Barry Jackson

What Dolphins really think of Tunsil; Shula has had enough of Patriots

ctrainor@miamiherald.com

A six-pack of Dolphins notes on Super Bowl night:

• A person who has spoken with the Dolphins front office said a prominent Dolphins front office executive has been telling people that the Dolphins have a future Hall of Fame tackle in Laremy Tunsil.

Privately, the Dolphins have given left tackle Branden Albert no reason to believe he will be released. And the Dolphins have been very complimentary of Albert publicly.

But the Dolphins have been non-committal publicly about whether Tunsil will move to tackle next season.

Albert has a $10.6 million cap hit if he’s on the team in 2017, a $3.4 million hit if he’s not.

• The Dolphins want to keep Kenny Stills and Stills has said he would love to stay with the Dolphins. But an associate said to keep in mind that he also likes the West Coast and an offer from an AFC West or NFC West team could be attractive.

The Philadelphia Eagles also are reportedly interested in Stills, who caught nine touchdown passes and was third in the league in yards per catch at 17.3.

• The agent for new Dolphins linebacker Deon Lacy said the Dolphins have such high regard for him that they told him he can compete for a starting job (though simply making the roster is the first obstacle). The agent said 12 teams, including New England, made offers. Lacy had three interceptions in the CFL last season and four forced fumbles the year before.

• Kiko Alonso’s injured right thumb needed surgery after the playoff game -- his second procedure on the thumb in five weeks -- according to ESPN’s Adam Caplan, but it isn’t expected to sideline him for the offseason program. Recovery time is expected to be six weeks.

• Here’s what Pro Football Focus said about Cam Wake in naming him its 2016 Comeback Player of the Year:

Wake “not only returned to play, but Cameron Wake did so while continuing to be one of the best edge rushers in the league, edging out Packers WR Jordy Nelson and Colts QB Andrew Luck for the award. From 2012 to 2014, Wake ranked among the top three 4-3 defensive ends in pass-rushing productivity. Following his 2015 injury, Wake returned after less than a full calendar year to post a career-high 14.1 per-snap pass-rushing productivity. He even eclipsed his last full season with one more total QB pressure on 23 fewer snaps as the Dolphins eased him into playing time.

“It’s not just that Wake returned to his previous form so quickly, however; it’s also that he played so well when compared to his peers in 2016. Wake’s 87.2 pass-rushing grade ranked fifth among all edge defenders, and his 66 total QB pressures ranked 12th. When accounting for pass-rushing snaps and opportunities, Wake led all 4-3 defensive ends in pass-rushing productivity, and was third among all edge defenders (behind only Khalil Mack and Von Miller). If all of that wasn’t impressive enough, he accomplished those feats at 34 years old. Wake hasn’t received as much public recognition as the other top edge rushers over the past few seasons, but he has been among the best, and this season is just another example of that.”

• Two years ago, Don Shula referred to Patriots coach Bill Belichick as “Beli-cheat” and said Shula always did things with “a lot of class,… the right way. We didn’t deflate any balls."

So this wasn’t surprising:

Asked for a prediction for Sunday’s game, Shula told Sirius XM: “I’m not in love with the one team, or the coach, so I’ll be looking for what happens on the other team.”

Adam Gase, Miami Dolphins coach, talks about his post-game speech after their loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers. He told the players to enjoy this moment, some of the players would not be on the team next year, "that's the fact of the NFL".

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