“It all starts up front.” You’ve probably heard that football phrase, and maybe, numerous times. If you cannot block or you have a defensive line that cannot overcome blocks, you are in big trouble.
The 2017 Dolphins exemplified this, negatively, on the offensive line and will attempt to restructure moving forward. The question is: will veteran guard Jermon Bushrod be part of those plans?
Bushrod is 34 years old and a free agent, who missed the final six games a year ago with a foot injury. And, there had already been question marks about his play in the early part of the season. This was, as the Dolphins offense sputtered and faltered for much of the season to score points.
As is always the case, a team is looking to get younger (and a lot of times cheaper) with their roster. So, Miami went to former practice squad O-lineman Jessie Davis in Bushrod’s absence, and by most accounts, he was solid at right guard to finish the season.
So what now for the 11 year veteran previously with the Saints and the Bears previously, looking for a team? He spoke with Omar Kelly of the Ft. Lauderdale Sun Sentinel this week, and has perspective, “I’ve played for 11 years. I’ve played a lot of football, over 125 starts and over 140 games. That’s a lot of football,” Bushrod said. “Whether I play again, or whether I cut it off, I’m very happy with the way things have gone. I’d be okay with [retiring], but whenever I stop playing, it’s going to be a hard transition.”
Bushrod has been in two Pro Bowls, but the last of those was 2011. He made $3 million on a one year deal with the Fins a year ago. And likely, he won’t see an offer for that much annually, as free agency begins, from Miami or another team.
However, it’s in his favor that the new Dolphins offensive line coach Jeremiah Washburn came from Chicago and had Bushrod there, as well.
This may be a situation too, where the Dolphins allow Bushrod to shop during early free agency, and if there’s not a significant offer, sign him more cheaply to be in Miami.
And Bushrod should know from history that the Dolphins did the same thing with his former teammate, and former Pro Bowler, Branden Albert a year ago at this time. Albert got traded to Jacksonville, and eventually retired in the off season.
He apparently wants to play on. Now, who wants him and for what price?
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