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Dolphins trade for former Bucs DT Akeem Spence

Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
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The constant evaluation of a team’s roster seemingly never ends.

And obviously, coming of the 2018 NFL Draft, the Dolphins feel like that they need a veteran defensive tackle.

So, Thursday afternoon they completed a trade with the Lions for defensive tackle Akeem Spence.

Mike Garafolo of NFL.com had the news first:

The 6’1 305 lb. Spence spent 2017 in Detroit after signing as a free agent with the Lions. He played in all 16 games starting 11 with 37 tackles and three sacks to his resume.

Spence was originally a fourth round draft pick of the Buccaneers in 2013, where he ended up playing four seasons. In that time, Spence also played for three different head coaches (Greg Schiano, Lovie Smith and Dirk Koetter), as well as three different defensive schemes in those four years.

His best season in Tampa Bay was his second (2014),  where he had 39 tackles, three sacks and two fumble recoveries.

The Dolphins have a void on the interior of their defensive live created when they cut Ndamukong Suh in March to save over $9 million on the salary cap. Suh ended up signing with the L.A. Rams.

Back to Spence, the deal is reportedly for an undisclosed 2019 draft pick.

He signed a three year $9 million deal with the Lions that included a $2.25 million signing bonus. He had been slated to make just over $3 million in base salary and off season bonuses for 2018.

However, according to ESPN’s Field Yates, the Lions had slightly reworked his deal earlier in the week converting some of the bonus money into a 2018 guarantee that freed up cap space. It’s now believed that his salary for the Dolphins will be around $2.5 million.

Miami Dolphins

Sunday sees Dolphins and Jaguars back in action

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Two of the state NFL teams will be in action Sunday afternoon and both or trying to avoid 0- 2 for different reasons.

First, you have the Jaguars, who already resemble a “M.A.S.H. Unit” of injuries, as they head to Houston to play the Texans in an AFC South showdown. The excitement of the addition of free-agent quarterback Nick Foles lasted exactly part of one quarter last Sunday against the Chiefs. That’s when Foles suffered a broken clavicle and a report Sunday says he will not be back until at least week 11 with the injury:

That means that backup quarterback Gardner Minshew, a rookie 6th round pick out of Washington State, will now lead the Jaguars at least in the short-term. Minshew was very effective last week completing a high percentage of passes and moving the offense. Jacksonville also made a trade earlier in the week for Steelers backup QB Joshua Dobbs, but it’s not expected he will be able to contribute today.

Besides the Foles injury, the Jaguars will be without their top pass-rusher Yannick Ngakoue, who suffered a hamstring strain in the lost to KC. The team will also be without left tackle Cam Robinson for the second straight game, as he suffered an injured knee in practice prior to the opener. The team also has ruled out defensive back A.J. Bouye and receiver Marqise Lee with injuries prior to this game.

The good news is the Texans are on a short week having lost an emotional, heartbreaking last second game to the Saints Monday night. Quarterback Deshaun Watson was also banged up, including an injured back off his first-half touchdown run. Still, the Texans will test the Jaguars pass defense the same way the Chiefs and Patrick Mahomes did last week.

Meanwhile, in South Florida, the defending Super Bowl champion Patriots travel to take on the spiraling downward Dolphins. Miami was embarrassed 59 – 10 by Baltimore last week. And, that defeat now apparently has numerous players on the current roster wanting to be somewhere else, just as the Dolphins have gotten rid of most of their high-priced veterans already.

Controversial wide receiver Antonio Brown will apparently be active for New England for this game. Brown is being accused of sexual assault in a civil complaint that the NFL is investigating. However, the league took no action on keeping Brown from playing today and he did travel with the team.

The Dolphins do have some consolation in that under previous coaching staffs, they have won six of the last seven meetings against New England at Hard Rock Stadium. However, Miami’s got to find some kind of offense with quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick and the backfield of Kenyan Drake and Kallen Ballage, to have any chance against the Pats.

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Miami Dolphins

Report- NFL will allow Antonio Brown to play for Pats Sunday

Greg M. Cooper-USA TODAY Sports

Despite all the drama surrounding him, it does appear that new Patriots WR Antonio Brown will be allowed by the NFL to make his Pats debut Sunday at Hard Rock Stadium against the Dolphins. That is, if the Patriots intend to have active and playing.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported early Friday afternoon that the nine year veteran acquired by New England last weekend after his volatile off season in Oakland led to his release last Saturday, would not be put on the “Commissioner’s Exempt List,” as a form of paid suspension, while sexual assault allegations are investigated:

Schefter reiterated that while the NFL has launched an investigation into the charges against Brown, after a civil lawsuit was filed in South Florida earlier this week, there is no criminal proceeding, yet and they will take the process in steps.

The lawsuit alleges that Brown inappropriately touched, committed a lewd sex act and then eventually, raped a 28 year old personal trainer, identified as Brittney Taylor, a former college classmate of Brown’s at Central Michigan, in three separate incidences from 2017-18.

That revelation was something that the NFL, and the Patriots, as well, did not know about, when Brown was signed Monday after he was released by the Oakland Raiders. Taylor is scheduled to meet with the NFL next week to give her version of the events.

Brown has been at Patriots practice on Wednesday and Thursday wearing jersey number #1 (above) during the portion of the practice that was open to the media. His lawyer, Darren Heitner, has publicly disputed the civil suit charges and told the media that Brown and Taylor “had a consensual relationship” in the past.

On Friday, Pats coach Bill Belichick refused to confirm whether Brown would make his debut against Miami or not on Sunday. Giving the non-answer on Brown’s status to play, “We’ll do what’s best for the team.”

He further told the New England media that Brown has; “long way to go, obviously. Not familiar with our offense. The systems he’s been in have been quite different. He’s working hard to pick it up and we’re working hard to get it to him.”

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