UPDATED 5:28 p.m.: Chad Henne, back in aqua and orange? Maybe so. Barry Jackson hears the Dolphins are in the mix for Henne’s services. Now, before you lose your mind, two things: 1. He would be relatively cheap. And 2. It would signal the Dolphins’ desire to take a quarterback in days 1 or 2 of the draft is real.
Henne, Miami’s second-round pick in 2008, went 13-18 as the Dolphins’ starter in his four years with the team. He has spent the last five seasons in Jacksonville, mostly backing up Blake Bortles. Henne’s career stats: 59.3 percent, 12,931 yards, 58 touchdowns and 63 interceptions.
The Dolphins are not the only team interested in Henne. ESPN reports that he is headed to visit the Titans.
UPDATED 5:10 p.m.: Former first-team all-Pro offensive lineman Josh Sitton will visit the Miami Dolphins on Wednesday night. Sitton, 31, has played in 147 career games with 137 starts over the past 10 seasons for the Green Bay Packers (2008-2015) and the Chicago Bears (2016-2017). He’s been named to the Pro Bowl four times over the past seven years, including three straight from 2014-2016. Our Armando Salguero has been all over this.
Should the Dolphins land Sitton, their starting offensive line at that point might look like the following: Laremy Tunsil at left tackle, Sitton at left guard, Mike Pouncey at center, either Ted Larsen or Jesse Davis at right guard and Ju’Wuan James at right tackle.
Sitton is seen as a high priority for Miami, and among the first players the team has brought in for a visit.
UPDATED 4:28 p.m.: The great Armando Salguero reports that the Dolphins have cleared nearly $18 million in salary cap space through contract restructures in the last 24 hours, the majority of which courtesy of a change to Ryan Tannehill’s contract.
Also, Ndamukong Suh and Julius Thomas have been cut, along with Lawrence Timmons. The team also announced it has traded for Rams defensive end Robert Quinn and has sent Jarvis Landry to Cleveland.
UPDATED 4:11 p.m.: First off, Happy New Year!
Second, an update on Baker Mayfield while we await the Dolphins’ moves to become official. Top team brass decided to cancel their Pro Day eve dinner with Mayfield and elected to stay in Davie for free agency. But don’t read too much into this. Our Barry Jackson hears that the Dolphins still plan further contact with the Heisman Trophy winner. A visit to team headquarters is a real possibility.
Meanwhile, we now know why Cody Parkey moved on. NFL Network reports the Bears offered him a four-year deal worth $15 million with $9 million guaranteed. That’s according to Mike Garafolo of NFL Network.
UPDATED 3:42 p.m.: More housekeeping. The Dolphins tendered three of their exclusive rights free agents: linebacker Mike Hull, center Jake Brendel and cornerback Jordan Lucas. However, quarterback David Fales, linebacker Neville Hewitt, offensive lineman Anthony Steen and running back De’Veon Smith will all hit the open market.
UPDATED 3:40 p.m.: We’re just about at that time, so let’s take a second and say goodbye (at least for now) to the Dolphins unrestricted free agents who might have played their final game of the season (per Spotrac): quarterbacks Jay Cutler and Matt Moore, defensive end William Hayes, linebacker Koa Misi, kicker Cody Parkey (heading to Chicago), safety Nate Allen, guard Jermon Bushrod, tight end Anthony Fasano, safety Michael Thomas, running back Damien Williams, cornerback Alterraun Verner, tackle Sam Young, defensive end Terrence Fede and linebacker Lamin Barrow.
UPDATED 3:12 p.m.: The Dolphins need a tight end. Eric Ebron needs a job. Could it happen? Perhaps. Ebron, a former first-round pick, would have been due more than $8 million if he was on the roster at 4 p.m. “He was a failed first-round draft pick,” Bill Polian said on ESPN as news of the cut broke.
UPDATED 3:05 p.m.: A quick break from the free agency news for an NFL Draft update. ESPN’s Jeff Darlington reported that the Dolphins did not have a contingent in Norman, Oklahoma, to see quarterback Baker Mayfield at the Sooners’ Pro Day. “[Adam] Gase and others stayed home to focus on free agency,” Darlington wrote on Twitter. “I didn’t see [Chris] Grier or [Mike] Tannenbaum, either. And no dinner with Baker last night, as had been suggested elsewhere.”
Free agency news should begin buzzing shortly, with a little less than an hour to go until the official start of the new league year.
UPDATED 2 p.m.: Jarvis Landry in. Joe Thomas out. The Browns’ 10-time Pro Bowl left tackle is retiring, the organization announced Wednesday. Not even an influx of talent and more on the way in the draft was enough to bring Thomas back for a 12th season.
UPDATED 1:24 p.m.: It’s been a quiet few hours, but things should certainly heat up when we get to happy hour. Some housekeeping on a few big names. Cardinals defensive back Tyrann Mathieu (the Honey Badger) and Ravens wide receiver Jeremy Maclin are both expected to be released, if they have not been already. The Dolphins still need to cut Julius Thomas and possibly others to free up salary cap space. Things should get interesting really soon.
UPDATED 10:45 a.m.: And there goes another top offensive lineman. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reports that the New York Giants are expected to sign former Patriots tackle Nate Solder. It’s yet another player gone from the Patriots’ roster, along with cornerback Malcolm Butler, wide receiver Danny Amendola and running back Dion Lewis.
UPDATED 10:25 a.m.: Another top lineman gone. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport says the Texans will sign guard/center Zach Fulton for — get this — $7.5 million annually. The Dolphins simply could not afford this, and even if they did, they have shown no willingness to pay that much for a guard.
UPDATED 10:20 a.m.: The run on offensive linemen has begun. ESPN reports guard Josh Kline will sign with the Tiatns for four years, $26 million. The Jets, meanwhile, are expected to land ex-Redskin center Spencer Long.
UPDATED 9:20 a.m.: The Philadelphia Eagles are re-signing linebacker Nigel Bradham to a five-year, $40 million deal, according to ESPN. Bradham would have potentially been a good fit with the Dolphins, who are in the market to improve their linebacker corps, but cost could have been an issue.
UPDATED 9 a.m.: Some late night/early morning moves, as reported by ESPN and NFL Network: quarterbacks Teddy Bridgewater and Josh McCown and linebacker Avery Williamson to the Jets; defensive tackle Mo Wilkerson to the Packers; receiver Ryan Grant to the Ravens; running back Dion Lewis to the Titans; running back Jonathan Stewart to the Giants; quarterback Chase Daniels to the Bears; running back Carlos Hyde to the Browns; cornerback D.J. Hayden to the Jaguars; and running back Jerick McKinnon to the 49ers.
UPDATED 8:40 a.m.: Happy New Year! Free agency has arrived, or at least will at 4 p.m. That’s the moment when moves can be made, including the Dolphins shipping Jarvis Landry to Cleveland, trading for Robert Quinn, and signing Danny Amendola and Albert Wilson. Expect Ndamukong Suh and Julius Thomas to be cut (Lawrence Timmons already has been) and Cody Parkey to sign with the Browns.
The new league year is important for another reason: It’s when all teams must be under the $177.2 million (plus rollover) salary cap. The Dolphins have some cap issues, as Suh’s $26 million obligation does not get reduced until June 1. But there are creative ways to create space.
One such way: restructure existing contracts. And that’s what they have reportedly done with Reshad Jones, as ESPN’s Field Yates reports that they have created $6.6 million in space by lowering Jones’ base salary and converting much of it into as signing bonus.
Anyway, that’s just the start of what is expected to be a wild day, both locally and around the league. Check back regularly for updates as they come in.