The Miami Dolphins will open their three-day minicamp Friday, with their seven 2021 draft picks, five undrafted rookie free agents signings as well as a few players invited on a tryout basis.
The Dolphins will do some on-field work, something that wasn't always necessarily the case in previous years — there were some past rookie minicamps that included only meetings.
The rookie minicamp is back after a one-year absence caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
On the subject of rookies, the Dolphins' first pick in the 2021 draft, wide receiver Jaylen Waddle signed his rookie contract Friday.
Waddle signed the standard four-year contract, which will be fully guaranteed, according to ESPN reporter Adam Schefter.
Prior to the Waddle report, the Dolphins officially signed two of their draft picks, coming to terms with seventh-round selections Larnel Coleman and Gerrid Doaks on Thursday.
The Dolphins also made official the signing of four undrafted rookie free agents we previously reported — guard Robert Jones from Middle Tennessee, Alabama tight end Carl Tucker, Indiana defensive tackle Jerome Johnson and Georgia Tech cornerback Jaitlyn Askew.
The four joined former North Carolina Central basketball player Jibri Blount, the son of Hall of Famer Mel Blount, who was signed as a tight end.
The saga involving former Dolphins first-round pick Ja'Wuan James took another dramatic turn Friday with news that the Denver Broncos had released the offensive tackle days after he sustained an Achilles tendon injury.
James' injury was complicated by the fact it happened away from the facility after the NFLPA encouraged players to stay away from team facilities.
Because he was injured away from the team facility, James first was placed on the non-football injury (NFI) list, which permitted Denver to not pay his $10 million guaranteed.
James tweeted Friday before news of his release came out that he was hoping the NFLPA would have his back, but later deleted the post.
CATCHING UP WITH FORD
One player attending a rookie minicamp on a tryout basis this weekend is former Dolphins wide receiver Isaiah Ford, who is looking to land a job with the Buffalo Bills.
Ford was an unrestricted free agent this spring after the Dolphins failed to extend a qualifying offer as a restricted free agent.
He ended last season with the Dolphins after spending a month (but not playing) with the New England Patriots following a trade that will still net Miami a sixth-round pick in the 2022 NFL draft.
The Dolphins will face the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium in Week 3 and all fans in attendance will hope for a game as entertaining as the Week 16 matchup last year when Miami pulled out an improbable 26-25 victory.
One thing for sure, it's going to be exactly to get into the stadium for that game.
You could say it's a Vegas thing, because Raiders home games hold five of the top seven spots, including a $944 average price for the Week 1 Monday night game against the Baltimore Ravens.
But the priciest game, not surprisingly, is Tom Brady's return to Gillette Stadium in Week 4, which currently carries an average ticket price of $1,376.
FERGUSON TALKS NUMBERS
Props to Dolphins long-snapper Blake Ferguson for looking out for his fans are switching numbers from 55 to 44 ahead of his second year in the NFL.
Ferguson revealed on Twitter he would send fans a number 44 jersey if they bought his number 50 jersey and send him a picture to prove it.
Ferguson started a podcast in late April with his brother Reid, who happens to be the long-snapper for the Buffalo Bills after he preceded Blake at LSU, and in the latest episode he explained he changed numbers to accommodate newcomer Benardrick McKinney, who wore 50 at Mississippi State before wearing 55 for the Houston Texans.
During his time at LSU, Ferguson wore three different numbers, but none of them was 44 — he wore 53, 50 and 48. Ferguson said during the podcast the number he'd really like is 69, Reid's number with the Bills, if it becomes available.
The number 69 currently belongs to Brazilian guard Durval Queiroz Neto, who has yet to be on the active roster since joining the Dolphins in 2019 as part of the International Player Pathway Program.