The Miami Dolphins are well-positioned to get a quarterback with the No. 5 pick in the NFL Draft, but the lingering question is which one they’ll go for.
According to Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports, teams around the league believe the Dolphins are “intrigued” by Utah State quarterback Jordan Love. However, they’re unlikely to take him fifth overall, and would have to risk finding a way to trade back into the first round to get him if they go for an offensive lineman instead.
The Dolphins could keep it simple and simply select Tua Tagovailoa at No. 5 and sort out the quarterback position, but it’s not clear if that’s what they’re going to do.
Love is attracting a lot of interest from teams later in the first round. The reality is that if Miami is in a situation where they have to trade back up to get Love, they’d be competing with a lot of teams that might be better-positioned to take him. As a result, Love to Miami seems unlikely, even if the Dolphins are very interested.
The Miami Dolphins are widely expected to take a quarterback with the fifth overall pick in next week’s NFL Draft, but there has been plenty of debate over whether they prefer Tua Tagovailoa or Justin Herbert. One thing we now know, however, is that they tried to get a close look at Tagovailoa right around the time life as we know it came to a screeching halt.
The Dolphins scrambled to try to get Tagovailoa to Miami just before the NFL put a stop to visits between teams and prospects due to the coronavirus pandemic, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports. While team doctors were able to examine the former Alabama star at the NFL Scouting Combine in February, they were hoping to get a closer look last month.
It’s obvious the Dolphins have some level of interest in Tagovailoa. If not for injury concerns, Tagovailoa would have had a shot to be the top overall pick in the draft ahead of Joe Burrow. That’s the primary reason some experts expect Miami to take Herbert over the former Alabama star.
Tagovailoa’s lengthy injury history was already a concern for teams, and the coronavirus restrictions could prevent him from being able to ease some of that. While the footage we saw from his pro day looked promising, the inability of teams to have their doctors examine Tua closer to the draft may complicate things further for him.
The Miami Dolphins are expected to target a quarterback in the upcoming NFL Draft, and it seems likely that they will use the No. 5 overall pick on one. Tua Tagovailoa looks healthy and his stock is rising at the perfect time, but at least one top draft analyst believes the Dolphins prefer Justin Herbert over the former Alabama star.
ESPN’s Mel Kiper released his latest mock draft on Tuesday, and he has the Dolphins selecting Herbert at No. 5 and Tagovailoa going No. 6 to the Los Angeles Chargers. Kiper explained his rationale in an appearance on “Get Up!” and said he has heard from sources that Tagovailoa’s injury history is a still a big concern.
“Durability concern is why I dropped him. Some think he could drop a little farther than that,” Kiper said. “It’s not only just about the injuries he’s had, but protecting his body and not taking hits. Will he learn to do that once he’s in the NFL?”
As for Herbert, Kiper said he doesn’t understand why people are saying the former Oregon star has a low ceiling.
“He’s got a ton of talent. His upside is through the roof,” Kiper said. “He’s got as much physical athletic ability (as anyone). He’s super intelligent, rocket arm, he can run … he’s got awesome talent. Will it come together in terms of anticipation and all that in the NFL? We’ll see.”
Where Tagovailoa will be selected is probably the storyline people are watching the most heading into the draft, and Kiper’s biggest rival seems to think the talk of Herbert going over Tua is absurd. Tagovailoa likely impressed teams with the video footage from his private workout recently, and that could be enough to cement his place over Herbert. We’ll know in less than two weeks.
It’s been a big offseason of moves across the NFL, and some teams have really stepped up and used their cap space smartly. Many teams that have struggled recently have aggressively tried to turn their fortunes by adding key free agents and making big trades.
Which teams have done the best with this? Here are five NFL teams that have improved the most during the offseason so far.
Jadeveon Clowney is holding out for a lot of money that he isn’t getting right now.
According to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle, Clowney had discussions with the Miami Dolphins about a deal that would have been worth roughly $17 million annually. When this still wasn’t enough to get Clowney to commit, the Dolphins moved on and signed Shaq Lawson instead.
Clowney just isn’t getting what he wants as a free agent. It doesn’t sound like he’s dropping his asking price, either, which has led to him receiving very little interest. Clowney is clearly not getting the long-term deal he wants, so a short-term pact — perhaps with his most recent team — may be the most likely scenario at this point.
Now that Tom Brady has officially announced that he will not be returning to the New England Patriots next season, the market for the 42-year-old quarterback appears to once again be heating up.
Earlier in the week, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were believed to be the only team other than the Patriots with a legitimate shot to sign Brady. With New England out of the mix, does that mean the Bucs are on the verge of making the NFL offseason’s biggest splash? Not necessarily.
There has been a lot of talk about the Las Vegas Raiders pulling out of the Brady sweepstakes, but sources from teams that are trying to sign Brady told ESPN’s Ed Werder that they believe the Raiders will still be a factor.
Jon Gruden said recently that he wants to build around Derek Carr, and it’s possible the Raiders coach is looking for a more long-term solution than the one Brady would be able to provide. If the Raiders are still planning to make a run at Brady, they have done a good job of keeping their intentions a secret.
Another team that could be lurking in the weeds is the Dolphins, as some executives told Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports that they believe Miami would make sense as a destination for Brady. However, NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport said Tuesday that the Dolphins have not approached Brady with an offer.
We personally thought Brady would never leave the Patriots, but it sounds like Bill Belichick did not make a strong effort to keep the four-time Super Bowl MVP. While Brady’s options were said to be narrowed down to two teams at one point, it now seems like there are at least a couple of others in play.
Ereck Flowers has had plenty of ups and downs throughout his NFL career, but that did not stop the offensive lineman from cashing in with a big free agent contract.
Flowers has agreed to a three-year, $30 million deal with the Miami Dolphins, his agent Drew Rosenhaus told ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The contract includes nearly $20 million guaranteed.
Flowers was a disappointment with the New York Giants after they drafted him with the No. 9 overall pick in 2015. The Giants released the former Miami star after benching him midway through the 2018 season, and he went on to sign with the Jacksonville Jaguars and then the Washington Redskins last year. Flowers transitioned from tackle to guard with Washington last year and had a very good season, which is why he landed a big contract.
The Miami Dolphins have more salary cap space than any other team entering free agency next week, and that means they can make a splash at any position they choose. Should they decide they need an upgrade at the running back position, Melvin Gordon will be a name to watch.
The Dolphins are expected to at least check in with Gordon, and ESPN’s Cameron Wolfe reports that the former Wisconsin star would be interested in signing with Miami depending upon the offer. Wolfe also notes that the Dolphins could explore less expensive options than Gordon such as Carlos Hyde, Lamar or Jordan Howard.
Miami traded Kenyan Drake to the Arizona Cardinals last season, and Drake exploded for his new team down the stretch. Former fourth-round pick Kalen Ballage took over starting duties for Miami after the trade, with Patrick Laird serving as the pass-catching back. Ballage averaged a lowly 1.8 yards per carry, so you can understand why the Dolphins might want to use a significant portion of their cap space on a running back.
Gordon had a bit of a rough season for the Chargers in 2019, which was expected after he held out in search of a new contract. He’s had some knee injuries over the years that are concerning, but he should be plenty fresh after playing less than a full season. He averaged 3.8 yards per carry and scored eight touchdowns in 12 games last season.
It sounds like the Miami Dolphins are willing to spend a bit this offseason after stripping down their roster in 2019.
According to Cameron Wolfe of ESPN, the Dolphins are likely to gauge the market for free agent running back Melvin Gordon. If the price is right, Gordon could be interested in joining the Dolphins as well.
Gordon will be an interesting free agency case. Before the season, he held out in search of a new contract. The Los Angeles Chargers held firm, and Gordon was forced to return and split duties with Austin Ekeler. In the end, he ran for a career-worst 612 yards, and suggested that he regretted his holdout.
Still, Gordon has been productive in the past, and has a thousand yard season to his name. He could be a good option for many teams depending on what his price turns out to be.
The Miami Dolphins made a somewhat surprising decision to release Pro Bowl safety Reshad Jones on Wednesday, and the move will give the team even more money to spend this offseason.
Jones was set to count more than $15 million against the salary cap in 2020, and the Dolphins will save a portion of that now. Cutting Jones frees up just over $5 million in cap space for Miami.
The Dolphins already had more cap space than any other team in the NFL before they released Jones. Now, they will have more than $90 million.
The salary cap for 2020 will be around $200 million, which means the Dolphins have nearly 50 percent of it left to spend. Obviously, they can sign any free agent they want with that type of money. They could make a run at top free agent quarterbacks like Tom Brady, Philip Rivers, Jameis Winston and Teddy Bridgewater, or they could draft the quarterback many believe they have an eye on and spend money elsewhere.
Should they choose to wait until next season to have a spending spree, the Dolphins can do that, too. The bottom line is they have more flexibility than any team in football. If they don’t spend a significant amount of that money, the tanking talk will come right back to the forefront.