Many of you might not be aware of who he is because he’s a quiet and unassuming guy but Chris Grier is the Miami Dolphins general manager, his responsibilities as the GM of the Dolphins include roster construction, personnel choices, leading the draft, free agency and selecting and managing head coaches and support staff.
Chris Greer has been with the Dolphins throughout its evolution for the past 20 years, he came from the New England Patriots as their regional scout in 2000 and hired on as Miami’s area scout.
- Miami Dolphins (2000–2002)
- Miami Dolphins (2003–2007)
National scout/assistant director of college scouting
- Miami Dolphins (2007–2015)
Director of college scouting
- Miami Dolphins (2016–present)
As you can see Chris Greer has worked his way up through the ranks over the past 20 years, some want to attribute all the dysfunction over the years in part to Chris Grier because he has been involved for the last 20 years from scouting, all the way up to as of last year being named the sole GM.
So let’s go back and talk about his history and why some can rightfully say he is responsible for the last 20 years of his employment, but I question how much blame can you put on Chris Grier for the dysfunction of this team over the last 20 years?
The Early Years
As was mentioned Chris Grier started out as the Miami Dolphins area scout in 2000, his responsibilities were to evaluate the talent of local high school and college football players and identify players that have the potential to succeed in the NFL for the Miami Dolphins.
That’s not an easy job, you have to go to a lot of high school and college games scouting players, identify the specific players that you want and basically report back to the team your recommendations on who they should acquire through the draft and/or free agency to help turn this team into a winner.
Climbing The Ladder
Chris Grier was promoted to assistant national scout in 2003 and eventually was promoted in 2007 to full-time director of college scouting.
Chris Grier was named General Manager in 2016 so from 2016 onward it would appear that he was in full control of everything.
Everybody knows the Dolphins have been consistently inconsistent and a mediocre team over the last 20 years. how much of that falls on Chris Grier’s shoulder?
The Blame Game
The truth is Chris Grier really did not have final say (as a true GM should have) until the end of the 2018 season when owner Steven Ross cleaned house and finally appointed one person to be in charge and that person was Chris Grier. It was truly a case of too many chefs in the kitchen.
Nobody else reports to the owner other than Chris Grier. This can be a double-edged sword because he can no longer hide behind any excuse. ( not that he created any) One could be made that he didn’t have the final say.
In the past who can say how much of the decisions made were fully Chris Grier’s, we know for a fact that when Adam Gase was head coach and Mike Tannenbaum was VP of operations that there were three voices involved in everything. I still to this day don’t understand how Adam Gase was allowed to have any input other than explaining the type of players he liked to have.
It’s All On His Shoulders Now
In this last draft of April 2018 Chris Grier was 100% accountable for every decision made, from the draft to free agency, the teams rebuild and it’s construction moving forward.
So what has Chris Grier done since being given the keys and having full control of the team?
So Far So Good
One of the first responsibilities of a true GM is to hire a head coach and just about a year ago Chris Grier identified Brian Flores as his head coach moving forward.
Fast forward a year and it appears he made the right decision because no one is regretting that we have Brian Flores rather than Adam Gase as head coach. Except maybe the Jets fans.
After hiring a head coach Chris Grier’s responsibility was to look over the roster and make decisions moving forward of what’s in the best interest of the team.
The decision was made after years of mediocrity and irrational thinking that they were just one player away from being a contender, to start from scratch and rebuild the team, I’m talking a true rebuild tearing it down to the studs.
That’s exactly what Chris Grier did, he purged the roster of bad contracts through a series of very creative moves, the Dolphins moved on from certain players like Cameron Wake, Ryan Tannehill and a few other veterans who’s contracts contributed towards the bad cap space Chris Grier inherited.
Those bad contractual situations fall on the lap of Mike Tannenbaum who at the time even I didn’t see how bad of a situation this team was in until his departure.
So far Chris Grier has done an excellent job in cleaning up the cap space, hiring a good coach and having the Dolphins in the position that they currently are in. The Dolphins will be one of the top teams with the most money to spend in free agency this coming off season.
Some moves made by Chris Grier are risky and some question whether or not they will pay off. Chris Grier got rid of some very talented young players that many question the wisdom of, especially when you look at the current roster that’s been torn down to the studs and lacking in talent.
The most controversial of the decisions will always be two young players who are going to the Pro Bowl this year, one being Laremy Tunsil and the other Minkah Fitzpatrick, so let’s look at both of those cases.
The Dolphins are undergoing a total rebuild and Laremy Tunsil was near the end of his rookie contract, so Laremy Tunsil is headed towards a huge payday. He will be the highest paid left tackle in an NFL in the very near future.
I hold no ill will towards Laremy because he wanted to stay, he was upset upon hearing rumors of him being traded, but when explained by Chris Grier what was being offered Laremy jokingly said I would take that trade too… I’m pretty sure in the long run he realize that he landed in a very good situation especially when he gets paid that crazy money he’s about to get…😁
An offer too good to refuse
Chris Grier got a call from the Houston Texans who desperately wanted Laremy Tunsil.
They offered the Dolphins two first round draft picks for their young Pro Bowl left tackle, in addition to Laremy Tunsil the Dolphins also relieved themselves of a thorn in the side when they also traded wide receiver Kenny Stills. (I 100% support Kenny Stills)
In return for Tunsil and Kenny Stills, the Dolphins got two first-round picks one in 2020 and one in 2021 and also a second-round pick in 2021.
There’s always going to be a debate as to who got the better deal, I personally would love to have Laremy Tunsil on this roster but I also understand the Dolphins taking that deal, I don’t think there’s too many teams in the league who would not jump at that opportunity.
With the Dolphins in full rebuild, it’s a great possibility GM Chris Grier realized that the huge contract Laremy Tunsil was due might be more than they he wanted to handle, (he also was not successful in early attempts at contract negotiations for an extension) I’m pretty sure somewhere in the draft and possibly free agency they may have already identified his replacement who monetarily fits better in the rebuild.
Someone who will start off with a new rookie contract and give them four years of not paying a premium price at the left tackle position.
The Houston Texans on the other hand made the right decision because they are playoff contender and now they have a young Pro Bowl left tackle to protect their franchise quarterback going forward, in addition Kenny Stills has produced very well for them also.
Only father time and Chris Grier’s decisions will truly tell if the Dolphins made the right decision.
Selfish players need not apply
Minkah Fitzpatrick was the Miami Dolphins first round pick in 2018, he’s an extremely talented young man who the Dolphins envisioned playing a role very important to their defense, it required him playing at multiple positions, unfortunately Minkah Fitzpatrick did not want to play the role they wanted him to play and demanded a trade.
Now many say who cares what he wanted they should have kept him here and played him where he wanted to be played.
I disagree, what was required of Minkah Fitzpatrick was to be an unselfish team player and obviously that was not on his mind because he wants what he’s got right now all the attention, all the praise and all the glory, in other words Minkah is out for Minkah!
I personally am not disappointed in this trade, I think it was the right move for both parties, what organization should allow a young 20-something year old player to dictate to the team how he should be played?
Can you imagine what would have happened if Brian Flores gave in to what he wanted, would he be able to maintain his locker room?
From day one Brian Flores has been preaching unity, team play and unselfishness, none of which seem to resonate with Minkah Fitzpatrick.
Unfortunately when he got to Pittsburgh Minkah actually hurt the Dolphins because of his great play, the Steelers was able to turn their season around and win more games than it appeared they were headed to win. the pick that the Dolphins got from the Steelers has turned into a lower round pick because of it. I still back the decision nonetheless.
Once again this is another one of those only father time and Chris Grier’s decisions will tell but it does appear that the Steelers got the better deal at least at this time.
So let’s recap what Chris Grier has done to earn our trust. He seems to have made the right decision in hiring Brian Flores, he’s cleaned up the cap space the Dolphins are projected to have over 120 million dollars to spend this offseason on free agents. He’s acquired multiple first-round picks over the next couple of years and in this year’s draft they’re going to have at least 14 picks.
Moving forward he’s signing team friendly contracts while at the same time paying the market value and wisely extending contracts of players they want to retain before they hit the market.
He also traded for Josh Rosen a former first round pick and young 22 year old quarterback prospect at a very inexpensive cost who could still potentially end up being the one or at the very least he can be a valuable backup or traded for future draft picks.
So when you look at it from that perspective I have all the trust in the world that Chris Grier knows exactly what he’s doing. He has done the right thing for Miami moving forward. I can’t wait for the off-season to begin starting next week.