Last updated: April 28, 6:51 PM EST
The jockeying for all the undrafted free agents is underway and Miami is wasting no time getting started.
LB Terrill Hanks, New Mexico State
DE Jonathan Ledbetter, Georgia
WR Trenton Irwin, Stanford
WR Preston Williams, Colorado State
CB Montre Hartage, Northwestern
OL Ryan Anderson, Wake Forest
CB Nik Needham, UTEP
OG Deion (Shaq) Calhoun, Mississippi State
OL Aaron Monteiro, Boston College
LS Wes Farnsworth, Nevada
FS Rob Rolle, Villanova
LB Tre Watson, Maryland
CB Tyler Horton, Boise State
P Stone Wilson, FIU
DE Dewayne Hendrix, PITT
OC Kirk Barron, Purdue
CB Jhavonte Dean, Miami
WR Darrell Langham, Miami
Georgia defensive end Jonathan Ledbetter is signing a UDFA contract with the Miami Dolphins.
— Allan Bell (@AllanBell247) April 27, 2019
More UDFA deals, per sources:
•New Mexico State LB Terrill Hanks with the #Dolphins
•Wisconsin FB Alec Ingold with the #Raiders
•Wyoming tight end Tyree Mayfield with the #49ers
•South Carolina G Zack Bailey with the #Bucs
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) April 27, 2019
More UDFA news: Colorado State WR Preston Williams, a non-Combine invite, is signing with the #Dolphins. … #UNC DE Malik Carney to the #Lions … McNeese State LB BJ Blunt to the #Redskins … #UCF CB Rashard Causey to the #Falcons … #UCLA OL Andre James to the #Raiders.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 27, 2019
Northwestern CB Montre Hartage announced a bit ago that he's signing with Miami. 9 career INTs.
— Barry Jackson (@flasportsbuzz) April 27, 2019
Miami Dolphins Thursday Roster Moves
The Dolphins announced several roster moves on Thursday morning as the team completes phase-one of voluntary OTAs. The Dolphins will return to the practice field next Monday (May 20).
Miami signed four-year veteran defensive end/linebacker Nate Orchard, previously of the Kansas City Chiefs, Buffalo Bills, and Cleveland Browns. Orchard will compete for reps on Miami’s crowded, yet underwhelming, front-seven.
The offensive line saw some considerable shuffling on Thursday as well. The Dolphins waived injured Guard Isaac Asiata. Asiata, a fifth-round pick in 2017, never earned regular season reps despite some shoddy offensive line play in front of him.
Purdue Undrafted Free Agent Kirk Barron was signed at the conclusion of Miami’s rookie minicamp over the weekend. Barron’s Dolphins tenure is cut shot after just four days.
In place of Asiata and Barron the Dolphins signed Tony Adams and Kyle Fuller.
Adams was an undrafted free agent in 2018, signed by the Jacksonville Jaguars, before eventually landing on the Patriots practice squad.
Fuller, a two-year NFL veteran, played two games for Washington last season and nine more for Houston in 2017.
After signing Ricardo Louis in April, the Dolphins placed the receiver on injured reserve today. Louis suffered a neck injury in 2017, didn’t play in 2018, and now will sit out the 2019 season as well.
Brian Flores Quotes from OTAs
If there’s one thing Brian Flores wants you to understand, it’s that the Miami Dolphins are not going to be a New England Patriots prototype.
Flores has been inundated with questions and comments comparing his Dolphins team to the evil empire up north. It seems trivial to continue traveling down that road, as any team is going to install it’s own unique brand, but we genuinely won’t know what this Dolphins team will look like until the season begins.
As Flores mentioned often during his press conference this morning, it’s only OTAs #2 and the evaluation process has barely begun. We are all clamoring for an answer at starting quarterback (it’ll be Josh Rosen) and where Minkah Fitzpatrick is going to line up; but none of us – not even Flores – will have an answer until training camp begins.
Until then, we impatiently wait and see how this franchise’s rebuilding efforts take shape. See everything Flores had to say at press conference earlier this morning:
On His Potential Starting Quarterbacks:
Ryan Fitzpatrick and his ‘status’ as a backup:
“(Ryan brings) a wealth of knowledge and a lot of experience. Again, there’s competition, but we’re trying to build a team. We’re all trying to help each other become the best version of ourselves on the field.”
“I expect him to be the leader that he is. He’s done a good job of that so far.”
“Obviously he’s a talented player. Big arm.”
“Like everyone else, (Josh) has a long way to go. Fundamentals. Technique. Playbook. It’s so early…we’re not going to cut the roster today.”
“There’s an evaluation process here that’s ongoing. Until we get into the nitty-gritty of OTAs to veteran minicamp to training camp to preseason games…everyone kind of knows the schedule here.”
Flores’ doing his patented “list every possibility” speak again.
— Josh Rosen (@josh3rosen) May 14, 2019
Quaterbacks in general:
“Looking for leadership. Looking for accuracy. Looking for an understanding of what we’re trying to do offensively from a protection standpoint; from an alignment standpoint. We’re looking for guys who can consistently move the ball down the field.”
Brian Flores sighing, rolling his eyes, and “entertaining” poor questions by reporters is going to be one of my favorite things going forward. There was another instance of this later on in the press conference, but when Flores was asked “what he’s looking for in a quarterback” it seemed like he had to hold back his laughter.
I understand reporters have to get their own unique content, but some of these questions are so cliche and basic that the answer is equally as cliche and basic. Flores is a good sport and answers the questions as sincerely as he can, but I wonder if Flores in Year 4 answers these questions with much more moxie than Flores currently does in Month 4.
I get the feeling he’s still trying to play nice.
On Minkah Fitzpatrick’s Evolving Role:
Greater need for Minkah at cornerback than Safety, given the lack of depth there?:
“We’re going to play guys in a lot of different roles. Minkah is obviously a very versatile payer. But we have a lot of versatile players in the backfield. We’ll move guys around and try and get the best 4-5 guys on the field at the same time.”
Accurate Minkah will get snaps at CB?:
“I’ll know what he’s doing, you guys probably won’t.”
Brian Flores, asked about Minkah Fitzpatrick at corner and lack of CB depth says “you answered it yourself.” So sounds like he might work all over.
— Joe Schad (@schadjoe) May 14, 2019
On the Rest of the Secondary:
Like what you have beyond Xavien Howard?:
“We like what we have, but it’s early – it’s OTA #2 – there’s time for players to get better, learn the system.”
“It’s so early in the process that it’s tough to make an evaluation.”
“We’re not there yet (to make true evaluations).”
Was Eric Rowe brought in because he’s a good fit?:
“Eric is smart. He’s tough. He has a lot of athletic ability. Tall. Long. Good speed. Tackles. There’s a lot of things we like about him.
“(He’s) doing everything he can to improve on a day-to-day basis.”
On Miami’s Offense Potentially Mimicking New England’s:
“From a format standpoint, a little bit of that. But each team is different. We have different types of players. To go out there and “copy and paste”….that (won’t) fit.”
“We’ll do what’s best for the team. If some of those things align with what we did in New England, so be it. But that’s not necessarily the case.”
Change verbiage or is verbiage the same:
“Yeah, we changed the language.”
If Flores thought he had a hard time containing his laughter when asked ‘what he looks for in a QB’, this question was an even bigger challenge. I’m not sure anyone reading this article assumed the team would use the exact same language, but in case you were wondering if the team would literally copy New England’s offense word-for-word, you now have your answer.
The Miami Media is going to breed Bill Belichick 2.0 with all of these questions….and I’m all for it.
On Signing Mark Walton – who was arrested multiple times in the past few months alone:
“Brought him in for a tryout, thought he did well in the tryout. Had multiple conversations with him and felt comfortable signing him to the team. Felt like he could help us”
Seems Adam Gase wasn’t the only coach keen on bringing in troubled talent as long as they can improve the football team (think Laremy Tunsil on draft day). Guess you can say the same about Belichick (Josh Gordon and Malcolm Floyd are two recent examples that come to mind).
Flores also seemed a bit skittish answering this question, as he knew the signing could reflect poorly from a public relations perspective. A solid follow-up question would have been to ask Flores about signing Walton and how it associates with his view on leaders, but no additional questions about Walton were asked.
Former Canes RB Mark Walton getting some work in today with his hometown Dolphins. pic.twitter.com/iOvfUwTgOx
— Christy Chirinos (@ChristyChirinos) May 14, 2019
Who will be the leader of the clubhouse?:
“If I had a crystal ball and could predict the future, I would tell you that. I don’t know…I can’t tell you who that’s going to be.”
Are there certain guys that “must be leaders” or do you leave it up to the players:
“If you work hard and put the team first, you’re a leader. Some people think you need to be a rah-rah, emotional, get everyone hyped up to be a leader and that’s simply not the case.”
“So I want to have 53 leaders on my team. I want 90 on my team right now. That’s something you can develop…something you can talk about.”
“So Pro Bowls….you can be a pro bowler and (be) lazy. And if that’s the case, you’re not a leader. You’re an elite talent.”
Love the way Flores views the players on his roster. I’ve said this before, while I don’t think Adam Gase (and all the other failed former head coaches) necessarily wanted anything different from their players, there’s something about Flores’ demeanor that commands more respect than the demeanor Gase put forth.
Does showing up (or not showing up) to Voluntary Minicamp affect status of being a “leader”?:
“(There are) players that have shown leadership over a long period of time that haven’t shown up to the voluntary camps – I wouldn’t say that (not showing up doesn’t mean you’re a leader).”
“I would say every situation is different.”
Reshad Jones has been a common topic during these press conferences, and rightfully so. Jones enters 2019 as the most-expensive Miami Dolphin. His cap hit ($17.2m) is nearly double the next-most expensive player on the team (Xavien Howard – $10.35m).
This question came at the end of the press conference and implies that it’s directed at Jones’ absence from Voluntary Minicamp a couple weeks ago – as well as his absence today.
It actually brings the press conference full circle as the session opened with the media asking Flores about Jones’ overall absence from the team.
Reshad Jones is skipping OTAs. “We’ve had a few conversations but I’m going to keep that between he and I,” Brian Flores said. “I expect him at the mandatory minicamp.”
— Omar Kelly (@OmarKelly) May 14, 2019
On Specific Players:
Reshad Jones’ absence from OTAs:
“We’ve had a few conversations. I’m going to keep those conversations between he and I.”
“I expect him to be at the mandatory minicamp.”
“Very impressed with him. Smart. He’s talented. But he has humility and a work ethic I really like. He’s doing everything he can to improve on a day-to-day basis.
“You see the improvement. From April 1st through yesterday’s practice, he’s continued to improve everyday. I’m looking forward to working with him….good young player.”
Flores is like Jon Gruden when he was in the booth for Monday Night Football. He loves every player, and you walk away believing he struck gold with each one.
Albert Wilson’s health:
“Albert is working. He’s been very diligent. He’s working hard to get back. He won’t be out there today, but he’s doing a good job from a rehab standpoint.”
Jakeem Grant’s health:
“He’s doing well. He’s been out there a little bit, we’ll see what that looks like today.”
“All those guys (that are dealing with stuff) are doing what they can to get back on the field.”
Jakeem Grant seems to be in a much better position than Albert Wilson does at the moment.
We all love the electricity Wilson brings to the offense, but after suffering a nasty hip injury last year, it’s tough to gauge how productive he’ll be this year. We hope he’ll be able to return at 100% by the time the season begins.
Dolphins Live: Coach Flores meets with the media ahead of OTAs. https://t.co/934SZviSWe
— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) May 14, 2019
Dolphins Sign Xavien Howard to Record-Setting Contract Extension
The Miami Dolphins understand they have something rare, and they’ve wisely decided to keep him in South Florida for a long time.
According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, the Dolphins have rewarded cornerback Xavien Howard with a 5-year, $76.5m ($46m guaranteed) extension.
Dolphins are signing CB Xavien Howard to a record five-year, $76.5 million extension that includes $46M guaranteed, making him the highest paid CB in the NFL, sources tell ESPN. It’s the largest extension for a CB. Since becoming a 2nd-round pick, Howard has gone to one Pro Bowl.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) May 9, 2019
Dolphins CB Xavien Howard will receive $51 million in first 3 years of his new deal, source says. Big numbers for Howard.
— Cameron Wolfe (@CameronWolfe) May 9, 2019
Even on a team that’s “rebuilding”, having an elite, shutdown cornerback is such a desired commodity that the Dolphins wanted to maintain their former 2nd-round pick rather than trade him for future assets.
Miami drafted Howard #38 overall after giving up a fourth-round pick to move up four spots to draft the Baylor product. What initially seemed like another Dolphins 2nd-round bust quickly turned into a promising prospect. Activated for just 7 games his rookie season due to a knee injury, Howard has since started 28 out of 32 possible games and has accumulated 11 interceptions, 25 passes defended and 83 tackles over that time.
Xavien Howard is really really good pic.twitter.com/opAa3bPjdH
— Travis Wingfield (@WingfieldNFL) December 4, 2018
Howard tied for the league lead in interceptions last season (with 7), and earned his first trip to the Pro Bowl. Miami is flushed with cap space going forward, and fitting Howard into the budget was a pretty easy task. It’ll be interesting to see how the annual salaries are laid out and if Miami decides to stack the guaranteed money towards the beginning of the contract, making it easier to maneuver Howard later in his career.
This is the second straight offseason Chris Grier has rewarded a cornerback he’s drafted with a contract extension. Defensive captain Bobby McCain will be entering year 2 of a $27m extension he signed last year. With Reshad Jones set to cost $11.5 million next season, Miami needs to find some cheap gems to round out its costly secondary.
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