A six-pack of Dolphins notes on a Wednesday:
▪ The Dolphins got perhaps their most accomplished veteran back to practice on Wednesday, and Reshad Jones wanted to make something perfectly clear:
He wants to be here through the rebuild.
Why doesn’t he want to be traded as a 31-year-old on a team going through a massive rebuild?
“I love my home,” he said. “I’ve been here 10 years. It’s home for me. I love the guys in this locker room, love South Florida, want to see the Dolphins win football games. And I’m willing to do whatever it takes for us to win.”
Has he reiterated that to management?
“I think they pretty much know,” he said. “If I wanted out, I had a chance to make that known. I’m here for the long haul, here to help this team win games.”
The Dolphins explored trading Jones earlier this offseason but found nothing that was realistic or appealing, according to a source. Jones said the Dolphins informed him in late August that he would not be traded.
But it remains to be seen if Jones is retained next season. Miami can open up another $7.5 million in 2020 cap space by releasing him next offseason. Jones will have an $11.5 million base salary and $15.5 million salary if he’s on the team. Miami would have an $8.1 dead money hit if he’s cut.
Jones missed the first two games with an ankle injury but said he’s now able to play, though he was limited at practice.
“I felt pretty good [at practice]; I’m ready to go,” he said. “It will take a couple days to get back acclimated. But for the most part, I’m where I need to be.”
Forced to play free safety at times last season, he figures to be used more at his more natural strong safety position. “I will definitely be playing,” he said. “Wherever I’m needed, I’m willing to go out and do what it takes to help the team win.”
What did he think of the Minkah Fitzpatrick trade?
“It’s part of the business. I only control what I can control.”
Among other defensive backs dealing with injuries, Bobby McCain — already dealing with a shoulder problem — could not practice because of a hamstring injury, and Jomal Wiltz missed practice with a groin injury.
▪ Quarterback Josh Rosen sees one big advantage in not playing with multiple All-Pros on the offensive line, which is putting it kindly. (Pro Football Focus said this has been the worst run-blocking and pass-blocking offensive line in the NFL through three weeks.)
“A lot of the reason Tom [Brady] and Drew [Brees] can play for so long is because they can get ball out so quickly so they’re not really taking that many hits,” Rosen said.
“They can understand defenses so well, so it takes some stress off their offensive line and get the ball in their playmakers’ hands and let them make plays. In situations like this where maybe you have to push the clock a little bit, I think it can be really good for my development, as it has been up to this point.”
Even though Rosen has made some very good throws — and has had several pinpoint passes dropped — Pro Football Focus said “he has struggled with both accuracy and decision-making, this year posting the highest percentage of uncatchable passes at 39.6%.”
PFF adds this: “Even while playing behind one of the worst offensive lines in the league, the Dolphins need to focus on Rosen’s play from a clean pocket, where he has graded at 78.1 over a limited sample this season after a rough 60.5 grade in 2018.”
Rosen was listed with on the injury report with an elbow issue, but it’s not serious and he practiced fully.
▪ If wide receiver Albert Wilson is healthy, he’s one of Miami’s top offensive players. But he’s going to need to show durability and production because of a $9.4 million base salary next season that’s not guaranteed.
He has a $10.8 million cap hit if he’s on the team in 2020 but only $1.3 million in dead money if he’s cut. So as skilled as Wilson is, he’s going to need to reprove his value to this staff, which clearly isn’t using much from 2018 to determine players’ value. If he’s healthy and productive, he presumably will stay in 2020.
Drew Rosenhaus got an excellent contract for Wilson, getting the Dolphins to already guarantee $14.45 million so far in his three-year deal. It’s very common for the final year of an NFL player contract to be nonguaranteed.
Wilson, who missed the final nine games of last season with a hip injury, was a limited participant in practice on Wednesday after missing two games with a calf injury.
▪ At least initially, Miami didn’t aggressively pursue a trade for Jaguars cornerback Jalen Ramsey, even though Jacksonville reached out to Miami, as Armando Salguero reported. Ramsey has asked for a trade, but the Jaguars reportedly aren’t ready to acquiesce to that. Ramsay is now missing practice with what is reported as a back injury.
▪ The Dolphins now have the two most disappointing edge rushers selected in the 2017 draft, and they have 13 more games to prove they’re better than what they’ve shown. It’s a nothing-to-lose proposition for Miami, which must hope that at least one of them is good enough to be a rotational edge rusher when they’re competitive again.
It’s notable how similar their career stats are:
Former Cowboy Taco Charlton has 48 tackles, seven tackles for loss, five sacks and 27 QB hurries in 28 games.
Charles Harris has 44 tackles, eight tackles for loss, three sacks and 41 hurries in 30 games.
But they’re cheap, with Harris due $1.9 million in 2020 and Charlton due $1.3 million.
▪ Filling in at left tackle Sunday wasn’t new to rookie Michael Deiter, who played left tackle during the 2017 season at Wisconsin. He received only 15 snaps total at tackle in practice during the past three weeks. He said the speed of players he competed against at tackle on Sunday was a bit “shocking.”
But he said he has no preference of what position he plays long-term (guard — which is far more likely — or tackle).
Deiter indicated Wednesday he has returned to guard. Starting left tackle Jesse Davis, nursing an arm injury, said he could do some work in practice while wearing a brace and might be able to play Sunday.
Veteran Andrew Donnal joined the team and said he did some team drills Wednesday as he learns the playbook; he has played primarily right tackle in his career.
▪ Former UM defensive tackle Gerald Willis, re-signed to the Dolphins practice squad on Monday, said he has recovered from the lingering injury that caused the Dolphins to release him from their practice squad three weeks ago. He said the injury — which he was unable to disclose, per club policy — was sustained when he was with Baltimore in preseason but he’s now 100 percent.
Willis said he was led to believe when he was cut that the Dolphins would bring him back when he was healthy. He will have an opportunity to impress in the coming weeks, with an eye on a promotion to the 53-man roster.
To make room for him, Miami cut defensive tackle Jamiyus Pittman.