Dolphins Sunday Mailbag: Campbell, Maye, Berrios, and More

Is the 2024 roster now better than that of 2023? Are any more veteran free agents on the way? Tackling those and other Miami Dolphins issues
Calais Campbell defends a Kyler Murray pass during a 2023 Atlanta Falcons game at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona.
Calais Campbell defends a Kyler Murray pass during a 2023 Atlanta Falcons game at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. / Rob Schumacher/The Republic / USA TODAY
In this story:

Part 2 of a Father's Day weekend Miami Dolphins mailbag:

From Brandon Quinn (via email):

Saw the news of Grant and the Jets (and a minicamp tryout), and it got me being nostalgic. My question is, why was Jakeem just a gadget/special teams ace when Tyreek Hill is arguably one of the best ever? Simply opportunity and usage (and Mahomes and Reid), or does Reek have traits that far superior to Jakeem?

Hey Brandon, I liked Jakeem and he was a dynamic returner, but there is zero comparison with Hill, who is a better route runner, has better hands and is much stronger.

From Ben Reiss (@BenRess1):

Recognizing training camp has not started, after all the early losses and the more gradual gains since (including Thursday), are the Dolphins now (assume healthy as Philips and Chubb should eventually be) better, worse or same (talent wise) as last year's team when healthy?

Hey Ben, I think the Dolphins have gotten better because of the skill position players they added on offense, the improvement at linebacker, the addition of Campbell on the D-line, but a lot of it hinges on Chubb and Phillips being back to being Chubb and Phillips.

From Joe Barrett (@JoeBarrett14):

So I absolutely love the signing of Calais Campbell What do you see is the starting defensive lineup with the Dolphins in Week 1?

Hey Joe, this is a tough question to answer because we can’t tell for sure whether Chubb and/or Phillips will be ready to go. Under the assumption that one is good to go, let’s say Phillips, my starting D would be: Sieler and Campbell on DL; Phillips and Barrett on the edge; Brooks and Long at LB; and Ramsey, Fuller, Holland, Poyer and Maye in the secondary.

From Mark Lever (@MarkFinsfan):

Fun fact: Tom Brady got drafted by the Montreal Expos ... do you think there’s any chance that Tom Brady returns to play for another team this season?

Hey Mark, I was aware of that fun fact (being the major Expos fan that I am). And, no, I don’t think Brady is coming back. He’ll be in the booth for FOX.

From Ricardo Hernandez (@Ricardo96451182):

Hello Alain. Do the recent additions of Marcus Maye and Calais Campbell alter the expectations for the Dolphins’ defense?

Hey Ricardo, I haven’t looked around to see what folks are saying, but I absolutely think more should be expected with those two additions, particularly that of Campbell. I cannot stress enough how much I love that pick-up.

From James Sonny Burnett (@James Burnett11):

How many snaps (percentage) should Campbell have to be at his best this season? I think 60% like last year is too much.

Hey James, Campbell played 63 percent of the Falcons defensive snaps last season while not missing a game, and his performance certainly didn’t suggest he was overworked. So if we’re not comfortable with 63 percent, how about he plays about 50 percent of the Dolphins defensive snaps in 2024?

From Jon Hartmann (@JonHartmann79):

Do you think they are done signing free agents? If not, who would you sign?

Hey Jon, I never say never, but I also think it’s entirely possible they are done adding high-profile veterans like Marcus Maye and Calais Campbell. The one position that could use additional depth is cornerback, but there isn’t anybody available who looks like a great fit.

From Rebecca Parent (@celticlady11):

I'm sure someone has asked this, but how do you think the news of Trevor Lawrence's new contract is going to affect talks between the Dolphins and Tua?

Hey Rebecca, what I think happens with the Lawrence extension is it just complicates things because Tua wants top of the market money and that top of the market has moved. And if the Dolphins weren’t willing to go there before, why would they now be willing to do it? If the issue all along with the amount of guaranteed money, Lawrence getting $200 million like that also isn’t going to help.

From Dinney Wilkinson (@DinneyW):

If you had to make a decision between them on your roster prediction, who would you keep, Braxton Berrios or River Cracraft?

Hey Dinney, if I had to make a decision, I would let somebody else make it because it’s a really, really tough choice. How’s that for wimping out? OK, fine, I’ll answer. Berrios has the benefit of being the punt returner, while Cracraft is one of the team’s best wide receivers when it comes to blocking. As receivers, they’re both dependable when called upon. So … Berrios by a hair.

From Greenview Construction (@CrispyChicken30):

Of the FA signings, who is your favorite? Brooks, Smith, Calais, Poyer, Odell.

Hey there, of the list you presented, Campbell would be my top choice because he’s versatile, productive and a great leader, and fills a clear need. But my overall favorite offseason additions wasn’t one of those five players.

From Roger Dodger (@RogerDolfan):

With all these very senior one-year contract signings and extensive delay in signing Tua (which at this point I don't think Fins see him has long-term answer at QB) and not extending Hill contract, are Fins setting up for a 4th rebuild under Grier next season?

Hey Roger, it's an interesting point you make after the signing of Campbell to go along with that of Poyer, but I don't believe there will be a "rebuild" no matter what because I still think that Tua eventually will get a new deal and most of the young nucleus should be back.

From Scott Fraser (@footphysio):

With the offensive line largely similar to last year, a similar year-to-year development like we saw with Austin Jackson last year would help. What do you think the chances of Liam taking a similar leap?

Hey Scott, I think it's definitely possible, but Eichenberg has a larger body of work in Mike McDaniel's scheme than Jackson had heading into 2023. As I write last month, Jackson's emergence in 2023 maybe didn't have so much to do with the arrival of Butch Barry as O-line coach as other writers have suggested (though he clearly helped) as it was simply a matter of Jackson getting his first full shot in a scheme that's a much better fit for him. Bottom line, yes, we could see a leap from Liam, but his situation is different from Jackson's.

From Shayne Short (@ShayneShort3):

So seeing you and plenty of people don't want to see the Dolphins sign Tua to a contract , I'm interested to see who you think they should feasibly get to replace him . Gear plenty of bagging but no solutions/ realistic replacements who are going to make the team better.

Hey Shayne, not exactly sure I see a question in there, but let me correct the mistake you're making that so many are making. Not extending Tua in 2024 does not mean you're immediately looking for a replacement, it means you want to see more before you make a long-term commitment. I don't understand why that's so offensive to some fans. I mean, is it crazy to not rush to give a $250 million deal right after the QB and the offense failed to impress in any of their games against playoff opponents?

From NY - Fins Up (@azomback34):

Play Dolphins GM for a minute. Opposing GM offers you depth at OL or a better backup QB. What are your trades (which players from both teams /draft picks)?

Impossible question to answer without digging into which teams are looking to move whic players. In general terms, the Dolphins shouldn't give anything close to a second- or third-round pick unless somebody really improves the team. The Dolphins do have a surplus at running back and wide receiver, but those aren't difficult positions to fill, so the trade value there is minimal. As for the "better backup QB" idea, I don't see anything wrong with Mike White and, no, Ryan Tannehill would not be an upgrade.

From Shaun Braley (@shaunbraley):

Can we stop using Tua hasn’t won a playoff game as a negative on him? If you want to say he hasn’t been clutch or healthy enough at the end of the regular season, that’s fair. He’s had one playoff game and it was an historically difficult environment.

Hey Shaun, I don't use that personally, though some national members have mentioned it. What I have mentioned and what puts me on the side of holding off on the extension was the whole body of work last season against playoff opponents (BUF, KC in Germany, PHI, BALT, DAL). That simply wasn't good enough for me, especially in a conference loaded with good young QBs.

From Jason Kirkland (@1bigdad424):

Hi Alain, with the recent additions on defense, I think they're good on that side. Your thoughts? The O-line scares me. Williams to Brewer, Hunt to Liam and Wynn coming off serious injury are serious concerns for me. Your thoughts?

Hey Jason, I agree the defense could be very good, but some of that depends on Chubb and Phillips being able to return fairly quickly and be impact players again. As for the offense, yes, personnel-wise, it's the offensive line that stands out as a concern. But the offense as a whole has to show it can deliver against playoff-type opponents from the jump (like, Buffalo in Week 2).


Published |Modified
Alain Poupart

ALAIN POUPART

Alain Poupart is the publisher/editor of All Dolphins and co-host of the All Dolphins Podcast. Alain has covered the Miami Dolphins on a full-time basis since 1989 for various publications and media outlets, including Dolphin Digest, The Associated Press, the Dolphins team website, and the Fan Nation Network (part of Sports Illustrated). In addition to being a credentialed member of the Miami Dolphins press corps, Alain has covered three Super Bowls (for NFL.com, Football News and the Montreal Gazette), the annual NFL draft, the Senior Bowl, and the NFL Scouting Combine. During his almost 40 years in journalism, which began at the now-defunct Miami News, Alain has covered practically every sport at one time or another, from tennis to golf, baseball, basketball and everything in between. The career also included time as a copy editor, including work on several books such as "Still Perfect," an inside look at the Miami Dolphins' 1972 perfect season. A native of Montreal, Canada, whose first language is French, Alain grew up a huge hockey fan but soon developed a love for all sports, including NFL football. He has lived in South Florida since the 1980s.