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Report- Dolphins allowing Minkah Fitzpartick to explore trade

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Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

In the aftermath of their embarrassing 59 – 10 loss to the Ravens last Sunday, rumors circulated that veteran Dolphins players we’re looking to leave via trade or release, as soon as possible. Now, comes a report that one of Miami’s young stars also wants out and has apparently been given permission to try to find a team that will trade for him.

ESPN’s Chris Mortensen reported late Thursday night that the 2018 first-round pick defensive back Minkah Fitzpatrick has asked to be traded due to what he believes is his misuse in Miami’s defensive scheme:

Mortensen made clear that the Dolphins are not advocating for Fitzpatrick to leave but instead, are willing to let he and his agent Joel Segal explore the possibility. This while Miami holds out hope that they could get their number one pick back in trading Fitzpatrick somewhere else.

Fitzpatrick, the 11th overall pick in 2018, has played four different positions in the defensive backfield including slot corner and both safety positions in the preseason and also in Miami’s opening game loss to Baltimore.

Mortensen further reported that the Dolphins privately were not optimistic in trading Fitzpatrick, because it’s been explored for some time this week. Dolphins coach Brian Flores will meet with the media later on Friday before they host the Patriots Sunday afternoon and will obviously be asked about the trade demand report.

GM Chris Grier was apparently not available for comment Thursday night on Fitzpatrick story, but we already know that he dealt away fourth-year prize left tackle, Laremy Tunsil and veteran speedster wide receiver, Kenny Stills in a blockbuster trade in late August with the Houston Texans. Miami got  a pair of number one picks and a number two selection in the swap.

Grier and Flores have systematically rid themselves of veterans with significant salaries during the off season and preseason. This includes players like QB Ryan Tannehill and DE Robert Quinn being dealt 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.

Back to the second year Fitzpatrick. The fact that Flores, a defensive specialist, and his new defensive coordinator, Patrick Graham, would be willing to allow Grier to trade Fitzpatrick. obviously indicates that they don’t believe he can be a long-term star player in their system.

Otherwise, common sense dictates they would want to hang on to Fitzpatrick, who for this season and the next two years of his rookie deal, is a very affordable player under the cap. He’s making just $1.2 million this year and his deal averages $2.1 million in 2020 and 2021.

Miami Dolphins

Bama QB Tua Tagovailoa present to start NFL combine

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John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

The NFL Scouting Combine is getting underway in Indianapolis this week and on Monday morning, one of the prized quarterbacks that will be available early in the first round of the draft was there for official measurements and to meet with teams.

Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa, whose season ended with a fractured hip last November, is on the road to recovery and he was officially measured and also, met with numerous teams that are looking at the possibility of drafting him:

In addition to not only the injured hip, but also a history of high ankle sprain problems, Tagovailoa has got to answer critics on his size. At just 6 – 0 feet there will be concerns about his ability to clearly see downfield through the massive bodies on NFL Sundays.

However, this can be combated by moving him around out of the pocket and that’s something that Alabama was successful at doing over his three years as well.

As we wrote recently, Tagovailoa was injured in Alabama’s 10th game of the season suffering a fractured hip on a sack late in the first half at Mississippi State. He missed the Tide’s final two regular-season games and then, their Citrus Bowl win January 1st, over Michigan

He 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.

Tagovailoa is obviously on the Dolphins list to look at strongly to select in the top five in the draft and currently, Miami is slated to pick fifth.

It is expected that Tagovailoa will work out for teams probably later in March or maybe even, early April at the Tide’s facility in Tuscaloosa, prior to the NFL draft coming to Las Vegas.

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Colorado announced hire of Dolphins assistant Dorrel Sunday

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Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Former UCLA coach and recently promoted Dolphins assistant Karl Dorrell is headed back to college, as the new head coach of the Colorado Buffaloes.

The school confirmed Dorrell’s hire on Sunday evening with a five-year contract to take over their Big 12 program:

The Buffaloes have been seeking a head coach since there coach Mel Tucker abruptly left to take the Michigan State job earlier this month.

Dorrell came to the dolphins with Brian Flores this past season, as wide receiver coach and earlier last week was promoted to assistant head coach for the upcoming season. Miami’s top receiver, DeVante Parker, blossomed under Dorrell’s tutelage as the year went on. He finished the season with 72 catches for 1,202 yards and nine touchdowns becoming the favorite target of QB Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Dorrel is the latest Dolphins assistant on the move. Flores fired the offensive coordinator Chad O’Shea he brought with him from New England. And, his defensive coordinator Patrick Graham left to take the same job with the Giants.

Dorrell had also been the Dolphins receivers coach, previously from 2008 – 10 and then, their quarterbacks coach in 2011 under the late Tony Sparano.

Colorado’s athletic director Rick George said in a statement Sunday night,

“I am excited that Karl Dorrell has agreed to become our head football coach,” George said. “Karl has had great success as a college coach, both as a head coach and an assistant, and he knows the Pac-12 Conference and West Coast well. It was important that our next coach have CU ties, and Karl has those ties having worked at CU twice previously. Karl shares my passion for Colorado and our vision for winning championships. He will be a tremendous mentor and role model for our student-athletes, and he will provide great leadership for our program going forward.” 

The CU Board of Regents still have to approve Dorrell’s contract, which will be $18 million for five seasons.

Dorrell had previously been on Colorado staffs two other times in his career, including most recently as offensive coordinator under Rick Neuheisel from 1995- 98.

Dorrell was named head coach of his alma mater UCLA in 2003, where he lasted five seasons and went to a bowl game every year finishing with a career 35 – 27 record before being fired after the 2007 season.

Dorrell had previously been receivers coach for the New York Jets 2015 – 18 under Todd Bowles (above) and two of his receivers had made the Pro Bowl during his time there.

Colorado picked Dorrell from an interview process that also included former Buffaloes player and Kansas City Super Bowl offensive coordinator Eric Bienemy, who interviewed and was under strong consideration.

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