Continuing a trend that the Miami Herald’s Armando Salguero’s observed throughout this decade, a disconnect between the Dolphins‘ front office and coaching staff’s formed based on the usage of the team’s draft picks.
This season, Miami’s front office wanted first-round pick DeVante Parker to play more often than he did prior to becoming a regular down the stretch, Salguero reports.
Previous philosophical differences involved 2013 first-rounder Dion Jordan and 2013 fourth-round selection Dion Sims, whom then-GM Jeff Ireland wanted Joe Philbin to play more than he was, with a similar disconnect occurring two years prior in the form of Tony Sparano and Ireland disagreeing on which players the team would cut prior to the start of the 2011 season.
Such disharmony has been new to the Dolphins, with previous coaches Don Shula, Jimmy Johnson or Nick Saban having full decision-making autonomy. Salguero adds that new personnel man Mike Tannenbaum did not escalate this push for Parker to see the field sooner as Ireland did with Sparano and Philbin regarding former prospects.
Let’s look at some more AFC items as Week 14 shifts into its night-game sector.
- Kelechi Osemele ventured back to tackle Sunday in place of the underwhelming James Hurst and wants to stay there, Jon Meoli of the Baltimore Sun reports. Osemele, who began his career at the Ravens‘ right tackle before becoming one of the NFL’s premier left guards over the past two-plus seasons, moved to left tackle in a Ravens effort to increase their line’s overall talent level. This is significant because the former second-round pick will be one of the top offensive linemen available in free agency if he does not reach an accord with the Ravens before the new league year begins. The former Iowa State cog started 38 games at left tackle for the Cyclones. Osemele expressed desire to be Baltimore’s left tackle of the future. “I sure hope so,” Osemele told media about a desire to stay on the edge. “I would definitely love to be the guy for the Ravens into the future, as long as I can keep performing at a high level.” Baltimore placed high-priced, but injury-prone left tackle Eugene Monroe on IR on Saturday. Signed to a five-year, $37.5MM contract in 2014, Monroe has $6.6MM worth of dead money left on his deal.
- If Andy Dalton misses the rest of the season as he’s expected to, it will cost him a chance at a $5MM escalator in his contract, according to CBS Sports’ Joel Corry (on Twitter). The Bengals‘ starting quarterback needs to play at least 80% of the snaps, which he’s done for four straight seasons, to earn this bonus.
- Conversely, Michael Crabtree‘s enjoying a better week financially. The Raiders‘ newly extended wideout earned an additional $400K by catching four passes Sunday, ESPN.com’s Field Yates reports (via Twitter), giving him 70 for the season.
- An unpenalized threat resided at the root of the Bengals-Steelers pregame fight, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reports. After Vontaze Burfict‘s tackle of Le’Veon Bell resulted in the star Pittsburgh runner’s season-ending knee injury in the teams’ previous meeting, Steelers linebacker Vince Williams sent out a tweet that Burfict and other Bengals regarded as a death threat, Florio writes. Burfict confronted Williams, who previously deleted the tweet and apologized, before the game and took action because the NFL didn’t, Andrew Whitworth told PFT. Florio writes that Williams’ social media threat violates the NFL’s Personal Conduct Policy.
- The 15 penalties whistled against the Bills in their loss to the Eagles riled up the coaching staff to the point that one of them can be heard screaming at the officials while walking to the locker room that the 15 infractions — for 101 yards — were a “disgrace to the NFL,” Joe Buscaglia of WKBW reports (on Twitter). Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk points out Bills first-year defensive coordinator Dennis Thurman as the likely culprit.