The Miami Dolphins are the latest team to cut their roster all the way down to the required 53 players. Here are their latest moves:
- CB Johnathon Alston
- G Isaac Asiata
- CB Taveze Calhoun
- WR Leonte Carroo
- LB Cayson Collins
- CB Jalen Davis
- TE Thomas Duarte
- S Trae Elston
- WR Isaiah Ford
- LB Frank Ginda
- LS Lucas Gravelle
- C Connor Hilland
- RB Buddy Howell
- K Greg Joseph
- OT Roubbens Joseph
- RB Jeremy Langford
- WR Malcolm Lewis
- CB Tony Lippett
- DE Cameron Malveaux
- DE Claudy Mathieu
- C Mike Matthews
- WR Drew Morgan
- DT Anthony Moten
- WR Francis Owusu
- DT Jamiyus Pittman
- RB Brandon Radcliff
- OT Eric Smith
- OT David Steinmetz
- DE Jonathan Woodard
Terminated vested veteran
David Fales completed just 1 of 6 passes in the Dolphins’ second preseason game, and although Brock Osweiler is the bigger name, the team’s internal preference is believed to be for the incumbent to back up Ryan Tannehill, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald notes. As for Bryce Petty, he’s still behind both aforementioned backups, Jackson adds. Osweiler signed for the league minimum, making the Dolphins’ 2018 quarterback depth chart much cheaper than last year’s setup of Tannehill, Jay Cutler and Matt Moore — which represented more than $30MM against the 2017 team’s cap. A former sixth-round Bears pick in 2014, Fales has 48 career pass attempts — 43 of those coming last season with Miami.
Here’s the latest out of south Florida.
- Minkah Fitzpatrick is primarily working as a slot defender for the Dolphins, Roy Cummings of FloridaFootballInsiders.com passes along. The first-round pick out of Alabama was billed as a versatile performer entering the draft, with safety or cornerback potential. It looks like, for now, the Dolphins are taking advantage of that. Previous slot bastion Bobby McCain has moved to the outside, and that looks to have been done to give Fitzpatrick a role. Prior to the move, the Dolphins didn’t have a place for Fitzpatrick, Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald writes. Fitzpatrick, though, also played sparingly as a pure safety in Miami’s initial two preseason games.
- Mike Hull may begin the season on IR, Jackson notes. The Dolphins would carry their fourth-year veteran linebacker onto the 53-man roster before placing him on IR, which would allow him to return during the season once he recovers from the sprained MCL he sustained earlier this month. Hull started three games last season. Raekwon McMillan is Miami’s middle linebacker starter.
- Second-year UDFA Chase Allen looks to have a job as a Dolphins backup linebacker, but former Saints first-round pick Stephone Anthony may not. Jackson writes the 2015 first-rounder’s put together a poor preseason that has him on the bubble. Anthony played in eight Dolphins games upon being traded to Miami last year. He played 130 defensive snaps but did not stand out. However, with Hull out, the Dolphins need bodies to fill out their linebacking corps. UFA addition Terence Garvin isn’t a lock to survive cutdown weekend, either, Jackson adds.
After plenty of offseason speculation as to whether the Dolphins would at least begin preparing to move on from Ryan Tannehill, it is clear that Tannehill will be the team’s starting quarterback in 2018. Who his backup will be, however, is more uncertain.
Over the past several months, Miami re-signed David Fales, signed Brock Osweiler, and claimed Bryce Petty off waivers, and per Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, Fales has performed much better than his competitors in spring practices. Fales served as the team’s No. 3 signal-caller for much of last season and played most of the meaningless season finale, which easily represented his most significant NFL experience (before that, he had attempted a grand total of five passes since being drafted by the Bears in the sixth round of the 2014 draft).
Despite his lack of seasoning, Fales does have a history with head coach Adam Gase — who was Chicago’s offensive coordinator in 2015 — and the Dolphins liked how he performed in the 2017 finale, when he completed 29 of 43 passes for 265 yards and a touchdown, with his one interception created by a receiver’s mistake. Indeed, Jackson says that when Gase perused the free agent crop of QBs this offseason, he did not see one that he considered better than Fales.
Fales has justified his coach’s faith in him this spring, as he has looked decisive and accurate when making all types of throws. Osweiler, meanwhile, has struggled, and Petty has been inconsistent at best.
However, Gase is not yet willing to name Fales the No. 2 QB just yet. He said, “Right now, I don’t want to go into that because I don’t have a great answer. I want to see guys playing in preseason games, how training camp goes.” Certainly, training camp and the preseason will serve as a much better indicator than OTAs and minicamp, but right now, the Dolphins’ backup QB job looks like it’s Fales’ to lose.
Petty was the victim of a number’s crunch in New York. The Jets are already committed to two QBs between No. 3 overall pick Sam Darnold and veteran Josh McCown while Teddy Bridgewater and Christian Hackenberg are among those battling for the final quarterback job.
The Dolphins, meanwhile, were in need of an extra arm for camp behind Ryan Tannehill, Brock Osweiler, and David Fales. Petty, who has one season left on his rookie contract, had some buzz behind him heading into the 2015 draft, so the Dolphins are at least curious to see what he can offer.
The Baylor product has gone 1-6 in seven NFL starts and is a career 53.1 percent passer with four touchdown passes against ten interceptions. The Dolphins have assumed Petty’s original rookie contract, which has one year remaining.
After a 2017 offseason where the Jets’ then-top quarterback prospect couldn’t land the starting job, the latest New York centerpiece passer is believed to have a decent chance of doing that despite a clear bridge plan in place.
With Christian Hackenberg relegated to afterthought status, Sam Darnold will assume center stage, beginning with the Jets’ rookie minicamp this weekend. However, the plan of the soon-to-be 21-year-old rookie starting his career as Josh McCown‘s understudy may be tenuous.
Some at Jets headquarters believe Darnold showing the Jets what they think he will stands to give him a great opportunity to be the team’s starter from the outset, Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News reports.
While it’s obviously early to speculate how advanced Darnold will be in Jeremy Bates‘ system by September, the Jets are ecstatic Darnold fell to them at No. 3 and will be ready to hand him the keys if he shows enough progress in his first NFL offseason.
Todd Bowles didn’t rule out a then-to-be-determined rookie starting in Year 1, and Mehta notes this won’t be a redshirt season for Darnold. The USC product will “absolutely” take over as the starter this season, just as Mitch Trubisky and Deshaun Watson did last season. And it might be a quicker-than-expected ascent.
As for Hackenberg, the former second-round pick has been working with passing coach Jeff Christensen this offseason, per Mike Garafolo of NFL.com (video link). The Penn State product’s passing motion has reportedly been improved, Adam Caplan of ESPN.com tweets, adding that the reason Bryce Petty was cut and not Hackenberg was due to the latter’s second-round pedigree.
Hackenberg could now be battling Teddy Bridgewater for the No. 3 job. He still has two years left on his rookie deal while McCown and Bridgewater are signed to one-year contracts. This could impact the competition, along with Bridgewater’s health.
The Jets have released quarterback Bryce Petty, a source tells Manish Mehta of the Daily News (on Twitter). The Jets tried to find a trade for Petty before and during the draft, but could not find a suitable deal.
The Jets simply had no room for Petty, who will turn 27 in May. No. 3 overall pick Sam Darnold and veteran Josh McCown are locks for the team while Teddy Bridgewater and Christian Hackenberg are battling for the final spot on the QB depth chart.
Petty has one season left on his rookie contract. He’s 1-6 in seven starts and a career 53.1 percent passer, having thrown four touchdown passes compared to 10 interceptions.
Petty had some buzz behind him in 2015 when the Jets used a fourth-round pick on him, so it stands to reason that he’ll garner attention elsewhere. But, given his lack of on-field success, it’s hard to see him getting significant guarantees in any deal he signs.
With the selection of Sam Darnold at No. 3 in the 2018 NFL Draft, the Jets brought their quarterback room to five. The USC product joined Josh McCown, Teddy Bridgewater, Bryce Petty and Christian Hackenberg. Newsday’s Calvin Watkins, however, notes that number is expected to shrink by the time the team heads to training camp in July.
The two obvious candidates to be moved or released are Petty and Hackenberg. The former has failed to impress in seven starts, and the latter, despite having a cannon for an arm, has yet to make an appearance in his first two seasons.
Even if one of the two make it to training camp, another move is likely to come as keeping four quarterbacks would handicap the team at other positions. In addition to Darnold, it would be hard to see the veteran McCown not making the squad. The journeyman is viewed as invaluable in the locker room and is the perfect candidate to help the young Darnold learn the ropes of the NFL.
Bridgewater, however, is no lock to make the roster. As Watkins notes, the former Vikings signal-caller receives a $5MM base salary if he makes the team. If not, the Jets are only out the $500,000 signing bonus. If he proves he is back to his pre-injury form, New York will have a steal. If not, the team can cut bait with minimal salary implications.
Here’s more from around the league:
- The Broncos did not endure a turnover in the scouting department following this weekend’s draft, 9 News’ Mike Klis tweets. In the wake of the annual draft, it is not uncommon for teams to part ways with scouts and personnel department. Team president John Elway, however, decided to bring everyone back.
- The Chiefs hired Eagles assistant director of college scouting Michael Bradway to an undisclosed position, Geoff Mosher of 97.5 The Fanatic in Philadelphia tweets. Mosher notes Bradway, who was with the Eagles for seven seasons, joins back up with Chiefs general manager Brett Veach, who also spent time in Philadelphia.
- The Giants attempted to trade into the back end of the second round to select Georgia linebacker Lorenzo Carter, the New York Post’s Paul Schwartz writes. Though a deal did not form, New York was still able to pluck the speedy edge rusher when he fell to their third-round pick (No. 66). “What you have to appreciate is his unseen production. If he is flying off the edge, he is creating pressure. Sometimes you are looking at guys that create plays for others.,” general manager Dave Gettleman said.
- The Eagles drafted their fewest players since 1989 when it emerged from the draft with only five selections. That is not a spot the team wants to be in again, general manager Howie Roseman told The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Les Bowen. “I think it’s a hard first couple of days for people who put a lot of time and effort into the process, and you see that,” Roseman said. “The last two days, it’s hard. A lot of guys get off the board, so we don’t want to do that again. I think that’s the first takeaway.”
- Vikings center Pat Elflein is doing “part work” in spring drills but is not going to be ready for OTAs, the player told Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press (Twitter link). Elflein suffered a fractured left ankle in the NFC Championship game on Jan. 21 and underwent surgery the following week. “We’re just not rushing it. I’m just trying to get myself back in shape and get strong and be ready to go.,” Elflein said.
For the second straight year, teams are contacting the Jets about a potential trade for Bryce Petty. While Ian Rapoport of NFL.com notes the Jets resisted previous offers in 2017, they are more open to moving the fourth-year quarterback now (Twitter link).
Teams have made pitches to the Jets for Petty, per Rapoport, and a deal would make sense given that the franchise now has Sam Darnold in the fold and five quarterbacks on its roster. With the Jets extremely unlikely to bring all five to training camp, at least one and possibly two, will have to go between now and then. And Petty may be the likeliest drop candidate.
Sam Darnold and Josh McCown are locks for Gang Green’s 53-man roster, with Teddy Bridgewater‘s position contingent upon his health. Petty and Christian Hackenberg are the wild cards here, with the former having been the previous option as the injury replacement when maladies befell Ryan Fitzpatrick in 2016 and McCown last season. However, Petty’s auditions have mostly gone poorly. So, it wouldn’t bee a surprise to see the Jets move him.
The soon-to-be 27-year-old quarterback has one season remaining on his rookie contract. He’s 1-6 in seven starts and a career 53.1 percent passer, having thrown four touchdown passes compared to 10 interceptions.
As the Jets prepare to reconvene on Monday for their first day of the offseason program, here’s where their quarterback situation stands — both in terms of veterans and the player they’re eyeing at No. 3.
- While it’s not certain if Baker Mayfield would win out in a Mayfield-or-Sam Darnold scenario, Rich Cimini of ESPN.com notes the Oklahoma-developed passer would be Gang Green’s preferred option over Josh Allen. The Jets will be prepared to go with Mayfield’s accuracy — back-to-back seasons with a 71 percent completion rate, albeit in the Sooners’ air raid attack — and his career winning games for the Big 12 school over the Wyoming product with the tantalizing upside. Although, at just 6-foot, Mayfield would be the shortest quarterback the Jets drafted since Jeff Blake in 1992, Cimini writes. Blake did end up having a 14-year career, despite only one of those seasons occurring with the Jets.
- If the Browns take Allen and the Giants draft Darnold, Cimini expects the Jets to stay with Mayfield if confronted with a Mayfield-or-Josh Rosen decision (Twitter link). While the Jets held a higher opinion of the latter going into the offseason, Mayfield may well have usurped the UCLA product as the draft nears.
- Lamar Jackson is not under consideration for the Jets at No. 3 overall, per Cimini (on Twitter). While Jackson has met with the Browns, it hasn’t been reported that he visited the Jets, Giants or Broncos. His known meetings have come with the Ravens, Chargers and Saints thus far. And the Patriots have interest in the Louisville standout.
- Todd Bowles expects Teddy Bridgewater to throw passes this spring, but it’s uncertain how much the recently signed QB will participate in the team portions of these voluntary workouts, Brian Costello of the New York Post notes. The Jets signed Bridgewater to an incentive-laden contract, doing so after the Vikings expressed concern about his knee this offseason. For now, Josh McCown is preparing to start for a second season in green.
- While both Christian Hackenberg and Bryce Petty could be on their way out of the Big Apple soon, Costello writes Petty is the likeliest to be given walking papers before camp commences. As for Hackenberg, there remains a contingent at Jets headquarters hoping he can be salvaged to some degree. However, once the new quarterback arrives, the 2016 second-round pick will be the fourth-string quarterback going into camp. The statuses of these incumbent backups could be determined by how Bridgewater looks in camp. Hackenberg has still yet to play in a regular-season game. Petty finished the past two seasons for the Jets, but has led them to one win in seven starts and last season finished with a 49 percent completion rate.