Preston Williams

Dolphins To Re-Sign Preston Williams

The Dolphins will re-sign Preston Williams to a one-year deal (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero). Williams can earn up to $1.99MM on the contract, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald (Twitter link).

[RELATED: Dolphins To Sign Wilson]

Williams joined the Dolphins as an undrafted free agent in 2019. He’s since appeared in 24 games for Miami, notching 56 grabs for 787 yards and seven touchdowns. Williams has impressed at times, including his rookie year when he managed 32 receptions for 428 yards and three TDs in eight games.

Still, injuries and other issues have sidetracked him. That aforementioned rookie year ended with an ACL tear and his 2021 was cut short by a foot injury. Williams has played in exactly eight games in each of his three seasons, losing ground on the depth chart with time. As a result, the Dolphins were hesitant to cuff the restricted free agent with a $2.6MM tender.

Now that he’s back in the fold, he’ll fight for playing time alongside WRs DeVante Parker, Jaylen Waddle, and Cedrick Wilson.

Dolphins Unlikely To Tender WR Preston Williams?

After going undrafted in the 2019 draft, wideout Preston Williams has managed to play in 24 games for the Dolphins over the past three seasons. Despite his role, it sounds like the Dolphins will let the impending restricted free agency test his value. According to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, the Dolphins are “more likely” to decline Williams’ $2.6MM tender, which would make him an unrestricted free agent.

The Colorado State product caught on with the Dolphins following the 2019 draft, and he had a standout rookie campaign in 2019, finishing with 32 receptions for 428 yards and three touchdowns. Unfortunately, a torn ACL ended his season after only eight games (seven starts). Williams got into eight games (seven starts) again during his sophomore season, finishing with 18 receptions for 288 yards and four touchdowns, but a foot injury cut short his year.

The 24-year-old found himself buried on the depth chart in 2021. He (once against) got into eight games, finishing with only six catches.

Just because the Dolphins likely won’t be tendering the receiver, it doesn’t mean he won’t be back. Not including Williams, Miami has four wideouts hitting unrestricted free agency (Will Fuller, Albert Wilson, Isaiah Ford, Mack Hollins), and veteran Allen Hurns has a non-guaranteed contract.

NFL COVID-19 List Updates: 1/3/22

Here are Monday’s activations from and placements on the reserve/COVID-19 lists:

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts

Kansas City Chiefs

  • Activated from reserve/COVID-19 list: OT Mike Remmers (remains on IR)

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

  • Activated from reserve/COVID-19 list: RB Raymond Calais (remains on IR)

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team

Dolphins Activate Preston Williams, Elandon Roberts From PUP List

After spending three weeks on the Dolphins’ active/PUP list to start training camp, Preston Williams and Elandon Roberts are practicing with the team again. The Dolphins activated the third-year wide receiver and sixth-year linebacker Thursday.

Both players return to position groups that have seen big changes this offseason. After going through the 2020 season thin at wide receiver, the Dolphins added Will Fuller and Jaylen Waddle. And Albert Wilson has impressed his first training camp post-opt-out. Miami also traded Shaq Lawson for longtime Texans inside linebacker Benardrick McKinney.

The Dolphins used Roberts as an 11-game starter last season, though the former Patriot’s initial Miami slate proved a bit rocky. Pro Football Focus graded Roberts as its worst full-time linebacker in 2020, but his coverage issues largely contributed to this assessment. The Dolphins re-signed the run-stuffing ‘backer in March, doing so after trading for McKinney. Roberts suffered a late-season knee injury that ended up requiring surgery that put his Week 1 status in doubt. He might now be trending upward for Miami’s opener.

Williams has run into multiple bad injury breaks. An ACL tear halted the former UDFA’s promising rookie season, and the Colorado State product’s 2020 campaign also stopped at the eight-game mark. Williams has spent the past several months rehabbing a Lisfranc issue, one that placed his Week 1 status in doubt as well. The 6-foot-5 wideout has produced in limited time, hauling in 50 receptions for 716 yards and seven touchdowns in 16 career games, but the Dolphins’ offseason additions at receiver will affect his role.

Both players can no longer be stashed on the Dolphins’ reserve/PUP list to start the season, but each can be placed on IR — so long as they are carried over to the team’s regular-season roster following the preseason — if the team deems them not ready by Week 1. The NFL kept its 2020 IR rules, which allow teams to activate players from IR after three weeks.

Latest On Dolphins’ WRs

For years the Dolphins have lacked quality receivers, but now they actually have an abundance of depth at the position. It’s a good problem to have, but it also means that some solid players could be on the outside looking in when we get to roster cut-downs.

There’s a lot of uncertainty at the position and a lot to sort through, and fortunately Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald just broke it all down. Albert Wilson flashed a ton of potential during his first season with the Dolphins in 2018, but injuries hampered him then and in 2019. He then opted out of the 2020 season, leading many to believe he’d be on the roster bubble this time around. However, it appears that he’s safe. Wilson is “going to be on the team,” Jackson writes, noting he’s been the most consistent receiver in camp.

The same can’t be said for 2020 third-round pick Lynn Bowden. The Kentucky product has “gone from slight front-runner to make the team to very much on the bubble with an underwhelming camp,” despite being the 80th overall pick just last year. In 10 games and four starts last year, Bowden had 28 catches for 211 yards.

Meanwhile, there’s some bad news on Preston Williams. The 2019 UDFA has looked like a diamond in the rough find the past couple years, but he apparently isn’t over the Lisfranc foot injury that cut his 2020 short. Although the team “originally was optimistic that Williams would be fine to start the season,” the Colorado State product now “appears iffy at best” for Week 1.

Jackson writes that Williams is a candidate to start the year on the PUP list, which would sideline him for the first six games. He also says the “odds are against” veteran Allen Hurns making the 53, even though Hurns has $1.2MM in guaranteed money coming his way.

Jackson also expects the Dolphins to be open to a potential trade of Jakeem Grant if a team in need of a returner is willing to part with a late-round pick. In addition to all these guys, Miami still has Will Fuller, DeVante Parker, and rookie first-rounder Jaylen Waddle at the top of the depth chart.

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/5/21

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

Atlanta Falcons 

Carolina Panthers

Denver Broncos

  • Reverted to IR: OT Cody Conway

Green Bay Packers

Los Angeles Chargers

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

  • Waived: QB Case Cookus

New Orleans Saints

  • Waived: DE Kendall Donnerson

New York Jets

  • Reverted to IR: S Brandon White

Philadelphia Eagles

Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Reverted to IR: G Anthony Coyle

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Dolphins Promote WR Antonio Callaway

Antonio Callaway is getting another shot. In the wake of Preston Williamstrip to IR, the Dolphins are promoting Callaway to their active roster for today’s game against the Chargers, as Adam H. Beasley and Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald write.

The ‘Fins signed Callaway to the practice squad in September, even though he still had three games of last season’s 10-game suspension to serve. Shortly thereafter, he was hit with another four-game ban, so he continued to sit on the club’s practice squad suspended list.

Miami’s WR depth was already thin to begin with after Albert Wilson and Allen Hurns opted out of the season, and Williams’ injury has further depleted the club’s cadre of pass catchers. So Callaway, who has a ton of talent but who has struggled with substance abuse issues, will have a prime opportunity to reestablish himself.

He also finds himself in the middle of a playoff race. The 5-3 Dolphins are one of this year’s biggest surprises, and Miami suddenly looks like a postseason contender. The team is hopeful that Callaway, who posted a 43/586/5 line in his rookie season with the Browns in 2018, will provide rookie signal-caller Tua Tagovailoa with a reliable option to complement DeVante Parker.

Unfortunately, Beasley and Jackson report that Williams is likely to miss the remainder of the season with a foot injury, which could lead to an extended audition for Callaway. But the Florida product and Miami native can’t get complacent, as the Dolphins are also working out Ricardo Louis and Andre Patton. Callaway, of course, has much more upside than either player if he stay out of trouble.

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/11/20

Today’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

  • Placed on reserve/COVID-19 list: DL Tyrone Crawford
  • Claimed off waivers from Colts: DL Ron’Dell Carter

Denver Broncos

Indianapolis Colts

Kansas City Chiefs

Miami Dolphins

New York Jets

Dolphins Place Preston Williams On IR

The Dolphins placed wide receiver Preston Williams on injured reserve with a foot injury. Previously, the Dolphins had Williams listed as day-to-day, but the issue is “more significant” than they initially believed, head coach Brian Flores says (Twitter link via Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald). 

Per this year’s modified IR rules, Williams will miss at least three games. Flores isn’t exactly sure when they’ll get the second-year pro back after his left foot twisted on a touchdown catch against the Cardinals. It’s also possible that Williams is dealing with a right foot injury suffered during the ensuing celebration with Dolphins defensive tackle Christian Wilkins.

Williams broke out during his rookie season last year, catching 32 passes for 428 yards and three touchdowns in his first eight NFL games. He was on pace to become just the second first Dolphins rookie wideout to surpass 800 yards since Chris Chambers in 2001. That was up until he suffered a torn ACL, capping his first pro season in November. So far this year, Williams has registered 18 catches for 288 yards and four touchdowns.

Without Williams, the Dolphins will likely lean more on Mack Hollins and Jakeem Grant. They could also promote Antonio Callaway from the practice squad.

AFC East Notes: Dolphins, Newton, Bills

With the Dolphins for just 18 games, Minkah Fitzpatrick elaborated on the difference of opinion he had with his second NFL head coach. Brian Flores, per Fitzpatrick, preferred he play a hybrid strong safety/linebacker role and only tried him as a deep safety in one practice last summer. This only came after Fitzpatrick asked Flores to see more time in coverage, Tyler Dunne of Bleacher Report notes. After the Dolphins’ Week 1 blowout loss to the Ravens, in which Fitzpatrick was used more in coverage — albeit after limited practice time as a deep safety in Flores’ scheme — the 2018 first-round pick asked for a trade. Flores, Dunne adds, attempted to convince Fitzpatrick he was a key part of Miami’s future. That did not end up working. The Dolphins traded Fitzpatrick to the Steelers, with whom he became an All-Pro, for a first-round pick that turned into tackle Austin Jackson.

We had a difference of opinion in my skill set and what he thought I could do and what I thought I could do,” Fitzpatrick said, via Dunne. “It was going to get tough for me to show something to somebody they were choosing not to see. They didn’t give me the opportunity to show it, even though I had film that showed it. The losing and all that stuff? If I was put in the right position and we’re losing — because of decisions people made upstairs — it is what it is. I can only control how I play. That didn’t affect me at all. It was just a fact that I was being used the wrong way.”

Here is the latest from the AFC East:

  • Shoulder and foot injuries helped lead Cam Newton out of Charlotte after nine seasons. But the former MVP quarterback said he is “full go” as he begins practices with the Patriots, Phil Perry of NBC Sports Boston notes. Newton, 31, sounded more cautiously optimistic about staying fully healthy, Perry writes, after being injured for much of the past three seasons. But going into the padded portion of New England’s training camp, Tom Brady‘s likely successor said he feels “amazing.”
  • Since Dolphins players reported to camp, Xavien Howard has landed on both the active/PUP list and the reserve/COVID-19 list. Howard underwent knee surgery in December. While Howard was running at the team’s facility this summer, per ESPN.com’s Cameron Wolfe, he does not figure to see much practice time before Week 1. This makes the standout corner’s availability for the Dolphins’ opener against the Patriots uncertain.
  • Another Dolphin uncertain for Week 1: Preston Williams. The Dolphins are easing their UDFA success story back into action after his ACL tear, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald notes, adding that Williams’ Week 1 status is in doubt. Williams went down in Week 8 last season, ending a strong start to his career. He caught 32 passes for 428 yards. With Albert Wilson and Allen Hurns opting out, Williams will be critical to Miami’s passing attack.
  • Formerly a key Bills wide receiver, Robert Foster now appears on the verge of being cut or traded. The third-year Bills wideout will need a strong camp to make the team, Joe Buscaglia of The Athletic writes (subscription required). Buffalo drafted Gabriel Davis in Round 4, and the rookie will join the recently re-signed Isaiah McKenzie as a backup to the team’s Stefon DiggsJohn BrownCole Beasley starter trio. After Foster averaged 20 yards per catch as a rookie — in a 27-reception, 541-yard, three-TD season — he caught just three passes in 13 games last season.