Jordan Cameron is a case study for the NFL’s much-debated concussion policy.
He has sustained three in two seasons — the last of which sidelined him for five games last fall.
No surprise, then, the Dolphins did their due diligence before finalizing the two-year, $15 million contract with the free agent tight end late Thursday. But Cameron did his homework, too.
That’s why, when asked Friday if he had concerns about the long-term impact of those head injuries, Cameron said he “wouldn’t be here right now” if he did.
“I’ve seen a lot of specialists and talked to a lot of people,” Cameron said. “It’s clear that my baseline is the same as it as six years ago, and there’s no cause for concern on my end about this, and the Dolphins feel the same.”
Baseline testing, according to the Centers for Disease Control, is a physical and cognitive exam taken before the season that tests an athlete’s balance and brain function — including memory, concentration and reaction time.
Results of that test are contrasted with the results of the same exam following a head injury.
The exam is a major part of the NFL’s concussion protocol. Concussed players can’t return to action until they are asymptomatic.
Dolphins general manager Dennis Hickey took no questions after introducing Cameron on Friday but did make reference to the issue, saying the team was “very comfortable” with the player’s medical history. Cameron later conceded that health concerns might have depressed his earning potential.
Assuming Cameron can stay healthy, the Dolphins have added the long, rangy red-zone target that has been missing the past few years. Cameron is 6-5; he caught seven touchdowns in 2013 en route to the Pro Bowl.
That’s why, even with the concussion scares, he was coveted this week. Cameron said Friday that, despite widespread reports, he never agreed to a deal with the Browns on Thursday.
Other teams were also in the mix.
Cameron picked Miami because Bill Lazor’s offense is similar to the system Cleveland ran in 2013, when he had his most success.
“I can run,” Cameron said, when asked for a self-scouting report, “and I can win.”