Dolphins Rumors

Pats Did Not Make Offer To Jason McCourty

After a three-year reunion, the McCourty brothers again went their separate ways this season. As Devin McCourty remains in the same role he has occupied for the past 12 years, Jason is with a fourth NFL team.

The 13th-year cornerback signed a veteran-minimum deal with the Dolphins, doing so after meeting with the Giants. While a lower-level market formed for Jason McCourty, the Patriots were not overly interested in bringing him back. New England did not submit an offer to keep Jason, Mike Reiss of ESPN.com notes.

With McCourty accepting a vet-minimum contract, his market was certainly not robust. But he has remained a viable secondary cog despite his age. The last active corner from the 2009 draft, the Rutgers product has continued to deliver for his various teams (Titans, Browns, Patriots, Dolphins).

The Pats used the veteran cover man as a 33-game starter, and he added three playoff starts during the team’s Super Bowl-winning 2018 season. New England is currently playing without top corner Stephon Gilmore, who is on the team’s PUP list. While the Pats moved offseason signing Jalen Mills back to corner and still have J.C. Jackson and slot man Jonathan Jones, it is interesting they did not make much of an effort to retain McCourty given the minimal cost.

McCourty has started both Miami’s games this season and, at 34, played 94% of the team’s defensive snaps. While Pro Football Focus slotted him outside its top 75 at corner last season, he grades as a top-20 safety thus far in his second tour of duty with Brian Flores.

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Dolphins To Place Tua Tagovailoa On IR

The Dolphins’ stretch without their starting quarterback will last at least three games. Tua Tagovailoa will land on IR, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter).

With Brian Flores indicating earlier this week additional testing revealed Tagovailoa suffered multiple fractured ribs, this is not especially surprising. Offseason addition Jacoby Brissett will now have an extended opportunity, which has become familiar for the veteran backup.

Brissett was needed as a rookie in New England, with Tom Brady‘s Deflategate suspension and a subsequent Jimmy Garoppolo injury moving Brissett into the Patriots’ lineup early in 2016. Andrew Luck‘s troublesome shoulder injury thrust Brissett into a full-time starting role, after a late-summer trade, in 2017. After Luck’s return the following year sent Brissett back to the bench, the Indianapolis franchise QB’s sudden 2019 retirement brought on another year of full-time QB1 duty for the former third-round pick. Philip Rivers kept Brissett on the Colts’ bench throughout 2020, but he will now have three more games to use as a potential audition for a 2022 gig. Brissett, 28, signed a one-year, $5MM deal in March.

For Tagovailoa, this continues a less-than-ideal start to his NFL career. The former Alabama superstar became the Dolphins’ starting quarterback last season but saw Flores yank him for Ryan Fitzpatrick in multiple games. As Tagovailoa was believed to be progressing on multiple fronts this offseason, Deshaun Watson trade rumors persisted. They have not exactly died down. And this latest Tua setback may intensify rumblings the Dolphins will look to bring in the embattled Texans QB.

Tua will miss Dolphins games against the Raiders, Colts and Buccaneers. A Week 6 Jaguars matchup stands as the second-year passer’s next opportunity, though it is not certain he will be ready to return by then.

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Latest On Dolphins, Texans’ Deshaun Watson

Stephen Ross reportedly wants to bring embattled Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson to South Beach. That’s no secret, and that’s a sticking point to the Dolphins’ owner. Ross is unhappy about the late-August leak, according to a source who spoke with PFT

Watson could be a game-changer for the Dolphins, but Ross doesn’t want to overrule his football people who seem less excited about the idea. Ross also seems willing to wait until next year, when there should be more clarity on Watson’s legal situation and availability.

The Texans still want three first-round draft picks (and more) for Watson and they want them to come with zero conditions. That doesn’t sit well with the Dolphins or other potentially interested clubs who know that Watson could quickly be parked on the commissioner’s list. Meanwhile, it’s safe to assume that the Panthers’ interest in Watson has cooled. New QB Sam Darnold has Carolina at 2-0, following last night’s 24-9 drumming over Houston.

Even with Tyrod Taylor sidelined, the Texans turned to rookie Davis Mills on Thursday with journeyman Jeff Driskel as his backup. Even if Ross really wants Watson in Miami, it sounds like the three-time Pro Bowler will remain in limbo for the foreseeable future.

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Minor NFL Transactions: 9/23/21

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

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Miami Dolphins

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Dolphins Rule Out Tua Tagovailoa For Week 3

Tua Tagovailoa‘s rib injury will keep him out of the Dolphins’ Week 3 game in Las Vegas, Brian Flores said Wednesday. Flores said additional testing revealed fractured ribs, Jeff Darlington of ESPN.com tweets. This marks a bit of a step up from Tua’s “day to day” assessment.

While the third-year Dolphins HC stopped short of indicating Tagovailoa would need to be placed on IR, such a scenario would not be surprising. This represents another setback for the former top-five pick, who has yet to find his NFL footing.

Jacoby Brissett replaced Tagovailoa in the Dolphins’ 35-0 loss to the Bills and will start against the Raiders. The Dolphins signed Brissett to a one-year, $5MM deal this offseason. Should this situation morph into a Tagovailoa IR stay, Brissett would have a reunion game in Week 4, when the Dolphins face the Colts. The Dolphins will match up against the Buccaneers in Week 5.

Entering the NFL after a severe hip injury ended his junior season early, Tagovailoa also missed a game due to a thumb injury as a rookie. The former Alabama superstar threw four passes before going down in Week 2.

This setback may intensify Deshaun Watson rumors, with the Dolphins being the team most closely connected to the Pro Bowl passer. Despite owner Stephen Ross‘ potential interest in acquiring the embattled Texans quarterback, the Dolphins have balked at the Texans’ steep asking price. Houston is believed to have turned down an offer including three first-round picks, seeking a haul including other high picks and/or established players as well. The Texans have made Watson a healthy scratch for their first two games.

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Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa Considered Day-To-Day

Tua Tagovailoa was carted into the locker room during yesterday’s loss to the Bills, but it sounds like the Dolphins quarterback avoided a serious injury. Tagovailoa is considered day-to-day, reports Omar Kelly of South Florida Sun-Sentinel (via Twitter).

[RELATED: Dolphins WR Will Fuller Returns To Team]

The former first-round pick was sidelined during the second drive of yesterday’s game. While X-rays on Tagovailoa’s ribs came back negative, head coach Brian Flores said his quarterback is still in a “good deal of pain.” The head coach also revealed that his starting quarterback tried to return to yesterday’s game, and Tagovailoa’s chances of playing this weekend will depend on his pain tolerance.

“Tua is very tough. It’s not a question with him,” Flores said (via ESPN’s Marcel Louis-Jacques). “He’s a tough kid, for sure … If Tua can go, he’s gonna go. That’s just the type of kid he is.”

Tagovailoa helped guide the Dolphins to a Week 1 win, tossing a touchdown and rushing for another. Jacoby Brissett filled in on Sunday and completed 20 of his 40 pass attempts for 169 yards and one interception. Brissett would presumably get the starting nod if Tagovailoa is sidelined on Sunday in Las Vegas.

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Dolphins WR Will Fuller Returns To Team

Will Fuller is back in Miami. The offseason acquisition has returned to the team, coach Brian Flores said today (via ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Twitter).

This means the veteran wideout should be ready to make his Dolphins debut this weekend in Las Vegas. Fuller missed Week 1 thanks to a now-completed PED suspension. He was expected to play in Week 2, but he was ruled out for a non-injury-related reason. We never got a definitive explanation for Fuller’s absence yesterday, but Flores made it clear that the receiver had the organiation’s support.

After spending the first five seasons of his career with the Texans, Fuller inked a one-year, $10.6MM deal with the Dolphins this past offseason. The 27-year-old is coming off his best professional season, as he finished with a career-high 879 receiving yards and career-high eight scores in only 11 games. Fuller, of course, has missed a number of games throughout his career, with Sunday’s absence being his 29th missed game since entering the league in 2016.

In Miami, he’ll provide the up-and-coming offense with another electric option. Besides signing Fuller, the team also selected Jaylen Waddle sixth overall, pairing the two new additions with DeVante Parker and 2020 opt-out Albert Wilson.

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Minor NFL Transactions: 9/18/21

The customary Saturday minor moves avalanche:

Arizona Cardinals

Baltimore Ravens

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

  • Promoted: WR DeMichael Harris

Jacksonville Jaguars

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

San Francisco 49ers

Tennessee Titans

Dolphins’ Will Fuller To Miss Week 2

Will Fuller‘s Dolphins debut is again on hold. For a second straight week, the veteran wide receiver will miss a game for a non-injury-related reason.

The Dolphins will be without their new deep threat against the Bills due to what Brian Flores called a personal matter. Fuller missed Miami’s Week 1 game because of a PED suspension that is now complete. The recently signed pass catcher practiced Wednesday but was absent for Thursday and Friday’s Dolphins workouts.

He has my support. Things happen,” Flores said, via ESPN.com’s Marcel Louis-Jacques. “When they happen, they’re not part of normal every day, it’s a surprise from that standpoint. He’s dealing with it.”

After five seasons with the Texans, Fuller signed a one-year, $10.6MM deal with the Dolphins. Absences have plagued the talented receiver throughout his career, however. Sunday will be Fuller’s 29th missed game since coming into the league a 2016 first-round pick. Injuries caused Fuller’s run of absences from 2016-19. He began serving a six-game PED ban in Week 13 of last season.

Fuller is coming off his best season. Despite playing in just 11 games, he totaled a career-high 879 receiving yards and eight touchdown catches (also a career-best total) in his final Houston slate. How the Notre Dame product builds on that this year will determine if he can land a long-term contract from the Dolphins or another team as a 2022 free agent.

Miami made Fuller a key piece of its offseason receiver revamp effort. After rolling out a shorthanded receiving corps last season, the Dolphins signed Fuller and drafted Jaylen Waddle sixth overall. They also have Albert Wilson back from a 2020 opt-out. The team will not see this trio and DeVante Parker together until at least Week 3.

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Dolphins Place DL Raekwon Davis On IR

Raekwon Davis‘ knee injury will keep him off the field until at least October. The Dolphins placed the defensive tackle on injured reserve today, reports NFL Network’s Cameron Wolfe (via Twitter).

Fortunately, the injury won’t knock Davis out for the season. The defensive lineman will be required to sit on IR for three weeks before he’s eligible to return.

The Alabama product was a second-round pick by the Dolphins in 2020, and the defensive lineman earned PFWA All-Rookie Team honors following a standout rookie campaign. Davis ultimately saw time in 16 games last season (12 starts), collecting 40 tackles, one tackle for loss, and one QB hit. He started Sunday’s win over the Patriots, but he only saw time in five snaps before suffering his injury.

With Davis sidelined, the Dolphins could turn to John Jenkins to pick up the slack. The 32-year-old signed with the Dolphins this past offseason.

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