When asked about the franchise’s plan for free agency, Miami Dolphins Vice President of Football Operations Mike Tannenbaum constantly repeated “taking care of our own”. The Dolphins seem to be doing exactly that in the first couple days of free agency. They first re-signed DE Andre Branch and WR Kenny Stills. Now it’s the Defense’s unquestioned leader and play-maker—safety Reshad Jones—who signed a 5-year/$60 million extension with the Dolphins. The deal also includes $35 million of guaranteed money.
Jones, one of former GM Jeff Ireland’s late-round finds, made his first Pro-Bowl after the 2015 season in which he registered 135 tackles, 5 INT’s, and 2 touchdowns. In 2016, he started 6 games before going down with a rotator cuff injury.
Jones had a 1-day holdout last Spring in the Dolphins mandatory workouts due to his desire of an increase in salary. The holdout costed him a fine of $25,000 and Jones gladly returned to the Dolphins the following day. The Dolphins rewarded his patience, play-making, and leadership with his current extension.
As one safety was rewarded, the other lost his job. Safety Isa Abdul-Quddus was released last night after Dolphins learned he might not available during the upcoming 2017 season. After signing a 3-year/$12.75 million in 2016, the highly productive safety could not make it through his 1st season with the Dolphins after suffering a shoulder/neck injury in Week 16 against the Buffalo Bills. He finished his Miami tenure with 2 interceptions and 78 tackles.
Julius Thomas is now officially a Miami Dolphin due to the New League Year underway. Possibly due to Julius Thomas’ injuries and his lack of production with the Jaguars, the Dolphins and their new Tight End agreed to a 2-year/$12 million restructure of Thomas’ contract.
Thomas was due to make $7.1 million in 2017, $8.6 million in 2018, and $9 million in 2019, as part of the five-year, $46 million deal he signed in Jacksonville. It appears the Dolphins have changed that somewhat.
The Dolphins lost TE Dion Sims to the Chicago Bears yesterday. It seems the Bears made Sims an offer he couldn’t refuse 3-years/$18M($10M guaranteed). Although Adam Gase admitted he realized Sims could do a lot more than just block in his offense, it seems the Dolphins were not interested in paying $6 million annually to two tight ends.
Instead, the Fins are expected to replace Sims with another blocking Tight End in Anthony Fasano. The 33 year-old veteran played for the Dolphins from 2008-2012. Although he does not have the athleticism of Dion Sims, the “Italian Stallion” has proven to be good blocker with solid hands.
The Fins have placed a 1st-round Tender on restricted free-agent Linebacker Kiko Alonso. In doing so, he will make $3.9 million in 2017. The tender allows the Dolphins to have the right of first refusal should the team make a financial offer to Alonso, if the Dolphins decide to not match the offer, said team will take Alonso but would owe the Dolphins a 1st Round pick.
Damien Williams’ and Michael Thomas’ situation differs from Alonso’s. Miami has placed the Original Tenders on both players. Because both players were undrafted, opposing teams can make any offer and Dolphins would have to match.
-OL Ted Larsen expected to sign with Dolphins pending Physical
According to Sun Sentinel’s Omar Kelly, the Dolphins are hosting veteran offensive lineman Ted Larson today. Larson needs to pass a physical in order to finalize a 3-year deal with the Fins.
Larson is versatile lineman and capable starter. Over the last 3 years, Larsen started 26 games with the Arizona Cardinals playing both left and right guard. He also played in 15 games with 8 starts as a member of the Chicago Bears at right guard.
Dolphins have a desperate need for starting right guards after trading away Branden Albert and sliding Laremy Tunsil out to left-tackle. Fins have not closed the door of a possible return for free-agent RG Jermon Bushrod.
-Dolphins and Rams Midnight trade
According to Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald, the Dolphins made a trade with the Rams to acquire, “Mermaid Believer/Dinosaur Denier” DE William Hayes and a 2017 7th-round pick(223rd overall). In exchange, the Dolphins will give the Rams a 2017 6th-round pick(206th overall).
“While Hayes has two years left on his existing contract, in essence this is a one-year, $5.5 million deal, with a $5 million second-year option. The Dolphins can cut Hayes after the 2017 season with zero salary cap pain. The deal likely takes Miami out of the running for Jabaal Sheard, who visited the organization late Thursday night but left without a contract.”
Hayes is a former 4th round pick and 9-year veteran who has accumulated 314 tackles and 34.5 sacks in his career. He was ranked as Pro Football Focus’ 11th best edge defender against the run.
The Miami Dolphins have added depth at defensive end with this move due to the departure of Mario Williams, and will hope to sure up a run-defense that was ranked 30th by NFL.com