Kenny Stills Jersey

The Dolphins, embarking on a youth movement and rebuilding program, parted ways with their most experienced wide receiver on Friday, cutting Danny Amendola after just one season with the team.

Amendola, 33, led Miami in catches (59) and yards (575) this past season but the Dolphins want to get younger at the position and have said they’re willing to sustain short-term pain this season with an eye toward bolstering their team longterm.

By releasing Amendola, the Dolphins do not need to pay any of the $5.9 million he was owed next season and save $6 million on their salary cap, with no dead money. The release of Amendola was characterized as a mutual decision, with Amendola aware of Miami’s plans to rebuild and create cap space.

The release of Amendola – coupled with Thursday’s release of defensive end Andre Branch and guard Ted Larsen – leaves the Dolphins with $22 million in cap space.

Amendola assuredly will not be the only receiver to move on.

The Dolphins also are expected to rescind the fifth-year option on receiver DeVante Parker by next Wednesday’s deadline to do so. That will give the Dolphins an additional $9.4 million in cap space.

Amendola caught 59 of the 75 passes thrown to him last season but only 27 of those 59 catches went for first downs, one reason why quarterbacks had a pretty average 86.4 passer rating in his coverage area.

Amendola’s release, and the expected release of Parker, will leave Albert Wilson, Jakeem Grant, Kenny Stills and Brice Butler as the veteran receivers under contract.

Though there’s no indication that the Dolphins want to move on from Stills, keep in mind that $1 million of his $7.97 million base salary becomes guaranteed on March 17. Already, $3 million has been guaranteed.

Wilson will earn a $6.9 million base salary next season in the second year of a three-year contract and remains in Miami’s longterm plans. Grant will be paid $720,000 in the final season of his contract.

Butler will earn $805,000 in the second year of a two-year contract signed when Miami claimed him off waivers last season.

The Dolphins also have young receivers Leonte Carroo (a restricted free agent) and Isaiah Ford and could add a receiver or two in the draft process.

In Pro Football Focus’s final ranking of 125 receivers last season, the web site rated Grant 48th, Parker 50th, Amendola 67th and Stills 80th. If Wilson had enough snaps to qualify, his 82.9 grade would have ranked him 14th.

Amendola signed a two-year, $12 million deal with the Dolphins last March after five years with the New England Patriots, where he caught 230 passes for 2383 yards and 12 touchdowns. But he caught only one touchdown as a Dolphin.

Had the Dolphins retained him, his offensive coordinator would have been Chad O’Shea, his former receivers coach with the Patriots.

Veteran tight end Dwayne Allen left his Dolphins visit on Friday without a contract. Allen will assess his options after visiting Miami, Baltimore, Detroit and Buffalo this past week.

The Miami Dolphins are in a complete rebuild. After overperforming to a 7-9 2018 record, they’ve traded away a once presumed franchise quarterback and parted ways with veteran talents including Josh Sitton and Danny Amendola. In 2018 they also parted ways with Pro-Bowl talents Jarvis Landry and Ndamukong Suh.

But the Dolphins didn’t stop with parting ways with veteran football players. They fired Adam Gase at head coach and signed Brian Flores to a five-year deal. That deal might have been the first indicator that they are blowing it up, as it is structured to where his job would be safe even if they did tank.

There have also been rumors out of Miami that they are tanking for Alabama quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. There is also a consensus that they are looking to establish a new culture in Miami, which most of the times includes trading away talent for a bevy of draft picks.

The Cardinals, on the other hand, finished 2018 with a 3-13 record. While their wins and losses don’t resemble a win-now approach, their transactions do. Not only have they hired Kliff Kingsbury to implement a radically new offense, but they have also added a dearth of veteran talent both in free agency and in the trade block.

While there have been rumors of Josh Rosen leaving the desert, I will continue under the assumption that he is the quarterback going into next year. But, even if the Cardinals draft Kyler Murray, the franchise will still be under the same train of thought of building around a rookie contract at quarterback.

The Cardinal should certainly look into a trade with the Dolphins because of that difference in competitive timeline. On the other hand, the Dolphins should look into a Cardinals trade due to their newfound wealth of draft picks. The Arizona Cardinals have ten 2019 picks including the first selection in every round but the seventh.

Dolphins players that I believe are the most tradeable include CB Xavien Howard, WR Kenny Stills, LB Kiko Alonso, EDGE Robert Quinn, and S Reshad Jones. For the Cardinals, two names stand out the most on this list; cornerback Xavien Howard, and wide receiver Kenny Stills.

If you weren’t aware by now, 25 year old Xavien Howard is a rising star at cornerback and received a 2018 Pro-Bowl nod for his efforts. But, with a looming contract extension and his publicly mentioned want to win, the Dolphins could look to save some money and add some draft picks by trading Howard.

At 6-1, Howard has the size of a boundary cornerback. His ball-hawking playstyle and physical brand of football should also be noted as plus’ in his game. In the past two seasons combined, Howard has tallied 11 interceptions, 25 pass deflections, and 83 tackles. Even more impressive, he only played in 12 contests in 2018, yet he led the league in interceptions with seven.

While cornerback isn’t a major team need for the Cardinals, adding Howard to a defense consisting of Chandler Jones, Jordan Hicks, Terrell Suggs, Patrick Peterson, Budda Baker, and D.J. Swearinger (maybe even Nick Bosa) would give NFC West offensive coordinators nightmares. Due to the high selection nature of the Cardinals picks, trading for Howard could realistically cost just 2019 third and 2020 second (or maybe even third).

However, Kenny Stills may be even more intriguing to the Cardinals than a cornerback with the upside of a perennial Pro-Bowler. Despite being just 26 years old, Stills has played six NFL seasons, missing only two games. He’s not a guy that will carry your team week in and week out, but he’s an excellent option that you can depend upon.

Stills is a speedy receiver (4.38 second 40-yard-dash) that has found a way to produce consistently in the NFL. While he hasn’t racked up catches, he scores a touchdown in nearly every eight of them and has the versatile game to play both outside or in the slot. As a route-runner, Stills has the agility to will himself open and is particularly effective on shorter, horizontal routes.

Stills has been known to be a good locker room character as well and has a high football intelligence. His contract is rather affordable as well, as he is under contract for two more seasons on an average yearly cap hit of $9.25 million, per Over The Cap. Simply put, Stills could be exactly what the Cardinals need. I estimate his trade value to hover around a fourth-round pick.

Reshad Jones Jersey

The Dolphins defense has a lot of good players on it, but very few great players. One of those very few is veteran safety Reshad Jones, who was originally drafted by Miami in the fifth round of the 2010 NFL draft.

Jones climbed the ladder, took over for Chris Clemons as their free safety in 2010, and since then he’s become one of the league’s elite in-the-box safeties.

Jones, who will turn 31 on February 25, signed a four year, $48 million contract extension with the Dolphins on March 9, 2017, with $35 million dollars guaranteed and a $9.2 million signing bonus. Since then, he’s done his best to pay it forward in a defensive scheme that had him roaming around playing various roles, whether it’s near the line of scrimmage to stop the run, or jump routes and make plays in the secondary.

Since signing the extension, Jones has played in his second Pro Bowl (2017), made five interceptions and 194 total tackles, as well as having 1.5 sacks and three fumble recoveries between 2017-18.

So why is this even a discussion? Because, once again, the Dolphins are adopting a brand new philosophy.

Pros: What’s not to love about Reshad Jones and his game? The man has proven himself time and time again to be one of the league’s premier strong safeties, making tackles in the box and being a nightmare for offenses trying to gain momentum. He played through injuries on a regular basis, and he’s a playmaker that teams have to watch out for.
Cons: Unfortunately, in spite of all the praise just heaped on Jones, there are actually a fair amount of cons that have to be acknowledged. First and foremost, his age.

Jones, as previously mentioned, will turn 31 in just a few days, and with the Dolphins going into the offseason with a rebuilding mindset, it’s hard to say how Jones will fit into the team’s long-term future.

There’s also his current salary. Jones is slated to be the team’s second-highest paid player in 2019 – assuming quarterback Ryan Tannehill isn’t traded or released, and he will count for a whopping $17,147,500 against the cap.

Among NFL safeties, Jones again ranks second in average annual salary with $12 million, only behind Chiefs star safety Eric Berry who has $13 million.

Now this wouldn’t be an issue, except that there was a serious decline in Jones’ overall play this past season, although that could be attributed to his shoulder injury. Nevertheless, there was a distinct dropoff, as Jones ranked 30th overall in the NFL among all safeties who played at least 50% of the team’s total snaps on defense according to PFF, 35th against the run and 30th in coverage.

Jones’ shoulder injuries are also somewhat concerning. He played through 2018 with a partially torn labrum in his right shoulder; in 2015, Jones’ opposite shoulder suffered the same injury, and it eventually led to him tearing his rotator cuff in 2016, which forced him to miss 10 games that season.

On top of all that, and though this isn’t a regular occurrence with Jones, one cannot simply dismiss the fact that Jones was removed from a Week 9 matchup against the New York Jets and never returned for reasons that were never definitively disclosed.

Either former defensive coordinator Matt Burke pulled him for disciplinary reasons, or Jones pulled himself out and never went back in of his own choice.

Either way, knowing this was the case, one has to wonder whether Jones would be willing to accept the fact that the team he’s on is going to be taking a very lax stance on actually trying to win in 2019.

Conclusion: There was a lot of time spent on the cons of Reshad Jones, but that’s because all the pros are already well-established and truly don’t need much explanation. But the reason Jones needs to stay for 2019 at the very least is not because of how good he is, it’s because of how his contract is structured.

While Jones will indeed count for a huge amount of money against the cap this upcoming season, there’s really nothing the team can do because of how much dead money it would cost to let him test the market.

Even if he were designated as a post-June 1 cut, Jones would create a huge dead cap hit of $15,160,000, with only a paltry $2 million in actual cap savings.

The only safe way to move on from Jones would be trade him after June 1, which according to overthecap.com, would save the Dolphins $13,115,000, with only $4,045,000 in dead money. But, realistically speaking, it’s unlikely there will be a trade partner for Jones that late into the offseason unless there’s a team desperate for a starting strong safety by then.

Reshad Jones will almost certainly remain in Miami for 2019, and can’t be safely moved on from until 2020 unless a miracle happens before then.

Then again, there really should be no rush anyway, unless Jones somehow continues to decline even after recovering from his injury.