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Miami Herald: Mutual interest between Aaron Jones and Miami Dolphins

Could the Miami Dolphins be looking to improve the ground game in free agency?

NFL: NFC Championship Game-Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Green Bay Packers Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

The start of free agency is still three weeks away, but the rumor mill is already in full-swing. The latest gossip includes running back Aaron Jones and the Miami Dolphins.

The NFL new year begins at 4 p.m. on March 17 — when teams can acquire free agents — and Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald is reporting that there is mutual interest between Pro Bowl running back Aaron Jones and the Miami Dolphins.

Jackson noted that these rumors have circulated since the beginning of February.

“Those reports of Dolphins’ interest were confirmed to me by a league source who speaks with the Dolphins but is not affiliated with Jones,” Jackson wrote.

The Miami Dolphins are slated to have $26 million in cap space at the moment, but can make room by restructuring contracts or cutting veterans, as Jackson notes in his story.

Pro Football Focus is predicting that the Miami Dolphins will sign Jones to a four-year deal with $25 million in guaranteed money, which was featured in a story predicting where top running backs may sign this off-season.

Jones would be slated to make $12 million per year under the PROJECTED deal, joining Myles Gaskin and Salvon Ahmed as Miami’s top-three running backs. With the move, General Manager Chris Grier would be going against the notion that teams shouldn’t pay running backs.

However, the addition of Jones would help the Dolphins score touchdowns, something they struggled with last season. Miami averaged 2.6 touchdowns per game in 2020, which ranked 20th among 32 NFL teams. The Dolphins averaged just 2.1 touchdowns a game in 2019.

Jones had averaged five yards per carry and scored 25 rushing touchdowns over the same 32-game span. In fact, Jones led the league with 16 rushing touchdowns in 2019.

Top-tier free agents being linked with the Miami Dolphins has developed into quite the tradition over the last decade. Keep in mind, where there’s smoke — there’s fire.