Organized Team Activities will start Tuesday, May 23, 2017 for the Miami Dolphins. The Dolphins are about to begin the first team practices of the year. OTA’s are starting,Yay!
This is when the coaches install the playbook, get to see everyone start working together again, and get to work with players on an individual and positional level they won’t get much of in the regular season. There are some drawbacks to the OTA’s and this time of the off-season. Namely, rules. Some of these are the teams rules, and some are rules from the Collective Bargaining Agreement, or CBA.
Teams get to select when the media gets to attend practice. Teams generally try to show very little while the media is present. Unfortunately, that media availability will be our very limited glimpse of what is happening with the team. OTA’s are not open to the public at any point. Flawed data only for the next few weeks, unfortunately.
I am sure every beat reporter will do a recap of what they saw, as well as live tweet about it, and I know The Phinsider will do a good job of informing you what news is coming out. Kdog’s daily, Splash Zone, is a great way to stay up to date on all the articles published about the Dolphins. Regardless of our varying opinions on the Dolphins press corps, they will be the primary source of information available.
According to the CBA there will be no contact drills, no full pads, and total time can not exceed four hours per day. Technically, OTA’s are also “voluntary”, but strongly suggested activities. For a good look at exactly what can and can’t happen during OTA’s here is an article Kevin wrote last year about the subject. I would imagine most of the roster will be in attendance, including first round pick Charles Harris whom has signed a waiver to practice without his contract in place.
The one player I do not think will be at practice is Damien Williams, there has been no announcement of him signing his tender and he has been holding out of all activities thus far. It will be interesting to see if he starts reporting for mandatory minicamp in mid June or if this turns into a full blown hold-out.
The Dolphins are sitting with 88 men on a 90 man roster...that seems odd. Now, there is no rule saying Miami has to have 90 guys, but it seems silly not to at least turn over every rock. And these numbers do include Damien Williams and Charles Harris, so it isn’t like the Dolphins are trying to hold those spots open.
Is there a potential Dolphin swimming around in free agency? Are the Dolphins considering a trade for someone? A new strategy in waiting for early cuts from other teams? More CFL players? Are they simply happy with the roster as it currently sits? (The last of which seems least likely to me.)
I am sure there will be plenty of articles coming down the pipe on which position groups to watch and which starter battles are heating up. I just wanted to take some time to point out some of the nuances of what is going to be happening over the next few weeks in Davie, and raise some questions that might otherwise go unnoticed.
What are some of the things you, Phinsider Nation, are looking forward to coming out of OTA’s over the next few weeks?