiery attitude and has endeared himself to fans everywhere he has gone. That includes last season in Miami when he passed for 3,529 yards, 20 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions in 13 games. He capped the season with 320 passing yards, one passing touchdown, and one rushing touchdown in the comeback win over the Patriots. He’ll likely start the season opener and stick in that role until things start to go downhill or the team decides Tagovailoa is ready.
Regular season win Total (6.5 at DraftKings and 6 at FanDuel)
Before going 5-11 last year, the Dolphins won at least seven games in five of their last seven seasons. DraftKings’ number is juiced to the under. FanDuel’s number is juiced to the over.
Odds to win Division (+800 at DraftKings and +800 at FanDuel)
The Dolphins’ last division title came in 2008. It is their only division title in the last 19 years.
Odds to Win Super Bowl (+8,000 at DraftKings and +8,000 at FanDuel)
Miami has not been to the Super Bowl since 1985. Its last playoff victory was in 2000.
The way the Dolphins played in the second half of last season despite everyone knowing it was the beginning of a massive rebuild was impressive. It’s an obvious sign that the players are buying into Flores’ message and coaching style.
Hoarding all those draft picks and using them well was significant, but by spending so much money in free agency the Dolphins added an exclamation point early in the process. All those new players still need to develop chemistry, but that’s easier to do when everyone is excited about the direction of the team.
The big unknown is when Tagovailoa will become the starting quarterback, either through his preparation or through Fitzpatrick’s failure. If one of them proves to be up to the task, the Dolphins are a great candidate to win seven games. It may be too early, however, to challenge for the division title.