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Miami Dolphins have exercised Laremy Tunsil’s fifth-year option

Shawn Digity

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Laremy Tunsil USA Today Sports
Laremy Tunsil taking on Khalil Mack. Image courtesy of USA Today Sports

Miami Dolphins have exercised Laremy Tunsil’s fifth-year option

The headline says it all; the Miami Dolphins have picked up Laremy Tunsil’s rookie contract fifth-year option. All 2016 first-round draftees are up for fifth-round options and the dominoes have started to fall with Tunsil.

The announcement tweet, which can be seen below, was broken on Twitter by Armando Salguero and shouldn’t come as a huge surprise to Dolphins fans. Laremy Tunsil is one of the key cogs of the team and will be the cornerstone of an otherwise enfeebled offensive line that will likely be addressed in next week’s Draft.

Laremy Tunsil is the surest thing on the Dolphins o-line in a unit that has seen better days and will require two to three new starters. While Tunsil was a no-brainer for the Dolphins to pick up that fifth-round option on, they’ll likely have to extend him at some point, which won’t come cheap since he’s one of the rising stars at left tackle.

But Laremy Tunsil is secured through the 2020 season. I hope between now and then the Dolphins spearhead an extension and get Tunsil locked up a little bit longer. Success in the trenches will start with Tunsil at left tackle and the Fins can fill in the rest during the draft.

Laremy Tunsil will realistically become the highest-paid left tackle at some point in the next few years, and the Dolphins would be wise to get ahead of the curve for that. I think that will happen.

The current frontrunner for left-tackle contracts is the Oakland Raiders’ Trent Brown, and he is making an APY (average per year) of $16.5 million with. The top ten left tackles are making from the aforementioned $16.5 million to $12 million for Green Bay’s David Bakhtiari, Kansas City’s Eric Fisher, and Cincinnati’s Cordy Glenn.

There’s an average APY of $14 million, but I expect Laremy Tunsil to eventually be well above that average when the time comes–I foresee the Dolphins making him the highest paid left tackle, remember. Full guarantees on those top-ten contracts are running between $16 and $36 million, so there’s much more variability with those portions of the contract.

Good and great left tackles aren’t cheap. Laremy Tunsil will break the bank in a few years and will be the highest paid left tackle if the Miami Dolphins intend on making him their franchise LT for years to come.

Laremy Tunsil was drafted by the Miami Dolphins in the 2016 NFL draft after an unfortunate and unfair draft-day tumble that gave the team a golden opportunity. The 2016 class has proven to be extremely fruitful (for the most part). Along with Tunsil, Xavien Howard, Kenyan Drake, and Jakeem Grant were selected in the second, third and sixth rounds, respectively, and all have made major contributions in one form or another.

Exercising Tunsil’s fifth-year option is good news for Fins fans. It’s not a blockbuster trade or a splash signing, but taking care of the best players already on the team before it snowballs out of control a la Jarvis Landry or Ju’Wuan James is a step in the right direction. And while exercising Tunsil’s option is an obvious choice, it’s still an encouraging sign nonetheless.

All contractual information courtesy of Over the Cap.

 

I am an Ohio University alum and I’ve been living in Pittsburgh for the last two years. I’ve been a Dolphins fan since I was a kid and I picked them because I liked the old-school logo. It grew from that as I got older and I luckily caught the tail end of Dan Marino’s career. It’s stuck ever since and now I’m an upstart, wild-and-free Dolphins beat writer, loving every second of it.

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Miami Dolphins

Should the Miami Dolphins put in a claim on CB Vernon Hargreaves?

Shawn Digity

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Miami Dolphins Vernon Hargreaves
Image courtesy of USA Today Sports

MIAMI (Locked on Dolphins) – Should the Miami Dolphins put in a claim on CB Vernon Hargreaves?

Adam Schefter broke the news earlier on Tuesday that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have parted ways with cornerback Vernon Hargreaves.

Since Hargreaves was drafted in the 2016 Draft, he has less than four vested seasons, which means he’ll be added to the waiver wire.

Now, this is the part where Dolphins fans and analysts can start to speculate on the former first-rounder out of Florida.

Does it make sense for the Dolphins to put in a claim on Hargreaves?

The short answer is yes. Here’s why.

The Dolphins, as they are refranchising, should sniff around the league for talent in creative ways. They gave that method a chance when claiming Robert Nkemdiche, and it didn’t work out in that instance, but hidden gems can be found.

With the circumstance surrounding the team’s 2-7 record, they have the luxury–maybe even the obligation– to look for down-on-their-luck yet talented players who have been waived or cut.

There’s no denying Hargreaves’ talent. He’s still very young but has 3.5 years of NFL experience under his belt. But sometimes teams and players aren’t a great fit together, and that seems to be the case for Hargreaves and the Bucs. A change of pace seemed to be necessary for both Hargreaves and the Bucs, which was hinted at by the Bucs’ front office.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ General Manager Jason Licht addressed Hargreaves’ release to the press.

“After thoughtful consideration over the past few weeks, Coach Arians and I came to the conclusion that we needed to make this change,” said Licht. “Decisions such as this are always difficult, but we felt it was in the best interest of our team to part ways with Vernon at this time and allow him to explore other opportunities. We are disappointed that it did not work out here for Vernon and we wish him continued success moving forward.”

It’s worth mentioning that the Dolphins might not be a shoo-in for Hargreaves, though. There are other teams in front of them in the waiver wire order, which is constructed in the same fashion as the draft order.

Teams like the Bengals, Redskins, and Giants–all who have a better projected draft pick than the Dolphins– will have their chance to place in a bid for the cornerback’s services.

If the Miami Dolphins land Hargreaves, then some comfort can be found in the coaching staff’s ability to awaken more of his innate talent. The Dolphins have already impressed with their cornerback development. What the coaches have done to help teach and improve Nik Needham, Eric Rowe, and Jomal Wiltz speaks volumes.

Vernon Hargreaves could find a new home in Miami to get a change of scenery, and the Dolphins staff would be one of the better places for him to go to re-energize his career.

It would be a boon for both parties. And there’s nothing to lose by putting in a claim.

It’s a no-brainer.

 

 

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Miami Dolphins

Dolphins cut Robert Nkemdiche, sign De’Lance Turner, Marcus Sherels

Shawn Digity

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Miami Dolphins Mark Walton
Image courtesy of USA Today Sports

MIAMI (Locked On Dolphins) – Miami Dolphins Roster Moves: November 5, 2019

The Miami Dolphins have updated their roster by waiving the fourth-year defensive lineman, Robert Nkemdiche.

The Dolphins initially claimed him off the waiver wire earlier this season in hopes of giving the former first-rounder a change of scenery.

It was a reclamation project for the team after the Arizona Cardinals released him in late July.

Nkemdiche was activated off the PUP list in October and was active for two games.

Nkemdiche’s Dolphins tenure was short-lived, and it didn’t work out in the team’s favor this time, but, luckily, it was a no-cost maneuver, so nothing was lost.

The Miami Dolphins also added a new running back and cornerback, De’Lance Turner and Marcus Sherels, respectively.

The moves came after Preston Williams was added to the season-ending IR, and Mark Walton was handed a four-game suspension based on his violations against the league’s substance abuse policies.

De’Lance Turner is in his second year in the league and has spent most of his career in an add-and-drop oscillation with the Ravens.

Marcus Sherels, on the other hand, is in his 10th year.

He spent his entire career with the Minnesota Vikings before getting cut in the latter part of October.

He should bring a boost to the return game while taking over some of those duties in Preston William’s absence.

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Miami Dolphins

Preston Williams Suffers Season-Ending Injury; Mark Walton Suspended

Chris Kowalewski

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Tank supporters worried about the relative success of the Miami Dolphins’ offensive display against the New York Jets might be able to relax just a little.

Preston Williams, who had quickly been developing into one of the brightest spots on the team entering the league as an undrafted free agent, suffered a knee injury on a punt return during the fourth quarter of Sunday’s 26-18 victory.

An MRI scan on Monday confirmed a torn ACL, ending his debut season.

Williams had shown flashes of playmaking ability, hauling in 32 catches for 428 yards and 3 TD through the first 8 games.

Whilst Williams will likely undergo surgery and extensive rehabilitation in order to prepare him for the 2020 season, the impact of this injury upon his development should not be understated. Alongside a reel of highlight plays, Williams has had a number of drops and will now only see mental reps until the team takes to field in training camp – possibly with a new quarterback.

Discussing the loss of a key piece of the WR group, Brian Flores stated “He’s done an incredible job, really. He came to us as a free agent and has really grown over the last six months, seven months. I was devastated for the kid. He was as well, but I told him this is just a bump in the road. He’ll be back. I believe if he attacks his rehab and training like he did from the time he got here, he’ll be just fine. He can be a very good player in the league, but it’s up to him. There’s a lot of players in this league with a lot of potential, a lot of talent. But it’s up to him to put in the work, the preparation, the training, the diet, the sleep – all of it, it all counts. I think he’s definitely on the right track to get the most of of his talent and ability. In some cases a setback is a good thing, allow him to train and lock in on all those other things a little bit earlier than he would have if he’d played the entire season. I think that’s the kind of approach he needs to take on it.

A short time later, a further blow to Miami’s offensive group landed, as it was announced that starting RB, Mark Walton is to receive an immediate 4-game suspension imposed by the league, stemming from a number of off-season arrests in violation of the NFL’s conduct policy.

The proximity of the suspension news to the trade of Kenyan Drake last week means it is likely that the Dolphins were already aware of the situation. Expect them to place more reliance on Kalen Ballage (who has largely underwhelmed so far in 2019) and rookies Patrick Laird and Myles Gaskin.

Neither Gaskin nor Laird have seen any regular season playing time and Kalen Ballage had seen his role reduce after a number of poor performances. He currently has 35 rushes for 70 yards (2.0 YPC) and 2 TDs – his 231lb frame being the preferred option at the goal line.

Ballage also has 4 catches on 12 targets (33.3% catch rate) for 40 yards, which is a concern considering how Miami wishes to implement the running backs in the passing game.

For those fans viewing 2019 as an extended pre-season, the Dolphins will no get a chance to see what future potential exists in their fresh-faced RB room, starting next Sunday on the road against the Indianapolis Colts.

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