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Dolphins breakout candidates

5 Breakout Candidates for the Miami Dolphins in 2022

The Miami Dolphins kicked of the Mike McDaniel era this week when rookies reported to the team’s facility. The Dolphins 2022 draft class featured a franchise-low four selections, but with undrafted rookies, a decent crop arrived to start training camp. With veterans poised to report on Tuesday July 26th, it’s time to consider which Dolphins are breakout candidates for the coming season.

McDaniel, the quirky offensive guru and 11th head coach in franchise history, is tasked with reshaping one of the most stagnant offensive attacks in the NFL. The Dolphins haven’t had a top-10 offense in 27 years, when Dan Marino was still under center.

Entering his first training camp as a head coach, McDaniel must identify the players that can help take Miami to the next level. The Dolphins haven’t won a playoff game in 2000 but seem to have populated the roster with players talented enough to end that drought.

Here’s a look at five breakout candidates for the Miami Dolphins in 2022.

Dolphins Breakout Candidate: WR Cedrick Wilson Jr.

The headlines this offense naturally went toward the trade acquisition of Tyreek Hill, but the signing of Cedrick Wilson Jr. should also excite ‘Phins fans. Miami targeted Wilson early in free agency, which signals confidence in potential production and offensive fit.

At 6-foot-2, Wilson stands as a solid complement to Miami’s other speedy pass catchers, and he’s something of a burner himself. He fits McDaniel’s as a run-after-the-catch threat, something that, coupled with the addition of Hill, pushed DeVante Parker off Miami’s roster.

Wilson comes to Miami following a career-year with the Cowboys. He made 45 catches for 602 yards and six touchdowns. Last season, Dallas quarterbacks registered a 138.0 passer rating when targeting Wilson on intermediate routes. That figure ranked eighth among all wideouts.

Although he’ll share time and targets with Hill, Jaylen Waddle, and Mike Gesicki, among others in the passing game, Wilson should provide quarterback Tua Tagovailoa with a reliable redzone threat. Waddle led the Dolphins with 15 redzone targets last year, but no other player was in double figures.

Gesicki saw nine, as did running back Myles Gaskin. Departed wideouts Mack Hollins and Parker vacate 14 redzone targets between them, so Wilson could pick up the slack there. He saw nine redzone targets last season, making six catches, including three for touchdowns.


While the 27-year-old fourth-year pro has never recorded a 1,000-yard season, he’s poised to assume a significant role in the Dolphins’ passing attack.

Dolphins Breakout Candidate: RB Chase Edmonds

Miami revamped their backfield this offseason with the additions of Chase Edmonds, Raheem Mostert, Sony Michel, and Alec Ingold. While there’s a clear tie between Mostert and McDaniel given their shared time in San Francisco, Edmonds stands taller among Dolphins breakout candidates.

Edmonds was one of two running backs last season that registered more than 100 carries, over 5.0 yards-per-carry, and over 40 receptions. He finished top-10 in yards-per-rushing-attempt (5.1) and generated 341 yards after contact. Edmonds posted career-highs in 10-plus yard carries (19) and missed tackles forced (16).

Edmonds looks like a great system fit, too. The 49ers used a zone blocking scheme 282 times last season, 6th-most in the NFL. Edmonds thrived behind zone blocking last season, ranking first in the NFL in yards-per-attempt (5.8).

Edmonds seems to have an inside track for the starting role in Miami, and his dual-threat nature has him poised for a breakout season. He made 43 catches in 12 games last season, finishing 14th among running backs. He averaged 3.6 receptions per game, so if he had played a full season, he might have finished with 61 grabs. That figure would have put him top-5 among all running backs.

Dolphins Breakout Candidate: S Brandon Jones

While most of the offseason attention will go to Miami’s other safety Jevon Holland, Brandon Jones also looks ready to make the leap next season. He flashed an elite skill for his position last season, blitzing the quarterback, and finished with five sacks. That figure led all defensive backs in 2021. He also recorded 14 pressures.

Miami personnel official Matt Winston said recently Jones is “very reliable, in terms of what you’re getting day in and day out. You know you’re going to get some sort of explosive play. He’s got a niche rushing the passer in exotic packages. Really being a force in and around the line of scrimmage is where he’s stood out to me.”

Jones posted a 77.6 pass-rush grade in 2021 for Pro Football Focus, which ranked 10th among qualified safeties.

During OTAs, Jones told reporters he wants to avoid being labeled a “blitz only” guy. He said his goal is “just trying to be and find the best way for me that I could be well rounded.”

Dolphins Breakout Candidate: Jaelan Phillips

The No. 18 overall pick in the 2021 draft, Phillips finished with 8.5 sacks, second among all rookies last season behind only Micah Parsons’ 13. He also registered 16 QB Hits as a rookie.

Phillips played all 17 games last season, but seemed to get more comfortable as the year progressed. He recorded seven of his sacks in the second half of the season, including a run of five games registering at least half a sack. Phillips should get more run in 2022 following a rookie campaign that saw him play just 54 percent of defensive snaps overall.

Teammates recognize Phillips’ potential as well. Three-time Pro Bowl left tackle Terron Armstead said Phillips “has the chance to be special” in the NFL. And Phillips’ pass rush partner, Emmanuel Ogbah, noted Phillips “has the mentality” and he’s “excited to see his growth this year.”

For comparison’s sake, Jason Taylor managed five sacks as a rookie, then nine in his second season. Taylor set Miami’s single-season sack record (18.5) in 2002, his sixth season.

If Phillips follows a similar trajectory, he’ll be among the elite pass rushers in the game. Should he make a four-sack jump in Year 2, he’d finish with 12.5, a figure that would’ve tied for seventh-most last season.

Dolphins Breakout Candidate: Tua Tagovailoa

This one seems like the obvious one, so I’ve saved quarterback Tua Tagovailoa for last among the Dolphins breakout candidates. Behind an improved offensive line and with a ground attack designed by running game guru McDaniel, a run-after-the-catch design for this offense should be one Tagovailoa thrives in.

Over his 12 games last season, Tagovailoa registered 2,653 yards, 16 passing touchdowns, and 10 interceptions with a 67.8-percent completion percentage. He led the league in deep ball completion percentage (50.0 percent) and red zone completion percentage (64.9 percent). Tagovailoa posted the highest clean-pocket completion percentage among starting quarterbacks (76.3 percent). That’s noteworthy considering offensive line play should improve following the additions of Armstead and Connor Williams.

Tagovailoa ranked fourth in play-action completion percentage (69.0-percent), too. While he might not excel throwing into tight windows, his top-3 receivers for 2022 can all create space for their quarterback with their speed.

Following his hire as Dolphins head coach, McDaniel said of Tagovailoa: “I think it’s important that you empower the quarterback with the rest of the players around him and the scheme you bring forth. So, I think his best days are in front of him.”

Tagovailoa’s accuracy and decision-making should help him capitalize on the talent upgrades surrounding him in Miami this season.


These veterans will report to Miami’s facility on Tuesday, July 26th, set for training camp. The first practice open to the public will occur on July 30th. Follow 5 Reasons and Three Yards Per Carry host Alfredo Arteaga for updates during training camp to see who stands out among the Dolphins breakout candidates.


Dolphins players on roster bubble getting last chance Sunday

The end of training camp and preseason is always laden with mixed feelings. On the one hand, it’s the mark of real football fast approaching. Games will soon matter as teams fight for the coveted Vince Lombardi Trophy. But on the other hand, it also marks the end of the road for many players just trying to prove they’re worthy to make the team. The Miami Dolphins are no exception to this.

With the level of depth the Miami Dolphins are boasting this season, many deserving players are going to have their hopes dashed. It’s never fun to watch these players go, but the NFL is a business first and foremost. On Sunday, the players on the roster bubble are going to get their last chance to show the Miami Dolphins – or another team watching – just what they have to offer.

“There’s always excitement when you get to go out and play.” Quarterback Reid Sinnett said on Friday. “So these guys that aren’t sure through the first couple preseason games if they’re going to play; now they know they’re going to get an opportunity to go out and showcase what they’ve improved upon and that’s always a challenge as a quarterback to make sure that we’re focused on what we’re trying to do. There’s always excitement when you get to go out and play. You feel the excitement at practice even every day when guys are getting a chance to play the game they love.”

One player who always seems to be on the roster bubble is running back Patrick Laird. Head coach Brian Flores always says that it takes no talent. Laird is the embodiment of that philosophy. He doesn’t have elite speed, agility, strength or size. But he does have determination and drive that always stands out. That’s how he manages to make the roster each year. Thanks to that, he was lucky enough to be the one who caught QB Tua Tagovailoa’s first ever NFL pass. But that doesn’t matter in the long run. Laird is fighting for a spot on the roster, this year is tougher than ever.

“It’s just what I’ve been used to.” Laird said on Friday. “I was a walk-on in college, kind of a very similar situation as an undrafted guy. I knew since I tried out for the NFL that I was probably going to have to fight for a spot every year and that’s the way I like it. It’s challenging but it’s one of the best job interviews you can be a part of. It’s a long job interview process; but I like it, I enjoy it and I’m still loving football. I’m just going to focus on playing the best football I can and hopefully help the Dolphins win this year.”

Sunday’s preseason game against the Cincinnati Bengals is crucial for Laird and everyone else on the bubble. Head coach Brian Flores said on Tuesday that, in reality, there are only about two or three open spots available on the roster. That means the coaches have already chosen most of the team. For those open spots? Flores had very direct advice.

“Work hard. Keep improving.” He said. “Take advantage of your opportunities. I mentioned that to our team many times. In life, it’s about taking advantage of your opportunities. Whether it’s football or business or really anything that you’re working towards, if you get an opportunity, you want to take advantage of it. For those guys who are two, three spots that are available, they’ll have some opportunities to practice, they’ll have opportunities in the game. If they play well, then they give themselves the best opportunity to maker the team and if they don’t, then they don’t give themselves the best chance.”

One of those players under a lot of pressure to perform is defensive back Trill Williams, who is an undrafted free agent out of Syracuse. Williams originally signed with the New Orleans Saints. Unfortunately, that didn’t last long.


“That process was crazy because I get there and they put me on waivers and I was only there for three days at the time.” Williams said on Friday. “Then that Monday, I’m here. God works in mysterious ways and he put me where I’m supposed to be and I’m supposed to be here. I can only control what I can control. I’m just blessed to be here.”

Williams is a very intriguing prospect. He was solid all throughout college. Now with the Dolphins in training camp, he’s regularly made plays, including very recently intercepting a Jacoby Brissett pass that got all his teammates excited. So what does he think the coaches want to see from him?

“Honestly, I think they just want to see me go out there and play football how I’ve been doing and what they saw on film from me coming out of college.” Williams said. “Like I said, I can only play football and control what I can control. I’m going to go out there and give it everything I’ve got every time I go out there.”

Finally, there’s linebacker Shaquem Griffin. Everyone knows his story. He was born with amniotic band syndrome. His left hand didn’t develop properly and was amputated when he was four years old. But he refused to let that stop him. Griffin earned All-American honors at UCF, and was drafted in the 5th round of the 2018 NFL draft. He is the only player with one hand to ever be drafted.

Griffin is already a fan favorite at practice. He’s exciting to watch on the field and makes plays when given the chance. However, it hasn’t been perfect. He’s had his moments where he loses matchups as well. Naturally, this won’t be the first time Griffin faces adversity. He intends to rise to the challenge on Sunday and whatever happens after, he’ll cross that bridge when he gets to it.

“This has definitely been my best camp since I’ve been in the league.” Griffin said Friday to local media. “So as far as that, no matter what happens, no matter what’s the outcome of the situation or a roster (spot), I know I’ll be in a good position because I handled my business as far as making sure I learned the plays, making sure I’m a guy who has energy, making sure that I’m making plays, making sure that I’m running around. The only thing I can do is control the controllables and when the decision is made, I’ll be happy with any decision, there on the team or not.”

Brian Flores clearly has a difficult job ahead of him. There’s so much talent to choose from, it’s like splitting hairs. Normally, preseason is considered boring, especially at the end. This year is going to be very different. There’s simply too much competition to just turn a blind eye.

Luis Sung has covered the Miami Dolphins for numerous outlets such as Dolphins Wire for seven years. Follow him on Twitter: @LuisDSung

Everything Tradeshows is a one-stop-shop for trade show exhibit rentals and custom exhibit display purchase solutions to companies of all sizes.

Visit them at everythingtradeshows.com or call 954-791-8882


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Liam Eichenberg

Dolphins still debating best place for Liam Eichenberg

When the Miami Dolphins drafted Notre Dame offensive tackle Liam Eichenberg in the second round of the 2021 NFL draft, the instant assumption was that he would secure the right tackle position for himself.

Unfortunately, that isn’t the case so far.

Anyone who watches the way the Dolphins run things, they know that they love cross-training offensive linemen. Their desire for versatility on the offensive line is astounding. For years, fans and analysts have lamented Miami’s apparent refusal to allow players to develop in one specific spot. Laremy Tunsil moved inside to guard as a rookie. Fans feared the transition would impede Tunsil’s growth, all for the sake of Branden Albert staying at left tackle.

Thankfully, Tunsil’s development was not hindered. Not only that, he became good enough to warrant a massive trade to the Houston Texans for a king’s ransom of draft picks. Granted, he was packaged along with WR Kenny Stills, but Tunsil was the real highlight of that trade.

Now the Dolphins are doing the same with Liam Eichenberg. Since the opening of training camp, Eichenberg has played at both right tackle and left guard. Early reports indicated he was struggling in practice, but he’s been slowly improving throughout the process, which is promising.

“He did some good things.” Head coach Brian Flores said last Sunday. “There are some things he can improve on. He’s moved around, he played a few positions – last night he was at tackle. I thought he did well, but there are definitely a lot of scenarios where he can get better. They are watching the film right now. I know ‘Lem’ (Offensive Line Coach Lemuel Jeanpierre) is making the corrections with him. He’s a hard-working kid, so he’ll work hard to make the corrections and hopefully get another opportunity to improve this week during practice and we’ll see what next week looks like.”

Hardworking was one of the key factors for his draft status. At Notre Dame he had the chance to learn under the likes of Quenton Nelson and the very tail end of Ronnie Stanley’s college career. In college he earned the Jacobs Blocking Trophy as the top lineman in the conference. So it’s obvious Eichenberg is worth investing time into. The only question is where. If Eichenberg continues training at left guard, that unseats Solomon Kindley, who also is working on his technique. If he plays at right tackle, he competes with veteran Jesse Davis, who is the projected starter.

The ideal scenario, obviously, is Liam Eichenberg taking Davis’s spot at right tackle. Davis has greater worth as a versatile reserve than as a starter. More recent reports indicate the Dolphins are spending more time with Eichenberg at right tackle now. Does this mean the team has made their decision?

According to co-offensive coordinator George Godsey, the answer seems to be no.

“It’s the same thing with the amount of guys on a roster on game day.” Godsey said on Monday. “He’s going to have to play multiple and learn multiple spots and based on the dynamics in that room, whoever is active come the first week of the season, which we’ve got some time, there needs to be some flexibility to be able to play inside and outside. We know that that’s a hard role and as each week goes on – going against another opponent this past week playing another spot – it’s going to help him grow and we want that to be fast as possible.”


If the goal is to develop a player as fast as possible, the Dolphins should seriously consider deciding definitely where they want Liam Eichenberg to focus. On Thursday, Brian Flores announced that many of the team’s starters would sit, including Jesse Davis.

So naturally, the assumption is that the start will go to Liam Eichenberg. That’s where he should be playing. His college career defines him as a talented tackle, not as a guard. Naturally the Dolphins want the best five players on the line, but maybe it’s time to stop thinking so hard about it. Sometimes the answer is much simpler than anyone can imagine.

The most recent reports indicate Eichenberg is responding well to right tackle. That’s all the proof the Dolphins should need to make up their minds.

Luis Sung has covered the Miami Dolphins for numerous outlets such as Dolphins Wire for seven years. Follow him on Twitter: @LuisDSung

Everything Tradeshows is a one-stop-shop for trade show exhibit rentals and custom exhibit display purchase solutions to companies of all sizes.

Visit them at everythingtradeshows.com or call 954-791-8882


Thrive Fantasy takes away the hours of research required to make the most out of your fantasy sports experience. Thrive’s featured $100K guaranteed contest is only $20 to enter, and the first-place winner takes $20K.

Go to https://www.thrivefantasy.com/?promo=5Fins and use the promo code “5Fins” to match up to $100 on your first deposit when you sign up, and you can also take advantage of your Dolphins knowledge with their special Dolphins-based contest by using the promo code “dolphins” to get started.

Miami Dolphins

Preseason Week 2 – Miami Dolphins vs. Atlanta Falcons: 5 players to watch

After the first preseason game ended in a disappointing loss against the Chicago Bears, the Miami Dolphins will look to bounce back against their second training camp partner, the Atlanta Falcons. To be fair to Miami, the starting players looked impressive. QB Tua Tagovailoa looks vastly improved, even if the one interception in the endzone ruins his stats. As for the defense, even without Xavien Howard and Byron Jones, they stifled Andy Dalton and Justin Fields. The Bears didn’t get their first 1st down of the game until just a few seconds left before the end of the first half.

It wasn’t until the 3rd and 4th string players entered the game that things went awry. So when Justin Fields says the game was slow to him, remember who he was facing. He may live to regret that comment. The only true concern the entire game was the offensive line. They could not run block at all. The Miami Dolphins hope to change that against the Falcons. Alex Donno did his show, “Donno Daily,” and the five starting offensive linemen were the immediate choices for five players to watch during the live stream.

Now while that comment was made mostly as a joke, it is still valid. The offensive line needs to perform better than last week. So with that said, let’s take a look at the other top five players to watch during the second preseason game.

1. Tua Tagovailoa – QB

Let’s not beat around the bush this time. Obviously, everyone will want to see what Tagovailoa does in his second preseason outing. Will he continue to find holes in the defense? Can he navigate the pressure in the pocket? Will he make better decisions with the football in the red zone? Again, Tagovailoa looked masterful against the Bears. Except for that one bad decision that resulted in an interception in the end zone.

Some have said it’s a result of Tagovailoa’s lack of arm strength. True, he doesn’t have a cannon for an arm like Justin Herbert. His success is based on timing and reading the defense. Which, for those who paid attention to how Tagovailoa played at Alabama, has been his game from the very beginning. Watching the throw on replay, the main issue was when he decided to throw it, not how fast the ball got there. Even for a super strong arm, the throw was risky.

These are the kinds of things that happen with young quarterbacks, particularly ones that don’t have immense physical capabilities. Tagovailoa is learning how to dissect defenses and find the openings in them. His arm isn’t “weak,” it’s merely average. Sadly, average has become the new weak in the eyes of many. QBs like Tagovailoa take a little longer to develop. But history has shown that some of the QBs in NFL history were not known for their cannon arms.

They did, however, have an innate knack for knowing where to go with the ball and when. That is what to expect from Tua Tagovailoa. Watch to see if he displays more of that trait tonight.

2. Salvon Ahmed – RB

It’s no secret that the Miami Dolphins want to use a running back committee approach. There is no set “starter” per say, it’s all about the matchups. Basically, every time anyone asks head coach Brian Flores about the starter at running back, he gives a similar answer.

“We like all our backs.” He said on Thursday. “They’re all a little bit different. They all have the ability to play multiple downs. We are going to try to use them all. From Malcolm (Brown) to Myles (Gaskin) to Salvon (Ahmed). Patrick Laird has gone in there and done some good things. (Jordan) Scarlett has gone in there, he had a couple good runs last week. (Gerrid) Doaks has gone in there and had some good runs. We try to use them all.”

Nevertheless, it doesn’t stop specific players from standing out above the rest. Only one RB actually managed to shine against the Bears, and that was Salvon Ahmed.

Both Ahmed and Myles Gaskin hail from Washington. They were teammates there and between the two of them, Gaskin was the starter while Ahmed was the change of pace back. That dynamic seems to be repeating itself, as Gaskin tends to get the heavier carry load. However, if the pattern continues where Ahmed gets production with his superior speed, the Miami Dolphins may need to reanalyze that.

The Atlanta Falcons run defense isn’t exactly top-tier. Unless there’s a complete meltdown in blocking, Ahmed or one of the other backs should be able to gain some yards on the ground. Keep a close eye on Ahmed and see if he looks better than the others.


3. Austin Jackson – OT

At least one offensive lineman still had to make this list, in spite of the discussion with Alex Donno. Without doubt, Austin Jackson has taken a beating over this past week. Reporters, fans, coaches, they’ve all been pushing him in hopes that he’ll rebound after his terrible performance against the Bears in his first ever preseason game. True, they are being patient with him. On the other hand, the Miami Dolphins obviously want to see some improvement from him as time passes. This will be an opportunity to do so.

Jackson was a high ceiling prospect coming out of USC. That’s why the team felt compelled to draft him 18th overall. He has all the physical tools, it’s just a matter of putting them all together. That’s partly coaching, but it’s also on him to do his part. He’s working hard, trying to make the most of his reps. Even Tua Tagovailoa is doing his part to help Jackson get back on his feet.

The Atlanta Falcons pass rush isn’t known for being dangerous. In fact, most Falcons fans have lamented their complete inability to get to the quarterback and create any sort of pressure. That changed during the joint practices with the Dolphins. According to numerous reports, Tagovailoa was harassed in the pocket all week long, which isn’t a good sign for Miami. The struggle is so real that the Dolphins even decided to give up a 7th round draft pick to take a flyer on former Panthers OT Greg Little.

Austin Jackson is the man to watch simply because his struggle was the most obvious last week. Any sort of improvement this week will be welcome.

4. Jaelen Phillips – LB

The Miami Dolphins kept Jaelen Phillips out of the first preseason game in spite of the fact he participated in practice against the Bears. The plan, according to Brian Flores, was to bring him along slowly. Now Phillips has gotten in a full week with no setbacks. It’s more likely that this time, the former Miami Hurricanes star will get a chance to see real game action for the first time in his career.

But that isn’t guaranteed.

Phillips has the potential to become the modern-age Jason Taylor if he reaches his full potential. In many ways, he’s what Dion Jordan could have been if he hadn’t essentially thrown his career way with off-the-field issues. The only thing stopping Phillips from getting there is his own health. His ceiling is staggering, but he won’t reach it if he doesn’t play. The first thing to watch against the Falcons is if Flores allows him to play.

If the answer to that is yes, then watch to see how Phillips does rushing the passer, dropping back into coverage, and being an overall menace to the Falcons offense. If he happens to start, then that will say even more about what the Miami Dolphins think of him.

5. Jakeem Grant – WR

Depending on who you ask, Grant is either a lock to make the Miami Dolphins roster, or his days are numbered and it’s only a matter of time before he’s cut. The split opinion of the Texas Tech standout is truly remarkable. He is undeniably a dynamic playmaker once the ball is in his hands. But that in and of itself is the problem. It’s not always a guarantee that the ball will get into his hands.

As a kick and punt returner, it’s hard to find better options on the roster than Jakeem Grant. The only one who even comes close is rookie Jaylen Waddle, and he’s expected to contribute much more as a wide receiver. It might not be in Miami’s best interest to put Waddle out there to be targeted. As a wide receiver, Grant has a checkered past marred by multiple drops. These drops have caused the fan base to largely turn on Grant, but apparently the coaching staff still sees value in him.

It’s still not a guarantee that Grant will make the roster. He has to show he’s reliable as a receiver as well as a return man. Thankfully, he and Tua Tagovailoa seem to have a strong rapport building in training camp. He’s been the target of a number of Tagovailoa’s practice touchdowns, which shows they can make it work even against Miami’s starting defense, as well as Chicago and Atlanta’s.

Love him or hate him, Jakeem Grant brings electricity to the roster. As it’s unlikely most of the projected starters at wide receiver will play against the Falcons, Grant will have ample opportunity to showcase his skills. He needs to make the most of it to keep the leg up he has on some of the other fringe players.

Luis Sung has covered the Miami Dolphins for numerous outlets such as Dolphins Wire for seven years. Follow him on Twitter: @LuisDSung

Everything Tradeshows is a one-stop-shop for trade show exhibit rentals and custom exhibit display purchase solutions to companies of all sizes.

Visit them at everythingtradeshows.com or call 954-791-8882


Thrive Fantasy takes away the hours of research required to make the most out of your fantasy sports experience. Thrive’s featured $100K guaranteed contest is only $20 to enter, and the first-place winner takes $20K.

Go to https://www.thrivefantasy.com/?promo=5Fins and use the promo code “5Fins” to match up to $100 on your first deposit when you sign up, and you can also take advantage of your Dolphins knowledge with their special Dolphins-based contest by using the promo code “dolphins” to get started.

Miami Dolphins

Miami Dolphins reactivate LB Sam Eguavoen, waive CB Terrell Bonds

The roster churn continues for the Miami Dolphins. Just a few days earlier, linebacker Sam Eguavoen was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list. Now, as Eguavoen returns to the active roster, the Dolphins have also decided to part ways with cornerback Terrell Bonds prior to their second preseason game against the Atlanta Falcons.

The 28-year old Eguavoen was a standout player in the CFL. In three seasons with the Saskatchewan Roughriders, Eguavoen played in 38 games, made 159 defensive tackles, 14 special teams tackles, four sacks, two forced fumbles and one interception. Shortly after that, Eguavoen was released to pursue NFL opportunities. In 2019, he was signed by Miami, and was even a starter that season.

Today, Eguavoen is a proven special teams player and a solid reserve linebacker. Considering his contract has him making less than $1 million dollars, it’s an excellent deal for the Miami Dolphins. Next season, Eguavoen is set to be a restricted free agent.

As for Bonds, the 25-year old cornerback out of Tennessee State has had some tough luck in his young career. Bonds started in the American Alliance of Football (AAF) and played for the Memphis Express for only eight weeks before the league collapsed. Shortly after that, Bonds signed with the Baltimore Ravens in 2019, but didn’t make the final roster. Over the next two seasons, he came on and off the practice squad, playing in only four games with one start, making a total of six tackles.

Bonds made a few plays in training camp and preseason. But just like with Jaytlin Askew, that wasn’t enough to stick with the Miami Dolphins. The secondary is so stuffed with at least borderline starter potential, there isn’t much room for extra DBs.

If Bonds is still available when it’s time to build the practice squad, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Bonds on that list. After all, Brian Flores loves cornerbacks.

Luis Sung has covered the Miami Dolphins for numerous outlets such as Dolphins Wire for seven years. Follow him on Twitter: @LuisDSung

Everything Tradeshows is a one-stop-shop for trade show exhibit rentals and custom exhibit display purchase solutions to companies of all sizes.

Visit them at everythingtradeshows.com or call 954-791-8882


Thrive Fantasy takes away the hours of research required to make the most out of your fantasy sports experience. Thrive’s featured $100K guaranteed contest is only $20 to enter, and the first-place winner takes $20K.

Go to https://www.thrivefantasy.com/?promo=5Fins and use the promo code “dolphins” to match up to $100 on your first deposit when you sign up, and take advantage of your Dolphins knowledge with their special Dolphins-based contest to get started.

Tua Tagovailoa

Tua Tagovailoa doing his part to help develop Dolphins OL

An offensive line needs to work together as a team in order to properly protect their quarterback. Coming from Alabama, no one knows that better than Dolphins QB Tua Tagovailoa. Alabama offensives lines are notorious for being some of the best in college football on a regular basis. In college, Tagovailoa was well protected and could properly showcase his ability. Unfortunately, things are different in Miami.

It’s no secret that the Dolphins have struggled to build a solid offensive line over the past decade or so. Sometimes the front office doesn’t invest enough resources. Other times the players acquired simply don’t live up to lofty expectations. Regardless of the why, Miami’s offensive line has not seen stability in a long time. Even now, 1st round pick Austin Jackson is fighting to prove he was worth picking 18th overall in the 2020 draft.

For now, the Miami Dolphins are being patient with Jackson. He is extremely young and his ceiling is high, but he is also in need of coaching to reach that ceiling. Jackson’s performance against the Chicago Bears in the preseason can only be described as abysmal. While reports indicate he’s doing marginally better against the Atlanta Falcons in joint practices, there was also a report that Tua Tagovailoa pulled Jackson aside and had to have a talk with him about something.

Later that same day, Tagovailoa spoke to the media and was asked about the nature of this discussion. His answer was straightforward, but revealed something that should not be overlooked.

“It’s just communicating.” Tagovailoa said. “Just, ‘hey, how are you feeling in the back there.’ For me, just kind of talking to those guys about what I’m feeling and what I’m seeing as far as pressure and just communicating that to them. They don’t see everything. All they see is the guy they’re blocking.”

That right there says a lot about Tua Tagovailoa. He’s not only taking command of his own level of play, he’s doing his part to elevate the others around him. It is important for leaders to lead by example, which he’s doing. But there’s also the verbal aspect of it, which Tagovailoa was limited with during his rookie season. When Ryan Fitzpatrick was with the Dolphins, Tagovailoa took a step back. Now this is his football team, and he’s treating it as such.

“He’s doing a great job, he’s doing a great job leadership-wise.” Austin Jackson said on Thursday. “He’s going into his second year. Him also like myself, having a whole year under your belt and then getting an offseason to prepare, you can anticipate more things. That’s really what football comes down to. We all can line up and play but you have to anticipate stuff. I think he’s definitely gotten a lot better with that … He’s our quarterback … being a quarterback is a lot of responsibility at the end of the day. He can’t run our routes, he can’t call all of our protections, so I think that’s kind of where the 11 people working as one thing comes together. He’s definitely a leader of the offense.”


For Jackson to still speak so highly of Tua Tagovailoa just one day after being pulled to the side by him, that speaks volumes about the level of respect Tagovailoa has built inside that locker room. Fans can fondly look back on the memories created by Ryan Fitzpatrick’s two-year tenure with the Miami Dolphins, but this is Tagovailoa’s team now. The only real weak spot left is the offensive line, and Tagovailoa is not letting the chips fall where they may.

The young QB out of Alabama is taking a very active role in developing the offense, even on the offensive line. Already, they’re showing signs of improvement as practices continue. Give credit to what he’s doing. Not every QB has the charisma or the courage to do what Tua Tagovailoa is doing.

Luis Sung has covered the Miami Dolphins for numerous outlets such as Dolphins Wire for seven years. Follow him on Twitter: @LuisDSung

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Jaelen Phillips

Dolphins bringing LB Jaelen Phillips back gradually

When the Miami Dolphins drafted Jaelen Phillips with the 18th overall pick of the 2021 NFL draft, it was with the understanding they were taking a chance with his health. Phillips has suffered wrist injuries, ankle injuries, and numerous concussions in his college career. Now, Phillips is dealing with another injury, one that’s either kept him limited in practice, or not practicing at all. Needless to say, it’s been a slow start for the Miami Hurricane standout.

Before the start of Miami’s first preseason game, Jaelen Phillips was among the players sitting out. This is in spite of the fact that Phillips practiced against the Bears during their joint sessions. Lately the Dolphins have been tight-lipped regarding player injuries. If they can help it, they won’t disclose the details. But one thing head coach Brian Flores was willing to admit was that their plan is to bring Jaelen Phillips along slowly.

“Again, when we are trying to work guys back, we just want to take our time and not have any setbacks.” Flores said on Tuesday. “We plan on working him in against Atlanta whether it is both days, the first day. We will talk through that. Again, he’s doing everything he can possibly do to get out there. As a young guy, he needs reps but at the same time, we want to be smart with our plan to bring him back. We are working him back in.”

The brief time he practiced against Chicago, reports circulated that he was playing with the starting unit as a buck linebacker. This means he was responsible for rushing the passer as well as dropping into pass coverage when needed.

One of the biggest things Jaelen Phillips has going for him is his versatility. Just nine days earlier, Dolphins defensive coordinator Josh Boyer talked about how Phillips’s flexibility opens up endless possibilities for the defense to play with.

“I think there are a number of things I think he can do for us.” Boyer said on August 9. “Obviously we’d like to get him out there and see as many things as we can. I think it’s not just unique to him, it’s all players; and we try to make them as multiple as possible. I think the more that guys can do from a position flexibility standpoint, it makes you a little bit more multiple as a defense and it gives them more value as a player. If he can do a couple things that are end-type responsibility and do a couple things that are backer-type responsibility – the other thing is it allows us to be multiple. You don’t necessarily know where guys are gong to line up play after play after play.”

Phillips’s fellow linebacker Andrew Van Ginkel was also asked about the rookie out of Miami, and he had plenty of praise to offer as well.


“He’s very quick and fast. His first step is explosive.” Van Ginkel said on Tuesday. “He’s also strong at the top, so he’s got many different moves he can work with. I love how he comes in and works every day. His will to get better and all of that is there on a day-to-day basis. You love to see that.”

In the grand scheme of things, the NFL is a marathon, not a sprint. It makes sense for the Dolphins to use caution with Jaelen Phillips. Especially if they intend to have him available during the regular season.

As Miami plays host to Atlanta, it will be worth keeping a close eye on Phillips. He definitely has some catching up to do on the field. With any luck, he’ll get up to speed faster to make up for the extra recovery time.

Luis Sung has covered the Miami Dolphins for numerous outlets such as Dolphins Wire for seven years. Follow him on Twitter: @LuisDSung

Everything Tradeshows is a one-stop-shop for trade show exhibit rentals and custom exhibit display purchase solutions to companies of all sizes.

Visit them at everythingtradeshows.com or call 954-791-8882


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Tua impresses as second week of Dolphins training camp begins

Rookie QB Tua Tagovailoa impresses with three touchdown passes to start the second week of Miami Dolphins training camp. As you would expect, the first week of NFL training camp has been a bit of a roller coaster ride, especially for the younger players. And although every player is sure to have it’s up and down moments, none gets more attention than those playing the most critical position on the roster–the quarterbacks.

After the first week of practice, we heard various reports on the 2020 5th-overall pick.


Towards the end of last week, a majority of the fanbase took an all-too-familiar stance. The Sky Is Falling.

Sure, it was only the 4th-padded practice.

And who cares about the horrific injury Tua suffered eight months ago.

Fans wanted results. They wanted to hear the same rave reviews that Joe Burrow was getting in Cincinnati.

Hell, some went as far as to question whether or not Tua was a unique talent.

With a weekend to regroup and a Sunday walk-through to help give the younger guys a sense of what’s to come in the next few weeks, Dolphins fans got exactly what they had hoped.

According to every beat writer in attendance for today’s practice, rookie QB had the best practice of his young NFL career.


Tua starting to turn heads

One play that has received the most attention from Monday’s practice is a 69-yard (nice) touchdown pass from Tua Tagovailoa to Malcolm Perry. Here’s a look at the play, which shows off Tagovailoa’s accuracy and showcases Perry’s abilities as a pass-catcher. Perfect throw and catch. https://twitter.com/MiamiDolphins/status/1297975843789168642?s=20

All other reports suggest that Mack Hollins was the recipient of not one, but TUA Tagovailoa touchdown passes. Which may spell the beginning of the end of the ridiculous ‘tUa Is oNlY goOd bEcAuSe oF hIs FiRSt RoUnD aLaBAmA wIdE ReCiEvErs” narrative.

Nevertheless, today is precisely what you want to hear about the rookie QB. The same QB that many of us have already concluded as the savior. But for Ryan Fitzpatrick–one of Tua’s most knowledgeable advisors, sometimes it’s just about getting better day in and day out. Here’s what Miami’s veteran signal-caller had to say about the promising young rookie.

“Yeah, he’s doing a great job and I know it’s your guys’ job to look at and evaluate every single day and every throw; but it’s something for us as quarterbacks and for me, I just like to see progress and sometimes it’s not necessarily a completion, but it’s the thought process and making sure the ball is going to the right spot at the right time. Sometimes there’s not going to be – some things are not going to look pretty, but it’s the right decision and that’s, for me, a step in the right direction.


I know it’s easier said than done, but fans need to be extra patient with Tagovailoa. He is eight months removed from a devastating injury, and he’s going to take time to get acclimated to the NFL game. 2020 will be a season, unlike anything we’ve ever witnessed. So, let Ryan Fitzpatrick start week 1 vs New England.

Because soon enough, Tua Tagovailoa will be the Miami Dolphins starting QB. And there won’t be any turning back from there.

Sam Eguavoen story header

Dolphins LB Sam Eguavoen making most of rare opportunity

When players from other leagues make the jump to the NFL, there’s a shock that goes through their systems. The NFL is faster, tougher, more difficult than where they came from, and even the most talented players sometimes fail to make the cut. In the case of former CFL linebacker Sam Eguavoen, that jump isn’t holding him back so far. For the second straight day, Eguavoen lined up with the starters on defense, even over former second-round pick Raekwon McMillan.

“We’re just rotating guys around,” Eguavoen said after practice. “I’m just blessed for the opportunity to be in the NFL. You know I come from the CFL, it’s a different ballgame and I still got a lot to learn. We’ve all got a lot to learn, especially with the new defensive scheme.”


Being from the CFL, Eguavoen is used to a much larger field to play on. It also means that offenses have more chances to get a first down, so stamina is tested. There’s been a lot of adapting he’s had to in a very short amount of time. Eguavoen had other offers to play elsewhere, but he ultimately chose Miami because of the opportunity that presented itself.

“They’re a team I felt like they’re in the rebuilding process,” He said. “It’s just a new opportunity, everybody’s starting from ground zero. Just to build a bond with the guys out here.”

True, Eguavoen has a good shot to make the Dolphins roster since the team is trying to regain their footing after a purge. But with new regimes comes new schemes, and it’s a complicated one that head coach Brian Flores is looking to install. On top of getting used to the NFL’s structure, he’s having to figure out how to handle the responsibilities being thrown at him.

“We’re running multiple styles of defense,” He said. “So it’s probably just playing on the edge more. You gotta learn to really use your hands, and it’s first contact being on that line of scrimmage. It’s quick contact, and I’m used to being off the ball. So mixing it up, being off the ball and on the ball, that’s probably the biggest shock I had.”

Clearly, he’s gotten over the shock fairly well. Being inserted into the starting lineup is no small feat. But with his background, Eguavoen is remaining humble, and his main goal is to just stick where he is, having worked his way from the bottom to the top.

“It’s not just signing with the Dolphins, it’s just the opportunity to be in the NFL.” Eguavoen said. “But I’m glad that I came here. I’m glad that they paid me up, it was Miami. My thought was to not be distracted out here, just focus in and try to be the best linebacker … it was hard, mentally. Not gonna lie. It was hard playing in a so-called ‘lower league.’ It’s kinda like ‘dang, I miss a tackle out there, I’m never gonna make it to the NFL.’ It’s truly hard on you mentally, but I just stuck with it, stayed to the grind … I did what my coaches said out there, I focused on what I had to, and God blessed me with this opportunity.”

Allen Hurns signing story

Dolphins sign WR Allen Hurns to one-year, $3 million dollar deal

Per ESPN’s Adam Schefter, after a successful tryout, the Miami Dolphins are signing veteran wide receiver Allen Hurns to a one-year, $3 million dollar contract.

This comes only days after the Dallas Cowboys released Hurns after he refused to take a pay cut and chose to test the free agent market.

“I’m good,” Hurns said during an interview with NFL Network. “Just wished they did this earlier, they asked me for a pay cut Monday, couple days before camp.”

Hurns, 27, spent the offseason recovering from a serious ankle injury he suffered in the Wild Card round of the playoffs last season against the Seattle Seahawks. Hurns is ready to play, and he’s a productive wide receiver when healthy.

“No limitations,” Hurns said. “I was set to be full go for camp, so I’m ready.”

Now, Hurns will be dressing in aqua and orange instead of Cowboy colors. He joins a crowded WR room that includes Kenny Stills, Albert Wilson, Jakeem Grant, DeVante Parker, Brice Butler, Isaiah Ford, and more.

“We saw a player who we thought was a good player,” said head coach Brian Flores during a press conference. “Could add some value to our roster, and that’s kinda how we’ll do business moving forward. If there’s a good player out there we feel like adds value to our team, we’ll try to add that player … that was the case here.”

Listed at 6’3″, 201 pounds, Hurns can line up outside and on the slot, adding more versatility. Hurns originally signed with the Jaguars as an undrafted free agent in 2014. He has a career total 209 receptions for 2,964 yards and 23 touchdowns. 2015 was his best year, where he eclipsed 1,000 yards receiving, catching passes from Blake Bortles.

While Allen Hurns doesn’t necessarily bring something new to the table, he’s another solid option to compete in camp. The offense Miami has in mind thrives on players being versatile. More players who can do it all gives offensive coordinator Chad O’Shea more wiggle room. As training camp continues, Hurns will get a chance to prove he can be a top performer. His first practice starts immediately.