NFL Wire News

Owner Ross expects Dolphins to win now


The Sports Xchange

Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross has made it clear he wants to win now after quarterback Ryan Tannehill and center Mike Pouncey signed contract extensions. and the team landed the year’s biggest free-agent prize, defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh.

When Dolphins general manager Dennis Hickey was interviewing for the job in 2014, Ross said then that the time to win is now. The Dolphins were 8-8 last season.

Ross has put up even more money to make that happen — committing more than $125 million in guaranteed money to Suh, Tannehill and Pouncey.

Hickey said everyone — from the the front office to the coaching staff — has been on the same page on the way to build the Dolphins as they turned over roughly half of their starting lineup.

“As you put together a strategic plan, even going back to when I first interviewed for the job, you look ahead and you try to be strategic with how you try to allocate your resources,” Hickey said Friday, appearing on 104.3 The Ticket in Miami. “What are next year’s decisions? What are the following year’s decisions? And so we went through that.

“We’re a process-driven organization. Part of the process is collaboration, getting our coaches together with our scouts and getting them together to do their due diligence. The process is about making good, sound decisions that make sense.”

Next year, the Dolphins are projected to be $17 million over the salary cap, according to Pro Football Tallk.

Hickey, in his second year with the Dolphins, understands the scrutiny of the team’s offseason decisions goes with the territory.

Suh signed a six-year $114 million contract — $60 million guaranteed — with the Dolphins once free agency got underway in March.

Pouncey’s five-year deal is worth $52.15 million, including $22 million guaranteed and an $11 million signing bonus.

On Monday, Tannehill signed to a six-year, $96 million extension, including $45 million in guaranteed money, even though he has never had a winning season in his three years.

“Having stability in the quarterback position,” Hickey said when asked why he wanted to extend Tannehill through the 2020 season. “Our philosophy is we want to have sustained success and a quality quarterback and a proven quarterback that you believe in that’s also young and improves every year, and even within the year.

“Compare the first four games (of 2014) to the last 12 games and the growth that we saw in Ryan. Having all the tools and all the things that he brings, he’s definitely someone we believe in and want to commit to.”

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