With the sports world at a standstill because of the coronavirus, the NFL took centerstage with the unofficial start of Free Agency. While the official period starts on March 18, today marked the first day where teams could begin negotiating with prospective unrestricted free agents.
The Dolphins wasted no time making headlines!
The first move of the day was to sign former Washington Redskins offensive lineman Ereck Flowers. This move made sense on so many levels. Flowers is a hometown talent. The former first round pick not only played college football at the University of Miami, he also calls Miami home.
“I’m excited to go to Miami. That is where I am from. I always wanted to be home. That’s why I stayed home in college,” Flowers told ESPN’s Josina Anderson.
Ereck Flowers is young at 25 years old and he is big at 6-foot-6 and 330 pounds! Flowers is a good run and pass blocker. He is expected to upgrade an offensive line that allowed a league worst 58 sacks. The contract is a three-year deal worth $30 million.
Shaq Attack is back in Miami!
It’s not Shaquille O’Neal, but he is named after him.
Miami’s next move was for another former first round pick. The Dolphins agreed to terms with former Buffalo Bills defensive end Shaq Lawson. This was another shrewd move! Miami was able to weaken a division rival and get stronger in a single move.
Shaq is also young at 25 years old. He had career-best year last year with 6.5 sacks. No player for the Dolphins recorded more than five sacks in 2019. The deal for the 6-foot-3, 267 pound defensive end is also for three years and just over $30 million.
Miami seemed to set a tone for their approach for Free Agency with their first two moves. They focused on the trenches and targeted low risk young players with high ceilings. The Dolphins also kept the spending modest.
At this point all eyes shifted to the jaw dropping trade by Houston Texans to send DeAndre Hopkins to the Arizona Cardinals.
Then Miami did this! They added yet another former first round draft pick!
Byron Jones signed a 5-year $82.5 million contract to join Xavien Howard in the Miami secondary. With this move the Miami Dolphins landed the top rated cornerback available.
The Dolphins now boast of the two highest paid cornerbacks in the league. The team and the fans are hoping that this equates to the best cornerback tandem in the league.
Brian Flores previewed version 1.0 of his “amoeba defense” last season. Bryon Jones is the caliber of player to take that defensive scheme to the next level. According to @NextGenStats, Jones was the second best corner in press coverage since 2018. The former Cowboys corner also helped that defense to be one of the best units against deep targets.
The Dolphins were not done yet. In their final move of the day, Miami reunited former New England Patriots linebacker Kyle Van Noy with coach Brian Flores. Kyle took his game to the next level after joining the Patriots in 2016. He recorded 16.5 of his 17.5 career stats during that time. The Dolphins will expect to duplicate that success down in Miami.
Kyle Van Noy is also on the right side of thirty at 28 years old. The deal for Kyle was a four-year deal worth $51 million.