Salvon Ahmed

Dolphins RB Salvon Ahmed On Roster Bubble?

Despite being the longest-tenured member of the Dolphins running back corps, Salvon Ahmed is a major release candidate. As Pierre Taylor of the Miami Herald writes, the veteran running back is “at serious risk” of getting cut during the preseason.

Ahmed is the lone holdover at the position from the pre-Mike McDaniel era, although he did have a chance to work with the coach in San Francisco as a UDFA in 2020. Since McDaniel was hired as Miami’s head coach in 2022, he brought in a pair of former 49ers RBs in Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson Jr. to lead his depth chart. While that duo has struggled with injuries throughout their career, Ahmed hasn’t seen a significant uptick in playing time when either teammate has been out of the lineup.

Ahmed was already positioned as the team’s fourth RB after the Dolphins selected De’Von Achane in last year’s draft, but the veteran was pushed further down the depth chart earlier this month. The Dolphins added another player at the position in fourth-round pick Jaylen Wright, putting Ahmed’s roster spot in serious doubt.

If the Dolphins move on from Ahmed, they wouldn’t be left with any of his $1.1MM cap hit, making him a logical cut candidate. As Taylor notes, Wilson and his $1.2MM of potential dead cap means he could also be considered a cut candidate, but it seems unlikely that the organization would move on from the veteran.

A release could end up being the best thing for Ahmed. The former UDFA got an extended look as a rookie in 2020, finishing with 380 yards from scrimmage and three touchdowns. He followed that up with a 266-yard outing in 2021, but he’s seen a limited role over the past two years. Between 2022 and 2023, Ahmed compiled only 221 total yards and three scores. Pro Football Focus was fond of his performance in both 2020 and 2022, so Ahmed may have some untapped potential that won’t be realized on Miami’s crowded depth chart.

Minor NFL Transactions: 3/13/24

Today’s minor moves:

Chicago Bears

Cleveland Browns

Houston Texans

Jacksonville Jaguars

Miami Dolphins

New Orleans Saints

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Washington Commanders

Minor NFL Transactions: 11/21/23

Today’s minor moves:

Arizona Cardinals

Baltimore Ravens

Cleveland Browns

Indianapolis Colts

Los Angeles Chargers

Miami Dolphins

Minnesota Vikings

New York Giants

San Francisco 49ers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Harrison was among the Colts’ final roster cuts in August, but he was immediately retained via the practice squad. Despite that move, the 26-year-old has yet to make an appearance in Indianapolis as a gameday elevation. He will now have the chance to make his Colts debut, having taken the 53-man roster spot of Shaquille Leonard after the latter’s surprise cut.

Muse will be required to miss at least the next four weeks as a result of the IR move. The former Seahawk has played exclusively on special teams to date during his first season with the Chargers, logging a 73% snap share in that capacity. Tom Pelissero of NFL Network reports Muse could still play later this season, something which will give Los Angeles a boost in the third phase if they are still in playoff contention down the stretch.

Ahmed’s foot injury, coupled with a new round of uncertainty regarding the healthy of rookie sensation De’Von Achane, could leave Miami shorthanded in the backfield. While it remains to be seen if the latter will miss time after coming back from an IR stint, the former will not be available moving forward. Ahmed is out for the season, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports. The 24-year-old scored two total touchdowns on 38 touches this year, his fourth with the Dolphins. He is set to hit free agency this offseason, but the injury will no doubt hurt his market.

Dolphins Notes: QB, Gaskin, Berrios, LG

In most cases, the Dolphins aren’t utilizing camp position battles to determine starting roles. But as the deadline to cut the roster down to 53 players draws nearer and nearer, decisions have to be made throughout the roster. Here’s a look at who’s battling for a roster spot as the preseason continues, thanks to some helpful analysis from Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald:

  • At quarterback, the starter is set, but the backup job may be closer than you’d think. Miami signed quarterback Mike White in the first hour of free agency, making it seem like they were dead set on him taking over at QB2. Last year’s backup, Skylar Thompson, doesn’t seem willing to go down without a fight, though, making the battle more competitive than some would assume. White is the presumed winner of this position battle, but if Thompson has a stellar preseason, he has a chance to surprise.
  • After failing to sign free agent running back Dalvin Cook, the room is shaping up to hold Raheem Mostert, Jeff Wilson, and third-round rookie De’Von Achane, at the very least. If the team is going to open up a fourth roster spot for the position, it’s likely that one of Myles Gaskin or Salvon Ahmed will fill the role while the other will be on the chopping block, if not both. The Dolphins will have to determine if a fourth running back will help the team, and if not, Gaskin or Ahmed’s time in South Beach may be over.
  • Behind the team’s top two wideouts, there are a number of options to plug in. According to Jackson, AFC East mainstay Braxton Berrios seems to be taking direction from wide receivers coach Wes Welker well, giving him an edge on the depth chart. He’s competing with Cedrick Wilson, Erik Ezukanma, and Chosen Anderson for the WR3 role, and seems to have a handle on it. Anderson has been making up for a slow start to camp lately but may need to compete with River Cracraft if the team only decides to keep six wide receivers.
  • At tight end, the battle for the third tight spot poses the most intrigue, assuming the team only takes three tight ends. The starter, Durham Smythe, and the rookie, Elijah Higgins, are likely to make the roster, leaving backups Eric Saubert and Tyler Kroft fighting for what is likely going to be the final roster spot at the position. Neither is much of a factor in the passing game, so whoever shows the best blocking ability throughout the rest of camp may be rewarded the short-term job security.
  • The biggest battle on the line is the battle for the starting left guard spot. Liam Eichenberg and Isaiah Wynn appear to be in a dead heat for the job, according to Jackson. Wynn has more NFL starting experience, but Eichenberg is more familiar with the franchise. Aside from that, the other big battle is for the swing tackle role. Veteran and former starter Kendall Lamm reportedly has established a lead over Cedric Ogbuehi for the job. Seventh-round rookie Ryan Hayes could also contribute to the team depth at the position if he makes the roster.

Minor NFL Transactions: 3/10/23

Today’s minor moves around the NFL:

Arizona Cardinals

Chicago Bears

Los Angeles Rams

Miami Dolphins

New England Patriots

New Orleans Saints

New York Jets

Pittsburgh Steelers

  • Waived: DB Carlins Platel

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tennessee Titans

Washington Commanders

  • Signed: T Drew Himmelman

 

Bailey has been the punter for the Patriots since the team drafted him in the fifth round in 2019. He spent some time on injured reserve this past season and looked ready to return before being suspended by the team in response to missed rehabilitation appointments. In Bailey’s absence, New England relied on former Panther Michael Palardy for the rest of the season. With Palardy set to hit free agency, the Patriots will need to figure out who will be flipping the field for them next year.

Gray has been a standout special teamer for the Saints, earning first-team All-Pro honors in 2021. His new contract will be his largest yet, a three-year, $9.6MM deal, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. The deal includes $4MM guaranteed, $2.4MM at signing, and has annual playing time incentives that could pay up to $500,000 per season. The first year’s base salary of $1.1MM is fully guaranteed for injury, followed by second- and third-year base salaries of $2.5MM and $2.6MM, respectively. The new contract has an potential maximum value of $11.1MM.

Release Candidate: Dolphins RB Salvon Ahmed

Two years ago, injuries decimated the Dolphins’ running backs room, leading to Miami turning to two former Washington Huskies: Myles Gaskin, drafted in the seventh round of the 2019 NFL Draft, and Salvon Ahmed, an undrafted rookie in 2020. After some eventual health and free agent additions over the following two years, it’s looking like Gaskin and Ahmed may be battling for a roster spot, according to ESPN’s Marcel Louis-Jacques. 

In the 2020 NFL season, Gaskin and Ahmed were the teams two leading rushers in terms of yardage. Gaskin led the team with 584 yards on 142 attempts, while Ahmed was second on the team with 319 yards on 75 carries. Both had three rushing touchdowns, trailing only Jordan Howard who scored touchdowns on 4 of his 28 carries.

Ahmed’s rookie season saw him start four games. Two of those starts still hold as his best career games. His first career start saw him run for 85 yards on 21 carries with a touchdown. His third start, five weeks later, saw him rush for 122 yards on 23 carries while scoring his second touchdown of the season.

In 2021, Ahmed was relegated back to a backup role. Gaskin started the most games for the Dolphins with 10 while Duke Johnson, now with the Bills, and Malcolm Brown, currently a free agent, started the seven remaining games. Regardless of starts, Ahmed still finished third on the team in carries and rushing yards behind only Gaskin and Johnson.

The 2022 offseason saw the Dolphins go shopping in the free agent market, signing three new running backs to the roster. Raheem Mostert will return to his home-state after spending just over five seasons on the opposite coast in San Francisco. After a 2019 season in which Mostert led the 49ers in rushing yards without starting a single game, he was tabbed as the starter the following two seasons but only played in nine games with both of those years getting cut short due to injury. Chase Edmonds will have a chance to compete for the starting job in Miami after serving as the No. 2 running back behind the likes of Kenyan Drake and James Conner during his time in Arizona. Finally, Sony Michel will head back to the AFC East after a one-year hiatus in Los Angeles. Michel’s lone year with the Rams saw him return to form after an injury-plagued season in New England.

Michel has seen the most consistent success of the three, but Mostert has shown an ability to do more with less, touting a career 5.7 yards per carry, and Edmonds has shown effectiveness rushing and receiving out of the backfield for the Cardinals. It’s anybody’s guess who could end up starting for Miami at running back, but, with three solid options, Gaskin or Ahmed may find themselves in the dog house.

Both have served the Dolphins well in their short tenures, but Gaskin has had the clear preference over Ahmed in the past two seasons, being chosen to start over Ahmed and receiving 315 carries to Ahmed’s 129. Not to mention the fact that Gaskin offers much more to the passing game than Ahmed has so far in his career. Compared to Ahmed’s 23 career receptions for 178 yards, Gaskin has 97 catches for 673 yards and 6 touchdowns.

Miami has given Ahmed an opportunity not often afforded to young, undrafted players, but, sadly, everything above could be pointing to the end of his time with the Dolphins. I expect Ahmed to hang around through the preseason, given the injury history Miami has experienced at the position over recent years, but it’s hard to picture a scenario where the Dolphins hang on to five running backs or one where Ahmed is able to beat out one of the above four.

RFA/ERFA Tender Decisions: 3/8/22

The deadline for teams to extend tender offers to their restricted free agents and exclusive rights free agents looms next week. We’ll keep tabs on the latest here:

RFAs

Non-tendered:

ERFAs

Tendered:

Dolphins Activate Myles Gaskin And Salvon Ahmed

Ahead of their game against the Jets on Sunday, the Dolphins will have two of their top three running backs available. Myles Gaskin and Salvon Ahmed have been activated from the Reserve/COVID-19 list, reports Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald

The move makes both players eligible to play against the Jets; Jackson adds that, “at least one, if not both, likely would play on Sunday”. Miami’s other options at the position include veterans Malcom Brown and Duke Johnson, as recent acquisition Phillip Lindsay remains in isolation due to COVID-19 protocol.

Gaskin has been the lead back for the Dolphins this season, posting 526 yards and three touchdowns on 154 carries, adding 45 catches for 217 yards and four touchdowns in the passing game. The 24-year-old’s 3.4 yards per carry have left the Dolphins wanting more from the ground game, though, leading to moves such as claiming Lindsay in November. Ahmed, meanwhile, has chipped in 266 total scrimmage yards in his second season in Miami.

Their return would be welcome against the Jets in particular, as New York has allowed just under 139 yards per game on the ground. That, coupled with the upcoming absence of standout rookie wide receiver Jaylen Waddle, should lend itself to plenty of rushing opportunities on Sunday.

 

Dolphins’ Phillip Lindsay Tests Positive For COVID-19

Dolphins running back Phillip Lindsay has tested positive for COVID-19 (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero). That completes an unfortunate hat trick for Miami as all three of their running backs — Lindsay, Myles Gaskin, and Salvon Ahmed — have tested positive in advance of Sunday’s game against the Jets. 

All three players are vaccinated, according to Pelissero, giving them a chance to suit up on Sunday pending additional tests. If they’re unable to play, the Dolphins will likely turn to practice squad RBs Duke Johnson and Gerrid Doaks.

The Dolphins are still fighting for a playoff berth, albeit with slim odds. Stationed at 6-7, the Dolphins currently have a 10% chance at sneaking into a Wild Card spot, according to the stats at Five Thirty Eight. A win over the Jets would keep the ‘Fins afloat — a loss would effectively rule them out of the postseason.

Lindsay, 27, hooked on with the Dolphins earlier this month after being released by the Texans. In his Week 12 debut against the Panthers, the veteran ran for 42 yards off of 12 carries. Gaskin finished with more yards in a less efficient performance — 49 yards off of 16 totes.

Minor NFL Transactions: 12/11/21

Here is how teams finalized their Week 14 rosters:

Atlanta Falcons

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Houston Texans

Kansas City Chiefs

Los Angeles Chargers

Miami Dolphins

New Orleans Saints

New York Giants

New York Jets

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

Tennessee Titans

Washington Football Team