The AFC East is always an incestuous affair, with former players and coaches from each of the four teams moving to other teams within the division. With the Miami Dolphins hosting the New England Patriots later today, we are taking a closer look at all the connections between the two franchises.
Former Dolphins now with the Patriots
Four Patriots players and four coaches or front office personnel are former Dolphins. Wide receiver DeVante Parker was traded to the Patriots this year after spending seven seasons in Miami, during which time he caught 338 passes for 4,727 yards with 24 touchdowns. Linebacker Raekwon McMillan played for the Dolphins from 2017 through 2019, recording 177 tackles, two passes defensed, two forced fumbles, and a fumble recovery for the club. Defensive lineman Davon Godchaux was a Dolphins player from 2017 through 2020, making 179 tackles with three sacks, two passes defensed, and a forced fumble in his time in South Florida. Wide receiver Lynn Bowden, Jr., was with the Dolphins in 2021 before he was among the roster cuts Miami made this summer; he caught 28 passes for 211 yards last season.
In the front office, Patriots pro scout J.T. Hill was a scouting assistance with Miami in 2019 and New England Director of Skill Development Joe Kim was a pass rush consultant for the Dolphins from 2001 through 2006. Patriots assistant offensive line coach Billy Yates was signed as an undrafted free agent out of Texas A&M in 2003 by the Dolphins; he appeared in three games as a rookie guard for the team. New England assistant equipment manager Ben Schenone was an equipment staff assistant with Miami from 2015 through 21017.
Former Patriots now with the Dolphins
For the Dolphins, linebacker Trey Flowers joined the team this year; he played for the Patriots from 2015 through 2018 and recorded 164 tackles, 21 sacks, six passes defensed, five forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries during his time in New England. Miami safety Eric Rowe played in New England from 2016 through 2018, tallying 51 tackles, an interception, and 11 passes defensed. Linebacker Elandon Roberts was with the Patriots from 2016 through 2019; he recorded 206 tackles, 5.5 sacks, six passes defensed, two forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries for New England. Cornerback Keion Crossen was a member of the Patriots in 2018, recording 14 tackles. Cornerback Justin Bethel spent the 2019 through 2021 seasons with New England, tallying 26 tackles, a pass defensed, a forced fumble, and two fumble recoveries. Flowers, Rowe, and Roberts were all with the Patriots for their Super Bowl LI championship; all three and Crossen were with the team for their Super Bowl LIII victory.
Dolphins general manager Chris Grier was a regional scout for New England from 1995 through 1999 after being a scouting intern with the team in 1994. Assistant general manager Marvin Allen was a running back with the Patriots from 1988 through 1991, rushing 94 times for 378 yards and two touchdowns; he also was an area scout for the Patriots from 1993 through 2008. Miami defensive coordinator Josh Boyer was a New England coaching assistant from 2006 through 2008 then coached the defensive backs from 2009 through 2011 and the cornerbacks from 2012 through 2018. Miami wide receivers coach Wes Welker played for the Patriots from 2007 through 2012, catching 672 passes for 7,459 yards and 37 touchdowns. Dolphins safeties coach Steve Gregory was a New England safety in 2012 and 2013, recording 116 tackles, three interceptions, eight passes defensed, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries with a touchdown, and a sack.
Former teammates on other NFL teams include Patriots wide receiver Nelson Agholor (2015-2019), Patriots cornerback Jalen Mills (2016-2020), Miami safety Eric Rowe (2015), and Dolphins linebacker Duke Riley (2019-2020) who were variously teammates during spans with the Philadelphia Eagles. Patriots linebacker Matthew Judon (2016-2020) and Dolphins defensive tackle Zach Sieler (2018-2019) were teammates with the Baltimore Ravens. New England defensive back Jabrill Peppers (2017-2018), New England defensive lineman Carl Davis, Jr. (2018), and Miami defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah (2016-2018) overlapped during their respective times with the Cleveland Browns; Patriots quarterback Brian Hoyer (2013-2014) and Miami head coach Mike McDaniel (2014) saw a brief overlap in Cleveland. New England linebacker Jahlani Tagalog (2019-2020) and Miami linebacker Trey Flowers (2019-2021) were teammates with the Detroit Lions.
The Oakland/Las Vegas Raiders had Patriots lineman Trent Brown (2019-2020), Patriots wide receiver Nelson Agholor (2020), Patriots linebacker Raekwon McMillan (2020), Dolphins fullback Alec Ingold (2019-2021), Dolphins assistant offensive line coach Lemuel Jeanpierre (2018-2019), and Miami offensive coordinator Frank Smith (2018-2020) as teammates and coaches. New England defensive lineman Lawrence Guy (2013-2014), Patriots defensive back Adrian Phillips (2014-2019), and Miami linebacker Melvin Ingram (2012-2020) were all teammates with the San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers. And, Patriots defensive back Jabrill Peppers (2019-2021) and Miami defensive back Keion Crossen (2021) played together with the New York Giants.
Patriots quarterback Brian Hoyer (2012) and Miami senior defensive assistant Ryan Slowick (2009-2014) were both with the Arizona Cardinals. The Chicago Bears had Patriots quarterback Brian Hoyer (2016), Dolphins running back Raheem Mostert (2016), and Dolphins offensive coordinator Frank Smith (2015-2017) on their roster/coaching staff.
In what should not come as a surprise to anyone, there are several players on both rosters who attended the University of Alabama at overlapping times: Patriots running back Damien Harris (2015-2018), Patriots linebacker Anfernee Jennings (2015-2019), Patriots linebacker Mack Wilson, Sr. (2016-2018), Patriots quarterback Mac Jones (2018-2020), defensive lineman Christian Barmore (2019-2020), Dolphins defensive tackle Raekwon Davis (2016-2019), Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (2017-2019), and Dolphins wide receiver Jaylen Waddle (2018-2020).
Other colleges with Patriots and Dolphins players having previously been teammates includes the University of Arkansas, where Patriots defensive lineman Deatrich Wise, Jr. (2012-2016), Patriots tight end Hunter Henry (2013-2015), and Dolphins linebacker Trey Flowers (2011-2014) were all together. Patriots center David Andrews (2011-2014) and Dolphins defensive tackle John Jenkins (2011-2012) were teammates at the University of Georgia. LSU players include Patriots cornerback Jalen Mills (2012-2015), Patriots defensive tackle Davon Godchaux (2014-2016), Patriots offensive lineman Chasen Hines (2018-2021), Dolphins linebacker Duke Riley (2013-2016), and Dolphins long snapper Blake Ferguson (2016-2019).
At Louisville, Patriots wide receiver DeVante Parker (2011-2014) caught passes from Dolphins quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (2011-2013). Patriots defensive back Brenden Schooler (2016-2019) and Dolphins safety Jevon Holland (2018-2020) were teammates at Oregon. Patriots linebacker Raekwon McMillan (2014-2016), Patriots cornerback Shaun Wade (2017-2020), and Dolphins linebacker Jerome Baker (2015-2017) were teammates at Ohio State.
Patriots defensive back Cody Davis (2010-2012) and Dolphins linebacker Sam Eguavoen (2011-2014) were on the same defense at Texas Tech. Patriots defensive back Myles Bryant (2016-2019) and Dolphins running backs Myles Gaskin (2015-2018) and Salvon Ahmed (2017-2019) were all at the University of Washington.
At UCF, Patriots practice squad wide receiver Tre Nixon (2016-2017) and Dolphins tackle Greg Little (2016-2018) were teammates. Patriots wide receiver Nelson Agholor (2012-2014), Patriots defensive back Jack Jones (2016-2017), and Dolphins offensive lineman Austin Jackson (2017-2019) were teammates at USC.
Patriots with South Florida ties
Two Patriots players are South Florida natives with offensive lineman Yodny Cajuste growing up in Miami and attending Miramar High School while linebacker Josh Uche lived in Miami and attended Columbus High School. Two Patriots attended college in South Florida, with tight end Jonnu Smith going to Florida International University while Director of Scouting Eliot Wolff attended the University of Miami. New England’s head athletic trainer Jim Whalen served as as assistant athletic trainer at the University of Miami from 1993 through 1997.
Dolphins with New England ties
Miami general manager Chris Grier is from Holliston, Massachusetts while cornerback Byron Jones is from New Britain, Connecticut and attended St. Paul Catholic High School; Jones also attended the University of Connecticut. Defensive tackle Christian Wilkins is from Springfield, Massachusetts and attended Suffield Academy. Tight end Hunter Long attended Exeter High School in Exeter, New Hampshire before attending Boston College. Defensive tackle John Jenkins is from Meriden, Connecticut and attended Francis T. Maloney High School. Assistant defensive backs coach Mathieu Araujo is from East Freetown, Massachusetts, attending Apponequet Regional High School before going to Bridwater State University and head strength and conditioning coach Dave Puloka attended Arlington High School in Arlington, Massachusetts before going to college at Holy Cross.
Offensive line coach Matt Applebaum went to the University of Connecticut while Yale attendees include head coach Mike McDaniel, assistant quarterbacks coach Chandler Henley, and quality control coach Josh Grizzard.
Patriots practice squad offensive lineman James Ferentz is the brother of Dolphins assistant linebackers coach Steve Ferentz.