Miami Dolphins Rumors & News

Ryan Tannehill Fully Healed From Knee Injury

  • As expected, the knee injury that sidelined Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill for the tail end of last season, including the team’s wild-card round loss to the Steelers, won’t be a problem going forward. Tannehill is now fully healed from his partially torn ACL/Grade 2 MCL sprain and will be able to participate in the Dolphins’ entire offseason program, reports Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald.

Julius Thomas Passes Dolphins Physical

All deals are contingent on players passing a physical exam, but it is often just a formality. In the case of tight end Julius Thomas, who has missed eleven games in the past two years, the physical was nothing to be scoffed at. On Tuesday, Thomas was given a clean bill of health by doctors, paving the way for a deal to be finalized between the Jaguars and Dolphins on the first day of the league year, Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald writes. 

Teams cannot officially make trades until March 9, but everything is now in place for the swap to go through. The intra-state deal will send the tight end to Miami in exchange for a 2017 seventh-round pick. Then, in a separate deal, left tackle Branden Albert will go to Jacksonville in exchange for a 2018 seventh-round pick. Initially, it looked like the veterans would be exchanged within the same trade. Effectively, of course, they are being traded for one another.

Thomas has a history with Dolphins head coach Adam Gase and he is expected to pick up the offense rather quickly. If he can stay healthy, he could prove to be a serious weapon for Miami. Between 2013 and 2014, Thomas tallied 108 catches and 24 touchdowns under Gase’s guidance. Meanwhile, the Jaguars have secured their replacement for left tackle Kelvin Beachum, though Albert comes with plenty of question marks himself.

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Fins Still Interested In Re-Signing Dion Sims

Although the Dolphins have agreed to acquire Julius Thomas from the Jaguars, Miami still has interest in re-signing fellow tight end Dion Sims, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald."<strong

[RELATED: Dolphins Could Be Active In Free Agency]

Sims, 26, has never topped 30 receptions or 300 yards receiving during his four-year career, but Dolphins head coach Adam Gase has reportedly told Sims he views the former Michigan State Spartan as an integral part of the team going forward. Moreover, Miami believes Sims’ skill-set contrasts well with that of Thomas, per Jackson. Not only is Sims a solid blocker (whereas Thomas is not), he would provide the Dolphins with another tight end option in the event Thomas falls victim to injury, something he’s done multiple times during his NFL career.

Although he’s not expected to be a free agent priority like wide receiver Kenny Stills or defensive end Andre Branch, Sims is clearly in the Dolphins’ 2017 plans. Even if the Thomas trade goes through, Miami’s tight end depth would only consist of MarQueis Gray and Thomas Duarte, the latter of whom played all of two offensive snaps during his rookie campaign. Jordan Cameron, meanwhile, is an unrestricted free agent and is mulling retirement following a history of concussions.

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Dolphins Sign Winston Chapman

  • The Dolphins announced that they’ve signed long snapper Winston Chapman. Chapman, 24, went undrafted out of Mississippi State in 2015 after tearing his ACL during his senior season. Miami’s incumbent long snapper, John Denney, is an unrestricted free agent.

Dolphins To Acquire Julius Thomas

The Dolphins have agreed to acquire tight end Julius Thomas from the Jaguars, reports Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald. The Fins will send a 2017 seventh-round pick to Jacksonville for Thomas, who is traveling to Miami tomorrow for a visit and physical, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter links). The trade won’t become official until 4 p.m. ET on March 9, the start of the 2017 league year.

It’s no surprise that Thomas will head to Miami, which worked hard to acquire him in recent days, but the club took an unusual route to land the 28-year-old. It looked as though the Dolphins and Jaguars were set to swap left tackle Branden Albert and Thomas over the weekend, but that fell through early Monday. Jacksonville later agreed to acquire Albert in a separate deal, which the teams haven’t yet finalized.

Thomas had drawn trade interest from other teams, but the ex-Denver star will now reunite with Dolphins head coach and former Broncos offensive coordinator Adam Gase. Thomas is eager to reunite with Gase, per Salguero, which is hardly a shock. From 2013-14, Gase was at the helm of a Denver attack that prominently featured Thomas, who posted the best seasons of his career during that stretch. Thomas combined for 108 catches and 24 touchdowns under Gase, and he parlayed that success into a mega-deal with the Jaguars in 2015.

Thomas didn’t live up to his five-year, $46MM contract in Jacksonville, where he missed 11 of 32 regular-season games and saw his yards per catch drop from nearly 12.0 in Denver to under 10.0. He was fairly productive otherwise, though, as he caught 76 passes and nine scores in his 21 appearances as a Jag.

As was the case in Denver and Jacksonville, Thomas will serve as Miami’s top tight end. The club seems likely to lose its No. 1 option from last season, soon-to-be free agent Dion Sims, which made finding a replacement a high priority. Thomas is under contract through 2019, but he has agreed to restructured his deal, a league source told Salguero. The Dolphins are “significantly” cutting down his remaining cap hits, which previously ranged from $8.3MM to $10.3MM. Thomas will have a chance to earn back the money he’s losing through incentives.

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Dolphins, Jags Agree To Swap Branden Albert, Draft Pick

The possibility of the Dolphins acquiring Jaguars tight end Julius Thomas for left tackle Branden Albert is now off the table, reports Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald. However, the Dolphins have agreed to send Albert to the Jags in a separate deal, per Salugero, which will net Miami a 2018 seventh-round pick, tweets Albert Breer of The MMQB.com.Branden Albert (vertical)

In order for the trade to become official, the Jaguars will need Albert to agree to report, according to Salguero. Before that happens, the Jags and Albert’s representation will continue discussing his contract status. Albert himself will have dinner tonight with Jacksonville’s front office, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link), who adds the two sides will discuss his deal on Tuesday if all goes well.

The two sides have been in talks regarding Albert’s deal the past “several days,” writes Salguero, who adds that Jacksonville seems prepared to take on the rest of his pact and possibly even extend it. The 32-year-old Albert is currently signed through 2018 and set to count upward of $10MM against the salary cap in both seasons. By moving on from Albert, the Dolphins would free up $7.2MM in spending room.

As for Thomas, he could still end up with the Dolphins, tweets Rapoport, but their efforts to acquire him have hit a snag over his contract. Thomas reportedly would have had to take a pay cut had the Jaguars sent him to the Dolphins for Albert. The 28-year-old is signed through 2019 and comes with pricey base salaries ($7MM, $8.5MM and $9MM) and cap hits ($8.3MM, $9.8MM, $10.3MM). Nearly half of his salary for 2017 ($3MM) has already become guaranteed.

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Dolphins Could Be Active In Free Agency

The Dolphins currently have over $42MM in cap space, which will increase significantly when they get rid of left tackle Branden Albert, and appear primed to put that money to use in the coming weeks. After going 10-6 and breaking a seven-year playoff drought in 2016, the Dolphins could “make a pretty big splash” when free agency opens March 9, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com said Monday on NFL Network (via Chris Wesseling of NFL.com).

Brandon Williams (Vertical)

In the wake of finishing 19th in the league in defensive DVOA last season, it seems Miami will look to make major upgrades on that side of the ball. Rapoport named defensive tackle and cornerback as areas the Dolphins might address, and he pointed to Ravens D-tackle Brandon Williams as a potential target. There’s no guarantee Williams will reach the market, though, as the Ravens have identified re-signing him as a priority.

On the back end, it’s already known that the Dolphins are pondering a trade for a big-name corner to pair with Byron Maxwell, but it’s possible they’ll go the free agent route instead. The market is slated to feature highly accomplished options in the form of the Texans’ A.J. Bouye, the Rams’ Trumaine Johnson and two AFC East rivals – the Patriots’ Logan Ryan and the Bills’ Stephon Gilmore. The Bengals’ Dre Kirkpatrick is also headed to free agency, and newly promoted Dolphins defensive coordinator Matt Burke is familiar with him after serving on Cincinnati’s staff from 2014-15.

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Dolphins, Jaguars Working To Swap Branden Albert, Julius Thomas

The Dolphins are discussing a trade that would send left tackle Branden Albert to the Jaguars in exchange for tight end Julius Thomas, according to Omar Kelly of the Sun-Sentinel. Albert was first linked to Jacksonville last week by Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald, who speculated Thomas could be a target for the Dolphins.Julius Thomas (Vertical)

[RELATED: Dolphins Extend Cameron Wake]

Miami, of course, was close to releasing Albert last week, but trade talks materialized before the Fins officially made the move. The Jaguars, who recently declined their option bonus on left tackle Kelvin Beachum, were immediately viewed as the “primary destination” for Albert. While Albert and/or Thomas may need to restructure their contracts in order to finalize a deal, “all parties are willing participants” in negotiations, per Kelly.

“Why ruffle feathers when you don’t have to?” Albert said when asked about the trade. “It’s the business of the game. I honestly believe where I’m going to go is the right fit. It is going to be a surprise when [the terms] comes out.”

Albert, 32, has two years left on his current deal, with cap charges north of $10MM in each season. Miami would incur $3.4MM in dead money by dealing Albert to Jacksonville. Albert will visit the Jaguars today, and they could sweeten his deal in order to facilitate a trade, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. The 28-year-old Thomas, meanwhile, is signed through 2019, and $3MM of his $7MM 2017 base salary has already become guaranteed, though he might accept a small pay cut, per Rapoport (Twitter link). Regardless, his salary would become the responsibility of the Dolphins in a trade, while the Jaguars would incur $3.6MM in dead money.

While Albert would take over the left tackle spot in Jacksonville, Thomas would also represent a solid fit for Miami. Incumbent Dolphins tight ends Jordan Cameron and Dion Sims are each pending free agents, and while Miami has interest in re-signing Sims, the club could certainly use a more established option. While Thomas has struggled during his time with the Jags, he did catch 24 touchdowns over two seasons in Denver while current Dolphins head coach Adam Gase served as offensive coordinator.

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Thomas-For-Albert Swap Has Hangups

  • A possible contractual hangup stands in the way of a DolphinsJaguars Branden Albert-for-Julius Thomas swap, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports. Albert, 32, has two years remaining on his five-year, $47MM deal. Thomas, 28, has three remaining on a five-year, $46.5MM accord. Both teams are in need of upgrades, the Jaguars at left tackle and Dolphins at tight end. Neither player has proven he can stay healthy throughout a season, however. With Albert being set to make $4MM more than Kelvin Beachum did last year at $9MM, Jason Fitzgerald of OverTheCap wonders (Twitter links) if the hesitation is on the Jags’ end. Thomas is scheduled to make $7.1MM; Miami paid Jordan Cameron $6MM in 2016 for little production. Mike Garafolo of NFL.com expects the deal to be finalized by the time the new league year opens, however.
  • Within the same mailbag piece, Kuharsky adds Broncos RFA linebacker Todd Davis could have several suitors. The Broncos experienced an eventful RFA last year, placing a low-end tender on C.J. Anderson before ultimately matching a Dolphins offer sheet on their starting running back. Denver applied a second-round tender to Davis’ inside linebacker mate, Brandon Marshall, last season before signing him to a four-year extension later.

Dolphins Eyeing Offensive Guards

The Dolphins are moving on from veteran offensive lineman Branden Albert — and shifting 2016 first-round pick Laremy Tunsil from left guard to left tackle — because the club believes it can find a replacement guard on the cheap, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald.Adam Gase (Vertical)

[RELATED: Top Three Offseason Needs — Miami Dolphins]

Albert was scheduled to earn nearly $9MM in 2017, funds Miami will now be able to put towards acquiring a new interior offensive lineman. However, given that part of the Dolphins’ calculation in parting ways with Albert was financial, the team isn’t likely to invest the entirety of that savings into guard reinforcements, per Jackson. Indeed, Miami is instead targeting bargains at the position.

With those parameters in place, high-priced options such as Kevin Zeitler, T.J. Lang, Ronald Leary, and Larry Warford are probably not on Miami’s radar. As such, one player who could make sense for the Dolphins is free agent Patrick Omameh, who played under Miami head coach Adam Gase with Chicago in 2015, writes Jackson. Omameh, 27, graded as the No. 31 guard in the league last season on 454 snaps with Jacksonville, per Pro Football Focus.

While the Dolphins want to secure a free agent to handle one guard spot, Miami is likely to fill the other side with an amalgamation of Kraig Urbik, Anthony Steen, and a draft pick, per Jackson. Veteran Jermon Bushrod, who played more than 1,000 snaps for the Fins last season, is a free agent and may not be retained, though he’s indicated he’d like to continue his career.

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