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Miami Dolphins

Hype on draft status of QB Kyler Murray intensified Monday

Florida Football Insiders

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Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The hype around Oklahoma Heisman Trophy winning quarterback Kyler Murray has intensified. This after he announced his intention on Monday to forgo spring training and guaranteed money from the Oakland A’s in Major League Baseball and will instead Focus solely on being taken in the first round of the NFL draft in April.

Here was Murray’s announcement on social media making it official, for now that he’s not playing baseball:

Of course the reason we phrased official for now, is that Murray could always use the leverage of going back to the Oakland A’s later this spring or summer, particularly if he’s unhappy with where he was drafted in the NFL.

Currently, Murray has to repay the remaining portion of the $4 million dollar signing bonus that the A’s have already given him. And, then he has to do his best to convince NFL scouts personnel and front office people that he can overcome what is an obvious size disadvantage for him to play at the next level.

Despite all the college success, Murray is not even 5’10 and is just shy of 190 lbs. Those are not 2019 NFL numbers for a quarterback.

And while there are lots of comparisons to his former teammate the previous year, Baker Mayfield, who won the Heisman Trophy and was taken number one overall by the Cleveland Browns, Mayfield is at least two and a half inch or more taller than Marie and at least 20 lb thicker. And yet he is also considered undersized by NFL standards, where the average Quarterback is at least six 3 and at least 225 lb.

Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald wrote Monday that the Dolphins should be very interested in Murray as they pick 13th overall. And, it appears with a new coaching staff, they are going to move on from Ryan Tannehill.

However, as the groundswell of positive projection, and almost fantasy, continues to build around what success Murray might be able to have in the NFL, you could easily see him being picked in the top 10 by numerous teams who will be interested in a quarterback.

Those include the Arizona Cardinals, who are picking first and just hired former Texas Tech coach Kliff Kingsbury to be their new head coach. Kingsbury is very fond of Murray and obviously, tutored Patrick Mahomes of the Chiefs, while they were with the Red Raiders.

Arizona did UCLA’s QB Josh Rosen at number 10 a year ago, but after a dismal 2018 season, the belief is: they could spin him off in a trade for a premium draft pick to another team in need of a quarterback.

The New York Giants at #6 overall need an “heir apparent” to Eli Manning and it’s believed that they will be constantly reviewing and debating whether or not to take Murray, if he would still be there and or Ohio State quarterback Dwayne Haskins, if he’s still there.

Clearly, the Jaguars are in need of a young quarterback too, as Blake Bortles is on the way out in North Florida. The Jags are picking 7th overall right behind the Giants and may be very interested in taking either Haskins or Murray, if one of them is sitting there at their pick.

The Jaguars have passed over Deshaun Watson and Mahomes two years ago, and looked right at Louisville’s Lamar Jackson at the end of the first round last year and passed, too.

Next, it would be hard to fathom that the Denver Broncos at #10 would also have an opportunity to take Kyler Murray, but clearly they need a quarterback of the future also. And might be interested.

So, all of that above means: short of trading up significantly in the first round, the Dolphins at 13th have little to no chance to get their hands on Murray come opening draft night at late April.

Again, we at F.F.I., aren’t sold that Murray is big enough in the first place to be quarterbacking in the NFL.

And there are plenty of examples, including former Heisman winners Doug Flutie in the 80s and more recently, Troy Smith in the 2000s that could not overcome similar-sized deficiency as Murray has and play at the highest level.  That bolsters our point.

Yet, you get the feeling that an NFL team or two, or maybe more, is going to be hot after the Sooners star and try to grab him early.

So, if the Dolphins truly are interested, they better be ready to part with significant draft picks or some combination of pick and player that other teams might be interested in to move themselves up.

The next significant step in this process will likely be Murray  working out in a March “Pro Day” in Norman, Oklahoma, for NFL personnel evaluators.

Then, the fuse will be lit even more on his possible high draft selection.

Miami Dolphins

Dolphins “limbo game” with QB Josh Rosen remains

Florida Football Insiders

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Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The Dolphins continue to do their diligence on the possible drafting of a franchise type quarterback that they may be able to get their hands on in the upcoming in April. However, there remains a looming question with what to do with the former first-round pick QB that they acquired last April.

Josh Rosen remains, for now, part of the Dolphins plans, yet, even his biggest supporters have to concede ,that Rosen is likely “the odd man out” should Miami take one of the top quarterbacks in this year’s draft.

That’s because GM Chris Grier and coach Brian Flores are obviously committed to veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick. We know this because Fitzpatrick not only rallied the team for several wins down the stretch of the season, but that Miami has also gone and hired Fitzpatrick’s former offensive coordinator and head coach at two of his other stops, Chan Gailey for this season.

That’s not something that the Dolphins brass did lightly, and it foreshadows that Fitzpatrick will likely be the quarterback that they begin the regular season with, just as they did in 2019.

So, where exactly does that leave Rosen, who played very little last year, but has a salary cap friendly contract?

It likely means that he’s only “an insurance policy” that could be dropped at any point for very little salary cap ramifications.

We wrote near the end of last season that it did not make any sense that Miami wasn’t at least giving Rosen game action and some live reps in games last December, if only to see once and for all, if they could develop him into a quarterback for the future?

Obviously, the Dolphins spoke loudly with their actions, and by not even playing Rosen in any of the last seven games, they were indicating he’s expendable.

Dolphins beat writer for the Miami Herald Armando Salguero wrote Wednesday morning about Rosen situation, but shed very little light on what his actual future is. This is primarily because whether it’s Salguero, other media or anyone else not named Flores/Grier, they don’t know for sure what Rosen’s immediate, much less longer range, 2020 future is.

Sure, they could hang on to Rosen through the offseason and have him try to compete for playing time.

But, that seems to be a futile exercise if the Fins have already made up their mind that Fitzpatrick will start the year. And then, you’re drafting a rookie quarterback drafting a rookie quarterback, again to potentially be the future of the franchise.

Then again, Fitzpatrick is 37 years old and could break down physically along the way, well before the start of next season. So, keeping Rosen as that insurance policy along with the rookie Miami likely drafts, isn’t the worst idea.

However, for now, the 23 year old former UCLA star is in limbo.

And, for all we know, he could be cut to begin free agency coming up.

Certainly not giving Rosen a start in any of the last 11 games on an awful team is a clear indication that Grier and Flores didn’t believe in him. This after acquiring him and watching him all offseason, preseason and in the games that he did play.

We now await their next move with Rosen, and certainly, he does, too.

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Miami Dolphins

Stafford trade rumor reminder Dolphins better be ready to trade up

Florida Football Insiders

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Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

On Thursday morning a report surfaced that the Lions, who are currently slated to pick third in April’s NFL Draft, were actively looking to trade former Pro Bowl quarterback Matt Stafford. And, while that report has now been debunked, for teams like the Dolphins sitting in the fifth Spot, this is reminder of their reality of what could happen if someone jumps in front of them, in particular for a QB.

First, the report surfaced late Wednesday night from a local Detroit TV station that their sports reporter/anchor had learned that the Lions were looking for a trade partner for the 11-year veteran Stafford:

That report was quickly squashed by lions GM Bob Quinn and numerous NFL media reporters and salary cap experts pointed out that Stafford’s cap hit would be a massive $32 million dollars, if he is traded or released this season.

So it’s not likely, no matter how bad the situation is with the Lions, the Stafford is going anywhere.

But, that doesn’t mean that the Redskins, who are picking second and the Giants were picking 4th after the Lions and obviously both before the Dolphins at five, aren’t going to also be in the market to listen to trade offers for their picks.

This is, because Washington seems to be committed, for now with a new head coach and Ron Rivera, to last year’s first round quarterback pick, Dwayne Haskins

And likewise, the Giants have obviously made a commitment to their number one pick up last year, Daniel Jones. This after 2 time Super Bowl winning veteran quarterback Eli Manning announced his retirement, recently.

So, both NFC East teams appear to be targets, if a team (including the Dolphins) would look to try to increase their draft position.

This is in particular if that team were interested in the second best quarterback available in the draft, which is likely Alabama Tua Tagovailoa.

As was reported earlier this week, Tagovailoa is on schedule to heal from a fractured hip suffered last November in Alabama’s game with Mississippi State. While Tua won workout at the NFL combine later this month, it’s believed that he would likely work out for teams Alabama facility later in March or April.

One final factor in favor of the Dolphins and GM Chris Grier: they have some trade capital, including extra first-round pick this year and next year, with which the potentially move up if they so desire.

It’s all part of the evaluation process and then, the drama of what the teams at the top of the first round will look to do later this Spring.

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