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Former Dolphins lineman Martin enters California plea deal

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Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

The troubled post-NFL career for former Miami Dolphins offensive lineman Jonathan Martin at least got some good news on Friday. That’s when Martin entered a plea deal in a California court to avoid jail time on charges of making criminal threats last year.

TMZ reported first that Martin’s deal with Los Angeles prosecutors will require him to enter a diversionary program for two years as opposed to spending what could have been years in jail had he been convicted on all charges:

The gossip site learned did Martin and his defense team have been working on the plea agreement for a while and prosecutors and the judge signed off on it..

We wrote last year about the bizarre incident involving Martin, a second round pick of Miami’s in 2012, making an Instagram post not long after the horrific mass shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL, where 17 students and staff were killed on February 14th.

He specifically mentioned two former high school classmates, as well as former teammates Richie Incognito and Mike Pouncey in the threats, and also put the “hashtag” #HarvardWestlake on the post. That’s Martin’s L.A. area private high school, which out of precaution sent everyone home the day of the Instagram post.

Martin was found later that day at a hospital in Glendale, California, after someone called them about a “suicidal male” there and once they searched his vehicle, it got scarier. Martin had a loaded shotgun, as well as a large knife and an ax in his vehicle.

The L.A.P.D. also located his former classmates at Harvard Westlake School and questioned them about Facebook threats Martin had previously made towards them. Their report also details questioning Martin’s girlfriend, who described him as making suicidal statements over the weeks before he was taken into custody for questioning.

Martin was released by the authorities without being arrested and was under the care of a psychiatric facility for some time after that.

He has been free on $210,000 bail on the charges.

Incognito was suspended for the remaining eight games of the 2013 NFL season for his conduct and bullying of Martin, while the two played together 2012-13. Miami gave Martin a fresh start releasing him and he played with the 49ers and the Panthers before being released/retiring in 2016.

Miami Dolphins

Looks like Tua Tagovailoa will work out for teams prior to draft

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John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

There will be numerous NFL teams interested, including the Dolphins, on just how healthy injured Alabama star Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is. And, a report on Wednesday says that Tua will likely be ready to throw for teams later in the offseason draft process.

NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported that “NFL quarterback super-agent” Leigh Steinberg and his firm are letting teams know that Tagovailoa’s injured hip should be healed enough for him to be able to throw in early April prior to the NFL Draft at the end of the month:

This will be especially important for teams like the Dolphins, who will be selecting fifth currently in the upcoming selection process.

Tagovailoa came to Alabama from Hawaii and the same high school as Marcus Mariota, having thrown for over 8,000 yards which at that time was a Hawaii High School record. And, he had a career of 84 passing and 27 rushing touchdowns in three seasons.

Tua burst onto the scene nationally, when he relieved Jalen Hurts in the second half and overtime of Alabama’s thrilling title game win over Georgia in the 2018 College Football Playoff Championship Game. Tagovailoa threw the game-winning touchdown pass on the first overtime possession, as Alabama celebrated their fifth National Title in nine seasons under Saban.

In his second season at the helm in the 2018 regular season, Tagovailoa was named second-team AP All-American and was a Heisman Trophy finalist, as the Tide reached the National Title game, again, before being beaten soundly by Clemson 12 months ago.

As this junior season unfolded, Tagovailoa was named almost became synonymous with the Dolphins, who started the season horribly at 0 – 7 and the moniker “Tank for Tua” began to gain momentum in South Florida.

However, Tagovailoa was injured in Alabama’s 10th game of the season suffering the hip injury on a sack late in the first half at Mississippi State. He missed the Tide’s final two regular-season games and their recent Citrus Bowl win over Michigan two weeks due to the injury.

Typically, players participate in some kind of individual workout or pro day, but as Rappaport relayed, most teams already know what Tagovailoa can do from his previous two seasons at Alabama. The bigger concern is his health and specifically his mobility, as he progresses through the summer and into the first NFL training camp and preseason of his career.

It is believed the Tagovailoa is the second, or at worst third rated, quarterback behind LSU Heisman Trophy winning National Championship QB Joe Burrow. Burrow is expected to be taken first overall by the Cincinnati Bengals in late April.

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Miami Dolphins

Who is new Dolphins defensive coordinator Josh Boyer?

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Winslow Townson- USA Today Sports

On Sunday night, the Dolphins finally decided to allow first-year defensive coordinator Patrick Graham to leave and take the same position with the New York Giants. And, coach Brian Flores moved quickly to promote a member of his staff, Josh Boyer, to be his defensive play-caller

So exactly who is former New England assistant that will now be in charge Miami’s defensive unit? More on him in a moment.

First, as we wrote, Miami had wavered Saturday night and Sunday on whether to let Graham go to the Giants to be with new head coach, Joe Judge, creating an important void. Graham was only being given a “lateral move” to New York, and Miami could have continued to block him. But, in the end, Flores had someone he could trust already on staff.

That’s Boyer, who has just completed his 14th season in the NFL, all previously in New England and then, obviously, his first with the Fins after coming with Flores last February.

Boyer’s background is as a secondary coach and specifically, working with cornerbacks. He held that job for his last seven seasons in New England 2012 – 18 and was part of three Super Bowl championships under Bill Belichick.

Boyer deserves credit for helping the development of defensive backs like Malcolm Butler, who sealed Super Bowl 49 win over the Seahawks with his famous goal-line interception of Russell Wison in the final half minute of the game. Boyer also worked closely with Pro Bowlers Logan Ryan and more recently, Stephon Gilmore, who iced Super Bowl 53 win last February with a late INT against the Rams.

This past year was obviously a trying one for the Dolphins defensively, as they finished 32nd in scoring and 30th in overall in defense. But Boyer cannot be judged too much, given the cornerbacks he was working with, especially late in the year.

He had his best player, former number one pick Minkah Fitzpatrick, traded away in the first month to the Steelers. Miami also lost veteran Bobby McCain to injury later in the year and had a depleted secondary at the very end of the season.

However, Boyer (shown above with DB Eric Rowe after his week 17 pick six of Tom Brady) obviously impressed Flores and GM Chris Grier with his coaching to get the promotion.

And, he’s following a similar path as Flores, who worked his way up from secondary coach to defensive coordinator with the Pats.

Now, we’ll see if Miami can bolster their defensive backfield this off sesaon.

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