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Miami Dolphins

NFL/others step up to help injured Dolphins DT Norton

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
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The NFL, the Dolphins and many others in South Florida are stepping up to help injured reserve defensive tackle Kendrick Norton, as his catastrophic arm injury has ended his playing career.

As we wrote July 4th morning, Norton was involved in the early morning hours in a single-vehicle rollover accident in Miami that led to his left arm being amputated.

Now, with massive medical bills and the prospect of no longer being able to play football for a living, the caring side of football is coming through.

As Dolphins beat reporter Cameron Wolfe of ESPN.com wrote Tuesday afternoon, Norton has received an outpouring of emotional and financial support:

The GoFundMe page that has been set up for the former Miami Hurricanes defensive tackle had over $11,000 in donations as of Wednesday morning. Obviously, it will take much more than that and more than likely there will be future fundraisers done by the school and by the Dolphins to also aide the massive defensive tackle.

Norton is a former third team All ACC defensive tackle for the Canes (above), who was drafted a year ago in the 7th round by the Carolina Panthers. The Fins signed him off the Panthers practice squad in December and he had been taking part in the offseason program for new coach Brian Flores and his staff.

It’s also possible that the Dolphins may go ahead and honor Norton’s second year $495,000 non-guaranteed salary, as the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement with the Players Association allows for leeway on catastrophic injuries that end someone’s career. Mostly, that is reserved for an injury on the field, however, it’s also up to team discretion.

A female passenger in Norton’s vehicle was treated and released Thursday morning. Authorities in South Florida have yet to make any formal announcement about the circumstances around the one-vehicle accident, as their investigation continues.

Miami Dolphins

Dolphins reverse course- will start Josh Rosen Sunday

Douglas DeFelice-USA TODAY Sports

In a move that fits the pattern of seemingly having no true plan of how to get better and, further being willing to change or get rid of personnel on any whim, coach Brian Flores and the Dolphins have done “a 180 turn,” and will now start second-year quarterback Josh Rosen in Dallas Sunday.

NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport had the news first Thursday afternoon,

After being adamant for the last three days the team would continue to start veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick, even after two dismal games where the Dolphins lost by a combined score of 102 – 10, Flores and the organization have obviously decided that now is the time to see what Rosen can do.

We at F.F.I. called for this move on Monday, as Miami’s offense could be truly no worse than what it has looked like in the losses to Baltimore and the Patriots at home.

And sooner or later you have to give Rosen an extended look to find out, if he has some promise to be a quarterback of the future or at least, part of the mix as a backup etc., for 2020 and 2021.

Clearly, Miami is doing everything they can to lose every possible game they can and get their best draft position in 2020.

To that end, the Dolphins traded 2018 first round pick defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick to the Pittsburgh Steelers on Monday acquiring their number one pick. This added on to the blockbuster trade of left tackle Laremy Tunsil and wide receiver Kenny Stills where the Dolphins acquired the Texans number one and number two picks this year and their first round pick next year.

The Dolphins stuck Rosen in Sunday’s disaster with New England with nine minutes to go and trailing 43-0 and he threw 18 passes, completing only seven and also had an INT while being sacked three times. Rosen even managed to roll his ankle, but kept playing, but only in worthless garbage time.

Rosen, who was acquired in an April draft night trade with Arizona, was 3-10 last year as a starter with only a 55% completion percentage and 11 touchdowns vs. 14 interceptions with the Cards.

Now, considerably handicapped on offense without Tunsil and Stills, etc., we will see what the former UCLA first round pick can do against the formidable Cowboys.

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Miami Dolphins

Dolphins trade Minkah Fitzpatrick to Steelers

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

The Dolphins remained true to their “lose at all costs” mentality for 2019, as they dealt last season’s #1 pick, DB Minkah Fitzpatrick to the Steelers on Monday night.

ESPN’s Adam Schefter was the first with the news, including what Pittsburgh would be dealing in return:

As we wrote earlier Monday night, Fitzpatrick has been disgruntled in Miami just two horrible games into their season and was given permission to seek a trade last week. Apparently, Pittsburgh came up with the best offer, first, to get the former Alabama All American.

Fitzpatrick, who the Dolphins took with the 11th overall pick in the 2018 draft, is disgruntled in part, because of the Dolphins “veteran purge” that has gone all in all offseason, stripping them of experienced talent everywhere. He further has been unhappy with new head coach Brian Flores and defensive coordinator, Patrick Graham, moving him to different positions all over the defensive secondary in the preseason and the first two games of the year.

Fitzpatrick started and played significantly in most of Fins Sunday blowout loss to the Patriots 43-0 that dropped them to a dismal looking 0-2. And Pro Football Focus gave him a decent grade for Sunday:

GM Chris Grier continues to stock pile draft picks for the “named players” on his roster. This included the huge deal trading of starting LT Laremy Tunsil and WR Kenny Stills on the eve of the season to the Houston Texans. Miami got the Texans next two #1 picks and their second rounder in 2021 in that deal.

The acquiring of the Steelers first rounder gives Miami three opening round picks now in next April’s draft.

Reportedly, the teams are also swapping fourth (Miami’s) and fifth round picks in 2020 and sixth (Pittsburgh’s) and seventh rounders in 2021, as part of the deal.

Grier had been busy getting rid of other veterans in the off season. This also included dealing players like QB Ryan Tannehill and DE Robert Quinn in March, veteran WR Danny Amendola being cut after just one season in Miami and Pro Bowl DE Cam Wake being allowed to walk away in free agency.

In addition to trading Tunsil and Stills, Grier dealt his most productive tackler the last three years, Kiko Alonso, to the Saints at the end of preseason, too.

Intriguingly, the Steelers, and Fitzpatrick, will host the Dolphins on Monday Night Football on October 28th.

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