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2 posts from May 14, 2013

May 14, 2013

Dolphins sign their first three rookies to deals

The Dolphins are getting started on getting their rookies under contract. The team today announced the signing of linebacker Jelani Jenkins, defensive back Don Jones, and kicker Caleb Sturgis.

All are getting four-year contracts under the rules of the collective bargaining agreement. 

The Jenkins deal is worth approximately $2.575 million. The Sturgis deal is worth approximately $2.24 million. The Jones deal is worth approximately $2.14 million. This all assumes each players sees all four years of the deal, obviously.

Jones got approximately $45,000 in guaranteed money in the form of a signing bonus. Sturgis got approximately $145,000 in guaranteed money. Jenkins got a signing bonus of approximately $472,000.

The Dolphins have nine draft picks, so six remain unsigned. (No issues, they'll all sign).

Jenkins was Miami’s first fourth-round selection (104th overall) in the 2013 NFL Draft out of the University of Florida. Started 31 games at Florida and played in 36 total games during his career. Jenkins finished his career with 182 tackles (109 solo), six sacks, 17 stops for loss and six quarterback pressures and three interceptions.  Born March 13, 1992 in Rockville, Maryland, Jenkins attended Our Lady of Good Council High School in Olney, Md. where he lettered in both football and track.

Jones was Miami’s seventh round selection (250th  overall) in the 2013 NFL Draft out of the Arkansas State University.  A two year starter for the Red Wolves, he played in 26 games and recorded 128 tackles, two interceptions, one sack and one blocked kick. Born May 14, 1990 in Tuscumbia, Alabama, Jones attended Hazelwood High School in Town Creek, Alabama, where he lettered in football and track.

Sturgis was the second of Miami’s two fifth round selections (166th overall) in the 2013 NFL Draft out of the University of Florida. During his career he made 70 of 88 field goal attempts which set school records, while his 70 made field goals also placed seventh on the Southeastern Conference all-time record chart. Over the course of his career he amassed 340 points which currently ranks third in school annals behind Chandler’s 368, and Tim Tebow’s 342 (2006-09)..  Born August 9, 1989 in Boca Raton, Florida, Sturgis attended St. Augustine High School (Florida), where he lettered in football and soccer.

Pouncey: Tannehill must be more vocal leader

The Dolphins wanted Jake Long back. General Manager Jeff Ireland wanted him back. Coach Joe Philbin wanted him back. And teammates wanted him back.

“I was texting him, I was all on Twitter, and I was calling him," center Mike Pouncey said Monday during his visit with the NFL Network. "We definitely wanted him to stay down here in Miami. He is a Pro Bowl football player. He is going to be missed greatly."

“Me and Richie Incognito were going to pick him up at the airport if he was going to sign back. We tried to get him back. We are going to miss him a lot. I wish him nothing but the best up there in St. Louis."

Long indeed decided to sign with the Rams and so he's gone. And now all the love the players had for Long shifts to Jonathan Martin, Miami's new left tackle.

"I think Jonathan Martin will do a great job," Pouncey said. "Left tackle is his position. He played it all throughout college. I think he is more comfortable on that side of the football and he has a year underneath his belt in the NFL. I think this year he is going to go out – he has put on 20 more pounds – and do a great job for us."

Pouncey along with Incognito are the new defacto leaders of the offensive line. But Pouncey realizes that the man who is called to lead the entire team plays quarterback. And he is apparently hoping Ryan Tannehill takes on that role a bit more than he did as a rookie.

“He has to be a more of a vocal leader," Pouncey said of Tannehill. "He has to keep us on the field on third downs which he has done a great job of. I think it is going to be a collective thing on offense this year. We have to run the ball to help him out. But I think he is ready to take next step for us."

So what's that next step for the Dolphins? Is it winning more games than they lose for the first time in four years? Is it making the playoffs?

“I can’t really say that right now," Pouncey said. "[Making the playoffs] is going to take a lot of dedication, it is going to take a lot chemistry. Obviously we have a lot of great players that we added to our football team and our quarterback has to play exceptional this year.”