From signings to cutting players to trades, the Miami Dolphins were filled with interesting headlines last week (July 20 – July 26). Let’s revisit what news you may have missed.
Dolphins Sign Rookie CB Noah Igbinoghene and OL Robert Hunt
The Dolphins have officially signed their entire 11-player draft class.
Igbinoghene, a two-year starter at cornerback at Auburn, was selected by the Dolphins with the No. 30 pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. As a junior in 2019, he started all 13 games his junior year, totaling 42 tackles (one for loss) and seven pass breakups. He was also Auburn’s special teams returner, recording 317 yards in nine kickoffs (35.2 average) and one touchdown.
Igbinoghene’s contract is projected to be a four-year deal worth $11.25 million with a $5.74 signing bonus. In addition, a fifth-year option for the 2024 season is expected to be involved.
The 5-foot-10, 190-pounder comes into an extremely competitive cornerback room, headlined by free agent signing, Byron Jones, and former Pro Bowler, Xavien Howard. Regardless, the 20-year-old is expected to make an immediate impact in Miami’s 2020 season.
As for Hunt, the 6-foot-6, 323-pound offensive tackle is signed an $8.065 million deal over the first four years of his contract, followed by a $3.4 million signing bonus.
The second-round pick started 45 career games over his impressive four-year career at Louisiana-Lafayette. He received First Team All-Sun Belt Conference and All-Louisiana honors as a senior after leading the Cajuns to the fewest sacks allowed per game in the Sun Belt.
Following a 2019 season in which Miami’s offensive line ranked 32nd in the NFL, Hunt is expected to compete for immediate playing time at right guard or right tackle.
The Dolphins traded a conditional seventh-round pick to the Chicago Bears for tight end Adam Shaheen, Pro Football Talk reported Saturday.
Shaheen was drafted by the Bears with the No. 45 pick in the 2017 NFL draft coming out of DII Ashland University.
The 6-foot-6, 257-pound tight end has struggled to stay healthy throughout his three-year career. After missing three games in his rookie campaign, he’s only played in 14 of 32 games over the past two years. Shaheen is yet to live up to his second-round draft status, catching 26 passes for 249 yards (9.57 yards per reception) and four touchdowns.
Heading to Miami, he’ll compete with Durham Smythe, Chris Myarick and Michael Roberts for a backup tight end role behind Mike Gesicki.
Dolphins Make Roster Cuts, Shorten Team To 83 Players
With the NFL lowering the roster limit to 80 heading into training camp, rather than the usual 90, the Dolphins, who came into the week with 87 players on the roster, let go of five players.
Last Monday, undrafted free agent rookie Ray Lima was waived by the Dolphins. According to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, Lima, 24, did not report to training camp and decided to step away from the game and retire in search of something else in his life.
Rudock, 27, spent the entire 2019 season on the Dolphins’ practice squad, behind quarterbacks Ryan Fitzpatrick and Josh Rosen who were on the active roster. The former St. Thomas Aquinas High star was drafted in the sixth round of the 2016 NFL Draft by the Detroit Lions and appeared in three games in 2017, completing three of his five passes for 24 yards and an interception.
Louis was a fourth-round pick by the Cleveland Browns in 2016 out of Auburn. He played in all 32 games, starting in 12, for the Browns his first two seasons, recording 45 receptions for 562 yards. The former Miami Beach Senior High standout missed the entire 2018 season with the Browns due to a neck injury and was later waived entering the final year of his four-year rookie contract.
The Dolphins scooped up Louis, 26, to a one-year, $645,000 deal but a knee injury kept him from playing a down last season. Louis re-signed with Miami on February 5, but the league’s new 80-man roster measure couldn’t salvage him from competing for a roster spot among the teams stacked receiving core.
And while the Dolphins continue to reduce their roster, the team seems to be bought in on its youth rather than dumping it out. Veteran defensive end Avery Moss and linebacker Trent Harris were both cut Sunday.
Moss, a former fourth-round draft pick in 2017, was claimed off waivers by the Dolphins in September 2019 after playing two seasons with the New York Giants. He played in 11 games last season, starting in eight, and recorded 25 tackles (11) solo and one forced fumble.
A former University of Miami star, Harris was claimed off waivers by the Dolphins after signing with the Patriots as an undrafted free agent in 2018. The 6-foot-2, 255-pound linebacker registered 22 tackles (16 solo), 1.5 sacks and one forced fumble in 11 games, including three starts last season.
Miami roster stands at 83 playrs, but they’ll have to trim it to 81 by August 16.
The Dolphins can keep 81 players, rather than the league limit 80, due to a roster exemption for guard Durval Queiroz Neto, who’s part of the NFL’s international development program. Teams could have up to 90 players in camp if they split practice sessions into two squads, which could require teams to use both stadium and regular practice facilities, per ESPN’s Chris Mortensen.
The NFL scrapped the 2020 preseason last week following an agreement between the league and the NFLPA, according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.
The elimination of preseason games poses quite a challenge for a team like the Miami Dolphins, who come off of a rebuild offseason in which they made a plethora of free agency and draft moves, while also hiring a brand new offensive coordinator.
Heading into the regular season, here are five ways Miami could be affected by the removal of the preseason: