Tagged in: Dolphins

DT Davon Godchaux signs 2-year, $20.8 million extension with New England Patriots

The New England Patriots have signed sixth-year defensive tackle Davon Godchaux to a two-year, $20.8 million contract extension with $17.85 million guaranteed, his agents, Drew Rosenhaus and Ryan Matha, told ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Wednesday.

Godchaux started 16 matches last season for New England, his first with the team after playing the first four years of his career with the Miami Dolphins.

He played 59% of the defensive snaps, usually coming off the field in obvious passing situations, as his primary role was to play with power inside and hold up at the point of attack.

His 65 tackles ranked fifth on the team, and he added one sack.

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The Patriots struggled on run defense — ranking 25th in rushing average allowed (4.5) and 22nd in rushing yards per game (123.7) — but the extension for Godchaux reflects that coach Bill Belichick likely doesn’t consider that was a result of his play.

During a June appearance on the Jacques Talk podcast on WAFB in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Godchaux said: “I had one of my best seasons last season. I look forward to another dominant season this year.”

In the team’s first training camp practice Wednesday, he was lining up alongside veteran Lawrence Guy with the top defense.

The 6-foot-3, 311-pound Godchaux, who entered the NFL as a fifth-round draft pick out of LSU in 2017, was entering the final season of a two-year, $15 million deal he had signed as a free agent last offseason.

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Miami Dolphins reach deal with Melvin Ingram to bolster pass rush

The Dolphins and defensive end Melvin Ingram have agreed to a contract, adding quality depth to a pass rush that ranked as one of the NFL’s most aggressive last campaign.

Ingram agreed to a one-year, $5 million contract, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Earlier this month, the Kansas City Chiefs had placed the unrestricted free agent tender on Ingram, meaning his signing with the Dolphins will count against the NFL’s compensatory-pick formula.

If Ingram had gone unsigned by July 22, the Chiefs would have retained exclusive negotiating rights to him at 110% of his 2021 salary, which would have been $4.4 million.

The three-time Pro Bowler visited the Dolphins before the draft in April. He joins Miami pass-rushers Emmanuel Ogbah, Jaelan Phillips and Andrew Van Ginkel on a rotation that blitzed on 38% of opponents’ dropbacks in 2021 — the second-highest rate in the league. The Dolphins’ sack rate of 7.3% was ranked seventh in the league last season.

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While the majority of the Dolphins’ major additions this offseason have come on the offensive side of the ball, Ingram represents their biggest defensive addition to date.

Miami re-signed most of its defensive free agents, including Ogbah and linebackers Elandon Roberts, Brennan Scarlett and Duke Riley. It spent fourth- and seventh-round picks on linebackers Channing Tindall and Cameron Goode, respectively.

NFL journalist Jordan Schultz was first to report Ingram’s agreement with the Dolphins.

Ingram, 33, joined the Chiefs last campaign after being dealt by the Pittsburgh Steelers shortly before the trade deadline.

After posting one sack in six matches with the Steelers, Ingram added three more in 12 games with the Chiefs.

In one of the biggest defensive plays of the season for the Chiefs, Ingram forced Denver Broncos running back Melvin Gordon to fumble, which was returned by linebacker Nick Bolton for the go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter of a 28-24 win in the regular-season finale.

Ingram was drafted by the Chargers in 2012, and in his nine seasons there, he had 49 sacks, including a career-high 10.5 in 2015 and 2017. He was selected to play in the Pro Bowl following the 2017, 2018 and 2019 seasons.

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Buffalo Bills, WR Stefon Diggs agree to four-year, $104M extension

Josh Allen will be working with his favorite weapon for years to come, as the Buffalo Bills have reached agreement with wide receiver Stefon Diggs on a four-year, $104 million extension that involves $70 million guaranteed, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

With two years left on his existing deal, Diggs’ contract now runs through 2027 at a total value of $124.1 million. Both the Bills and Diggs would like him to retire in Buffalo, sources said.

“There was so much work put in to get to this point but I am beyond happy to know that I will be playing the rest of my career with BILLS MAFIA. Words cannot describe how I’m feeling right now,” Diggs wrote in an Instagram post.

The agreement follows a wave of top wide receiver deals this offseason, making Diggs’ extension an inevitable conclusion for the Bills. New Miami Dolphins wide receiver Tyreek Hill received $72.2 million guaranteed, and Las Vegas Raiders wide receiver Davante Adams got $65 million guaranteed.

Allen’s contract extension signed last year ties him to the Bills through the 2028 season.

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The Bills obtained Diggs, 28, in a trade with the Minnesota Vikings in March 2020 in exchange for four draft picks, including a first-rounder. Since that trade, Diggs has put together two of the best seasons of his career, including his first two Pro Bowl appearances.

In his two years with the Bills, Diggs has caught 230 passes for 2,760 yards and 18 touchdowns. His 2020 season included career and league highs with 127 receptions, 1,535 receiving yards and eight touchdowns. In 2021, he caught a career-high 10 touchdowns during the NFL’s first 17-game season.

Since his trade to the Bills, Diggs has ranked in the top 10 in the NFL in receptions, receiving yards and receiving touchdowns.

The only players with more receptions than Diggs since the start of the 2020 season are Adams and Cooper Kupp, according to ESPN Stats & Information research.

Diggs’ receptions and receiving yards are the first and fourth most by any player in their first two seasons with a team in NFL history, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. Diggs and Brandon Marshall (with the Chicago Bears) are the only players with 200 catches and 2,500 receiving yards in their first two seasons with a team all time.

“I want to give all players their respect and a fair pay, whoever it is, and Stef’s no different,” Bills general manager Brandon Beane recently said of Diggs. “… I think the world of Stef. I think what he’s brought our team has been great. He’s been great for Josh. He’s been great for our offense, and his leadership has stepped up, and we want to see Stef in Buffalo for years to come.”

The move is likely to create more money for the Bills to operate with this offseason. The team entered the week with less than $1 million in available cap space.

Selected by the Vikings in the fifth round of the 2015 NFL draft, Diggs spent the first five seasons of his career in Minnesota and signed a five-year extension with the team in 2018.

His time with the Vikings did not end on the best of terms, and Diggs has been vocal about enjoying being in Buffalo and his connection on and off the field with Allen.

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New England Patriots acquire WR DeVante Parker in trade with Miami Dolphins

In a rare trade between AFC East rivals, the New England Patriots have acquired Miami Dolphins wide receiver DeVante Parker and a 2022 fifth-round draft pick in exchange for a 2023 third-round pick, a source told ESPN’s Adam Schefter on Saturday.

The Dolphins’ acquisition of Tyreek Hill and the free-agent signing of Cedrick Wilson Jr. made Parker expendable. Miami will now have two first-round picks, a second-rounder and two third-rounders in the 2023 NFL draft.

Meanwhile, Parker could be a top option for Patriots second-year quarterback Mac Jones, joining a receiving corps that includes top returnees Jakobi Meyers, Nelson Agholor and Kendrick Bourne.

Jones immediately took to Twitter to welcome his newest teammate to New England, saying, “Let’s go,” to which Parker replied: “Let’s get it big dawg.”

The Patriots inherit the remaining two years of Parker’s contract, which calls for him to earn base salaries of $5.65 million in 2022 and $5.7 million in 2023. The Patriots are expecting to receive a compensatory third-round pick in 2023 as a result of losing cornerback J.C. Jackson in free agency.

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Since Bill Belichick became head coach of the Patriots in 2000, this is only the fifth trade New England has made with the Dolphins.

The most notable came in 2007 when the Patriots dealt second- and seventh-round picks to Miami for receiver Wes Welker, who went on to set the franchise record for receptions (672).

Belichick knows Parker well from having prepared his teams to face him since 2015, when the Louisville alum entered the NFL as a first-round pick of the Dolphins.

“He’s got a very, very good skill set,” Belichick said of Parker before a game versus the Dolphins in 2020.

“He’s a big athlete that runs well, has good hands, good run-after-the-catch ability, and good quickness for his size. He presents a lot of problems on deep balls. He’s a big target on the end of routes in-cuts and crossing routes. He’s strong, can break tackles as a catcher or run player, so he attacks all three levels of the defense and can be productive at all three [receiver spots].”

The 6-foot-3, 219-pound Parker played in 10 matches last season (eight starts) and totaled 40 receptions for 515 yards and two touchdowns.

Over his NFL career, he has played in 93 games (64 starts), totaling 338 receptions for 4,727 yards and 24 touchdowns. He’s the Dolphins’ sixth-leading receiver all time.

Parker’s breakout season came in 2019, when he recorded 1,202 yards and nine touchdowns on 72 catches. However, his production was limited by his health over the ensuing two seasons, in which he missed nine combined games and recorded a total of 1,308 receiving yards.

As the Dolphins’ new coaching staff assembled a receiver room that specialized in creating separation and yards after the catch, Parker — traditionally a possession receiver — stood as the odd man out.

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Miami Dolphins acquire Kansas City Chiefs WR Tyreek Hill for five draft picks

The Kansas City Chiefs traded six-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Tyreek Hill to the Miami Dolphins for five draft picks: a 2022 first-round pick (No. 29), second-round pick (No. 50) and fourth-round pick, plus fourth- and sixth-round picks in the 2023 draft on Wednesday.

The trade is pending a physical, the Dolphins stated.

The Dolphins also are giving Hill a four-year, $120 million extension, including $72.2 million guaranteed and also including $52.535 million at signing, agent Drew Rosenhaus told ESPN.

The deal makes Hill the highest-paid wide receiver in NFL history. The $72.2 million total becomes fully guaranteed at the start of the 2023 league year. The three-year total of the deal is $72.5 million.

For Hill, who was already under contract for the 2022 season, the overall total value of the deal — including the $120 million in new money — is $141.685 million.

It also includes $250,000 in Pro Bowl incentives each campaign.

Both the New York Jets and the Dolphins had trades in place for Hill, according to sources. The question became where Hill wanted to become the wide receiver with a record-breaking deal.

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The Jets’ trade offer to the Chiefs for Hill — which Kansas City would have accepted if the wide receiver had opted for New York — did not include a first-round pick but rather multiple picks that were commensurate to the Dolphins’ offer based on the draft value chart that teams use, sources told ESPN. The Chiefs would have gotten picks No. 35, 38 and 69 while the Jets would have gotten Hill and pick No. 103.

Davante Adams was the highest-paid wide receiver for a week after he signed a five-year contract with the Las Vegas Raiders that averages $28 million per season and includes $65.67 million fully guaranteed.

In a statement posted to Twitter, Hill wrote: “Today starts a new beginning. I’m very excited to be joining the Miami Dolphins and get to work, however it’s hard thinking about the memories, people and fans that made my time in Kansas City so great.”

He also thanked those who joined him in giving back to the community in Kansas City through his foundation and thanked the Chiefs “for believing in me.”

“I worked hard every day to show my appreciation for you taking a chance on me. To Coach (Andy Reid), Coach (Eric) Bieniemy and Coach (Greg) Lewis, thank you for what you have taught me not only about football but about life,” he wrote.

Lastly, he thanked his now former Chiefs teammates and the fans, ending his message by writing, “Kansas City will always hold a special place in my heart!”

The Dolphins’ odds at Caesars Sportsbook to win the Super Bowl improved from 70-1 to 40-1 with the trade. Their odds to win the AFC improved from 35-1 to 20-1 and the AFC East from +675 to +400.

It’s the second major move made this week by the Dolphins to boost their offense that will be installed by new head coach Mike McDaniel.

On Tuesday, the Dolphins agreed on a five-year deal with left tackle Terron Armstead that is worth up to $87.5 million, a source told ESPN, locking up the services of one of the top free agents of the 2022 cycle. That deal includes $43.37 million in guaranteed money, the source said.

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Buffalo Bills agree to deals with Duke Johnson, Jamison Crowder

The Buffalo Bills made two moves to bolster their offense Monday, agreeing to a deal with veteran running back Duke Johnson while also reportedly signing receiver Jamison Crowder to a one-year contract.

Johnson is signing a one-year deal with the team, his agents, Drew Rosenhaus and Robert Bailey, told ESPN’s Adam Schefter. The moves comes after Buffalo had lost out on running back J.D. McKissic to the Washington Commanders last week.

The Bills originally agreed to terms with McKissic last Tuesday, but the Commanders ended up swooping in, and — after initially not offering McKissic a deal — gave him a two-year contract worth up to $7 million, similar to what Buffalo was offering.

“I’ve had it before where the agent has agreed with you on something and then someone else calls and says, ‘Hey, what if I add a million dollars? Or what if I do this? What if I guarantee this?'” Bills general manager Brandon Beane said last week, expressing his frustration with how Washington handled the situation.

“Once you have an agreement the agent’s supposed to say it’s over. And this agent did that. And this agent told the other club it’s over. But the other club didn’t back off.”

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Similar to McKissic, Johnson, 28, has had success as a receiving back in the past, starting his career with five consecutive seasons with 400-plus receiving yards. He has 12 career receiving touchdowns after spending four seasons with the Browns, two with the Texans and one with the Dolphins.

The 2015 third-round pick played in five games for the Dolphins last year and had some success on the ground.

Johnson had two 100-yard rushing performances in the last four games of the season and 330 total rushing yards and three touchdowns on 71 carries for Miami.

Buffalo needed to add depth to the running back room after Matt Breida hit free agency following one season with the Bills and signed with the New York Giants on Monday. Breida saw limited action with the Bills, playing on 13.1% of the team’s offensive snaps. Johnson will likely be in a similar position on the roster and will have to earn his snaps.

Crowder, who turns 29 in June, led the Jets in receptions in each of the last three seasons, becoming the first player since Jerricho Cotchery (2007-09) to do that. On the downside, his production dropped each year, as he went from 78 catches to 59 to 51, with injuries as a big factor.

Plagued by soft-tissue leg injuries, Crowder missed nine matches over the last two seasons. He was on the reserve/COVID-19 list for one of those games while recovering from a groin injury.

Despite the injuries, Crowder has been one of the league’s most productive slot receivers. From 2019 to ’21, the 5-foot-9, 177-pound Crowder caught 132 passes out of the slot, eighth-most in the NFL.

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Former Miami Dolphins coach Brian Flores joins Pittsburgh Steelers as defensive assistant/LB coach

Former Miami Dolphins head coach Brian Flores has a new family.

The Pittsburgh Steelers revealed the hire of Flores, who is suing the NFL and three teams, as a defensive assistant and linebackers coach Saturday.

“I am excited about Brian Flores joining our coaching staff given his history of developing and teaching defensive players during his time in the NFL,” Steelers coach Mike Tomlin said in a news release. “Brian’s resume speaks for itself, and I look forward to him adding his expertise to help our team.”

Flores’ hire significantly boosts a defensive unit that recently saw the promotion of Teryl Austin to defensive coordinator following the retirement of Keith Butler, who also coached the team’s outside linebackers.

Flores spent the past three campaigns as Miami’s head coach, compiling a 24-25 record before he was fired last month.

Prior to that, he was the defensive playcaller for the New England Patriots, including in Super Bowl LIII.

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Flores, 40, filed a lawsuit against the NFL and the Giants, Dolphins and Broncos this month, alleging discrimination in the interview process with New York and Denver and in his firing by Miami.

In the lawsuit, Flores alleged, among other things, that Dolphins owner Stephen Ross offered him $100,000 for every loss in 2019 in an effort to tank for a top draft pick.

Flores also claimed the Giants only interviewed him for their head-coaching vacancy in January to comply with the Rooney Rule, and he stated a similar scenario played out in 2019 during an interview process with the Broncos.

The NFL has hired a law firm that includes former U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch to defend against Flores’ claims.

Despite the Steelers’ hiring of Flores, his lawyer, Douglas H. Wigdor, issued a statement Saturday indicating the lawsuit against the league would proceed. “While Coach Flores is now focused on his new position, he will continue with his race discrimination class action so that real change can be made in the NFL,” said Wigdor.

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Miami Dolphins to hire Los Angeles Chargers’ Frank Smith as offensive coordinator

The Dolphins’ offensive staff under head coach Mike McDaniel continues to come together, as the team will hire Frank Smith as its offensive coordinator, a league source confirmed Monday.

Smith will work in conjunction with McDaniel, who will call plays, and wide receivers coach Wes Welker, who will help develop Miami’s passing game plan.

He is the fourth new hire on McDaniel’s offensive staff, joining Welker, tight ends coach Jon Embree and offensive line coach Matt Applebaum.

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NFL Network was the first to report the news of Smith’s hiring.

Smith, 40, joins McDaniel’s staff after a season as the Los Angeles Chargers’ run game coordinator and offensive line coach.

Under Smith, the Chargers finished 11th in pass block win rate in 2021, and 20th in run block win rate — improved from 19th and 32nd in 2020, respectively.

He takes over a Dolphins offense that ranked 25th in the NFL in yards per match last season, including 17th in passing yards and 30th in rushing. Miami’s offensive line also ranked last in pass block win rate, but was a far better run-blocking unit, concluding ninth in run block win rate.

Before his stint in Los Angeles, Smith worked as the tight ends coach for the Raiders from 2018-2020, the tight ends coach for the Bears from 2015-2017 and assistant offensive line coach for the Saints from 2010-2014.

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Miami Dolphins fire coach Brian Flores after three seasons; GM Chris Grier to remain

The Dolphins fired head coach Brian Flores after three campaigns with the franchise, the team revealed Monday morning, barely 12 hours after he coached the team to a 33-24 triumph over the New England Patriots.

General manager Chris Grier will remain with the team in his current role, ESPN’s Jeff Darlington reported. Next season will be Grier’s seventh season as the team’s GM.

The decision came from Dolphins owner Stephen Ross, who released a statement offering an explanation.

“I made a decision today to part ways with Brian Flores,” Ross said. “After evaluating where we are as an organization and what we need going forward to improve, I determined that key dynamics of our football organization weren’t functioning at a level I want it to be and felt that this decision was in the best interest of the Miami Dolphins. I believe we have a talented young roster in place and have the opportunity to be much better in 2022.

“I want to thank Brian for his hard work and wish him nothing but the best in his future.”

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Despite speculation that Ross was interested in hiring Jim Harbaugh as coach, the Dolphins are not targeting the Michigan coach he stated in a news conference to discuss Flores’ firing.

“I’m not going to be the one who takes Jim Harbaugh away from the University of Michigan,” Ross, who is an alumnus of the university, said.

Ross said the Dolphins’ quarterback position played “no role” in Flores’ firing.

“I have a lot of confidence in Tua (Tagovailoa) … I’m sure the next head coach will work with him, as well,” he said.

Ross also said that that he has “no plans” to pursue Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson in a trade, adding that it will up to the next head coach to make the decision on the quarterback position.

Flores now is expected to be a prime candidate to get head-coaching consideration elsewhere during this next hiring cycle, sources told ESPN’s Adam Schefter.

Miami was expected to compete for an AFC East title in 2021 after finishing 10-6 and missing the playoffs in 2020.

The team won its opening game before losing seven straight, putting itself in a hole no other team in NFL history has come back from to make the playoffs. However, Miami responded to its seven-game losing streak with a seven-game winning streak — becoming the first team in league history to do both in the same season.

However, the high of that winning streak came to a sudden stop when the Dolphins were blown out by the Tennessee Titans in Week 17, knocking them out of playoff contention for the fifth straight season.

Flores was just the fourth coach in franchise history to record two winning seasons in his first three years with the team, going 24-25 in his tenure and 4-2 versus his former boss, Bill Belichick — the best mark of any coach against Belichick while at the Patriots’ helm.

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Miami Dolphins OL Austin Jackson, TE Adam Shaheen hit reserve/COVID-19 list

The Miami Dolphins placed offensive lineman Austin Jackson and tight end Adam Shaheen on the reserve/COVID-19 list Monday, sources told ESPN’s Field Yates, potentially leaving them short-handed as the team prepares for its Week 1 match versus the New England Patriots.

The Dolphins confirmed the moves Monday and also elevated cornerback Jamal Perry as a COVID-19 replacement.

“We think he can help us,” Dolphins coach Brian Flores said. “At the end of the day we’re going to do what we feel is best for the team and bring guys up who can help us. We felt that way about him so we brought him up.”

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The NFL Network reported that Shaheen tested positive for COVID-19, which means he’ll miss Sunday’s game as he is unvaccinated and must quarantine for 10 days, according to NFL policy. It is not yet clear whether Jackson is on the reserve/COVID-19 list as a result of contact tracing or a positive test.

Jackson started 12 games as a rookie in 2020 after being selected 18th overall by the Dolphins.

He was slated to once again start at left tackle for Miami this season.

For Shaheen, who came to Miami via trade last offseason, this marks a second stint on the reserve/COVID-19 list in as many months after he was deemed a close contact in August.

Shaheen has also vocally opposed getting the vaccine, calling his decision “bigger than just COVID.”

“For me, it’s a personal choice, and it’s bigger than just COVID,” he said. “The NFL is trying to push it. … I’m going to continue to go through the protocols of the unvaccinated that they make me do. I’m not going to get fined.

“But they’re not going to strong-arm me into doing something for more freedom when this is such a changing atmosphere, and they’re already taking away freedoms of the unvaccinated guys.”

“I would never question Adam’s commitment to the team,” Flores stated. As for Jackson, if he is unable to meet the requirements to move off the reserve/COVID list, Flores said, “We’ve got a few different options.”

The Dolphins plan to work different combinations of linemen in practice this week and Flores called potential replacement Greg Little a “hard-working kid” who has “had some bright moments in the couple weeks that he’s been here.”

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