Undrafted rookie cornerback Tyler Horton left the Dolphins permanently by choice on Tuesday, but for a noble reason:
He wants to pursue a law enforcement career in his hometown of Fresno, Cal.
Horton informed the Dolphins of his decision before Tuesday’s minicamp practice. He was not seen on the field during the practice.
“It’s hard to knock a young man who wants to help his community,” his agent, Barry Gardner, said by phone. “That’s an amazing thing. It’s a dangerous job. What he’s doing is commendable. How could you not support it?”
Gardner said the Dolphins did not try to talk Horton into staying.
“They were very supportive, left the door open for him to come back,” Gardner said. “I’m sure it was surprising to them.”
The Dolphins announced Tuesday that they had released Horton but did not offer an explanation in the press release. His agent later provided clarity, saying Horton began applying to police academies on Tuesday.
Horton had five defensive touchdowns, five interceptions, 24 passes defended and six fumble recoveries in four years at Boise State and Dolphins co-director of player personnel Adam Engroff recently told the team’s web site that “he’s kind of a playmaker, very instinctive, ton of ball production as far as PBUs, pass breakups, interceptions. I think he has an NCAA record for most return touchdowns in a game; he had two. Somebody we feel really strongly about, somebody our defensive backs coach [Boyer] feels really strongly about.”
The Dolphins gave him $15,000 as incentive to sign with them after the draft.
Even without Horton, the Dolphins still have a bunch of young cornerbacks competing for jobs: Eric Rowe (who remains the slight front-runner for the starting job opposite Xavien Howard), Jalen Davis (interception of Josh Rosen on Tuesday), Cornell Armstrong, Cordrea Tankersley (still sidelined after ACL surgery last October), former Patriots practice squad player Jomal Wiltz, former AAF player Jamar Summers, third-year veteran Torry McTyer and undrafted rookies Montre Hartage and Nik Needham.
Minkah Fitzpatrick, Bobby McCain and Walt Aikens can play cornerback and safety.
DAVIS ON MOVE
Another day, another starting right tackle for the Dolphins.
After cycling through Zach Sterup and then free agent pickup Jordan Mills at the position, the Dolphins on Tuesday gave first-team right tackle snaps to Jesse Davis.
“We wanted to shuffle the deck a little bit and put me at right tackle and see where we could find the best five as they like to say,” Davis said.
Davis played every snap at right guard last season and played guard during all nine offseason practices entering this week. That changed Tuesday, when he lined up at right tackle, with former Jaguars player Chris Reed and third-round rookie Michael Deiter lining up at guard.
“Right now, it’s just about getting comfortable back there. I haven’t played tackle for a year and a half,” Davis said. “Moving to tackle, you have more space, more of an island, but you have more time to react. Rather than a guard, everything happens faster. Tackle you have more time to react, but you have to cover more ground.”
Davis, who will make the league minimum $465,000 this season, knows top tackles typically earn more than top guards.
“I don’t want to be a one-dimensional player. I want to be like a utility guy,” said Davis. “And if you talk about money, the money is nice.”
The decision about where to play Davis not only hinges on how Davis fares at tackle, but also what two players the Dolphins feel most comfortable starting among Reed, Deiter, Mills and Sterup.
Davis said Deiter is “good. Strong guy. Good hands. Coached well. He’s a very coachable player, too, which is really nice. And he’s a flexible player.”
Davis said Reed, who made eight starts and 25 game appearances over four years for the Jaguars, is “awesome. He’s added a lot to this o-line from knowing the game situations to knowing the playbook. He fits right in where we’re at.”
Left tackle Laremy Tunsil and center Daniel Kilgore are the other starters, along with Davis.
Former Ohio State rookie tackle Isaiah Prince, the Dolphins’ sixth-round pick, hasn’t been a factor in the battle for first-team snaps at right tackle.
Here’s a Tuesday piece updating the quarterback situation.
Here’s what Reshad Jones had to say Tuesday when he re-joined the team.