Now that the Rams' 2020 schedule is officially out, it's time to resume our offseason opponent breakdowns on theRams.com. Up next is Los Angeles' Week 8 road opponent, the Miami Dolphins.
Moves made both before and during the regular season signaled this would be somewhat of a rebuilding year for the Dolphins.
On Sept. 1, they traded starting tackle Laremy Tunsil, wide receiver Kenny Stills, a 2020 fourth-round pick and a 2021 sixth-round pick to the Texans in exchange for a 2020 first-round pick, 2021 first-round pick, 2021 second-round pick, cornerback Johnson Bademosi and tackle Julien Davenport.
On Sept. 17, they traded starting safety Minkah Fitzpatrick, a 2020 fourth-round pick and a 2021 seventh-round pick to the Steelers in exchange for a 2020 first-round pick, a 2020 fifth-round pick and a 2021 sixth-round pick.
On Oct. 28, they traded starting running back Kenyan Drake to the Cardinals in exchange for a conditional 2020 draft pick. The next day, the Dolphins acquired cornerback Aqib Talib and an undisclosed draft pick from the Rams in exchange for an undisclosed draft pick, though Talib was on L.A.'s injured reserve and would not end up taking a snap for the Dolphins last season.
Miami lost seven of its first eight games en route to a 5-11 overall record. That finish earned them the No. 5 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft, which they used on Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.
Outside of those listed above, the Dolphins also signed former Eagles running back Jordan Howard to a two-year deal, acquired Matt Breida from the 49ers in exchange for a fifth-round pick in this year's draft and signed former Patriots offensive guard Ted Karras to a one-year deal.
On defense, Miami signed former Dallas Cowboys cornerback Byron Jones to a five-year deal which made him the highest-paid player at his position in the NFL. They also signed former Patriots linebacker Kyle Van Noy to a four-year deal.
Brian Flores enters his second season as head coach of the Dolphins. Prior to joining the Dolphins last season, had been part of the Patriots organization since 2004: first as a scouting assistant, then as a defensive assistant from 2011-15, linebackers coach from 2016-17 and defensive coordinator in 2018.
What to watch for
Rams defense vs. whoever starts at quarterback for the Dolphins
Unless a player is the No. 1 overall pick, it's usually difficult to predict when a rookie quarterback will get his first start or take over the offense.
Tagovailoa suffered a season-ending hip injury in mid-November, but multiple reports said the results of his voluntary medical recheck in early April were "overwhelming positive." If he's healthy enough and has a firm enough grasp of the offense, he may get his chance by Week 7; if not, the Dolphins will likely continue to have 37-year-old Ryan Fitzpatrick under center.