Brian Flores on helping the Miami Dolphins win: ‘There’s definitely bumps in the road’
UPDATE: 6:30 p.m.: The Dolphins don’t have a quarterback. But they have FIVE tight ends:
Dwayne Allen. Mike Gesicki. Nick O’Leary. Durham Smythe.
And now Clive Walford, the University of Miami product who last played for the New York Jets.
Walford’s signing, which was first reported by Pro Football Talk and confirmed by the Miami Herald, suggests the Dolphins were unimpressed by the rookie seasons of Gesicki and Smythe, taken in the second and fourth rounds last year.
They extended O’Leary late in the 2018 season and signed Allen to a two-year contract over the weekend.
Smythe, at the very least, will need to win a job in training camp and Gesicki isn’t a lock either.
Walford, meanwhile, is looking to get his career back on track. The former third-round pick spent time on three different rosters last year and had just nine catches.
UPDATE 5:10 p.m.: The Miami Dolphins’ interest in Teddy Bridgewater is very real. A day after a report indicated the quarterback had agreed to return to the New Orleans Saints, Bridgewater is heading to Davie to visit with the Dolphins, a source told the Miami Herald.
With Miami looking for a short-term bridge between Ryan Tannehill and its quarterback of the future, the Dolphins have honed in on Bridgewater, a Miami native, who attended Miami Northwestern High School before becoming a first-round pick with the Louisville Cardinals.
Bridgewater fits exactly what the rebuilding Dolphins are looking for. Only 27, Bridgewater still has a bit of upside, but he’s attempted only 25 passes since 2015. He’s not such a sure thing to guide Miami to seven wins and knock the Dolphins out of contention for Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Tua Tagovailoa.
UPDATE 4:13 p.m.: Josh Sitton has been cut, which means the Dolphins paid him basically $100,000 per snap.
Sitton tore his rotator cuff in his first and only game as a Miami Dolphin, just six months after signing a two-year, $13.5 million deal with the team.
Just after 4 p.m. Wednesday, the left guard’s brief time with the team came to an end. Cutting Sitton shaved some $5 million off the team’s salary cap.
But that was the only roster move announced by the team at the start of the new year, meaning Ryan Tannehill and Robert Quinn, both expected to be cut if not traded, remain the team.
What does that mean? Stay tuned.
UPDATE 4:03 p.m.: The Teddy Bridgewater dream may not be over for the Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins are making a late push to pry the quarterback away from the New Orleans Saints, ESPN reported.
Bridgewater was viewed as a short-term quarterback option for Miami before he agreed to return to the Saints as Drew Brees’ backup Tuesday. The Dolphins temporarily shifted their focus to Tyrod Taylor, but the former Cleveland Browns quarterback agreed to a deal with the Los Angeles Chargers on Wednesday. With limited veteran quarterback options available, Miami is reportedly making a late push to land the Miami Northwestern High School alumnus.
However, the Miami Herald reported Tuesday the Dolphins were never a serious suitor Bridgewater, who is now officially a free agent.
UPDATE 3:58 p.m.: Ted Larsen, who started 21 games across the last two seasons for the Miami Dolphins, is heading to the Chicago Bears.
The interior offensive lineman struggled throughout 2018, but played a key role in the “Miami Miracle,” throwing a downfield block to spring running back Kenyan Drake for the final stretch of his last-second touchdown to beat the New England Patriots.
The Dolphins released Larsen alongside defensive end Andre Branch on Thursday.
UPDATE 3:34 p.m.: The Leonte Caroo era with the Miami Dolphins is about to come to an end. The Dolphins don’t plan to tender the wide receiver by the 4 p.m. deadline Wednesday, a source told the Miami Herald.
A former third-round pick, Caroo never materialized into the player the Dolphins hoped he could be when they traded three draft picks to move up and select the receiver from the Rutgers Scarlet Knights in 2016.
Caroo caught only two passes in 2016. His impending depature leaves the Dolphins with DeVante Parker, Albert Wilson, Kenny Stills, Jakeem Grant, Brice Butler and Isaiah Ford. Miami agreed to a two-year deal with Parker on Tuesday.
UPDATE 1:53 p.m.: Dwayne Allen’s new contract gives the Miami Dolphins plenty of flexibility.
The former New England Patriots tight end agreed to a two-year deal with the Dolphins on Saturday, but it’s effectively just a one-year commitment for Miami. Allen will be paid $1.9 million in base salary this coming season, then will be owed $3.15 million in 2020. The Dolphins, however, have a team option for the second year of Allen’s deal.
Allen’s contract has a $7 million max with a $1.25 million roster bonus to be paid March 15. He also has $100,000 workout bonuses for this year and next, and has $250,000 in performance incentives for both seasons.
UPDATE 12:54 p.m.: The Miami Dolphins’ list of potential quarterbacks for 2019 keeps dwindling.
A day after quarterback Teddy Bridgewater agreed to return to the New Orleans Saints, fellow quarterback Tyrod Taylor reached a deal to sign with the Los Angeles Chargers on Wednesday, NFL Network reported. The former Cleveland Brown, who will be Philip Rivers’ backup, was a potential short-term option at quarterback for the Dolphins if — really when — they release Ryan Tannehill.
With Nick Foles heading from the Philadelphia Eagles to the Jacksonville Jaguars and Case Keenum traded to the Washington Redskins from the Denver Broncos, Miami is running out of veteran options to start for this coming season.
If the Dolphins don’t draft a quarterback in April, Miami might have to stick with some other in-house options. Brock Osweiler and David Fales are both free agents, but the Dolphins still have Luke Falk and Jake Rudock on the roster.
UPDATE 12:33 p.m.: The full detail’s of Eric Rowe’s contract make it a really low-risk move for the Miami Dolphins. The only guaranteed money in the contract for the former New England Patriots cornerback is a $500,000 signing bonus.
The base salary for Rowe is $1.375 million and he can earn up to $1.6 million in per-game roster bonuses. Rowe also has a $25,000 workout bonus and up to a million in playing time incentives.
UPDATE 11:45 a.m.: Eric Rowe’s one-year deal worth $3.5 million could actually wind up being a $4.5-million deal with incentives, a source told the Miami Herald.
The former New England Patriots cornerback will be an important depth piece for the Miami Dolphins no matter what. If the Dolphins decide to trade Pro Bowl cornerback Xavien Howard, Rowe’s role could grow even more, particularly if Miami moves defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick to safety full-time.
Rowe can officially sign with the Dolphins at 4 p.m. on Wednesday.
UPDATE 10:50 a.m.: The negotiation period heading into free agency this year has been just about as busy as any in recent memory. On Sunday, the Pittsburgh Steelers agreed to trade Antonio Brown to the Oakland Raiders. On Tuesday, the New York Giants agreed to send Odell Beckham Jr. to the Cleveland Brrowns. And shortly after midnight, former Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell agreed to sign with the New York Jets.
And that’s not even mentioning former Miami Dolphins’ moves to sign former New England Patriots tight end Dwayne Allen and former Patriots cornerback Eric Rowe, and re-sign wide receiver DeVante Parker.
The Dolphins might not be overhauled this offseason in the same way some other contenders might, but Miami is on the brink of making some major changes on the fringes at 4 p.m. when teams can begin signing free agents.
Throughout the day, the Dolphins will make their signings of Allen, Rowe and Parker official, and officially watch tackle Ja’Wuan James sign with the Denver Broncos, outside linebacker Cameron Wake sign with the Tennessee Titans, running back Frank Gore sign with the Buffalo Bills and running back Brandon Bolden sign with New England.
Miami’s new approach to team building will take center stage through the next few weeks as general manager Chris Grier and a new-look front office try to reshape the organization.
The biggest questions moving forward: What’s next for Ryan Tannehill? And what’s next for the Dolphins at quarterback? Beginning Wednesday, Miami can officially start moving in a new direction with Grier and new coach Brian Flores in full command of the organization.