Dolphins Rumors

Dolphins Sign Second-Round S Jevon Holland

The first of the Dolphins’ two second-round picks is now under contract. The Dolphins and safety Jevon Holland agreed to terms on the customary four-year rookie deal Friday.

Miami selected Holland 36th overall out of Oregon, doing so just after Denver traded up to No. 35 to take running back Javonte Williams. The Dolphins did extensive work on Williams, but after the Broncos’ move, the team’s focus shifted. Holland will be ticketed to play a key role in Miami’s secondary as a rookie.

The Dolphins cut longtime starter Bobby McCain this offseason, clearing a path for Holland to move into the starting lineup as a rookie. Miami has converted cornerback Eric Rowe in position as a safety starter. Rowe has been a full-time safety first-stringer in each of Brian Flores‘ two seasons.

Holland opted out last year, joining Oregon first-round talent Penei Sewell in doing so, but the 6-foot, 207-pound defender packed plenty into his two-year Ducks sample. Holland intercepted nine passes in his two years with the Ducks. He added 4.5 tackles for loss as a sophomore in 2019.

Both of Miami’s other Day 2 picks — second-round tackle Liam Eichenberg and third-round tight end Hunter Long — remain unsigned. The Dolphins and first-rounders Jaelan Phillips and Jaylen Waddle have agreed to terms.

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Minor NFL Transactions: 7/23/21

We’ll keep track of today’s minor moves here:

Arizona Cardinals

Jacksonville Jaguars

Miami Dolphins

  • Signed: CB Cre’Von LeBlanc
  • Waived: DE Nick Coe, LS Rex Sunahara

New England Patriots

  • Signed: TE David Wells

New York Jets

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Dolphins To Sign Shaquem Griffin

Well, that was fast. Shortly after meeting with the Dolphins on Monday morning, linebacker Shaquem Griffin agreed to terms on a one-year deal. Now, the former Seahawks ‘backer will get ready for training camp in South Beach and push to make the final cut. (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport). 

The Seahawks mostly deployed Griffin on special teams with occasional work as a traditional linebacker. Earlier this year, Griffin told teams that he was training to play as an edge rusher. The Dolphins’ plans for him aren’t immediately clear. However, if he’s able to offer pass rushing help in addition to his already solid special teams play, he’ll make an intriguing addition to Brian Flores‘ depth chart.

For his career, Griffin has 25 tackles, one sack, and one pass defensed across 46 games. He’ll look to build on that with the Dolphins, where he’ll be driving distance from his twin brother Shaquill Griffin.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Shaquem Griffin Visits Dolphins

The Dolphins will host linebacker Shaquem Griffin on a visit today (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero). Griffin, 26, has spent the last three years with the Seahawks but remains available on the verge of training camp. 

Griffin recently spent some time in Denver but left without a deal. For what it’s worth, Broncos coaches were reportedly impressed with his on-field work. The door may still be open there, but the Dolphins could snag him first.

Griffin has mostly played as a special teamer, or an on-ball linebacker when on defense. This year, he’s hoping to transition into a full-time pass-rusher. He’s suited up for a total of 46 games for the Seahawks across three seasons with one start. All in all, he’s notched 25 total tackles, one sack, and one pass defensed.

Both Griffin brothers played their entire pro careers with the Seahawks, up until now with the Seahawks. Earlier this year, twin brother Shaquill landed a big deal from Jacksonville to bolster their cornerback group.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Poll: Which Rookie Wide Receiver Will Finish With Most Receiving Yards?

This past week we asked you which rookie running back would finish with the most yards in 2021, and now we’re turning our attention to the wide receivers. This year’s wideout class was a great one, with three going in the top ten picks.

Two more then went later in the first round, and then five were off the board in the second. The crop included reigning Heisman Trophy winner DeVonta Smith, and LSU star Ja’Marr Chase who was reunited in Cincinnati with college teammate Joe Burrow.

Chase became the first receiver off the board when the Bengals nabbed him with the fifth overall pick. He should already have great chemistry with Burrow, so he’s got that working in his favor. Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd are still there, but the team moving on from A.J. Green this offseason means Chase should see plenty of opportunity right away. Will his rapport with Burrow and a potentially improved Cincy O-line be enough for him to seize the rookie receiving title?

The following pick, the Dolphins took Jaylen Waddle from Alabama at number six. Waddle is also reconnecting with an old college quarterback as he’ll re-team with Tua Tagovailoa in Miami. His blazing fast speed gives him plenty of upside, although working against him is the fact that he missed a good chunk of the 2020 season due to injury. Will Fuller will have to sit out the first game of the 2021 season with a suspension, but DeVante Parker and Mike Gesicki will also be competing for targets.

Smith *also* is getting paired back up with a familiar face under center. The Heisman winner played with Eagles second-year quarterback Jalen Hurts at Alabama. Despite winning the award for best college football player in the country, Smith was the third wideout taken. Will he use that as added motivation and come out with a chip on his shoulder? He certainly shouldn’t struggle for playing time with Philly’s receiving depth chart being thin as ever. Jalen Reagor, Travis Fulgham, and Greg Ward Jr. are all he has to compete with.

The other two first-rounders were Kadarius Toney from Florida to the Giants at 20 and Rashod Bateman from Minnesota to the Ravens at 27. Toney surprised New York by skipping OTAs and apparently might begin the year in a gadget role as he’s buried behind Sterling Shepard, Kenny Golladay, Darius Slayton, and Evan Engram in the pecking order, so he’s got his work cut out for him. Bateman has a path to a breakout with Baltimore in desperate need of receiving help, but the Ravens’ passing game is going to be a wild card.

Elijah Moore was the next big name, with the Ole Miss product going to the Jets at 34. He’s also got upside, but has a few guys ahead of him and will have a rookie quarterback throwing to him. Rondale Moore (Purdue) to the Cardinals at 49, D’Wayne Eskridge (Western Michigan) to the Seahawks at 56, Tutu Atwell (Louisville) to the Rams at 57, and Terrace Marshall Jr. (LSU) to the Panthers at 59 round out the rest of the round two receivers.

So, what do you think? Which receiver will rack up the most yards in 2021? Who are the later-round candidates or UDFAs who can join these players as early contributors? Vote in PFR’s latest poll and weigh in with your thoughts in the comments section.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Saints To Pursue Xavien Howard If Dolphins Make Him Available For Trade

The Saints have been linked to free agent cornerback Richard Sherman throughout this offseason, but Sherman’s recent legal troubles have probably severed that link, at least for the time being. Still, New Orleans would probably like another quality corner to line up opposite Marshon Lattimore, and GM Mickey Loomis could have his eye on one of the best DBs in the league.

According to Jeff Duncan of The Athletic (via Twitter), the Saints will be heavily involved in the bidding for Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard should Miami make Howard available via trade. Howard has four years remaining on his current contract, so the Dolphins are understandably reluctant to rework it, but Howard is said to be dug in on his desire for a new deal. If player and team cannot find some common ground, Howard could be on the move, despite the blow that would deal to Miami’s hopes of contention in 2021.

Though the five-year, $75MM pact Howard signed with the ‘Fins in 2019 made him the highest-paid corner in the league at the time, his $15MM AAV is now the sixth-highest mark in football. And on the heels of a terrific 2020 season in which he led the league with 10 interceptions and graded out as the second-best CB in the NFL per Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics, Howard is trying to strike while the iron is hot.

Howard is attached to a $12MM salary for 2021, so the Saints, who have about $10MM of cap space, would need to carve out some room to accommodate a Howard acquisition (unless Miami kicks in some cash). But financial constraints never seem to be much of an issue for Loomis, who, along with vice president of football administration Khai Harley, continues to manipulate the cap in new and creative ways.

Obviously, Howard’s desire for a market-topping contract wouldn’t change if he ends up in New Orleans, so Loomis would also need to be prepared to pony up a $20MM/year deal in addition to premium draft capital. Such a maneuver could lead to a Lattimore departure in 2022, but at least for one season, the Saints would boast perhaps the top CB duo in football.

Although the Dolphins still have leverage over Howard given the amount of time left on his contract and the hefty fines that the CBA imposes for training camp holdouts, veteran NFL reporter Michael Silver says trade chatter is swirling around the 28-year-old (Twitter link). Silver adds that Howard is unlikely to get the new deal he wants from Miami, and that there are several teams in win-now mode that are considering a trade. He does not specifically name the Saints as one such club, though New Orleans does profile as a win-now outfit.

With training camp fast approaching, there should be more clarity on Howard’s future fairly soon.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Release Candidate: Dolphins WR Allen Hurns

It was only about two years ago that the Dolphins handed Allen Hurns a two-year, $8MM extension. However, the veteran receiver now finds himself buried on the team’s depth chart, leading to speculation about his future in Miami.

Back in 2015, Hurns looked like a future star in Jacksonville, as the wideout collected 1,031 receiving yards and 10 games during his second season in the NFL. The receiver hasn’t managed to match those numbers since, but he still appeared in at least 10 games per season between 2016 and 2019, and he’s earned three contracts since his stint with the Jaguars ended after the 2017 campaign.

He signed with the Dolphins before the 2019 season, and after only a few months with the organization, the team was willing to give the receiver a two-year extension worth $8MM (with more than $3MM in guaranteed money). Hurns didn’t put up stellar numbers during his first season in Miami, finishing with 416 yards and a pair of touchdowns. 2020 would have been the first season of the veteran’s extension, but Hurns decided to opt out of the 2020 campaign.

That brings us to today, where Hurns now finds himself competing for one of the final receiver spots. The organization brought in veteran Will Fuller, sixth-overall pick Jaylen Waddle, and third rounder Lynn Bowden Jr. this past offseason. The team also returns 2020 starters DeVante Parker and Preston Williams, meaning the team also has five receivers locked in. At most, the Dolphins could hold on to two more receivers, but they could value the continuity of Albert Wilson or the special-teams/returning prowess of Mack Hollins and Jakeem Grant (respectively).

The one thing working in Hurns’ favor could be his contract. That two-year extension finally kicks in this year, and his dead cap hit ($3.36MM) is larger than his cap hit ($2.8MM). That’s the majority of Hurns’ guaranteed money, so Miami would have to eat that hit if they prefer to keep one of the handful of alternatives. The team could theoretically find a taker for the 29-year-old receiver via trade, but there probably wouldn’t be too many teams willing to give anything of value. More likely, these hypothetical suitors would just wait for the Dolphins to cut Hurns and take their chances in free agency.

Both sides will get more clarity during training camp and the preseason. After all, Hurns hasn’t played professional football in more than a year, and the receiver could ultimately show he belongs on the roster.

“Great feeling just being back in the end zone,” Hurns said last month (via The Athletic’s Josh Tolentino). “It is a great feeling always, but me just getting back out there, being with the guys — it feels good. I took a year off, but being back, seeing the guys, being out there with them, competing — that’s what it’s all about.”

We’ll see if Hurns sticks around long enough to compete during the regular season with his current teammates.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Ted Ginn Retires From NFL

Veteran wide receiver Ted Ginn has announced his retirement from football. Ginn, the No. 9 overall pick in 2007, enjoyed 14 seasons in the NFL with six different teams. 

It was a hard decision, but it was one that had to be made,” Ginn said at a Friday press conference (via News5 Cleveland). “I’ve been gone 20 years, not being able to have some of the joys that you’re supposed to have as a man —being able to enjoy your parents, being able to enjoy your kids, your wife and just yourself,” Ginn said.

Ginn’s blazing speed made him one of the most intriguing prospects in the ’07 class. He didn’t quite live up to all the hype, but he outlasted many of his first-round peers. Over time, Ginn found his footing as a return man, racking up seven touchdowns on special teams plus countless highlights.

Last year Ginn spent some time with the Bears but see much action in his six games. His last full season came in 2019 with the Saints, when he caught 30 passes for 421 yards and two touchdowns. After that, New Orleans signed Emmanuel Sanders, and Ginn was pushed out.

All in all, Ginn leaves football with 33 receiving touchdowns for the Dolphins, 49ers, Panthers (2x), Cardinals, Saints, and Bears. We here at PFR wish Ginn the best in retirement.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

2021 Cap Space For All 32 NFL Teams

There are still plenty of quality free agents left on the board as we look ahead to training camp. Cornerback Steven Nelson, tackle Russell Okung, and longtime Legion of Boom leader Richard Sherman headline the list, along with accomplished edge rushers like Justin Houston, Melvin Ingram, and Olivier Vernon. That list will only grow larger, of course, as more teams shed veterans to redirect their funds elsewhere.

With that in mind, here’s a look at every NFL team’s cap situation, starting with the league-leading Jaguars:

  1. Jacksonville Jaguars — $32.7MM
  2. Denver Broncos — $28.9MM
  3. New York Jets — $28.5MM
  4. Cleveland Browns — $20.6MM
  5. Los Angeles Chargers — $19.9MM
  6. Detroit Lions — $17.9MM
  7. San Francisco 49ers — $17.8MM
  8. Cincinnati Bengals — $17.4MM
  9. Washington Football Team — $16.7MM
  10. Indianapolis Colts— $14.3MM
  11. Carolina Panthers— $14.3MM
  12. Minnesota Vikings — $13.5MM
  13. Pittsburgh Steelers — $13.1MM
  14. New England Patriots — $13.1MM
  15. New Orleans Saints — $11.4MM
  16. Arizona Cardinals — $11.3MM
  17. Buffalo Bills — $10.5MM
  18. Baltimore Ravens — $8.8MM
  19. Atlanta Falcons — $8.6MM
  20. Seattle Seahawks — $8.3MM
  21. Tennessee Titans — $8.3MM
  22. Kansas City Chiefs — $7.9MM
  23. Los Angeles Rams — $7MM
  24. Chicago Bears — $6MM
  25. Dallas Cowboys — $6MM
  26. Miami Dolphins — $5.3MM
  27. Green Bay Packers — $5MM
  28. Houston Texans — $5MM
  29. Las Vegas Raiders — $3.3MM
  30. Philadelphia Eagles — $3.2MM
  31. New York Giants — $2.4MM
  32. Tampa Bay Buccaneers — $489K

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.