The NFL’s legal tampering period is now open, so the craziness of the league’s offseason is about to start. Between Tuesday at 12pm ET and Thursday at 4pm ET, teams and agents of soon-to-be-free-agents are able to discuss the structure of a contract, though no formal announcement of a deal can be made nor can a contract be signed. At 4pm ET Thursday, the league year rolls over to 2017 and free agency (and trades) can begin.
Rumors and smokescreens will be constant over the next few days and weeks. Some things will be outright lies as agents look to drive up interest in a player and teams look to downplay their interest. We will (try to) keep up with everything here on the site, with short updates and links to longer stories all in this article so you have a one-stop shop to get your updates.
The Miami Dolphins have 20 free agents of their own scheduled to hit the market (assuming no extensions are completed in the next couple of days):
- Kiko Alonso, linebacker (RFA) - First-round tender
Andre Branch , defensive end- Re-signed
Jermon Bushrod , offensive lineman- Re-signed
- Donald Butler, linebacker
Jordan Cameron , tight end- Retired
John Denney , long snapper- Re-signed
Thomas Duarte , tight end (ERFA)- Tendered
Mike Hull , linebacker (ERFA)- Tendered
- Jelani Jenkins, linebacker
- Dominique Jones, tight end (RFA)
- Spencer Paysinger, linebacker
Lafayette Pitts , cornerback (ERFA)- Tendered
- Bacarri Rambo, safety
Dion Sims , tight end- Signs with Bears
Anthony Steen , center (ERFA)- Tendered
Kenny Stills , wide receiver- Re-signed
- Michael Thomas, safety (RFA) - Low-tender
- Damien Williams, running back (RFA) - Low-tender
Nick Williams , defensive tackle (RFA)- Contract Restructure
- T.J. Yates, quarterback
- Isa Abdul-Quddus, safety (3/9) - Expected to retire due to injury
- Mario Williams, defensive end (2/16)
Earl Mitchell, defensive tackle (2/16)- Signed with 49ers
- Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, cornerback (2/16)
- Jason Jones, defensive end (1/6)
As rumors/reports become available, you will find the updates below.
Dolphins among favorites for Jay Cutler - Apparently the Dolphins are listed among the betting favorites to land Jay Cutler this offseason. You read that correctly - and for some reason I actually had to type that sentence.
4:35pm ET - It is so quiet on the free agency front. Last year, the NFL was strict on the “tampering” issue during the legal tampering period (whatever that means). Maybe this year is just going to be a quiet year. Or, maybe tomorrow will be more exciting. Overall, I do not think the Dolphins are going to be involved in the big name chases this year. Re-signing some of their own players should still happen, however.
9:04am - Andre Branch market could be $7-9 million - This seems like a big jump in pay, but it is not a value Miami cannot handle under the cap, and would place him among starting defensive ends.
9:38am - Dolphins announced four ERFA tenders - Miami has taken tight end Thomas Duarte, linebacker Mike Hull, cornerback Lafayette Pitts, and offensive lineman Anthony Steen off the free agent market.
2:22pm - Two non-Dolphins updates - The Cowboys will be releasing quarterback Tony Romo and Tyrod Taylor has agreed to a restructured contract with the Bills.
2:58pm - Dolphins re-sign Andre Branch - Miami has locked up the defensive end to a “long-term” deal.
3:14pm - Dolphins working long-term deal with Kiko Alonso - Miami is looking to lock up Alonso rather than using a restricted free agent tender on him.
4:53pm - Dolphins working to re-sign Stills, but work to be done:
Pump brakes on Stills. A deal isn't done, and any report that says it's imminent is "materially incorrect," according to a source familiar.— Adam Beasley (@AdamHBeasley) March 8, 2017
6:34pm - Dolphins scheduling free agent visit with Lawrence Timmons - Miami could address one linebacker need with the Pittsburgh Steelers veteran.
7:08pm - Dolphins targeting safeties in free agency - The Dolphins have to plan for Isa Abdul-Quddus to potentially miss significant playing time in 2017. Reports indicate J.J. Wilcox and Duron Harmon are on the radar.
8:11pm - Dolphins have re-signed Kenny Stills - The Dolphins have take the wide receiver off the free agent market. No word yet on the contract, but Miami keeping together their top three wide receiver for another year in Adam Gase’s offense is a great move.
8:23pm - Stills contract - 4-years, $32 million. $20 million guaranteed.
The NFL league year changes over at 4pm ET today, which marks the official start of free agency. This should also mark the official trades of Julius Thomas from the Jacksonville Jaguars to the Dolphins and Branden Albert from the Dolphins to the Jaguars.
09:55 - Dolphins looking for guards in free agency -
The Dolphins do expect to sign two potential starting guards in free agency. I'm told there is a plan.— Armando Salguero (@ArmandoSalguero) March 9, 2017
10:30 - Michael Thomas tendered - The Dolphins have placed the low-tender on restricted free agent Michael Thomas.
11:56 - Dolphins tender Kiko Alonso - The team had hoped to avoid using the tender on Alonso, trying to work out a long-term contract. That did not happen, however, as the team placed a first-round tender on the linebacker to protect themselves from potentially losing him in free agency when it opens in a few hours.
12:56pm - Dolphins announce tender on Damien Williams, Contract restructure for Nick Williams - The team used the low-tender on running back Damien Williams while restructuring the contract of defensive tackle Nick Williams.
1:14pm - Dolphins interested in Dont’a Hightower - Reports have indicated the Dolphins are in the chase for the Patriots linebacker, but there are other reports that Miami has no chance for him. Whatever the case, he is going to be expensive for someone.
4:13pm - Dolphins expected to waive Isa Abdul-Quddus - One safety gets an extension from the Dolphins and another, unfortunately, will be waived. Due to his injury, the Dolphins will be waiving Isa Abdul-Quddus.
4:27pm - Dolphins trades with Jacksonville Jaguars are complete - Both trades, one for Julius Thomas in exchange for a 2017 seventh-round pick and the other for a 2018 seventh-round pick in exchange for Branden Albert, have been completed.
4:30pm - Dolphins schedule visit with Jabaal Sheard - Free agent defensive end Jabaal Sheard from the New England Patriots will be visiting with the Dolphins. No exact date has been confirmed.
5:47pm - Dolphins set Timmons visit for Friday:
Lawrence Timmons visiting the Dolphins on Friday, per source.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 9, 2017
6:19pm - Dolphins meeting with Sheard Thursday - The free agent defensive end drove from his Fort Lauderdale home to meet with Miami Thursday night.
7:11pm - Dolphins expected to sign Ted Larsen - The Dolphins are expected to add former Chicago Bears guard Ted Larsen.
8:40pm - Dolphins hoping for visit with Zach Brown - The Miami Dolphins are looking to visit with former Buffalo Bills Pro Bowl linebacker Zach Brown.
10:06pm - Dolphins announce the Sheard visit - Miami announces free agent visits once they are complete. No word on a signing indicates Sheard left without a contract. No reports on whether or not an offer has been made.
7:39am - Dolphins trade for Rams defensive end - Miami added William Hayes overnight along with a swap of late-round picks.
9:15am - Dolphins will be meeting with Nate Allen Friday - The Dolphins need to find a replacement for Isa Abdul-Quddus. Allen could provide the veteran free safety to pair with strong safety Reshad Jones.
9:20am - Jabaal Sheard meeting with Colts - The Dolphins met with the New England Patriots defensive end on Thursday, but he left without a contract. Now, he is heading to the Colts for a visit.
9:29am - Lawrence Timmons posts that he has landed in Miami:
9:05pm - Catching up on a few signings:
- Lawrence Timmons signs a two-year contract with Miami - Miami now has two starting linebackers, pairing Timmons (likely middle linebacker) with Kiko Alonso (who will move outside).
- Ted Larsen has signed with the Dolphins - Miami picks up a guard, who will at least be able to compete for a starting spot if not win it.
- Jordan Cameron has announced his retirement due to concussions - Sad because he had such great talent, but the injuries just could not be avoided. He is making the right choice, health-wise though.
- Nate Allen signs with Miami - It appears Miami has found their replacement for Isa Abdul-Quddus at free safety.
- Dion Sims officially signs with the Bears
8:14am - Miami is interested in Dontari Poe - Miami would like to meet with the free agent defensive tackle, but a visit with the Colts will happen first and could be the only visit Poe makes.
1:19pm - Dolphins restructure William Hayes contract - Miami has voided the last year of Hayes’ contract, while giving him a signing bonus and more guaranteed money this year, but lowing his salary cap number.
8:46am - Poe visit has begun:
The Dontari Poe visit with the Dolphins has begun.— Adam Beasley (@AdamHBeasley) March 15, 2017
5:41pm - Dolphins sign Jermon Bushrod - Miami returns their starting right guard from last year, likely re-installing him back into the starting lineup for this year.
12:20pm - Dolphins to visit with Zach Brown - The Dolphins will be hosting a free agent visit with linebacker Zach Brown today.
11:00am - Dolphins still meeting with Brown - The free agent visit started on Monday night and continues into Tuesday. It was also announced that Brown changed his agent on Monday.