The Dolphins held their final voluntary practice on Friday, in advance of next week’s three-day mandatory minicamp that ends the offseason program.
Some updates from Friday’s session:
12:45 p.m.: Linebacker Jerome Baker said he hasn’t discussed a longterm contract with the Dolphins. He said “I love it here” and would like to “play here for the rest of my career.”
He is entering the final year of his rookie deal, as are tight ends Mike Gesicki and Durham Smythe.
Kicker Jason Sanders is the only Dolphin to get an extension on his rookie deal so far….
Long after practice ended, Myles Gaskin and Salvon Ahmed were back on the field – just the two of them – doing running back position drills.
12:35 p.m.: Dolphins players concluded practice by singing happy birthday to Raekwon Davis.
Also, strength and conditioning coach Dave Puloka gave T-shirts to a few players who apparently have distinguished themselves in his program, with Albert Wilson, Mack Hollins and Michael Deiter among the recipients….
Christian Wilkins and Zach Sieler did sprints after practice.
12:30 p.m.: We aren’t permitted to report who’s working at what position (per team rules), but we stand by our reporting for the past five weeks:
As we noted weeks ago, the Dolphins would love Liam Eichenberg to win the right tackle job and Rob Hunt to win the right guard job. But both will need to win it.
And – as we reported a few weeks ago – Jesse Davis will be a top contender at left guard, with Solomon Kindley competing.
The Dolphins have three options at center: Matt Skura, Michael Dieter and Cameron Tom. I wouldn’t be shocked if any one of those three won the starting job.
Noon: Once again, there was no 11-on-11 work in practice (beyond walk throughs), and the defensive back coverage in 7-on-7 team drills was pretty loose.
That said, Robert Foster made a couple of nice catches across the middle from Tua Tagovailoa. Foster, the former Buffalo Bills player, has size (6-2), good speed and can play the gunner role on special teams, a job Mack Hollins handled last season for Miami.
11:30 a.m.: Preston Williams, working his way back from foot surgery, was on the field briefly to start practice (not doing anything too strenuous) but wasn’t seen for the remainder of the session.
11:01 a.m.: The passing game was uneven during the early 7 on 7 sessions.
Tagovailoa one-hopped one throw and failed to connect with DeVante Parker on a sideline route, though the ball was catchable.
Jakeem Grant dropped a well-thrown pass over the middle from Tagovailoa.
Mack Hollins, wearing a mask, made a stupendous sideline catch on a pass from Tagovailoa that was thrown into coverage.
Reid Sinnett threw an interception to rookie linebacker Jaelan Phillips. During a red zone drill, Hollins seemed exasperated that Sinnett didn’t see him open in the corner of the end zone; Hollins was waving his hands frantically to catch the young quarterback’s attention.
10:55 p.m. update: The NFL is not permitting unvaccinated coaches to interact with players. All Dolphins’ top position coaches and coordinators are here, indicating they were vaccinated. Brian Flores said he has been vaccinated. Players are not required to have been vacinnated, and Flores declined to give his roster’s vacinnation rate.
10:40 a.m. update: Xavien Howard remained away from the Dolphins’ offseason program, preferring to work out on his own.
Howard would like a raise and restructured contract, but the Dolphins have been non-committal about doing that, according to a league source. A source said not to necessarily connect Howard’s absence with his desire for a new deal.
Brian Flores, without mentioning Howard or any player, said Friday he fully expects every player to attend next week’s mandatory minicamp.
A source said Howard has been dealing with a minor quad injury, at least in recent weeks.
Howard has four years remaining on a four-year, $76 million million extension that he signed two years ago. He’s due to make $12.1 million in base salary this season.
Meanwhile, edge player Emmanuel Ogbah remained away from the team and has been absent from all three voluntary sessions open to the media. Ogbah is set to earn $7.5 million in the second year of a two-year contract and would like an extension, according to a source. But all parties have declined to say whether his interest in a new contract is related to his absence.
Howard and Ogbah are the only Dolphins who have not been at any of the three voluntary sessions open to the media. At least a dozen other players missed one or two of those three sessions.
Three surprise absences from Friday’s session: tight ends Mike Gesicki and Adam Shaheen and punter Michael Palardy.
Three players were working on the side, apparently with injuries: linebacker Vince Biegel (recovering from torn Achilles last July), cornerback Javaris Davis and receiver Malcolm Perry.