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Top 5 Miami Dolphins of 2018

Jason Hrina

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Image Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

In a year full of things to forget, the Miami Dolphins were able to produce some players we could be proud of.

While we probably could have reduced the list from 5 to anything lower than that, we were able to muster up enough reasoning to warrant 5 (extremely) productive players for this team in 2018.

You can probably predict who’s going to be on this list, as there weren’t many players that exceeded expectations, though figuring out which 5 performed above the others might not be an easy thing to forecast.

In conjunction with our Top 5 Most Disappointing Players of 2018, we bring you our Top 5 Players of 2018; take a look at the players that made our list, and feel free to slot them where you’d like:

5) Minkah Fitzpatrick

Minkah Fitzpatrick wasn’t the only rookie or sophomore to shine on the Dolphins. Among all of the negativity, Dolphins fans can find solace in the fact that this team does have a pretty nice group of young, core players.

Fitzpatrick’s season was virtually as productive as players like Davon Godchaux, Vincent Taylor, Jerome Baker and others, so why is he on this list and the others are not?

Versatility and positional impact have a lot to do with Fitzpatrick’s importance on this team. Don’t get me wrong, Miami suffers mightily if they do not have one of those other players mentioned, but they don’t dissolve as quickly as they do if they don’t have Fitzpatrick.

A man brought to this team (allegedly) without a position, Fitzpatrick found himself saving the Dolphins at safety, slot corner and boundary corner. How is it that we have players on this team that are unable to understand their coverage assignments (looking at T.J. McDonald, Byron Maxwell in 2017 and – it pains me to say it – Bobby McCain in 2018), yet Fitzpatrick provides blanket-coverage at three different positions?

Not to mention, Fitzpatrick’s ability to diagnose and disrupt a play is as impressive as his open-field tackling. The pick-6 he had against the Minnesota Vikings wasn’t necessarily a bad pass by Kirk Cousins. Look at the initial freeze-frame of the clip above. Cousins’ arm is already cocked and Fitzpatrick is currently being occupied by the tight end. Within the next 1-2 seconds, Fitzpatrick will have shed his block and read Cousins’ throw, leading to the pick-6.

His football acumen is heads-and-tails above others and it’s absolutely fascinating to watch.

Fitzpatrick is a tremendous bright spot for this team and the only way you believe the Dolphins got this selection wrong is if you believe the team should have traded up for either Sam Darnold or Josh Allen (or even Baker Mayfield). A young, prime corner back provides the perfect compliment to (or replacement for…) Xavien Howard.

Why is he so high (or low, depending how you view it) on the list then?

Fitzpatrick had some instances where he was exposed in coverage, though not enough for us to get disgruntled. In fact, outside of a few rookie mistakes, Fitzpatrick looked nothing like a rookie and easily outperformed 4-year corner Bobby McCain. Just imagine how much he’ll evolve with a real NFL offseason under his belt.

4) Albert Wilson

How bad was the 2018 season that Albert Wilson played in only 7 games, and is still considered one of the top 5 Miami Dolphins of the year…and it’s not even like he’s #5. The only reason he isn’t higher is because he played just 44% of the season; otherwise, he’d still be running into 1st-place on our list of top Dolphins.

Kenny Stills has been a productive player for the Dolphins, but when was the last time Miami had a receiver that could outperform the opposing cornerback on almost every play? Jarvis Landry was phenomenal, but was never really a mismatch. Mike Wallace was a (bad) deep threat. Brandon Marshall was a (poor) #1 wide receiver whose hands were stiffer than Jakeem Grant‘s.

Wilson isn’t tall like Randy Moss, he isn’t fast like Desean Jackson, and he isn’t the big-bodied receiver you can’t outbox like Calvin Johnson Jr. was. Wilson’s agility and shiftiness have cornerbacks desperate to keep up with him on a route.

I don’t want to put Wilson in the same class as those other receivers; but it’s hard to deny the impact Wilson had on the Dolphins season. He is the sole reason why this team was viewed as a playoff team throughout the beginning of the season. Ryan Tannehill flourished off of his ‘yards after the catch’ (YAC), and this offense actually produced an undercover #1 receiver.

The “other player without a position” the Dolphins acquired this past off season, Wilson’s 335 YAC have him 51st in the league in 2018 – 3 yards shy of Kareem Hunt – but he also played less than half the games most of these other players participated in. If you take his 7-game total and trend it out into a 16-game season, Wilson would have finished with 766 YAC, good for 4th on the list – 2 yards shy of Saquon Barkley.

3) Frank Gore

At 35 years old, Frank Gore is closer to proving he’s part of the same robotic species that produced Cameron Wake than retiring from the NFL. In no regard should a football player (playing possibly the most violent position) be able to outrun and out-muscle peers over 10 years younger than him.

Gore alluded tacklers as often as he ran through them – the former University of Miami standout has been yearning to come back home for years, and the Dolphins finally obliged this past off season when they signed the future Hall of Famer to a $1.1m contract. And they couldn’t have spent $1m any better than they did.

The aging wonder was expected to be a backup running back originally meant to compliment Kenyan Drake‘s breakout season. A leader, a phenomenal human being, and dedicated workhorse, Gore proved he was more than just a mentor for future starting running back Kalen Ballage.

More durable than any of DeVante Parker‘s seasons, Gore’s injury in Week 15 dampened what was otherwise an excellent year for the running back. Although the overall numbers may not be overwhelming, the consistency he provided this offense is somewhat immeasurable.

On paper, you see 722 rushing yards, 124 receiving yards, and only one total touchdown on the year. But when compared to Kenyan Drake, Gore’s numbers stack up something like:

Rushing Yards per Snap:
Gore: 2.19
Drake: 0.98

Receiving Yards per Snap:
Gore: 0.38
Drake: 0.88

Total Yards per Snap:
Gore: 2.56
Drake: 1.86

Of course the argument can be made that Drake was misutilized and should have received the ball more – and you wouldn’t be wrong with that assessment. But in an offense that required progress on each play, one running back was more productive than the other.

2) Laremy Tunsil 

Los Angeles Chargers defensive end Joey Bosa (99) works against Miami Dolphins offensive guard Laremy Tunsil (67). Image Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

From bong mask to bonafide stud, Laremy Tunsil has proven why he was viewed as the #1 prospect heading into the 2016 draft.

Handling the most important position on the offense next to the quarterback, Tunsil is an island all-his-own. Prior to giving up a sack with 2 games left in the season, Tunsil was nearly perfect in 2018. His ability to shutdown the opposing team’s best pass rusher on a weekly basis is an overlooked commodity on this team. It’s something we may take for granted after watching years of ineptitude grace our offensive line.

Sometimes, silence is golden, and the less you hear an offensive lineman’s name, the better off you are. Using the 5th-year option on Tunsil is probably one of the most obvious things that will happen in 2019, as the elite left tackle enters the 4th-year of his professional career. Between Howard and Tunsil hitting free agency soon, it’ll be interesting to see how the Dolphins manage this situation going forward. While it’s great to have such elite talent, it’s going to come at a premium cost – and for a rebuilding team, it may be a tough bill to pay.

You can easily interchange #1 and #2 on this list. Both players play premium positions that come with a hefty price tag. Both are young (drafted in the same draft) and both are necessary to have if you want to be a legitimate playoff team. I’d say that Tunsil’s nagging injuries throughout his career are a reason for putting him second, but that doesn’t hold too much weight when the #1 player on our list has the same issues.

Honorable Mentions

Below are a few players that exceeded our expectations this season – and can be viewed as bright spots going forward. It’s tough to say they were better than the others, as most still have flaws of their own:

Jakeem Grant – An injury late in the season keeps Jakeem Grant from making the list. A dynamic player that evolved as a receiver, Grant found the end zone as a receiver, as a punt returner and as a kick returner. His ability to line up in multiple positions at receiver (or even as a tailback) gives the defense something to hesitate about – and when your team has Kenny Stills, Albert Wilson and Kenyan Drake as play makers, the defense is going to get confused (which further exasperates how inept this offense was last year). As long as Grant can soften up his hands just a little bit more, the Dolphins might have their 2019 receiving core already intact.

Ja’Wuan JamesJa’Wuan James performed very well this past season, and after 5 years of desiring consistency from our former 1st-round pick, we may have finally received some of that in 2018. James started 15 games last season and was a bright spot at right tackle, but his career arc has him ready to miss half the 2019 season. By year, he has started the following number of games:

  • 2014: 16
  • 2015: 7
  • 2016: 16
  • 2017: 8
  • 2018: 15
  • 2019: ?

Like we said…developing consistency.

John Denney – Legend.

Travis Swanson – The Miami Dolphins were 7-6 and had a chance at the playoffs because Travis Swanson existed. What started out as a tumultuous tenure, Swanson smoothed out and turned into a consistent blocker during the second half of the season. Especially when you have Ted Larsen and Jesse Davis on either side of you providing little assistance, it’s interesting to see just how admirably a last-second addition to the roster performed for the team. I wouldn’t be upset if Swanson returned as the starting center for 2019.

Kenyan Drake – I was originally about to publish this piece without Kenyan Drake on this list, but that would have been foolish of me. While we expected more production from Drake than what we witnessed, it’s not his fault the offensive gameplan seemed to be unable to utilize their best playmakers with any kind of consistency. This was supposed to be his 1000 yard rushing season, and instead, he barely eclipsed 1000 offensive yards combined (finishing with 535 rushing yards, 477 receiving yards, and 1012 total offensive yards). But his 9 total touchdowns further support the visual evidence that Drake is a winner waiting to happen on every play. It’ll be interesting to see what a new head coach and offensive coordinator can get out of Drake as he enters the final year of his rookie contract.

Jason Sanders – Kickers are an extremely important position on your team (ask Chicago Bears‘ fans how they feel about Cody Parkey), but it’s hard to designate Sanders a top-5 player when his biggest advantage was consistency. And it’s a welcomed consistency at that, but it would have required a dominant season to put him in the Top 5 – even during a wasted 2018.

Davon Godchaux – The former 5th-round pick continues to flourish for this team, and has earned his way into the starting lineup for 2019. The lackluster performance by the rest of the defensive line forced Godchaux into double-duty at times, as he was tasked with typically handling both the opposing center and guard on the same play. His future for the Dolphins is just as bright as….

Vincent Taylor – Miami’s former 6th-round pick could have possibly been on a brighter path than Godchaux if a foot/toe injury didn’t cut his season short to just 8 games. Vincent Taylor broke out in 2018, producing 27 total tackles, 3 tackles for a loss, 2 QB hits and 2 sacks; or in other words, more tackles, tackles for a loss and sacks than 1st-round pick Charles Harris.

Jerome Baker – Jerome Baker showed plenty of flashes that indicate he’s going to be around for awhile, but he also had enough hiccups throughout the year to label him as just a “good” player. His sophomore year should feature more development, less false-steps, and quicker diagnosis. If he’s able to shoot the gap and track interceptions like he did his rookie year, he’s only going to get better. Expect Baker to be a somewhat obvious candidate for “breakout player of the year” in 2019.

1) Xavien Howard

Welcome to the NFL, Sam Darnold. Welcome back, Andrew Luck. How did proving your mediocrity feel, Derek Carr? I see you still remember those nonexistent throwing lanes from last season and you’re avoiding treasure island, Tom Brady.

After trading up in the second-round of the 2016 draft, the Miami Dolphins selected a prototype press-cornerback they believed they could coach into a real NFL player. And for all the times we drill them for drafting the DeVante Parker’s, Charles Harris’, and Daniel Thomas‘ of the world, Xavien Howard is one they got right.

Still misidentified as “Xavier” more often than all of those “experts” around the nation would like to admit, Howard made a household name for himself when he ended 2018 tied for the most interceptions on the season and made his first career Pro Bowl. The two other players he tied with? Played in 4 more games than Howard did.

Howard finished 2018 with the least amount of tackles of his 3-year career (including his injury-riddled rookie season in which he only active for 7 games), though that’s more of a testament to opposing quarterbacks avoiding Howard rather than Howard’s inability to make plays.

Whether or not this shutdown corner is on the team going forward remains a mystery, as it’s possible the team utilizes their biggest trade chip (alongside Tunsil) to rebuild the roster. It’s somewhat tough to justify extended a cornerback with an extremely expensive contract when his best years are going to be wasted rebuilding. For all of my business friends out there, the return on investment probably hints towards trading Howard than keeping him.

But until he’s gone, he’s one of the only players we can confidently say we’re happy to have.

Growing up a passionate Dolphins fan in Jets territory, Jason learned from an early age that life as a Dolphins fan wasn’t going to be easy. Previously the Sports Editor for his university newspaper, Jason has experience writing columns, creating game recaps and conducting interviews with Hall of Fame athletes (Harry Carson and Yogi Berra are two of his proudest interviews). When he’s not dissecting the latest sports news, you can find him perplexed over the Dolphins offensive line woes or involuntarily introducing music to his neighbors.

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Miami Dolphins

The Levee Breaks in Jersey – Dolphins Giants Week 15 Recap

Travis Wingfield

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Dolphins break record for most players used, blowout loss ensues

The entire Dolphins operation took a back seat to the A-block story of Eli Manning in his final start at MetLife Stadium. Although riddled with mistakes, Miami played a strong first half, but unraveled after the intermission. With a first half lead, the Dolphins were outscored 16-0 — and out-gained 187-19 — in the third quarter, with the Giants scoring the first 13 points of the fourth quarter as an encore.

Miami’s experimental season became tangibly explainable Sunday as the Dolphins gave its 80th-differnet player a snap. The previous record was 78 players in one single season. Miami’s roster is currently comprised of 23 undrafted free agents (43%, most in the NFL). The Dolphins made 74 roster moves since week one and have 17 players on injured reserve — both of those are second most in the NFL.

Stat Dolphins Giants
Total Yards 384 412
Rushing 122 138
Passing 262 274
3rd / 4th Down 4/16 (25%) 5/11 (45.5%)
Penalties 7 (42 yards) 4 (32 yards)
Sacks For 1 3
TOP 28:53 31:07

 

DolphinsGiants

The things that made Miami a competitive team for the last two months were of the “takes no talent” variety. Dropped passes, penalties, turnovers, missed field goals, even the occasional miss from Ryan Fitzpatrick, the Dolphins simply are not good enough to overcome the many errors committed in the blowout loss.

Despite the majority of Miami’s six dropped passes occurring in the first half, Fitzpatrick compiled the most Dolphin passing yards in a single half (234 yards) since Ryan Tannehill’s 2015 game against Houston. The Dolphins moved the chains 14 times (also a season high), combing Fitzpatrick’s arm and legs; he is now the team leader in rushing yards for the 2019 season with 219 yards.

It would be completely understandable for the Dolphins to go into the proverbial tank these last two games. The final home date with Cincinnati on-deck, followed by a season finale in Foxboro, 3-13 looks to be more than a possibility, but rather a probability.

More on how that could affect the Dolphins draft positioning in the recap segment at the bottom of the page. Let’s get to the individuals.

Quarterback

It looked like business for usual for Ryan Fitzpatrick and the Dolphins offense early at the Meadowlands Sunday. He was ripping the Giants zone defense for chunk yardage, escaping pressure and moving the chains with his legs, but coming up short in the red zone for the second consecutive game.

Miami’s first two drives traveled 99 yards, but yielded no points. Fitzpatrick had two misses that cost Miami points. First, a back-shoulder fade to Devante Parker left too far inside led to a turnover-on-downs. Then, on a later 3rd down, Fitzpatrick underthrew Parker to allow the defensive back to break up the pass. Miami would punt, opposed a fresh set of downs from inside the Giants 35-yard-line.

The dagger occurred on a Fitzpatrick run that resulted in a lost fumble, though the officiating crew blew the call on the field and in replay. Miami dropped six passes — including a ball off the facemask in the end zone — so it’s difficult to put too much of the blame on the quarterback.

Running Backs

Patrick Laird has some moments, but the gaffes are a weekly occurrence. He dropped another pass, failed to win a one-on-one situation on a stretch run that resulted in a safety, and he gets beat in pass protection every game. His 18-yard run saved his average for a respectable 3.8 yards per rush on 12 carries.

Myles Gaskin had a similar, average-saving run. Gaskin popped a 27-yarder in garbage time to get to 43 yards on nine carries, but he too has his shortcomings in pass protection.

Wide Receivers and Tight Ends

Devante Parker has been consistent as they come this season. In his first game off the new contract that is schedules to keep him in Miami through the 2023 season, Parker went for 72 yards and a pair of touchdowns, including another win on a 50-50 ball (more apt to call them 70-30 balls with Parker in range).

Albert Wilson was involved in the plan to the tune of five receptions on eight targets for 59 yards. Wilson has the shifty quality in condensed spaces that will provide the Dolphins with two, highly-utilizable traits going forward: 1.) uncover quickly from the slot on two-way-goes, and 2.) key misdirection to open up space for the rest of the offense.

Wilson’s start-stop ability, along with his prowess as a ball carrier could be a valuable piece in Chad O’Shea’s offense next season. He’ll have to be, in order to justify his retention at $8 million. The upside, for Miami, the commitment doesn’t extend beyond 2020. The team can certainly afford to keep Wilson on the books for another year and a better look at the player two full years removed from the hip injury.

Allen Hurns and Isaiah Ford were limited. Ford was the culprit of the facemask drop on a would-be touchdown in the second quarter, and Hurns only caught one pass. He was playing injured.

Mike Gesicki was involved early drawing matchups on the Giants safeties and linebackers. He had an opportunity on a takeoff against DeAndre Baker, but the pass was broken up. He caught four of eight for 47 yards. He continues to look more comfortable with each passing week.

Miami utilized plenty of offset 12-personnel formations (double tight ends inline to one side of the formation). Miami’s only semblance of a running game comes on stretch runs off this formation, and they do it in behind Clive Walford and Durham Smythe.

Walford was off to a sterling start, but two dropped passes quelled the strong showing. He and Smythe both hit a number of key blocks on Miami’s longer runs of the game.

Offensive Line

Miami shuffled the line throughout the day, and none of the combinations seemed to make improvements. Fitzpatrick was under siege, Miami failed to create any penetration on point-of-attack blocks, and another good scrambling day saved what otherwise could’ve been a shutout type of performance.

Michael Deiter’s issues are systemic at this point. He’s constantly off-balance, lacks conviction and confidence, and misses an assignment each time he’s out there. He looks good pulling and getting the second level, but that’s about where the praise stops.

Daniel Kilgore continues to demonstrate a lack of ability to do the things they want him to execute in this scheme. Reach blocks are an adventure, anchoring is a 50-50 proposition, and he rarely blows anybody off the ball.

Jesse Davis has quietly pieced together a better initial kick slide and pass set as a right tackle. He’s living up to his end of the bargain on those offset 12 runs to the right side.

Evan Brown, Shaq Calhoun and J’Marcus Webb were all difficult watches.

Defensive Line

Davon Godchaux has been the Devante Parker of the defense — consistently stable. Godchaux demonstrates his power with consistency, but he flashes big plays on a weekly basis with penetration. He made five more tackles Sunday, bringing his season total to 65.

Christian Wilkins is a poor man’s Godchaux in his rookie season. He too has the flash plays, but he’s not as consistent and can get moved a gap or two from time-to-time.

Taco Charlton was back after a healthy scratch a week ago. Taking Charles Harris’ spot, Taco made one tackle and saw a lot of runs go for big gains off his edge. The same was true on the other side against Avery Moss and the occasional outside ‘backer condensed inside to a six-technique.

Linebackers

Sam Eguavoen is piecing together a nice run. He came from the CFL as a standout in passing situations, and he’s been active doing just that. Falling into the hook zip and tipping footballs, applying pressure on the quarterback, and picking up a sack for the second straight week, Eguavoen is showcasing the goods to return as a sub package linebacker.

Jerome Baker had quite a day making plays. When he keys it and pulls the trigger, Baker is as disruptive as they come blowing up plays at the line-of-scrimmage. He used that speed to get into the hook zone for two plays on the ball, an interception and a PBU. He also made 12 tackles in the game.

Vince Biegel fell into the hook zone for a play of his own. Dropping in place of a blitzing Nik Needham, Biegel picked off the first pass of his career. He also continues to dent the edge and set up tackles as well as anyone on this defense.

Raekwon McMillan left the game with a hamstring injury. When he was out there, his impact was minimal. McMillan played all over the formation and tried to give Miami some help in more of a Sam ‘backer position.

Defensive Backs

It’s a mix mash of street free agents in the Miami secondary. For the fourth time this year, Miami signed a played on a Tuesday, then played him in the defensive backfield the following Sunday.

Nate Brooks was beaten up and down the field by fellow rookie Darius Slayton. Linden Stephens saw his first action as a Dolphins and made two tackles.

Eric Rowe made four tackles and continues to show his mettle in the box safety role. He’s definitely a fit going forward for that role.

Nik Needham had a day of peaks and valleys. He made an exceptional tackle on Saquon Barkley in space, but then came back and was juked badly by the former number-two overall pick. Needham got his hands on a ball that wound up going for a 51-yard touchdown. It was that kind of day for Needham and Miami.

Jomal Wiltz continues to show the competitiveness and tackling prowess that makes him a favorite to return as a sub package defensive back next season.

Recap

This game looked like a laugher early, in favor of the Dolphins. Despite three bad interceptions from Eli Manning, Miami continuously made errors that turned the game in favor of the home team.

Perhaps that result was best for Miami.

The Dolphins climb now to third in the 2020 NFL Draft. Miami leapfrogged Washington based on tie-breakers, as week 16 presents a pair of huge games in the race for better draft choices. Washington hosts the Giants while the Bengals visit Miami.

Winning one of the final two games would result in no worse than the fifth pick in the draft for the Fins, and Miami can climb all the way to second if the team finishes 3-13.

Whoever Miami deems as QB2 should be there for the taking. The Chase Young option will continue to compel the fan base, but his penchant for the up-field rush will likely make Miami pursue other avenues.

There’s a lot of time between now and the last weekend in April, including two more games. Brian Flores’ ability to get his team up for these final two could be telling.

Or maybe they won’t. It’s perfectly understandable if Miami are unable to mount a competitive fight in the final two weeks. The roster was depleted in every fashion imaginable (trades, cuts, injuries, player shutdowns), and even a good coaching staff has a breaking point.

The upshot for the 2019 season is that Miami secured a high draft pick and added a war chest of offseason resources. Perhaps best of all, the Dolphins now have surefire long-term fits that were largely unknowns just a few months prior.

Parker, Needham, Gesicki, Biegel, Rowe all emerged as surprise breakthrough players. Joining core parts like Godchaux, McMillan, Baker, and those returning from IR (Preston Williams, Xavien Howard, Bobby McCain, Jakeem Grant, Jonathan Ledbetter), reinforcements are on the way for the 2020 season.

This season has been brutal. We’re eight quarters away from its conclusion, and the real season beginning. The 2020 Miami Dolphins offseason.

@WingfieldNFL

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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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