Dolphins head coach Brian Flores is living the dream
Just because the Dolphins say they have enough pass rush doesn’t mean they wouldn’t like more.
Connor Barwin, the veteran defensive end/outside linebacker who has 56 1/2 sacks in his 10-year career, was in town Wednesday for a free agent visit. His meeting with the team ended midday without a deal in place, but the Dolphins remain interested and a contract remains a possibility down the road, a source tells the Herald.
Barwin is available because the Giants cut him in February midway through the two-year, $3.5 million contract he signed in July. He had just one sack during his short time in New York.
Barwin, 32, is a former second-round pick who has played for the Texans, Eagles, Rams and Giants. He has been a strong locker-room presence as well as a good football player during his long career.
The visit comes less than a week after Brian Flores and his top defensive lieutenant, Patrick Graham, insisted that they do not have a talent deficiency on the edge.
The Dolphins are going to use multiple fronts in 2019, and Barwin could presumably play both on the line of scrimmage and in space — not unlike the role Charles Harris is expected to fill in his third NFL season.
“I feel good about our end position,” Flores said last week. “I think Charles specifically, he’s a young player. He’s got a lot of ability. He’s another guy that’s working extremely hard to learn the different facets of the defense. I think Tank [Carradine] has come in and done a good job. ‘Wood’ [Jonathan Woodard] has come in and done a good job. I think we’ve got a lot of edge players I would say — end-of-the-line players — who are working, who I’m excited to work with, I would say.”
But that hasn’t stopped the Dolphins from shopping around in this second phase of free agency. In addition to meeting with Barwin, they have made contact with ex-Packers linebacker Nick Perry, who played for Graham in Green Bay in 2018.
It’s possible, and perhaps even likely, that the Dolphins are using spring practice to evaluate the defenders on their roster, and if they ultimately decide more talent is needed at that position, they sign one before the start of training camp.