Louis Delmas

Dolphins Notes: Rolle, Tunsil, Tannehill, Gase

The Dolphins continue to have free agents Antrel Rolle and Louis Delmas on a list of safety options should they have an injury at the position or if Reshad Jones should reverse course and holdout during the season, Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald writes. Rolle, 33, is listed as PFR’s eighth-best defensive free agent still on the market. Delmas, meanwhile, has familiarity on his side as he has been with Miami for each of the past two seasons.

If Jones surprises everyone and has a change of heart after reporting to minicamp earlier this month, he still might not have much in the way of leverage. Even a person close to Jones conceded to Jackson that Miami doesn’t have any incentive to re-do the current deal, which pays Jones $7.2MM and $7.1MM over the next two seasons.

Here’s more from the AFC East:

  • Rookie Laremy Tunsil is not guaranteed a starting spot on the Dolphins’ offensive line, as Andrew Abramson of the Palm Beach Post writes. However, it would be a stunner if Dallas Thomas, Pro Football Focus’ worst-rated NFL guard last year, manages to beat him out. Meanwhile, Tunsil says that the adjustment from guard to tackle hasn’t been a difficult one. Coach Adam Gase agrees, noting that the transition isn’t a tough one since he is staying on the same side of the line. “When you put a guy on the left side, he’s playing the two positions that really they’re making the calls together whether it be in the run game or the pass game,” Gase said. “So it’s not like he’s learning something completely different.”
  • Can the offensive-minded Gase succeed in the defense-heavy AFC East? The new Dolphins coach will have to get Ryan Tannehill to elevate his play by a good margin in order to succeed, Mike Rodak of ESPN.com writes. Since his rookie year in 2012, Tannehill has gone 8-16 against AFC East foes with 30 touchdown passes against 25 interceptions and 75 sacks, all adding up to a dismal 35.5 Total QBR.
  • Defensive end Dion Jordan says that he’s drug-free as he seeks reinstatement, but Albert Breer of The MMQB hears that they should be worried about more than Jordan’s off-field issues.

Latest on Reshad Jones, Dolphins

If Reshad Jones were to make good on his threat to hold out for the entire 2016 season, the Dolphins would of course be worse off for it. But just how realistic is Jones’ threat? According to Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald, not very.

Jackson himself said it would be surprising if Jones were to extend his contract protest into the season, but Jackson adds that even a source close to Jones concedes that Miami has no incentive to re-do a deal that pays the Georgia product $7.2MM and $7.1MM over the next two seasons. That contract makes him the highest-paid strong safety in the NFL, but does not place him among the five highest-paid safeties overall.

Reshad Jones (vertical)

If the worst-case scenario comes to fruition and Jones does not report to the team, Jackson says that free agents Antrel Rolle and Louis Delmas are on the Dolphins’ list of contingency plans. Neither option, however, is exactly ideal. Delmas, of course, has been with Miami for each of the past two seasons, and in 2014 he started 12 games for the Fins, racking up 60 tackles and an interception (which he returned for a touchdown), and ranking as a league-average safety per Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics. But he tore his right ACL towards the end of the 2014 campaign, and he tore that same ACL during practice last August, thereby ending his 2015 season before it even began. Delmas has always shown high-level talent, but his inability to stay healthy throughout his career and the severity of his most recent injuries have left the 29-year-old unemployed for the time being.

Rolle, meanwhile, spent the 2015 season with the Bears after spending the first five years of his career with the Cardinals and the next five with the Giants. Per PFF, he graded out as the 39th-best safety in the league last season (out of 89 qualifiers), and the biggest knock against him at this point is his age. He is now 33, and he played in only seven games last season after suffering a knee injury during a November practice. He has had a long and productive career, however, and the rangy safety–whom our Dallas Robinson lists as the eighth-best defensive free agent still on the market–could be a nice fit in Miami.

Needless to say, though, the Dolphins would rather have Jones, who set new career-highs in tackles (135), passes defended (10), and interceptions (five), last season. PFF ranked Jones as the 13th-best safety in the NFL in 2015, and of the 89 qualified safeties, only two received higher grades as run defenders than Jones did. As of right now, it seems that Jones will report to the club rather than hold out, but the Dolphins do have a Plan B just in case.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/25/15

Today’s minor signings, cuts, and other moves..

  • The Dolphins announced (via Twitter) that they have placed safety Louis Delmas on the Reserve/Injured list.
  • The Patriots announced that they have released fullback Eric Kettani. Kettani, 28, originally signed with New England as a rookie free agent out of Navy in 2009 and after spending time on the Reserve Military list, he went to training camp with the Patriots in 2011 and spent part of the 2011 and 2012 seasons on the team’s practice squad. Kettani also spent time on the practice squad with Washington (2012), Kansas City (2013) and Jacksonville (2014).
  • The Cowboys cut Will Smith from injured reserve with an injury settlement, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle tweets.
  • The Jets signed linebacker Bryan Johnson and waived tight end Steve Maneri, Brian Costello of The Post tweets.

Dolphins’ Louis Delmas Has Torn ACL

Safety Louis Delmas went down with a knee injury during today’s joint practice between the Panthers and Dolphins, and Miami has received a worst-case initial diagnosis on Delmas’ knee. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter), Delmas has torn his right ACL for a second consecutive year.

Delmas, 28, started 12 games at safety for the Dolphins last season, racking up 60 tackles and grabbing one interception, which he returned for an 81-yard touchdown. He also recovered a pair of fumbles and recorded a sack before a December ACL injury cut his year short. In his 844 defensive snaps, Delmas graded as about an average safety, per Pro Football Focus (subscription required), receiving middle-of-the-pack marks for both his run defense and his pass coverage.

The Dolphins re-signed Delmas in March to a one-year contract that was worth up to $3.5MM, including a $2.25MM base value. However, considering he was coming off a major knee injury, the team protected itself for this scenario, according to Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald, who reports (via Twitter) that the safety’s salary will drop by about $1MM with a preseason IR designation. And it does appear that Delmas is headed for the injured reserve list, though the Dolphins haven’t made that official yet.

Assuming the Dolphins confirm Delmas’ initial diagnosis and rule him out for the season, the team will likely turn to safety Michael Thomas to take Delmas’ spot in the starting lineup.

Contract Details: Clay, Cromartie, Webb, Britt

Here are some specific details on a number of contracts agreed to and/or signed recently. One-year minimum salary benefit deals aren’t included.

AFC deals:

  • Charles Clay, TE (Bills): Five years, $38MM base value. $24.5MM fully guaranteed. $10MM signing bonus. $10MM roster bonus in 2016. No-trade clause for first three years (three Twitter links via Mike Rodak of ESPN.com and Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun).
  • Antonio Cromartie, CB (Jets): Four years, $32MM base value. $7MM guaranteed. $2MM roster bonus. No signing bonus (link via Brian Costello of the New York Post).
  • Lardarius Webb, CB (Ravens): Restructured contract. Three years, $18MM base value. $5.25MM guaranteed. $3MM roster bonus in 2015 (link via Wilson).
  • Nate Irving, LB (Colts): Three years, $7.25MM base value. $1.5MM guaranteed. $750K signing bonus. Escalators in 2016, 2017 (Twitter link via Wilson).
  • Karl Klug, DL (Titans): Two years, $3.75MM base value. $1MM signing bonus. $200K roster bonus in 2016. Up to $625K in annual incentives (Twitter link via Wilson).
  • James Harrison, OLB (Steelers): Two years, $2.75MM base value. $500K signing bonus (Twitter link via Wilson).
  • Byron Stingily, T (Titans): Two years, $2.5MM base value. $250K signing bonus. $800K playing-time escalator (Twitter link via Wilson).
  • Louis Delmas, S (Dolphins): One year, $2.25MM base value. Up to $1.25MM in incentives (Twitter link via Wilson).
  • Mitch Unrein, DT (Chargers): Two years, $1.9MM base value. $250K signing bonus (Twitter link via Wilson).

NFC deals:

  • Kenny Britt, WR (Rams): Two years, $9.15MM base value. $4.05MM guaranteed. $1.5MM roster bonus in 2015. Potential void in 2016 based on 2015 escalator (link via Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch).
  • Jacob Tamme, TE (Falcons): Two years, $3.2MM base value. $400K signing bonus. $250K roster bonus in 2016. $1MM escalator based on performance, playing time (Twitter links via Wilson).
  • Clint Gresham, LS (Seahawks): Three years, $2.705MM base value. $300K signing bonus (Twitter link via Wilson).
  • Ahtyba Rubin, DL (Seahawks): One year, $2.5MM base value. $1MM signing bonus. Up to $500K in playing-time incentives (Twitter link via Wilson).
  • Kenrick Ellis, DT (Giants): One year, $1.475MM base value. $500K guaranteed. $300K signing bonus (Twitter link via Rich Cimini of ESPNNewYork.com).
  • George Selvie, DE (Giants): One year, $1.2MM base value. $200K signing bonus. Up to $200K in incentives (Twitter link via Wilson).

AFC East Links: McCoy, Patriots, Dolphins

One of the more surprising offseason moves has been the LeSean McCoy trade. The running back was traded to the Bills earlier in the month, and the two sides soon came to an agreement on an extension. Meanwhile, the Eagles replaced McCoy with a pair of big names, DeMarco Murray and Ryan Mathews.

McCoy did not mince words when he was asked about the Eagles‘ offseason strategy. In fact, while appearing on the The Rich Eisen Show, the 26-year-old touched on Chip Kelly‘s willingness to pay new running backs, but not one of their stars (via Sheil Kapadia of PhillyMag.com):

“I thought about that a little bit,” he said. “I didn’t understand it. I should say that. And Chip I think is a really good coach. I think this is something different for him kind of managing both, from being a coach to now kind of managing the team as far as the players that they get and they pay.

“I saw that they originally were trying to get Frank Gore, and he backed out. So then when they got DeMarco and they got Ryan Mathews, I thought it was like a panic move. With that media in Philadelphia, they can get tough on you. So I guess that was just the way to make it right. I don’t know. I can’t really answer it. They took two backs to replace one. I think DeMarco’s a hell of a back. I think he’ll do a good job there. I’m not sure how that went.”

Let’s take a look at some more notes from the AFC East…

  • Defensive end Jabaal Sheard has plenty of reasons to be excited. Not only did he sign a two-year, $11MM contract with the Patriots, but he also went from a non-playoff team to a Super Bowl contender. “Coming from a not-so-good program to a great program that has been winning and doing well, I’ve just been excited,” Sheard told Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald. “I want to win in the league, and I want to be part of a great organization. That was a big part of me signing.”
  • Another new member of the Patriots, tight end Scott Chandler, is thrilled about the opportunity to compete for a championship. “I’ve been playing for a while, and I wanted to be a part of an organization that has a pretty good chance to win,” said Chandler (via Howe). “Mr. (Robert) Kraft and coach Belichick have done an amazing job of not only creating that but sustaining it for a long period of time. I’m looking forward to going into this year and doing whatever I can to be a part of that.”
  • Dolphins safety Louis Delmas re-signed with the organization yesterday, and the 27-year-old revealed that he’s quickly recovering from his season-ending ACL tear. “The knee is great,” Delmas said (via ESPN.com’s James Walker). “My doctors and my training staff have been doing a great job of managing me and making sure I’m doing everything protocol-wise to be able to play the first game of the season…I definitely know that I will be ready for the first game of the season.”

Dolphins Re-Sign Louis Delmas, LaMichael James

12:35pm: The Delmas signing has been confirmed by agent Drew Rosnehaus (via Twitter), while the team announced its new deal with James (Twitter link). Delmas’ one-year contract with Miami is worth up to $3.5MM, tweets Breer.

12:23pm: The Dolphins have re-added a pair of players to their roster, according to reports. Per Albert Breer of the NFL Network (via Twitter), the club is re-signing safety Louis Delmas, while Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald reports (via Twitter) that the team has brought back running back LaMichael James as well.

Delmas, who turns 28 in April, started 12 games at safety for the Dolphins last season, racking up 60 tackles and grabbing one interception, which he returned for an 81-yard touchdown. He also recovered a pair of fumbles and recorded a sack. In his 844 defensive snaps, Delmas graded as about an average safety, per Pro Football Focus (subscription required), receiving middle-of-the-pack marks for both his run defense and his pass coverage.

James, 25, entered the league in 2012 as a second-round pick by the 49ers. Despite his draft pedigree, the Oregon product was never able to produce in San Francisco, and was virtually buried behind Frank Gore and Kendall Hunter on the team’s depth chart. James played in just 14 games during his first two seasons, contributing mostly on special teams — he racked up only 39 rush attempts and five receptions during that span. When he found himself behind Gore and rookie Carlos Hyde on the Niners’ depth chart last year, James requested and was granted his release.

The Dolphins signed James to their practice squad in September and eventually promoted him to their active roster, but he didn’t see much action in Miami either — the Oregon product had just three carries in 2014. James had been eligible for restricted free agency, but was non-tendered by Miami and presumably re-signed at a lesser rate.

Dolphins Rumors: Clay, Odrick, Harris, WRs

Barry Jackson’s Wednesday Buzz column for the Miami Herald is chock full of notable Dolphins-related tidbits, so let’s dive right in and see what kind of free agent rumors Jackson has for us today….

  • Negotiations between the Dolphins and tight end Charles Clay are active and the team is cautiously optimistic that something will get done. There’s no certainty at this point, but Miami would like to keep its Clay/Dion Sims TE duo intact.
  • The Dolphins intend to make an offer to free-agent-to-be Jared Odrick, and have told him as much. However, the team has confided in people that the defensive tackle may command more than what the club is willing to pay — a contract worth $7MM+ per year isn’t out of reach for Odrick.
  • Miami wants to add a starting linebacker, and David Harris of the Jets figures to be a prime target. New Dolphins president of football operations Mike Tannenbaum drafted Harris back in 2007 when he was the Jets’ general manager. If Harris ultimately ends up out of the Dolphins’ price range, Mason Foster of the Buccaneers may be Plan B, per Jackson.
  • The Dolphins would like to re-sign prospective free agent defensive backs Louis Delmas and Jimmy Wilson, as well as tackle Jason Fox.
  • While the fate of specific players like Mike Wallace and Brian Hartline still hasn’t been made clear, the Dolphins have told people that there will be some turnover at the wide receiver position, according to Jackson.
  • Although Miami would like to bring back Samson Satele, he will likely find a better opportunity elsewhere now that the club is moving Mike Pouncey back to center.

Dolphins To Place Louis Delmas On IR

An MRI has confirmed that Dolphins safety Louis Delmas tore his ACL during yesterday’s loss to the Ravens, reports Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk (via Twitter). Per Florio and Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link), there’s no other damage to the knee, which will make for a smoother rehab process. Rapoport adds that the team will place Delmas on the injured reserve list, officially ending his season, which has since been confirmed by head coach Joe Philbin (Twitter link).

Delmas, cut by the Lions back in February due to an exorbitant cap number, signed with the Dolphins in March and had a solid 2014 season with the team. Starting at strong safety in Miami, the 27-year-old logged 60 tackles, recovered a pair of fumbles, and returned his only interception 81 yards for a touchdown.

Because he inked a one-year contract with the club, Delmas will be eligible for unrestricted free agency in March, unless he and the Dolphins work out a new agreement prior to that point. While the former 33rd overall pick has dealt with injuries in the past, and may be viewed as a health risk going forward, he’s expected to be ready to go by the start of training camp in 2015, tweets Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald.

Moving Delmas to IR opens up a spot on the 53-man roster, but the Dolphins have yet to announce a corresponding addition.

Injury Updates: Sunday

Let’s take a look at some injuries that could force clubs to make a change to their rosters as they enter the final quarter of the regular season:

Earlier updates:

  • Dolphins safety Louis Delmas was carted off the field in his team’s loss to the Ravens, and Adam H. Beasley and Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald write that initial reports are pointing towards a torn ACL. This would presumably end Delmas’ season.
  • Percy Harvin had his best game of the season today, finishing with six catches for 124 yards and a touchdown. However, the Jets‘ wideout injured his ankle late in the game, and ESPN.com’s Rich Cimini says the veteran’s season could be over.
  • Cardinals‘ running back Andre Ellington will likely be placed on injured reserve with his hip pointer, reports Mike Jurecki of Fox Sports 910 AM in Phoenix (via Twitter). Ellington will see a specialist in Philadelphia this week.
  • Cardinals‘ cornerback Antonio Cromartie was carted off the field during their tight contest with the Chiefs, reports Josh Weinfuss of ESPN.com (via Twitter). He suffered an achilles injury (via Twitter). Kent Somers of AZCentral.com writes that Cromartie was unable to put any weight on his left leg (via Twitter).
  • Titans‘ quarterback Zach Mettenberger is likely done for the year with a right shoulder sprain, reports Jim Wyatt of the Tennesseean (via Twitter). The X-Ray was negative, but an MRI is scheduled for Monday (via Twitter). He had suffered an injury to the shoulder last week as well, but this one could be enough to end his season.
  • 49ers‘ defensive back Chris Culliver left the game with a knee injury and has been ruled out for the game, reports Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com (via Twitter). Guard Mike Iupati left the game with an elbow injury and is questionable to return. Both players will deeply impact the 49ers’ playoff chances, and Iupati could also cost himself money as he is prepared to hit free agency this offseason.