“Definitely wasn’t an easy decision,” Hurns said in a Twitter post Tuesday. “However, he made it “to do what’s best for my family…especially with a baby boy on the way.”
Prior to Hurns’ decision, the Dolphins were the only team in the AFC East to not have any players opt out. NFL Players have until Thursday, August 6 to opt out of the 2020 season.
Coach Brian Flores released a statement on Hurns’ decision.
“I understand and completely support Allen’s decision,” Flores said. “It wasn’t an easy choice and I know he put a lot of thought into it. He had conversations with the people closest to him and did what he felt was best for him and his family.”
“I respect the process he went through and how he came to his decision. I wish him all the best and look forward to working with him next year.”
Hurns, a Miami native, inked a deal to play for his hometown team in July of 2019. The 28-year-old played in 14 games last season and registered 32 receptions for 416 yards and two touchdowns, which earned him a two-year extension in November.
After opting out, Hurns’ contract has been put on hold for this season, and he’ll be signed with Miami through the 2022 season.
The 6-foot-3 receiver’s career has been derailed by injuries ever since inking a four-year, $40 million contract extension with the Jaguars in 2016. After garnering 1,031 yards and 10 touchdowns on 64 receptions in 2015, Hurns missed 13 games within the next two seasons.
Given Hurns’ experience, the six-year pro was expected to compete for solid playing time among a loaded receiver group headlined by Devante Parker.
With Hurns out, young receivers Gary Jennings and Isaiah Ford could see extended playing time and serve as a key backup. Parker, Preston Williams, Albert Wilson and Jakeem Grant are all veterans on the team and are foreseen as the starters in Week One.
Undrafted rookie receivers Kirk Merritt and Matt Cole now have a more legitimate opportunity to make the roster. The free-agent market is also an option for the Dolphins if they’re eyeing veterans. Taylor Gabriel, Jermaine Kearse, Chris Hogan and Jordan Matthews all have multiple years under their belt. Former All-Pro’s Antonio Brown and Josh Gordon are also available.