The Super Bowl is only a few hours away. Will the Philadelphia Eagles win their first Lombardi Trophy, or will the New England Patriots continue their dominance of the league and win their sixth trophy? Hopefully it is the former, but we will find out later tonight.
Players and coaches in the NFL move around alot, between trades, free agency, firings, and promotions, there always seem to be ties between teams. Tonight’s game is no exception with both Eagles and Patriots players and coaches tied to the Miami Dolphins. The obvious one is Eagles running back Jay Ajayi, who started the 2017 season with the Dolphins, but it it more than just him. Here are all the former Dolphins players/coaches who have a shot at a ring tonight:
Jay Ajayi, running back - Selected in the fifth round of the 2015 NFL Draft, Ajayi only appeared in nine games as a rookie after sustaining broken ribs at the end of the preseason. In 2016, after being benched for the first game, Ajayi earned his first career Pro Bowl trip with a 1,272 yards, eight touchdown season including three 200-yard rushing games. He started the 2017 season as Miami’s “feature back” but fell out of favor with the coaching staff and was traded mid-season to the Eagles. He recorded 447 career carries with the Dolphins, picking up 1,924 yards with nine touchdowns.
Dannell Ellerbe, linebacker - Signed as an undrafted free agent out of Georgia by the Baltimore Ravens in 2009, Ellerbe played for the Ravens through 2012. He signed as a free agent with the Dolphins in 2013, agreeing to a five-year, $35-million contract. He spent two years with the Dolphins, playing in 16 total games, with two interceptions, five passes defensed, two fumble recoveries, one sack, and 103 tackles. He was traded to the New Orleans Saints in 2013 as part of the move that brought wide receiver Kenny Stills to Miami.
Caleb Sturgis, kicker (IR) - Selected in the fifth round of the 2013 NFL Draft, Sturgis joined the Dolphins from the University of Florida and replaced Dan Carpenter as the team’s kicker. He spent two seasons with the Dolphins, playing in all 32 games for the 2013 and 2014 seasons. He was 55-for-71 on field goals with the Dolphins, and 74-for-74 on extra points. He was released by the Dolphins in 2015, signing with the Eagles later that year as a replacement for the injured Cody Parkey (who, after going to the Cleveland Browns, is now the Dolphins kicker).
Doug Pederson, head coach - Signed as an undrafted free agent by the Dolphins in 1991, Pederson was waived by the Dolphins and joined the New York/New Jersey Knights of the World League of American Football in 1992. He came back to the Dolphins in 1992, spending part of the season on the practice squad before being released. He again joined the Dolphins in 1993, starting the year on the practice squad before moving up to the active roster to backup Scott Mitchell following Dan Marino’s torn Achilles tendon. Injury to Mitchell led to Pederson seeing some playing time that season, but he was eventually released when the team signed Steve DeBerg and Mitchell returned to playing. Pederson again signed with the Dolphins in 1994, serving as the third string quarterback behind Marino and Bernie Kosar. After being selected by the Carolina Panthers in the expansion draft and s tint with the Rhein Fire in the WLAF, Pederson signed with the Dolphins in 1995, but was wavied at the end of camp. He re-signed with the team for two games as the emergency quarterback following a knee injury to Marino, but was then waived later in the season. He appeared in seven games for the Dolphins, throwing eight passes with four completions, tallying 41 yards. He went on to play for the Green Bay Packers, Eagles, and Cleveland Browns in his career.
Dave Fipp, special teams coordinator - Dolphins assistant special teams coach in 2011 and 2012.
Mike Gillislee, running back - A fifth-round pick by the Dolphins in 2013 coming out of Florida (along with Sturgis), Gillislee spent two seasons with the Dolphins primarily as a backup running back and a special teams player as a rookie, then spending the 2014 season on injured reserve. He appeared in three games with Miami, recording six carries for 21 yards. He was released at the end of the 2015 preseason, briefly joining the Arizona Cardinals practice squad before a two year sting with the Buffalo Bills prior to joining the Patriots this year.
Chris Hogan, wide receiver - Hogan was signed by the San Francisco 49ers as an undrafted free agent in 2011 but was released at the end of the preseason, then spent two weeks with the New York Giants on their practice squad. Hogan joined the Dolphins in December 2011 as a member of the practice squad. In 2012, he starred during training camp and on HBO’s Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Miami Dolphins, earning the nickname “7-Eleven” because, as running back Reggie Bush explained, “he is always open.” He started the 2012 regular season on Miami’s practice squad, but was released after only a couple of weeks. He then joined the Buffalo Bills practice squad late in the 2012 season, eventually working his way up to the 53-man roster, and playing with Buffalo through 2015. He signed as a restricted free agent with the Patriots in 2016.
Trevor Reilly, linebacker (practice squad) - Reilly started his career as a seventh-round draft-pick of the New York Jets in 2014. He played with the team through 2015, but was placed on injured reserve at the start of the 2016 season before an injury settlement released him from the team. He joined the Patriots in October of that year before the Dolphins signed him off New England’s practice squad late in the year. He then started the 2017 season on Miami’s practice squad before being released. The Patriots then signed him to their practice squad two-days later, and he has bounced back-and-forth between the team’s practice squad and active roster.