Mike Pouncey

East Notes: Dolphins, Pouncey, Cowboys

A look at some items out of the AFC and NFC East:

  • The Dolphins have replaced Mike Pouncey with Daniel Kilgore, but they do not believe that they have lost an elite center. “Mike was maybe the best or second-best center in the league two or three years ago,” a team source told Armando Salguero of The Miami Herald. Kilgore, they feel, will give Miami a bump in run blocking, but not necessarily in pass protection. He also brings more size to the position and is something of an iron addict whereas Pouncey was never an enthusiastic weight room guy.
  • New Dolphins defensive end Robert Quinn says he was “pretty much shocked, honestly” upon learning that he had been traded from the Rams to the Dolphins (Twitter links via Salguero). “It’s like this, this is the first time I’ve been traded. You commit yourself to someone and you have your family turn their back on you,” Quinn said. Quinn, 28 in May, racked up 8.5 sacks in 15 games for L.A. last season. He has 62.5 career sacks to his credit, dating back to 2011. The Bucs and Browns also explored trades for Quinn before he was shipped to Miami.
  • Defensive end Kony Ealy and the Cowboys remain in talks, Clarence Hill of the Star Telegram tweets. However, it might take a couple of days before a decision is made.

Mike Pouncey Signs 2-Year Deal With Chargers

The Chargers announced Tuesday that they’ve agreed to a two-year deal with Mike Pouncey after the three-time Pro Bowl offensive lineman visited the team’s facility earlier in the day. The visit with the Chargers was the first for Pouncey with another team since he requested and was granted his release from the Dolphins last week.

The Chargers are set to give Pouncey $15MM over the two-year deal, with $10MM guaranteed, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter (on Twitter).

Pouncey certainly serves as an upgrade to the Chargers’ interior offensive line, with Spencer Pulley and second-year guard Dan Feeney previously set to return at center and right guard, respectively. They also lost versatile offensive lineman Kenny Wiggins to the Lions in free agency this offseason.

Matt Slauson, who started seven games at left guard for the Chargers last year before a biceps injury cut his season short, is an unrestricted free agent and has already visited with the Lions, with a visit scheduled Tuesday with the Colts, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). The Colts had also reportedly shown interest in Pouncey.

The Dolphins and Pouncey parted ways last week after drafting him with the 15th overall pick of the 2011 draft out of Florida. He battled a hip injury last season but still managed to start all 16 games for the third time in his career. He was graded as the No. 25 center in the NFL out of qualifiers last season, according to Pro Football Focus. Hip injuries have hampered Pouncey throughout his career and held him to just five games in 2016 before being placed on injured reserve.

The Dolphins signed Pouncey to a five-year $52.15MM extension back in 2015 but he was one of the team’s numerous cuts as part of an effort to reduce their cap number. Some of those other releases included defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh, linebacker Lawrence Timmons and tight end Julius Thomas. The Dolphins cleared $9MM in cap space, with $2MM in dead cap, by releasing Pouncey.

[RELATED: Chargers Depth Chart]

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC East Notes: Pouncey, Jets, Draft

The Dolphins are overhauling their roster this offseason, looking to improve the culture of the club. A move that wasn’t motivated by the locker room, however, was the release of veteran center Mike Pouncey, NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport tweets.

Rapoport notes the All-Pro center received rave reviews for his leadership skills and toughness, but was simply cut because the Dolphins invested more money in the signing of Josh Sitton and the trade for Daniel Kilgore. Pouncey, who had three years left on his current deal, asked and was granted his release earlier this week after declining to take a pay cut. The Dolphins saved $7MM against the cap with the move.

Despite playing in all 16 games, Pouncey struggled through a hip injury in 2017. Pro Football Focus noted his down year, grading Pouncey as just the No. 27 center in the NFL. It’s possible Pouncey will require hip replacement surgery down the road, while at least one doctor has reportedly recommended that Pouncey retire, but he’s rejected that advice tho this point.

Since the trade deadline in 2017, the Dolphins have now parted ways with top producers like Jarvis Landry, Ndamukong Suh and Jay Ajayi, while also releasing veterans Lawrence Timmons and Julius Thomas.

Here’s more from around the AFC East:

  • Sticking with Pouncey, it was reported earlier in the week that he would take his first visit to meet with the Chargers on Sunday. That meeting is expected to be an extended one that will last through Monday and include a physical, CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora tweets. The Buccaneers and Colts have also shown interest in the center, but Tampa Bay could be more content now after signing Ryan Jensen to the richest deal for a center in NFL history.
  • After acquiring the No. 3 pick in the upcoming draft from the Colts, the Jets have not ruled out moving up even further, ESPN’s Rich Cimini writes. Cimini thinks that if they have one or two quarterbacks markedly ahead of the rest of the pack, New York could swing a deal for the Giants’ No. 2 pick or Cleveland’s No. 1. He does not that it is unlikely and would probably be “too rich for the Jets’ blood.”
  • Cimini also thinks the Jets prefer Josh Allen, Sam Darnold and Josh Rosen to Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield. He notes general manager Mike Maccagnan typically prefers prototypical signal-callers, rather than the undersized Mayfield. “My hunch is that Maccagnan and coach Todd Bowles wouldn’t be fans of the Mayfield sideshow.” 



Colts Interested In Mike Pouncey

The Colts are among the clubs with interest in free agent center Mike Pouncey, according to Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com (Twitter link).

Pouncey hasn’t been wanting for interest since earning his release from the Dolphins earlier this week. In addition to the Colts, both the Buccaneers and Chargers are reportedly eyeing Pouncey, although Tampa Bay’s current level of intrigue is unclear given that it signed fellow interior lineman Ryan Jensen. Los Angeles, meanwhile, is reportedly meeting with Pouncey today.

If signed by the Colts, Pouncey would likely be moved to guard given the presence of former first-round pick Ryan Kelly at center. That shouldn’t be a problem for the 28-year-old Pouncey, who has earned Pro Bowl berths at both guard and center in the past.

After playing in only five games in 2016, Pouncey’s play was limited by a hip injury last season. Pro Football Focus noted his lackluster performance, grading Pouncey as just the No. 27 center in the NFL. It’s possible Pouncey will require hip replacement surgery down the road, while at least one doctor has reportedly recommended that Pouncey retire, but he’s rejected that advice tho this point.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Chargers To Meet With Mike Pouncey

Former Dolphins center Mike Pouncey will visit the Chargers on Saturday, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter). This marks Pouncey’s first free agent visit since being released by Miami. 

Pouncey, one of the better known centers in the NFL, has been plagued by hip issues in recent years. He did not miss any games last season, but it was obvious that he was not at full strength and he struggled as a result.

Miami asked Pouncey to accept a 50% pay reduction, which he declined. That would have left Pouncey with about $4.5MM in 2018 and he felt that he could do better. Given that at least 13 NFL centers are currently making more than that on a yearly basis, Pouncey is probably right in that regard.

The Chargers recently lost versatile interior lineman Kenny Wiggins to free agency and they could use an upgrade in the middle over 2016 UDFA Spencer Pulley. Pulley graded out as one of the very worst qualified centers in the NFL last year, according to Pro Football Focus. Still, the Chargers will have to take a very close look at Pouncey’s medicals due to his hip issues.

On Thursday, the Buccaneers also reached out to Pouncey to express their interest.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Buccaneers Reach Out To Mike Pouncey

Mike Pouncey is already generating some interest on the open market. ESPN’s Jenna Laine reports (via Twitter) that the Buccaneers have inquired about the recently-released center.

The veteran offensive lineman requested and was granted his release earlier today. The former first-rounder had spent his entire seven-year career in Miami, earning three Pro Bowl nods. Despite his previous success, the 28-year-old wasn’t nearly as productive in 2017.

After playing in only five games in 2016, Pouncey looked slowed down by the hip injury this year. In the past, we’ve heard that he may eventually require replacement surgery at some point. One doctor went so far as to tell Pouncey that he would have to retire as a result of the malady, but Pouncey, for now, is bucking medical advice.

Pro Football Focus also noticed Pouncey’s regression last season. The site ultimately ranked Pouncey as the league’s No. 25 center, a sharp contract with his No. 11 ranking in 2015.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Dolphins To Release C Mike Pouncey

Dolphins center Mike Pouncey has been released, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter). While Schefter reports Pouncey requested his release, Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com (Twitter link) says Miami asked Pouncey to accept a 50% pay reduction, which he declined.

Pouncey now joins Ryan Jensen as one of the top available centers in free agency. Jensen is coming off of a tremendous year in which he was ranked as the No. 6 center in the NFL by Pro Football Focus. Pouncey, for all of his name value and past accolades, comes with question marks.

Pouncey did not look like his usual self last year. Although he appeared in all 16 of the Dolphins’ games his hip injury slowed him down. In the past, we’ve heard that he may eventually require replacement surgery at some pointOne doctor went so far as to tell Pouncey that he would have to retire as a result of the malady, but Pouncey, for now, is bucking medical advice.

By releasing Pouncey, the Dolphins will get out from under his $9MM cap hit with just $2MM in dead money.

Last year, PFF ranked Pouncey as the league’s No. 25 center, a sharp contract with his No. 11 ranking in 2015.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Dolphins Plan To Keep Mike Pouncey

The Dolphins plan to keep Mike Pouncey. For now. Mike Pouncey (vertical)

Despite speculation that Miami could cut the center or ask him to take a pay cut, that’s not something the Dolphins are currently planning on, a league source tells Armando Salguero of The Miami Herald.

Pouncey appeared in all 16 of the Dolphins’ games last year, despite dealing with a hip injury may require replacement surgery at some point. One doctor went so far as to tell Pouncey that he would have to retire as a result of the malady, but the Dolphins apparently believe that he’ll hold up just fine in 2018.

Some would argue that Pouncey is no longer worth a $9MM cap hit, particularly since the Dolphins would be left with just $2MM in dead money by releasing him. Last year, Pro Football Focus graded Pouncey as the league’s No. 25 center, a sharp contract with his No. 11 ranking in 2015. Still, the snapper is a favorite of coach Adam Gase, so his spot looks to be secure.

Salguero cautions that Pouncey’s status with the team could change if his injury is re-aggravated, but all signs currently point to the center staying in place.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC East Notes: Patriots, Jets, Pouncey

James Harrison fired back at the Steelers regarding his 2017 tactics, saying he repeatedly asked for a release this season. The Patriots linebacker said he asked for a release at the beginning of the season when it was clear his role was not what he thought it was going to be, but the team didn’t grant the request, he said on Instagram (via NESN’s Doug Kyed, on Twitter). The 39-year-old edge defender, who did have an extensive role in 2016, said the Steelers continued to tell him he would play only to deactivate him on Sundays or dress him and not deploy him. Harrison has played just 40 snaps across five games this season.

The new Patriots defender — who said he may not have “handled his frustration” well, seeming to confirm some of the accounts of ex-Steelers teammates — said he asked to be released (well, waived, since the trade deadline has passed) early last week before finally seeing the team do so. Harrison said Pittsburgh did not assure him he would be brought back, but the team also didn’t close the door on that possibility prior to his Patriots signing. He described the signing with New England as a “business decision.”

Here’s more from the AFC East.

  • Harrison said no other teams made offers to sign him, Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald notes. Unsurprisingly, Harrison’s Patriots deal is for the prorated veteran minimum. He will earn $58K for his work this week plus playoff shares depending on how far New England advances, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets. The Steelers signed Harrison to a two-year contract in March and paid him $2.13MM this season.
  • The JetsTodd Bowles extension talks may have begun as recently as late December, with Rich Cimini of ESPN.com reporting Jets CEO Christopher Johnson opting to be proactive instead of letting Bowles enter a walk year and opening the door to other teams’ overtures. Specifically, Cimini writes that speculation about a Bowles/Cardinals reunion swirled for months. Bruce Arians will make a decision about his future in the offseason, but Bowles excelled as Arizona’s DC before coming to New York. Cimini also notes the Buccaneers, who are keeping Dirk Koetter for 2018, were a team the Jets knew would’ve been interested.
  • One of the reasons the Jets kept Bowles was the team’s surprisingly competitive season with several little-known players thrust to the forefront because of the offseason veteran purge. Ian Rapoport of NFL.com notes (video link) Bowles doing more with less was not lost on ownership.
  • The Patriots‘ decision to unload Jimmy Garoppolo at the trade deadline hasn’t been fully embraced within the organization, with Tom Curran of NBC Sports Boston reporting some felt the team should have pushed the situation as far as it could go — possibly into 2018. While trading Tom Brady was not a broached subject, Curran notes, his age and Garoppolo’s talent made some in Foxborough want to keep Garoppolo as an insurance policy. While that would have been a tricky process, given the $23MM franchise tag’s involvement, Garoppolo is likely going to be tagged after a breakout showing with the 49ers.
  • Mike Pouncey‘s severe hip injury — one that he’s said will induce a hip replacement at some point in the not-too-distant future — prompted one doctor say his career was over, the seventh-year center said (via Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald). However, the Dolphins center made it through 15 games this season. Despite Pro Football Focus grading Pouncey as the league’s No. 25 center this season, Beasley notes the snapper is one of Adam Gase‘s favorites and can expect to be back in 2018.
  • PFF graded Jets guard Brian Winters as one of its worst offensive linemen this season, and the fifth-year player revealed why that might have been the case on Saturday. Winters said (via Twitter) he tore two midsection muscles in Week 2 and tried to play through the maladies the rest of the way. The recently extended lineman will undergo surgery. The Jets placed him on IR earlier this week.

AFC East Notes: Cooks, Dolphins, McCown

Brandin Cooks has made the successful transition from Drew Brees‘ top deep threat to Tom Brady‘s, not that it was in too much doubt this could happen. As a result, Cooks would like to extend his Patriots stay far into the future. The fourth-year wide receiver said, via Jeff Howe of the Boston Herald, he would “absolutely” like to play the rest of his career in New England. Multiple obvious caveats come with this statement, though. The first being Cooks’ contract runs through the 2018 season, via the fifth-year option the Pats picked up. After that, it will probably take a high-end WR1 contract to keep Cooks in the Boston area. And the Patriots have not exactly been the kind of team that doles those out. Secondly, Brady’s age naturally makes it a year-to-year proposition the Patriots have a dominant passing game. But for now, Cooks likes where he’s stationed. He’s on pace for another 1,100-plus-yard season, with the 786 he’s at actually putting him on track for a career-high figure.

Here’s more from the AFC East.

  • The Dolphins might have to again turn to Matt Moore on Sunday. Jay Cutler remains in concussion protocol. But the team hopes its starter is cleared Friday or Saturday, with Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald reporting (on Twitter) Cutler is on track to face the Patriots. Cutler hasn’t been able to practice much this week, but Adam Gase said he would feel comfortable putting the 34-year-old passer out there because he’s a veteran, Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald notes. Moore has played well in relief of Cutler twice this season but bombed in a 40-0 loss to the Ravens as a starter. Miami’s backup did fare better as a starter in 2016, however.
  • On the Cutler subject, Salguero writes no one in the Dolphins organization pushed back hard enough against Gase’s wishes to bring in the polarizing passer. And while Cutler may not be on Miami’s roster next season, his $10MM contract cost the Dolphins some potential cap-carryover money. Thanks to a roster that has two quarterbacks making eight-figure salaries, the Dolphins have less than $1MM to carry over, and Salguero points out the team passing on Cutler would have made it possible to carry at least $7MM over into 2018.
  • In the expansive piece judging the Fins’ offseason moves, Salguero writes that Lawrence Timmons and Julius Thomas will likely be cut. And Mike Pouncey won’t be automatic to see a seventh Miami season. The Dolphins can save $7MM by cutting Pouncey, who says he’s playing with a damaged hip, in 2018.
  • Josh McCown has made more starts in 2017 than he has in all but two seasons. The Jets quarterback looks set to eclipse his previous single-season high (13 with the 20o4 Cardinals), keeping Christian Hackenberg off the field. But as Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News observes, this productive age-38 season has cost the Jets long-term. McCown’s one-year contract might have been too good an investment since will have the Jets out of franchise-quarterback territory come draft time. Gang Green would pick 12th if the season ended today.