The calendar has now flipped to August 1st and there are still some interesting prominent names that are without an NFL contract or training camp.
We’ve been writing about the guys on this list for most of the last few months, and in a couple of the cases, it’s surprising that they haven’t signed somewhere, even on a one year deal.
And there could be a reason(s) that the Bucs, the Dolphins or the Jaguars might have some interest in these names.
So, here goes:
Matt Moore– Moore filled in for the Dolphins for the injured Ryan Tannehill at the end of 2016 and won three games. He also played in the Wildcard loss to the Steelers. Last year, he replaced Jay Cutler starting two games as well.
And here’s an assessment from Miami Herald beat writer Armando Salguero on how shaky the Fins backup QB’s are looking so far:
ICYMI…Dolphins backup QBs not good. Here’s what team will dohttps://t.co/dG5UiPl731
— Armando Salguero (@ArmandoSalguero) July 31, 2018
So, Moore, who’s been in Adam Gase’s offense the last two years, is definitely an option for them soon.
Dez Bryant- He’s been flirting with the Cleveland Browns recently, but there is no deal, as of yet. Further, there had been some speculation Bryant might suddenly re-sign a discounted deal with Dallas. That is until Bryant heard comments from Stephen Jones on a radio interview last week and blasted the Cowboys on social media.
So, don’t look for that to happen.
The Bucs and the Dokphins are pretty stacked with new and veteran talent depth. However, Could Bryant be an option in Jacksonville, where none of their receivers are elite veterans?
Kenny Vaccaro- The Bucs and Dolphins may both have a need for a veteran to help them in the middle. With the Saints Vaccaro played in 12 games a year ago with 60 tackles and three INTS. He’s 27 and has already visited with the Dolphins after the draft, and is still waiting for the right spot.
Vaccaro may be holding out for a team to lose a star at his position due to injury and then try to cash in with more than a 2018 deal.
And, finally, Running Back
Adrian Peterson- We have written repeatedly that while Miami has a veteran now in Frank Gore, that the Bucs and the Jags don’t really have someone like Peterson to go with their young guys.
Now, Jacksonville has Leonard Fournette, who exploded on the scene a year ago. Tampa Bay is going with third year former undrafted Peyton Barber and second round pick Ronald Jones. So, a Hall of Famer that still maybe has something left, could fit.
The bigger question over age and wear and tear on Peterson is: will he agree to a lesser deal? And maybe even, would he agree to a one year contract?
The clock continues to tick, but it’s hard to believe that all of the guys on this list will not play somewhere in 2018.
Dolphins beaten up every way possible after latest loss in Green Bay
Make no mistake, the Dolphins season is not officially over at 5 – 5 headed in the bye week.
It just looks and feels that way.
Mostly, it does, because the Dolphins are banged up, not only physically, but also it appears emotionally and psychologically. So, much so, they don’t appear to have a whole lot left for the stretch run.
Let’s start with the actual physical injuries and that began Sunday with the inactives. The Fins starting offensive line was minus Laremy Tunsil and Ja’Wuan James, which were not unexpected. However, after being able to practice some this week, former number 1 pick defensive end Charles Harris was not able to play against Green Bay today, either.
Then, as the game wore on, it was one Dolphin leaving after another. Whether it was Kenyan Drake with a shoulder injury in the first half or Bobby McCain with a concussion in the third quarter or when receivers Jakeem Grant and DeVante Parker both had to leave on the same Drive, it was tough to watch the Dolphins walking wounded.
The biggest fear is for the smaller but explosive Grant, who may have torn his Achilles in the third quarter. Grant was already suffering from Achilles tendonitis and came up hobbling right away on a slant pass and could not put weight on the foot. He was then carted shortly thereafter to the Dolphins locker room.
Coach Adam Gase offered no real update on Grant’s status other than that it’s a wait-and-see. As for Parker, same thing is being hoped, even though, the media reported him walking around in the locker room after the game with his left arm in a sling. You combine those injuries with Kenny Stills being slowed by a groin injury and Albert Wilson already out for the year having hurt his hip a few weeks ago, and the Dolphins may be looking for Mark Duper or Nat Moore to come out of retirement at this point.
Bigger than just the physical injuries, the Dolphins appear spent in the figurative sense as well. The frustration mounted as Aaron Rodgers continued to carve them up throwing darts all over the football field Sunday night in the Lambeau cold. He finished with only 195 yards passing, but did have two TDs. And, they marched on the Dolphins defense, whenever he wanted.
It was almost as if Miami was just helpless to do anything against him, and they are watching their season wind down.
Consider that backup quarterback Brock Osweiler was not able to spark the team for the third consecutive game. So poor is the offensive output, that Miami has not scored a touchdown in their last nine quarters dating back to the Thursday night loss in Houston.
The Dolphins aren’t playing with any confidence, at least from the guys that are replacing the injured players. Remember, with Miami at full strength early in the year they got off to a 3 – 0 start.
So, the bye week comes now and perhaps, starting quarterback Ryan Tannehill shoulder will be healed enough that he can practice in 10 days and maybe play at Indianapolis. It’s anybody’s guess as to who, out of the names above, will actually be healthy enough to help Tannehill and the Dolphins for the final six games.
Finally, even though Miami would appear by record to be very much in the hunt for an AFC wild-card spot, they don’t look like a playoff team.
No. They’re banged up and look like a team that will be watching the postseason like everybody else.
Gameday- Dolphins travel to chilly Lambeau Field
Who: Dolphins (5-4) at Packers (3-4-1)
When: Sunday 4:25 p.m.
Where: Lambeau Field, Green Bay, WI
Spread: Packers by 10 points (Courtesy of VegasInsider.com)
Here’s what to watch:
Dolphins defensive coordinator Burke under scrutiny
It has been a tough few weeks for the Dolphins all the way around, but specifically on the defensive side of the ball, the struggles are mounting. And when you throw in a player pouting and essentially pulling a mutiny on the sidelines last Sunday, it’s not good for the defensive coordinator.
That’s what happened a week ago when Pro Bowl safety Reshad Jones refused to go back in the game on two occasions during the second half of the Dolphins close 13 – 6 win over the Jets. It’s been a big topic in South Florida for the last few days, and it obviously has defensive coordinator Matt Burke having to answer for what’s going on in the defense of meeting rooms, practices, etc.
Dolphins Live: Defensive Coordinator Matt Burke meets with the media. https://t.co/2145Fq3uaU
— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) November 8, 2018
As the press continued to poke at him about the Jones situation, you could tell that Burke is over it, as is coach Adam Gase, and they want to move on for this week. However, Jones didn’t make that any easier, when he basically refused to apologize for not wanting to play.
And, moving past it may also be easier said than done, when the opponent is All-Pro quarterback and former League MVP Aaron Rodgers at his house, Lambeau Field.
Yes, the Dolphins have some pass rushers, and that would include second-year defensive end and former number 1 pick Charles Harris returning to practice this week after a calf injury, and he may be able to play. Veteran Cam Wake came alive pressuring Jets rookie QB Sam Darnold repeatedly, and registering a couple of sacks.
However, the defensive plays have been few and far between, as the Dolphins have lost four of the last five games.
That brings us back to Burke, who was elevated after coaching the linebackers in 2016, when Vance Joseph left Miami to become Denver’s head coach. After spending his entire pro career as a linebackers coach, this is his first opportunity to be the guy in charge of the defense.
So, he and Gase can get aggravated with the questioning of what we’re seeing, but the bottom line is: if the Dolphins defense doesn’t continue to step it up, like they did last week, there is going to be much more scrutiny of him.
The oddsmakers have the Dolphins as double-digit underdogs to Rodgers and the Pack.
Now, let’s see if Burke’s unit will rally together, play solidly and give Miami a chance to win Sunday.
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