Miami Dolphins

Why the Dolphins are bringing back DeVante Parker for a 5th (and possibly 6th) season

Miami Dolphins WR DeVante Parker feels great about his first touchdown of the season

Miami Dolphins WR DeVante Parker feels great about his first touchdown of the season in the victory over the Buffalo Bills.
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Miami Dolphins WR DeVante Parker feels great about his first touchdown of the season in the victory over the Buffalo Bills.

Don’t call DeVante Parker a bust.

Call him a Miami Dolphin — at least for another year.

Parker and the Dolphins on Tuesday afternoon agreed on a two-year, $10 million contract that could pay him as much as $13 million if he hits all of his incentives, sources tell the Miami Herald. The contract includes no guaranteed money beyond the first year.

The new deal supersedes Parker’s fifth-year option, which was to pay him $9.4 million in base salary this year.

He was never going to get that, not with his injury history (he has missed 10 games in his career due to a litany of maladies) and production (just nine touchdowns in four seasons).

But general manager Chris Grier still believes in Parker’s talent, and coach Brian Flores does, too. Plus, Parker wanted to remain in Miami, even after some drama with former coach Adam Gase last season.

Gase refused to play Parker in some games last year even though Parker believed he was healthy enough to go. That prompted Parker’s agent, Jimmy Gould, to roast the Dolphins’ previous coach on the record.

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“Parker is not only healthy but wants to help this team win and the only real question that should be asked is how does Coach Gase justify his own incompetence,” Gould said after the Dolphins’ Oct. 21 loss to the Lions. “They averaged only 6.1 yards per pass catch. They needed Parker who is completely healthy and was in full participation all week and in warm ups this morning.

“Something smells in Miami.”

Had Gase remained, it’s hard to see how Parker would be back.

Gase is now with the New York Jets, however, and Parker is happy about having another chance to prove the Dolphins did not make a mistake by using a first-round pick on him in 2015.

Parker’s natural ability is unquestioned, but the Dolphins did take issue early in his career with his professionalism and durability. At one point, Gase publicly called out the player over his eating and sleeping habits.

But Parker seemed to get past that as his career progressed.

His biggest — and perhaps only — impediment to success, he believed last season, was staying healthy. He has had foot, hamstring, and ankle issues in his short career.

With Parker back, the Dolphins’ 2019 receiving corps looks like this:

Parker, Albert Wilson, and Jakeem Grant (who are both coming off season-ending injuries), and, assuming he does not get cut or traded, Kenny Stills.

The Dolphins are in the market for another wide receiver after cutting Danny Amendola and have had expressed preliminary interest in former University of Miami wideout Phillip Dorsett.

Linebacker Mike Hull, who has spent parts of the last four seasons with the Dolphins, is free to sign with any team Wednesday after the Dolphins declined to extend him a restricted-free-agent tender.

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