Miami Dolphins Rumors & News

Dolphins Want Core Offensive Players Signed Through 2020

The Dolphins intend to keep core offensive players together through 2020, as Armando Salguero of The Miami Herald writes. That group includes quarterback Ryan Tannehill and starting receivers Kenny Stills, Jarvis Landry, and DeVante Parker. The Dolphins already have Tannehill and Stills locked down and they can effectively say the same for Parker thanks to his fifth-year option and the franchise tag. That just leaves Landry, who is scheduled to reach free agency after the 2017 season.

T.J. McDonald Suspended For Eight Games

Free agent safety T.J. McDonald has been suspended for the first eight games of the 2017 season, according to Field Yates of ESPN.com (Twitter links). McDonald, he adds, just had his first free agent visit with the Dolphins. The suspension stems his May 2016 DUI arrest, which included drug charges (Twitter link via Ian Rapoport of NFL.com). T.J. McDonald (vertical)

McDonald is ranked as our No. 1 available safety in free agency and is one of the highest-ranked players remaining on my Top 50 Free Agents list, which ranked players based on projected earning power. Apparently, McDonald won’t be making anywhere near what we expected, thanks in part to the pending ban.

McDonald, a hard hitting defensive back, has been a starter for the Rams in each of the last four seasons. This year, he hit free agency and the Rams did not show any interest in re-signing him.

In 2016, McDonald had 62 total tackles, two interceptions, one sack, and six passes defensed. He graded out as as Pro Football Focus’ 58th best safety in the NFL last season.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Dolphins Focusing On Draft, Not Zach Brown

  • Free agent linebacker Zach Brown is reportedly choosing between the Dolphins and Raiders, but Miami’s Mike Tannenbaum-led front office doesn’t seem to be going all-out to sign him, observes Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald. “The lion’s share of our focus right now is on the draft,” said Tannenbaum, the team’s executive vice president of football operations. “If an opportunity came along, we’d evaluate it appropriately. But our focus is really on the draft and something comes along, we’ll certainly look at it.”

Dolphins Not Interested In Joe Mixon

In recent weeks, teams have been meeting with Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon and weighing his potential against the public relations nightmare that would come with drafting him. At least one team, it seems, won’t even put it on the scale. There is a “zero percent chance” that the Dolphins will draft Mixon, a source with knowledge of the team’s thinking told Armando Salguero of The Miami HeraldJoe Mixon (vertical)

[RELATED: Pauline’s Latest: Packers, Vikings, Seahawks]

Mixon was not invited to the draft combine in late February after video surfaced of him striking a woman in a late-night altercation. There’s also an alleged incident from 2016 in which the running back got in the face of a female meter maid. Teams are uneasy about Mixon’s history, but at the same time, he is one of the top running backs in this year’s class in terms of pure ability. Absent the red flags, Mixon would have safely been projected as a first-round choice. There’s serious downside with Mixon, but Tyreek Hill’s breakout season in Kansas City is a reminder how a risky pick can pay off.

Mixon amassed 1,812 yards from scrimmage and scored 15 touchdowns last season, averaging 6.8 yards per carry. It’s looking more and more likely that one team will roll the dice on him, but it will not be the Dolphins.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Dolphins Notes: Jones, Willis

  • Scouts view North Carolina State safety Josh Jones as a top-50 pick, according to Pauline, and a number of clubs have already expressed interest. Jones has worked out for the Jaguars and will meet with the Cardinals, Steelers, Ravens, Dolphins, and Jets. While Mel Kiper Jr. of ESPN.com ranks Jones as just the seventh-best safety on the board, Daniel Jeremiah of NFL.com places Jones within his top-50 players (No. 48).
  • The Jaguars have visited with Kansas State defensive end Jordan Willis, reports Pauline, and the Eagles, Buccaneers, Dolphins, and Cowboys all plan to meet with the edge rusher, as well. Even with that level of interest, Willis will still likely end up being selected at the beginning of the second round rather than at the end of the first, writes Pauline. The Saints have already put Willis through a workout.

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Zach Brown Deciding Between Raiders, Dolphins?

Several teams have pursued Zach Brown this offseason, but the UFA linebacker may be down to his final two choices. Brown is believed to be deciding between the Dolphins and Raiders, Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald reports.

Brown has visited the Dolphins, Raiders and Bills, while the Colts have expressed interest as well. While Oakland and Miami believe they’re in the running for the non-rush linebacker, neither looks set to meet Brown’s asking price of $6MM per year, Salguero notes. The south Florida-based writer reported earlier this week the Dolphins would be more comfortable paying Brown a deal in the $3MM- or $4MM-per-year range.

The Dolphins have been active this month in reshaping their linebacking corps, signing Lawrence Timmons as a UFA, restructuring Koa Misi‘s deal and extending Kiko Alonso. Brown would seemingly take Misi’s place in the lineup, with the 30-year-old middle ‘backer taking a pay cut to stay in south Florida, if he were to sign with the Dolphins.

Either way, Brown would be moving from a 3-4 defense to a base 4-3 look. The Raiders signed former Dolphins outside linebacker Jelani Jenkins to likely play the weakside spot but have a need inside. Bruce Irvin plays as an outside linebacker in the Raiders’ 4-3 base but slides to defensive end in pass-rush situations, leaving an opening in nickel sets. Raiders 2016 middle linebacker Perry Riley remains a free agent. He of 149 tackles in a standout season in Buffalo, Brown ranks as PFR’s No. 1 linebacker remaining in free agency. Riley sits No. 2 on this list but hasn’t generated nearly as much interest.

If Oakland sought to outmuscle Miami for Brown, the team has $32MM-plus in cap space compared to the Fins’ $15MM. But the Raiders have a possible Derek Carr extension coming this year, almost certainly contributing to their free agency plan.

Previously viewed as a plus-coverage ‘backer with the Titans, Brown experienced a tepid market for his services as a first-time UFA last year. A deal in the $3-$4MM-AAV range would put him below lesser names like A.J. Klein ($5MM AAV), or $4MM-per-year players Tahir Whitehead or Damario Davis on the inside linebacker salary spectrum. Fellow UFA Kevin Minter signed a one-year, $4.25MM deal with the Bengals last week.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Dolphins To Host Taco Charlton

  • Michigan edge defender Taco Charlton has visits lined up with the Buccaneers, Cowboys, Dolphins and Saints, Michael Rothstein of ESPN.com reports. Registering 9.5 sacks during a season in which he played with a high ankle sprain, Charlton believes he’s a top-15 player. He met Thursday night with the Steelers, Ravens, Titans and Saints. There’s definitely one team that appears to be interested here, if the overlap is any indication.

Details On Kiko Alonso's Extension

  • Dolphins linebacker Kiko Alonso‘s three-year extension adds an even $25MM to the $3.91MM he’ll earn in 2017, tweets Tom Pelissero of USA Today. The $28.91MM deal includes $16MM in fully guaranteed money for Alonso, who’s now slated to remain with the Dolphins through the 2020 season.

Latest On Dolphins, Zach Brown

Although the Dolphins and free agent linebacker Zach Brown are fairly far apart in negotiations, the club still believes it has a chance to land him, according to Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald (Twitter link). In order for an agreement to happen, though, Brown will have to reduce his asking price, which is in the range of $6MM per annum on a multiyear deal.