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Miami Dolphins

Blake Bortles is Miami’s Best Stop-Gap Option

Andrew Mitchell

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USA Today

Teddy Bridgewater? Tyrod Taylor? Ryan Fitzpatrick? No, no, and no. Look, Miami no doubt needs a new quarterback for the upcoming season that is not named Ryan Tannehill but who will it be?

Plenty of people thought Teddy Bridgewater made too much sense, local guy, still building his portfolio back up after that horrific knee injury, still young. Unfortunately, Teddy works against the compensation pick formula.

Now, there’s two quarterbacks that do not, Tyrod Taylor and soon to be released Blake Bortles. Tyrod Taylor seems to be all in the rumors as of late and it makes total sense. Veteran quarterback that can come cheap and start. My only issue with Tyrod is he may take a less talented team like Miami to 6 maybe even 7 wins. That is about 4 wins too many for what Miami seems to be trying to accomplish here. Even at 5 wins, Miami’s chances of being able to land a top tier quarterback in the 2020 NFL Draft are reduced. Sure, would they be in the top 10 picks, possibly top 5? Absolutely! But that doesn’t mean they get THEIR GUY.

Miami should want their pick of the litter and getting the guy they have atop of their board. If you fall behind another QB needy team, who’s to say they’re willing to listen to your offer for 3 First Round picks? It’s not a guarantee. Now, with Jacksonville gearing up to shell out $88M to Nick Foles, the Blake Bortles era in Jacksonville will end.

Blake Bortles healthy versus a healthy Tyrod Taylor? I’m not sure about you but I’m thinking Tyrod beats him out. Which is exactly why we sign Bortles instead of Tyrod Taylor. Bortles is obviously worse but also younger and not coming with a large price tag. Could he be more expensive then Tyrod? Potentially but not by much and as far as talent we are splitting hairs practically.

There’s no doubt Miami is going about this the right way in Free Agency and the Off-Season. Don’t overpay, get guys that fit your scheme and culture and accumulate as much draft capital as you can. Blake Bortles checks off every box with that context and he also most likely guarantees you a worse record than Tyrod. Now, I don’t believe Miami is purposely “tanking” but I do think they are prepared to go through some rough bumps this upcoming season for the greater good of finding their future signal caller in the next NFL Draft.

Blake Bortles will be 27 in April. Who knows, maybe he shocks the world and plays true to his 1st round status. Possible but still very unlikely. For Miami, you are getting the perfect stop-gap, depending on price he could be a decent back up in future years behind whomever Miami takes in 2020 as well. The 3 main points being, his floor is lower than Tyrod Tayor’s, he doesn’t count against the compensatory pick formula, and has the potential of being a decent back up to the future QB1 of the Miami Dolphins.

If Miami ends up with either of the two, I think the front office has done what it’s meant to do. However, I just have this hunch Tyrod Taylor could win more than we anticipate and we put all that to rest by signing Blake Bortles.

Andrew is a lifelong Dolphins’ fan that has a deep passion for sports. He has a Multimedia Journalism Degree from Florida Atlantic University and also has interned for ESPN Radio. For all his opinions and articles you can follow him on Twitter: @mitchpr0

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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Herb

    March 12, 2019 at 12:31 pm

    I’m wondering if Tannehill is being debated. Bridgewater would be painful as he might cost them their 2020 pick from James leaving as you point out.

    Given what it might take to get Bortles/Tyrod, they would like be close to the $26M cap number Tannehill currently holds once you consider he would be $13M in dead money.

    I feel like there was still someone on this site arguing just this offseason that Tannehill would be the Week 1 started, and sitting here right now, that seems to make the most sense.

  2. Avatar

    Rich McQuillen

    March 12, 2019 at 12:40 pm

    “My only issue with Tyrod is he may take a less talented team like Miami to 6 maybe even 7 wins. That is about 4 wins too many for what Miami seems to be trying to accomplish here. Even at 5 wins, Miami’s chances of being able to land a top tier quarterback in the 2020 NFL Draft are reduced. Sure, would they be in the top 10 picks, possibly top 5? Absolutely! But that doesn’t mean they get THEIR GUY.”

    “Blake Bortles checks off every box with that context and he also most likely guarantees you a worse record than Tyrod. ”
    — That is crazy talk. Why even sign a qb at all then? Why not go with Luke Falk, and save the money? If you want to pay for a #1 QB, then get the best value you can find. If you want a #2 QB, again, best value.

    Bortles is similar to Osweiler, we could keep Osweiller at $6 Million. I think Osweiller is the base line… If the guy isn’t as good as him don’t sign him.

  3. Avatar

    Miamimanman

    March 12, 2019 at 5:12 pm

    Mehhh, would rather have Fitzmagic at 3 mill a year. With the Beard, we’d be fun enough to root for and watch, but mediocre enough to still be in the top 4-8 pick range. Watching Bortles would make me wanna just quit on them by week 5.

  4. Avatar

    Ryan

    March 12, 2019 at 5:13 pm

    If this is the case why wouldn’t we just start Falk or take a QB in the 7th round. This makes it sound like we are trying to lose but we don’t want people to be able to prove we are trying to lose. Seems like we are jumping through hoops and wasting money just for appearances.

  5. Avatar

    Jhary

    March 12, 2019 at 5:17 pm

    I don’t want ANY of the FA QB’s, or anybody else in FA either…let Falk and Ruddock battle it out for the starting job, and use our 7th on PSU’s Trace McSorely…he just wins. I wouldn’t count on the very average James to get us that 3rd round comp pick either…more than likely, he’ll get fat and lazy off his $32 mil guaranteed, become a bench warmer and get cut next year. THAT would be far more likely the way our luck goes. We need to clean up our cap…we have a ton of dead money on our books that’s going to take 2 years to eliminate. We’re going to be losers for a few years Phin fans…unless we get EXTREMELY lucky in the upcoming draft and with the undrafted FAs we sign.

    Scott

    I root for Miami and anybody that plays the cheats, Jets and the Crimson Tide!

  6. Avatar

    Davian t Castanet

    March 14, 2019 at 6:51 am

    I like Teddy. Which is why i would tell him RUN TEDDY! RUN! Grab that plane ASAP! U see, i like the kid. Which is why i dont want to see him get killed behind that terrible OL or destroy his value here. Chances r hevwill be replaced sooner than later anyway. But Blake? No emotional connection. Bring him in!!!

  7. Avatar

    Davian t Castanet

    March 14, 2019 at 6:54 am

    I like Teddy. Which is why i would tell him RUN TEDDY! RUN! Grab that plane ASAP! U see, i like the kid. Which is why i dont want to see him get killed behind that terrible OL or destroy his value here. Chances r he will be replaced sooner than later anyway. But Blake? No emotional connection. Bring him in!!!

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Miami Dolphins

Miami Dolphins Extend DeVante Parker

Jason Hrina

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Image Credit: Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

One of the longest-tenured players on the team may very well be a Miami Dolphin for life.

According to Tom Pelissero of the NFL Network, the Miami Dolphins have extended DeVante Parker through the 2023 season.

All of the details are still being flushed out, but the deal is a 4-year, $40m extension, with an $8m signing bonus (which is guaranteed).

According to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, Parker will earn $4.5m guaranteed in 2020, and $7.7m guaranteed in 2021.

Parker signs this extension in the middle of a career year. His 55 catches are 1 shy of his career-high (56, 2016), his 882 receiving yards surpass his prior career-high by 138 yards (2016), and his 6 touchdowns are only 3 less than his career total coming into the 2019 season.

Whether it’s Chad O’Shea‘s offense, a shift in Quarterback mentality, or the receiver finally coming into his own, Parker has shown that he can be a #1 receiver in this offense. Though some fans may be hoping for DeAndre Hopkins or Odell Beckham Jr. “elite”, the truth is, Parker isn’t that far behind.

His extension is in line with his production, and it’s fair to say that Parker’s potential still hasn’t been tapped. It’ll be interesting to see how much Parker builds off of his career-year, especially if the Dolphins can solidify their offensive line and give their receivers a chance to get open (more often).

Parker joins Ryan Tannehill and Mike Pouncey as the only other 1st-round picks drafted this decade to have signed an extension with the team.

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Miami Dolphins

Miami Dolphins roster move round-up: Week 15 sees several more changes

Shawn Digity

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Miami Dolphins Linden Stephens
Linden Stephens defending Los Angeles Rams tight end Johnny Mundt

MIAMI (Locked On Dolphins) – Miami Dolphins continue to change up the roster

The Miami Dolphins have continued their roster churning in Week 15, leading up to their prizefight against the New York Giants on December 15.

While it’s been a mainstay strategy for the Dolphins this year, to comb over the waiver wire and the free agency market, there was a significant uptick in waiver wire awards last, totaling four new players being claimed.

Last week’s claimed players included Trevor Davis, Mack Hollins, Zach Zenner, and Zach Sieler. Zenner’s Miami stint was short-lived; he was waived on Tuesday, December 10 to make room for the newest wave of Dolphins signees.

Along with Zenner’s release, the Miami Dolphins added cornerbacks Ken Webster and Ryan Lewis to the Injured Reserve list.

Those three transactions allowed the Dolphins to scoop a player from the New England Patriots’ practice squad, defensive back Nate Brooks, a second player from the Tennessee Titans’ practice squad, linebacker Jamal Davis II, and a third player, offensive lineman Adam Pankey, who was waived by the Green Bay Packers.

Nate Brooks is a rookie defensive back that played at North Texas and has spent time with the Patriots and Arizona Cardinals.

Jamal Davis II is also a rookie. He entered the league from Akron. As mentioned above, he spent time with the Titans earlier this year before the Miami Dolphins signed him.

Adam Pankey is the most traveled player the Dolphins have added. Pankey went undrafted in 2017 out of West Virginia and has had two runs with the Packers and a short one with the Titans.

On December 7, cornerback Linden Stephens was added to the roster in a last-minute shuffle before the Dolphins-Jets game. Cornerback Chris Lammons was released to make room for Stephens on the squad, per Adam Beasley.

Stephens has had tenures with the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos. He formerly played at Cincinnati in college.

In practice squad news, cornerback Rashard Causey was added to the group on December 12, per Safid Deen. Causey played college ball at UCF and has spent time with the Denver Broncos.

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Miami Dolphins

Dolphins Giants Week 15 Preview

Travis Wingfield

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Dolphins set to run it back in New York

Who: Dolphins (3-10) @ Giants (2-11)
When: Sunday December 15, 1:00 East
Where: MetLife Stadium — East Rutherford, NJ
Weather: 35 degrees, partly cloudy
Vegas Slant: Dolphins +3

DolphinsGiants

The Miami Dolphins did not equip Brian Flores with a competitive roster for the 2019 season. Despite taking a path traveled by nobody else in the league, Miami sits with a better record than three teams in the league, and Sunday will pit the Fins up against one of those teams.

The Giants thought they were constructing a playoff roster that could run the football behind former number-two overall pick Saquon Barkley, and disrupt both the run and pass with an influx of high resources spent on the defensive line.

Even with half the cash payroll of the next lowest team on that notorious list, and 11 of its original opening day starters gone for one reason or another, Miami enter a week-15 road game as mere three-point dogs.

Still, with three or four new bodies working into the rotation every week, Brian Flores’ Dolphins have won three games since the bye week, and been within a score in the fourth quarter for all nine games.

Does either team want to win this game? Of course the players and coaches will want to be rewarded for a long, arduous work week, but what good does a victory do in the grand scheme of things? Flores has proven that he can coach his ass off, while Pat Shurmur is assured to lose his job whatever happens these final three weeks.

The cost, for the Giants, could be Chase Young. For Miami, perhaps even more severe as the best quarterback prospect of the last several years could suddenly be available because of medical concerns, should the team land in the top five.

A victory Sunday will likely remove Miami from that perch as the Lions and Cardinals are both underdogs, and would each jump the Dolphins with a one-game difference in the standings.

The Scheme:

Offense:

Mike Shula’s scheme is as 11-personnel heavy as any in the league, but things have changed due to injuries. Without Evan Ingram to provide the ultimate flexibility between 11 and 12-personnel packages, the Giants have lacked much variety in his absence. Using 81% one back, one tight end (3rdmost in football), Miami will be afforded the opportunity to get creative on defense altering its pre-snap look from the same package.

The Giants are successful on just 41% of their plays from this personnel grouping, including 12 interceptions, 31 sacks and just 6.6 yards per passing play. New York only runs one other package (12-personnel) and also doesn’t have a lot of success out of that grouping. Adhering to old school principles, the Giants don’t throw from run formations, and the predictability has the Giants averaging just 5.7 YPA from 12-personnel.

The Giants rank 26th in total offense, 22nd in passing, 26th in rushing and 25th in scoring.

Defense:

James Bettcher is a fan of sending pressure, and he will certainly try to heat up Ryan Fitzpatrick on Sunday. Fitzpatrick might have the last laugh with his ability to get the ball hot to the interior receivers working in behind the linebackers and winning one-on-one matchups with a young defensive backfield.

The Giants base is a 3-4 look, but elements of that defense are always sparingly used because of the nature of modern day football. Bettcher wants to get pressure out of his outside backers in Markus Golden, Oshane Ximines and Lorenzo Carter, using his interior backers in a more traditional, off-ball sense.

New York blitzes 28.7% of the time — exactly the middle of the pack at 16th— but it’s safe to assume they’ll turn that number up on Sunday. The G-Men are in the middle of the pack in hurry rate, knockdown rate and pressure rate. The Giants 94 missed tackles are 13th most in the league.

The Giants rank 27th in total defense 26th in passing, 20th in rushing and 28th in scoring defense.

The Players:

Offense:

Eli Manning is Eli Manning. The Giants hung onto him for three years too long, and his storied career appears to be coming to an end in three weeks. Filling in for the injured Daniel Jones gives the Miami defense a chance to tee off on a quarterback for the first time since the home win over Sam Darnold and the New York Jets.

Manning can’t move, he can’t drive the ball, and there’s really no reason for him to be on a roster at this point. The Dolphins will hit him, turn him over, and dominate the Giants offense is he plays.

New York funneled a lot of resources into its offensive line, and it’s still one of the worst in football. Miami lacks true pass rushers, so it’ll be up to the stunts and games up front to get pressure. Expect Flores to blitz Manning relentlessly, likely with a lot of zero looks.

Holding Saquon Barkley has been easier for opponents this year. A lot of the Giants running game gets Barkley going horizontally, and he’s been able to make the big plays due to poor blocking and a nasty ankle sprain earlier in the year.

This game will be a big test for Taco Charlton, Vince Biegel, Andrew Van Ginkel, Charles Harris and the rest of the Miami edge players.

Defense:

Markus Golden stands to wreck this game for Miami. He’ll come down off the offense’s left edge, and that position has been an issue for the Dolphins all year long. Sliding protection and using a back or tight end to chip Golden is the only way Fitzpatrick will have any time to throw.

On the inside, the Giants offer the beef that Miami’s interior line struggles with the most. Dexter Lawrence is massive, and those are the kind of players that give Daniel Kilgore problems up front.

Alec Ogletree remains a focal point of the Giants defense, and that presents a lot of opportunities for the Dolphins. Look for Miami to empty out the backfield from 12 and 11-personnel, find Ogletree in coverage, and go to work.

The New York secondary is full of inexperience. Rookie DeAndre Baker has worn the rabbit hat (teams go after him) all year long while Janoris Jenkins appears to have past his prime.

This is a slow defense and I’d be surprised if Chad O’Shea doesn’t have his way with it in the passing game.

The Medical:

(Coming Friday)

The Opportunities:

If Devante Parker can go, there isn’t a player in the Giants defensive backfield that can handle his skill set. Regardless, Miami’s passing schemes will create opportunities for whichever players are healthy, especially Allen Hurns inside on mismatches from 12-personnel against linebackers. Patrick Laird should draw some favorable matchups in the passing game in his own right — expect a big day for The Intern.

If it’s Eli, expect a lot of pressure sent to overwhelm a bad Giants line and quarterback. If it’s Daniel Jones, expect Miami to play coverage and take the ball away from the rookie. Either way, this is the day the Dolphins defense gets healthy.

The Concerns:

The Giants skill players can make some noise. Darius Slayton’s speed is a problem, and he’s been producing regardless of who’s under center. The Dolphins added yet another pair of defensive backs to the injured reserve, and that’ll provide a challenge against Slayton, Golden Tate and Sterling Sheppard.

Miami haven’t been able to block many pass rushes, and they’ve created almost nothing by way of the ground game, so the Giants talented front is an issue. There will be one-on-one opportunities aplenty for Markus Golden, Dexter Lawrence, Dalvin Tomlinson and Leonard Williams.

The Projected Outcome:

It doesn’t matter if it’s Daniel Jones or Eli Manning. Both are going to give the Dolphins defense opportunities to take the football away, and neither presents much fear to a unit that is full of undrafted free agents are largely unknowns. Manning doesn’t have the physical traits to scare anyone and Jones is on track for the most turnovers at the position per game of all time. If Jones plays, it will be on a tender ankle that robs the one trait he has — his mobility.

Miami beat the Jets in November in convincing fashion. Every other game since the bye week — with the exception of the Cleveland and Buffalo (home) games — have been white knuckle affairs. This game has the makeup of a blowout, but in favor of the road team.

A bitter, angry team off the loss last week responds to Brian Flores’ message and puts a beating on the Giants.

Dolphins 27
Giants 13

@WingfieldNFL

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