Daniel Kilgore

Dolphins To Decline Daniel Kilgore’s Option

The Dolphins won’t pick up the option on center Daniel Kilgore, as Cameron Wolfe of ESPN.com tweets. With that, the veteran will become a free agent when the league year begins on March 18. 

[RELATED: Dolphins To Release S Reshad Jones]

Kilgore has made 17 starts in the middle since joining the Dolphins in 2018. By turning down the option on the final year in his contract, the Dolphins will save $4MM against the 2020 cap.

The Dolphins have been exploring Kilgore alternatives throughout the offseason and their replacement could come in either free agency or the draft. They’re well-stocked with both cash and picks, so there will be plenty of avenues to explore.

After dropping Kilgore, the Dolphins have about $127.9MM in committments for the coming year. They could trim that number even further, too. If they stand pat, they’ll enter free agency with upwards of $91.5MM to burn.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC East Notes: Jets, OL, Patriots, Kilgore

Add the Jets to the teams in the James Bradberry market. Cornerback resides among the many needs in New York, and the Jets are “very interested” in the Panthers starter, Connor Hughes of The Athletic reports (subscription required). Twenty-two teams have expressed some degree of interest on Bradberry, per Hughes. This includes the Redskins, now run by longtime Panthers coach Ron Rivera. The Giants are interested, but Hughes notes the No. 1 cornerback price tag will likely push them out of the running.

Here is the latest from the AFC East, first moving to other Jets rumors from Indianapolis:

  • A high probability exists the Jets will be the rare team to replace its entire starting offensive line. Week 1’s front five — Kelvin Beachum, Kelechi Osemele, Ryan Kalil, Brian Winters and Brandon Shell — are either unlikely to be back or certainties (in Osemele’s case) not to return, and Hughes notes that the Jets are eyeing four new O-line starters. Alex Lewis, a 2019 trade get who took over after Osemele’s injury, is a free agent but could be the player from last year’s front retained. The Jets are eyeing guards Joe Thuney and Graham Glasgow, per Hughes. While the Jets want to come away with a high-end free agent — they are also in on Jack Conklin — GM Joe Douglas will look to the draft to fill much of the O-line needs, Hughes adds. This points to Gang Green being in the market for this atypically stacked tackle class at No. 11.
  • Thuney is expected to cost at least $14MM, with Jeff Howe of The Athletic adding his bidding could push a guard-high $15MM. The Patriots have seen Nate Solder and Trent Brown sign O-line-record money the past two offseasons; they are not expected to try to keep Thuney. Even Thuney’s backup could have a big market. Ted Karras, a full-time starter only in 2019, may be set to earn command a near-$10MM-AAV deal, per Howe. That would be a good indication of the recently seller-happy O-line market hitting another level.
  • The Jets have also been in the market for edge rushers for years, finishing second in 2018’s Khalil Mack sweepstakes and seeing a player they wanted to turn into an edge defender — Anthony Barr — renege on a deal at the 11th hour. League sources expect Gang Green to target Dante Fowler, Hughes notes. The Rams’ bevy of big contracts will likely limit them from franchise-tagging Fowler. The Jets are also interested in Matt Judon, though the Ravens are likely to tag him. He could be a tag-and-trade option, however.
  • Despite their desperation for edge help, the Jets are not expected to be in the Jadeveon Clowney market. An issue with what some Texans sources described as a “cavalier attitude” made Douglas leery of pursuing a Clowney trade last year and has him looking elsewhere for outside linebacker aid, per Hughes. Clowney’s price tag figures to be immense. The Jets hold $49MM-plus in cap space but have many needs.
  • Optimism exists Devin McCourty will be back in New England on a third contract, Howe adds. McCourty and the Patriots are expected to meet before week’s end. The standout safety has spent all 10 seasons of his career in New England. With Jason McCourty still under contract, Devin returning to the Pats should not exactly surprise.
  • Like the Jets, the Dolphins could have a retooled offensive front. They are looking around for centers to replace Daniel Kilgore, per Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. Kilgore has started 17 games since signing with the Dolphins in 2018. Releasing him in the final year of his contract would save the Dolphins $4MM.

Dolphins Notes: Wilson, Jones, Kilgore

Albert Wilson started his Dolphins career off with a bang in 2018, but a serious hip injury quickly derailed his momentum. He wasn’t the same player this past year, and ended up racking up only 351 yards and one touchdown in 13 games. Wilson has one more year left on his deal at $9.5MM, but it’s entirely non-guaranteed. The blazing fast slot receiver has shown a lot of flashes, but that’s a hefty price tag for any slot receiver. To that end, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald writes that Miami is “likely to discuss a restructuring in the weeks ahead.”

It sounds like Wilson is going to have to accept a pay-cut if he wants to stay in Miami for 2020. Wilson did start to make a case for himself down the stretch, gaining at least 59 yards in each of their last three games. Unfortunately, he hadn’t topped 33 yards in any game before that. Wilson signed with the Chiefs as an undrafted free agent back in 2014, and slowly started to breakout in Kansas City. He’s never produced huge numbers, but the Dolphins placed a huge bet on his potential.

Here’s more from Miami:

  • Speaking of players who might have to take pay-cuts, Jackson writes that Reshad Jones “returning under his current contract is inconceivable.” Jones is due $11.5MM in 2020, but only $2MM of that is guaranteed. Jackson writes that as of right now their plan is to start Bobby McCain and Eric Rowe at safety, but that Jones returning on a “restructured deal isn’t entirely out of the question.” Jones made the Pro Bowl in 2017, but his relationship with the franchise quickly deteriorated and for a while it looked like a divorce was inevitable. He had a falling out with Adam Gase but was apparently able to patch things over with new head coach Brian Flores, and Jones said back in September that he wanted to stay with the Dolphins for the long haul.
  • Another Dolphins starter on the chopping block is center Daniel Kilgore. Kilgore is due a non-guaranteed $3.1MM, and Miami can cut him right before the start of the season with no cap penalty. Jackson expects the team to look for an upgrade at center this offseason, and he points out that GM Chris Grier was recently non-committal about his status. Jackson indicates that the ‘Phins will be completely revamping their O-line this offseason, which isn’t surprising considering the beatings that Ryan Fitzpatrick and Josh Rosen were taking last year.
  • In case you missed it, the Dolphins are prepared to move up in the draft.

Dolphins Sign C Wesley Johnson

The Dolphins have signed free agent center Wesley Johnson and placed fellow pivot Daniel Kilgore on injured reserve, the club announced today. Miami also promoted defensive tackle Cameron Malveaux and confirmed the previously-reported release of defensive tackle Jordan Phillips.

Johnson, 27, has appeared in 31 games (23 starts) with the Jets over the past two seasons. The 2014 fifth-round pick out of Vanderbilt joined the Lions earlier this offseason, but he was released by the team at the end of the preseason. Since then, Johnson has worked out with the Vikings and Ravens. He auditioned for the Dolphins earlier today, and he’ll know slide in behind Travis Swanson on Miami’s center depth chart.

Kilgore, meanwhile, suffered a torn pectoral in Week 4, so he’d been fully expected to land on injured reserve. While Kilgore is technically eligible to return later this season, the nature of his injury likely means he’s done for the year. Kilgore signed an extension with the 49ers earlier this year, but San Francisco shipped him to Miami after landing free agent center Weston Richburg. He’s signed through the 2020 season, but the Dolphins could opt to release him with no dead money hitting their salary cap.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Dolphins’ McCain, Kilgore Suffer Injuries

Sunday’s loss to the Patriots was rough, and this Monday isn’t looking any brighter for the Dolphins. The club has learned that cornerback Bobby McCain and center Daniel Kilgore both suffered injuries in Sunday’s 38-7 drumming, according to Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald (on Twitter). McCain is dealing with a knee injury while Kilgore has a torn triceps. 

There is no timetable for Kilgore, but a torn triceps is a serious injury with a high risk for a repeat tear if the player is not given enough time to heal properly. Logic dictates that Kilgore is a candidate to go on injured reserve with a chance to return later this year, but we’ll have to wait for more info on that front.

McCain, meanwhile, is expected to miss two or three weeks. The slot specialist is an integral part of Miami’s defense – as evidenced by his four-year, $27MM extension – so the Dolphins are hoping to get him back on the field as soon as possible. At minimum, he’ll miss contests against the Bengals and Bears.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC East Rumors: Gronk, Dolphins, Jets

Rob Gronkowski‘s contract has come up in several news cycles in recent years, the all-world tight end still being attached to a deal he signed back in 2012. But the future Hall of Fame Patriots pass-catcher said he wasn’t agonizing over the team adjusting his deal, which it did for the second straight year via incentive package. Gronk did sit out the voluntary portion of New England’s offseason program and considered retirement, but he says the drama’s in the past as he prepares for his ninth NFL season.

It didn’t weigh on me at all,” Gronkowski said of his near-offseason-long negotiations with the Pats (via NESN.com). “Everything’s always in the works. Nothing’s just going to happen in a day, something like that. It’s in the past now. It happened last week, so it’s go time now.”

Gronkowski also said had he not been satisfied with his situation, he would have followed Aaron Donald and Khalil Mack‘s footsteps.

I’m super satisfied with my situation,” Gronkowski said. “If I wasn’t, I would try to pull a move like they did. It works out. You get rewarded for holding out. But I’m not frustrated at all or anything. I’m super satisfied and just ready to go.”

The Patriots will need Gronkowski plenty while Julian Edelman sits and a thin receiving corps attempts to become a reliable source for Tom Brady targets. Here’s the latest from the Pats’ rivals:

  • The Dolphins submitted an unsuccessful waiver claim for a Bills cut, linebacker Tanner Vallejo, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald notes. Vallejo ended up in Cleveland because of the Browns’ top waiver priority position, one they’ve used frequently over the past week. Miami also wanted to keep two of their own cuts — running back Buddy Howell and tackle Eric Smith — but saw the former land with the Texans via waiver claim and the latter end up choosing to sign with the Patriots’ practice squad instead of the Dolphins’.
  • Dolphins skepticism is rampant around the NFL-following world going into this season, with Miami sitting as one of Las Vegas’ longest-odds Super Bowl propositions, but one reason the team believes it will improve from a disappointing 2017 is its offensive line. The Dolphins believe Laremy Tunsil is set for a “monster” season and that Daniel Kilgore has filled in nicely for Mike Pouncey — as both a leader and a player, Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald notes. Kilgore and Josh Sitton are now in place on a Miami front that’s endured questions about its interior line — be it Pouncey’s health or guards’ underwhelming performance — for years.
  • Shifting back to practice squad gets, the Jets paid a premium for two of their 10 taxi-squadders. Defensive end Bronson Kaufusi and running back De’Angelo Henderson will make four times as much as league-minimum practice squad players will, with NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero reporting (via Twitter) Kaufusi will earn $32K per week and Henderson will receive $30K per week. The practice squad minimum for 2018 is just less than $8K weekly. The Broncos liked what they saw from Henderson in the 2017 preseason, but the 2017 sixth-round pick did not see much game action behind C.J. Anderson, Jamaal Charles and Devontae Booker. Additions of Royce Freeman and UDFA Phillip Lindsay routed Henderson out of Denver this year.
  • The Jets have one of the league’s least established tight end situations, but the team is high on rookie Chris Herndon, Albert Breer of SI.com writes. A fourth-round pick, Herndon’s caught the Jets’ eye as both a receiver and blocker and is a player the team believes will be a long-term cog. Jordan Leggett, a 2017 fifth-rounder, resides as the Jets’ other primary tight end candidate after Austin Seferian-Jenkins‘ defection to the Jaguars.

49ers Trade C Daniel Kilgore To Dolphins

The 49ers announced they’ve traded center Daniel Kilgore to the Dolphins. Kilgore will take the place of Mike Pouncey, who will be released

In the swap, the Niners will send a seventh-round pick to Miami and receive a seventh-round pick in return, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. In the deal, Miami will assume both Kilgore’s contract and bonus.

Kilgore inked an extension with San Francisco just one month ago, but the signing of Weston Richburg has displaced him. There was some thought to Richburg playing guard for the Niners, but we now know that he’ll be lining up at his native position.

Kilgore will cost the Dolphins $5.3MM in 2018, including a $2.3MM roster bonus that comes due on Thursday. After that, he has cap hits of $2.7MM in 2019 and $3.6MM in 2020. Those numbers are significantly cheaper than the contract of Pouncey, who would have carried cap hits of $9MM, $8.2MM, and $9MM over the next three seasons.

Last summer, Kilgore projected as a reserve for San Francisco. However, after the Niners waived Jeremy Zuttah, he beat out free agent pickup Tim Barnes for the starting job. The advanced metrics weren’t keen on him, but the Niners felt he had considerable value. That is, until Richburg became available this week.

[RELATED: Dolphins Depth Chart]

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC Notes: Panthers, Rams, 49ers, Cowboys

Hedge fund manager and Steelers minority owner David Tepper is a name to watch in the Panthers‘ sale, according to Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (video link). Tepper, based in Miami, reportedly has a net worth of $11.4 billion, so he certainly has the capital to pull off a purchase of the Carolina franchise. A minority owner of the Steelers since 2009, Tepper boasts 5% of the Pittsburgh club. He’s the third candidate to be linked to the Panthers ownership, joining South Carolina businessman Ben Navarro and former UFC owner Frank Fertitta.

Here’s more from around the NFC:

  • Wideout Tavon Austin is widely expected to be released by the Rams this offseason, and Los Angeles could end up seeing a bit of financial relief if Austin is signed by another club. Austin’s contract contains offsets, reports Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk, meaning the Rams will save money if and when Austin lands a new contract. Austin, 26, will earn a fully guaranteed $5MM roster bonus whether he’s on LA’s roster or not, but the Rams will have to pay the 5’8″ pass-catcher another $3MM if he’s still around on March 16. A former first-round pick, Austin managed only 13 receptions for 47 yards in 2017.
  • Buccaneers cornerback Jude Adjei-Barimah was medically cleared on Tuesday after missing the entire 2017 campaign with a knee injury, tweets Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times. The 25-year-old Adjei-Barimah appeared in 23 games with Tampa Bay from 2015-16 and averaged 53% playtime on defense. Adjei-Barimiah was also a key contributor on special teams, as he played on roughly a third of the Buccaneers’ ST snaps during those two seasons. He’s now scheduled to become an restricted free agent this offseason, but it’s unclear if Tampa will tender him a contract, per Auman.
  • Daniel Kilgore‘s new three-year deal with the 49ers is worth nearly $11.78MM and and contains $4.825MM fully guaranteed, according to Adam Caplan of SiriusXM (Twitter link). The 30-year-old Kilgore was a backup or injured for much of the first five years of his career, but he’s started 29 games for the 49ers over the past two seasons. For what it’s worth, Pro Football Focus ranked Kilgore as just the 23rd-best center in the league in 2017, but San Francisco is clearly higher on him than that finish would indicate.
  • The Cowboys have hired Ken Amato as a defensive assistant, according to Todd Archer of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Amato, who spent nine years with the Titans as a long snapper, worked with Dallas as a special teams assistant in 2017.

West Notes: Rams, 49ers, Broncos, Raiders

Two Rams defenders — linebacker Mark Barron and Kayvon Webster — recently underwent shoulder surgery, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). While Barron’s operation will allow him to be ready for training camp, Webster might not be available due to the torn Achilles which ended his 2017 campaign. Indeed, Webster had his shoulder procedure now so that he can rehabilitate both injuries at the same time, per Rapoport. Los Angeles will be counting on the 27-year-old Webster next season, as No. 1 cornerback Trumaine Johnson is scheduled to hit unrestricted free agency and won’t be franchise-tagged for a third consecutive campaign. Webster, who followed Rams defensive coordinator Wade Phillips from Denver last offseason, is entering his contract year.

Here’s more from the NFL’s two West divisions:

  • Daniel Kilgore‘s new three-year deal with the 49ers is worth nearly $12MM and and contains $7MM in guarantees, tweets Rapoport. Kilgore, who was roughly a month away from becoming a free agent, said he accepted a team-friendly contract so San Francisco can ink quality free agents this offseason, per Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle (Twitter link). The 30-year-old Kilgore was a backup or injured for much of the first five years of his career, but he’s started 29 games for the 49ers over the past two seasons. For what it’s worth, Pro Football Focus ranked Kilgore as just the 23rd-best center in the league in 2017, but San Francisco is clearly higher on him than that finish would indicate.
  • The Broncos and the Seahawks are two teams who could dictate the 2018 offseason, as Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com writes. While one recent report indicated Denver wideouts Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders are likely to stick on the club’s 2018 roster, other general mangers believe one or both will be available on the trade market. The Broncos are also trying to land a franchise quarterback and deal cornerback Aqib Talib, meaning they’ll be heavily involved in transactional machinations over the next few weeks. Seattle, meanwhile, is facing change at multiple areas along its vaunted defense, as injuries to Richard Sherman and Kam Chancellor could cloud the team’s plans.
  • Free agent linebacker Michael Scherer recently worked out for the Raiders, reports veteran NFL reporter Howard Balzer (Twitter link). Scherer, a Missouri product, appeared in 26 games for the Tigers from 2014-15 before a knee injury ended his senior season after seven contests in 2016. He’s yet to land an NFL contract, but he did audition for the Bears and Giants last year.

49ers, C Daniel Kilgore Agree To Extension

The 49ers announced they have signed center Daniel Kilgore to a three-year contract extension. The new deal will take him through the 2020 season. Daniel Kilgore (Vertical)

[RELATED: 49ers Likely To Re-Sign Brock Coyle]

Initially, it appeared that Kilgore would be riding the pine in San Francisco for the 2017 season. However, the Niners waived Jeremy Zuttah over the summer and Kilgore beat out free agent pickup Tim Barnes, allowing him to start all 16 games in the middle. The advanced metrics weren’t big on the 30-year-old (he ranked as just the 23rd-best center in the league, per Pro Football Focus), but the Niners were very high on his work.

Financial details of Kilgore’s deal are not yet known. If Kilgore’s contract is somewhere in the middle of the league’s centers, he could see an average annual value of around $4MM. Ben Jones is the 14th highest paid center in the NFL based on AAV and he earns $4.375MM/season on the four-year deal he signed with the Titans in 2016.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.