ESPN Radio to do Dolphins Games

The Dolphins return to the practice field on Wednesday for their second week of Organized Team Activities (OTAs), but there was some off-the-field news on Tuesday. There was the league-wide announcement regarding the 2014 draft, and also an ESPN press release affecting the Dolphins and four other teams.


The Dolphins and four other teams — New England, Pittsburgh, the Jets and Giants — will have their Sunday afternoon games broadcast by ESPN Radio starting with the 2013 season.

Here is the press release from ESPN:

ESPN Radio has signed individual multi-year agreements with the New York Giants, New York Jets, New England Patriots, Pittsburgh Steelers and Miami Dolphins for out-of-market Sunday afternoon syndication rights beginning with the 2013 season. These agreements mark the first time ESPN Radio will broadcast NFL game action nationally on its over-the-air terrestrial network.

"The teams will continue to broadcast in their home markets through their official local stations.

"Adding the NFL to ESPN Radio's play-by-play mix, which already includes MLB, NBA, BCS, and the new college football championship starting in 2015, strengthens an already unparalleled and valuable lineup to advertisers, our affiliates and sports fans," said Traug Keller, ESPN senior vice president, production business divisions. "We are excited to enter the NFL game business."

ESPN NFL analysts Herm Edwards, Bill Polian and Damien Woody will each work several of ESPN Radio's national broadcasts. Additional commentators and the complete schedule will be announced at a later date.


The NFL announced on Tuesday that the 2014 draft would take place from May 8-10, two weeks later than usual. The format will remain the same, with Round 1 on Thursday, Rounds 2-3 on Friday, and Rounds 4-7 on Saturday.

Also remaining unchanged are the general time periods for the start of the league year (including free agency) and the scouting combine. The 2014 league year will begin on March 11 after starting on March 12 this spring. As for the scouting combine, the 2014 version in Indianapolis will take place from Feb. 18-25.

The league also announced that no decisions, including dates or location, have been made regarding the 2015 draft.

"The change in the date of the 2014 Draft will have no effect on when rookies may begin to report to their clubs, the dates of off-season programs, or the length of off-season programs," the NFL said in its announcement. "Clubs will have available to them the same number of practice days that they currently have and no changes in the off-season calendar are being considered that would reduce the number of practice days or the overall length of the off-season program. At this time, changes are not anticipated in the off-season calendar for 2015 and beyond that would reduce the number of practice days or otherwise limit the off-season program."


The Dolphins made a switch at wide receiver on Tuesday when they signed former JUCO star Courtney Gardner and released undrafted free agent Terrell Sinkfield. Both receivers came with interesting backgrounds.

Gardner was a highly sought after prospect after he caught 61 passes for 1,099 and 13 touchdowns as a sophomore at Sierra College in 2011 and eventually signed to play with the University of Oklahoma. As it turned out, academic issues kept Gardner sidelined all of last year and he decided to enter the draft this spring.

Gardner (6-3, 215) has great physical skills, but he also comes with some baggage. He reportedly was arrested twice in Nevada over the last few years, once for obstructing a peace office and the other for being a minor in possession of alcohol.

As for Sinkfield, he made news before the draft when reports suggested he ran a 4.16 in the 40-yard dash. The number was disputed, though, and he had only mediocre production at Northern Iowa. Obviously, he didn't impress the Dolphins much in his brief time with the team.

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