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FFL: Offseason | NFL: Offseason

Dolphins must wait to seal deal with Patriots' Flores

Mon Jan 21 3:04pm ET
By STEVEN WINE
AP Sports Writer

In this Sept. 9, 2018, file photo, New England Patriots linebackers coach Brian Flores watches his team warm up before an NFL football game against the Houston Texans in Foxborough, Mass. Flores team is headed for the Super Bowl, and the Miami Dolphins must wait another two weeks before they can seal a deal with the New England Patriots defensive play-caller to become their coach. The Dolphins decided nearly two weeks ago to offer the job to Flores, who has been a Patriots assistant for 11 seasons. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)


MIAMI (AP) While the 2018 NFL champion has yet to be crowned, much of the league is already looking ahead to the 2019 season, and so far the Miami Dolphins are in last place.

Las Vegas oddsmakers recently made the Dolphins a 300-1 choice to win the Super Bowl in Miami a year from now, by far the league's longest odds.

And because Brian Flores' team is headed for the Super Bowl, the Dolphins must wait another two weeks before they can seal a deal with the New England Patriots' defensive play-caller to become their coach.

The Patriots sent the Dolphins' wait on Flores into overtime by beating Kansas City in overtime Sunday in the AFC championship game.

The Dolphins interviewed Flores on Jan. 4, targeted him as their choice for the job on Jan. 11 and are expected to meet with him this week. But no agreement can become final until after the Patriots play the Los Angeles Rams in the Super Bowl on Feb. 3.

Also on hold are the Cincinnati Bengals, the only other team still with a vacancy among the eight NFL teams making coaching changes.

The Bengals are interested in Zac Taylor, the Rams' quarterbacks coach. It has been three weeks since Cincinnati fired Marvin Lewis after his 16th season and third consecutive losing record.

Flores has begun work to assemble a staff, and front-runners include former Colts and Lions head coach Jim Caldwell as assistant head coach and Packers assistant Patrick Graham as defensive coordinator. Some Dolphins assistants are expected to be retained.

But Miami will be without a head coach to help assess prospects this week at the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama, and his evaluation of the roster in preparation for free agency and the draft will be delayed.

The Dolphins went 7-9 last year under Adam Gase, who was fired after three seasons and then hired as coach of the New York Jets .

Flores and Miami general manager Chris Grier both started their NFL careers as Patriots scouts. Flores has spent his entire 11-year coaching career with New England, and he took over defensive play-calling a year ago after the departure of defensive coordinator Matt Patricia.

''Obviously he has done a great job,'' safety Patrick Chung said last week. ''He's definitely a good coach and he likes to mix things up. It keeps guys off-balance.''

The Patriots allowed 5,746 yards during the regular season to rank 21st, but ranked seventh in points allowed. The Dolphins ranked 29th by allowing 6,257 yards, the most in franchise history.

Expectations for Miami in 2019 are low partly because owner Stephen Ross has said the franchise will abandon its win-now approach to build with the long term in mind and end a cycle of mediocrity. The Dolphins have finished with six to eight wins nine times in the past decade.

Player Notes
Charles Clay Feb 19 12:20pm ET

The Arizona Cardinals are signing free-agent tight end Charles Clay to a one-year deal worth up to $3.25 million on Tuesday, according to a source. The deal includes a $350,000 signing bonus. Clay was an afterthought in Buffalo's offense the last couple years and had only 21 catches for 184 yards and no scores in 13 games last season. He's unlikely to produce much more in Arizona with Ricky Seals-Jones and veteran Jermaine Gresham also in the fold with a young quarterback still learning the speed of the NFL. Clay won't even be worth drafting in most fantasy leagues.

From RotoBaller

Calais Campbell Feb 19 11:50am ET

The Jacksonville Jaguars exercised the 2019 options for defensive end Calais Campbell, defensive end Lerentee McCray and safety Cody Davis. Campbell has been a Pro Bowl selection the last two years with the Jaguars and has accumulated 25 sacks in that time frame. He'll enter his 12th season in 2019 and had a franchise-record 14.5 sacks in 2017. He became the first player in team history to have back-to-back double-digit sacks when he registered 10.5 quarterback takedowns last season. Campbell is a four-time Pro Bowler and is certainly an IDP force.

From RotoBaller

Austin Seferian-Jenkins Feb 19 11:50am ET

The Jacksonville Jaguars declined the 2019 option for tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins on Tuesday, making him a free agent. He started the first five games of the season and caught 11 passes for 90 yards and a touchdown before missing the final 11 games with a core muscle injury. His best year came in 2017 with the Jets when he had 50 catches for 357 yards and three touchdowns. Between injuries and off-field issues, teams are unlikely to be knocking the door down to sign ASF this offseason.

From RotoBaller

Aaron Rodgers Feb 19 3:03am ET

Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers will not be asked to run a dramatically different offense than the one he has operated for most of his career, according to offensive coordinator Nathaniel Hackett. 'When you take a guy like Aaron Rodgers, who is a very good football player, I mean, he's kind of one of those guys where you can kind of pretty much do a lot of everything. I think a lot of it is going to carry over. I think some of the language will be different but it's going to be a lot of the same premises for him,' Hackett told PackersNews.com.

Fantasy Spin: Rodgers is unlikely to be the overall QB1 in drafts this summer following the emergence of Patrick Mahomes, but he'll come off the board shortly thereafter as the QB2 or QB3. It will also be interesting to see how receptive the 35-year-old will be to the schemes of new head coach Matt LaFleur and Hackett, although it's hard to imagine he'll drop off considering how vanilla Mike McCarthy had become with his play-calling in recent years.

Le'Veon Bell Feb 19 12:43am ET

Pittsburgh Steelers RB Le'Veon Bell is unlikely to receive a franchise or transition tag from the team, according to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler.

C.J. Mosley Feb 19 12:33am ET

Impending free-agent LB C.J. Mosley and the Baltimore Ravens are reportedly optimistic they will agree to a long-term contract before the March 5 deadline for franchise tags, according to ESPN's Jamison Hensley.

Odell Beckham Jr. Feb 18 11:13pm ET

New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. is believed to be a trade target for the San Francisco 49ers this offseason, according to ProFootballTalk.com's Mike Florio.

Fantasy Spin: It is not known if Beckham will be available this offseason, but the 49ers likely will look to add a No. 1 receiver during the offseason. Beckham will be a No. 1 fantasy receiver no matter where he plays in 2019.

Earl Thomas Feb 18 11:03pm ET

Seattle Seahawks impending free-agent FS Earl Thomas may not be an option for the Dallas Cowboys if he is looking for a lucrative contract this offseason because the team will need to sign DE DeMarcus Lawrence, QB Dak Prescott, RB Ezekiel Elliott, WR Amari Cooper and CB Byron Jones to long-term contracts over the next year or so, in the opinion of SI.com's Albert Breer.

Jimmy Garoppolo Feb 18 11:00pm ET

The San Francisco Giants gave the sense that they'd be interested in trading for New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. as the season ended, and that sense still persists halfway into February. They've had real interest in OBJ for almost a year, but the question is whether the Giants would actually consider trading him after signing him to a big extension last fall. San Fran holds the second and 36th overall picks of this year's draft. The Niners are looking to bolster their receiving corps after Marquise Goodwin failed to live up to expectations as the No. 1 wideout in 2018. The Steelers' Antonio Brown could be a target, too, but he comes with a lot of baggage and the 49ers might prefer Beckham. OBJ is younger and has just as much talent as Brown, and a move to the bay area with quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo and head coach Kyle Shanahan would make Beckham even more appealing as an elite WR1.

From RotoBaller

Ezekiel Ansah Feb 18 10:13pm ET

Detroit Lions impending free-agent DE Ziggy Ansah could re-sign with the Lions depending on how he is physically this offseason, according to general manager Bob Quinn.

LeGarrette Blount Feb 18 10:03pm ET

Detroit Lions impending free-agent TE Levine Toilolo, TE Luke Willson, RB LeGarrette Blount and DT Ricky Jean-Francois are all expected to hit the free-agent market this offseason.

Romeo Okwara Feb 18 10:03pm ET

Detroit Lions restricted free-agent DE Romeo Okwara is expected to receive a tender offer this offseason.

Derrius Guice Feb 18 9:33pm ET

Washington Redskins RB Derrius Guice (knee) is able to sprint in a straight line but is still not able to do any lateral movements at full speed yet. He also wants to build the strength in his legs over the next few months.

Fantasy Spin: Guice was the team's starting running back last season but missed most of the season because of a torn anterior cruciate ligament. He may have to share playing time with Adrian Peterson in 2019 if Peterson re-signs with the team. Guice can be a No. 2 or No. 3 fantasy back if he receives most of the playing time.

Robbie Gould Feb 18 8:13pm ET

San Francisco 49ers impending free-agent PK Robbie Gould said he is looking to sign at least a three-year contract this offseason.

Frank Gore Feb 18 8:13pm ET

Miami Dolphins running backs coach Eric Studesville said he is not sure if impending free-agent RB Frank Gore will receive a contract offer from the Dolphins this offseason.

Fantasy Spin: Gore had a solid season in 2018 with 722 yards but failed to record a rushing touchdown. It is not known if he will be able to find a starting job this offseason but would be a good No. 2 running back for a team. He will have some fantasy value in standard leagues if he finds a good situation.

Kalen Ballage Feb 18 7:53pm ET

Miami Dolphins RB Kalen Ballage was impressive during his rookie season but still has room to grow, according to running backs coach Eric Studesville. 'He's a big, physical body,' Studesville said. 'He can run. He's athletic. He's got a lot of growth to do as far as seeing and recognizing things. His work ethic is tremendous. He's got speed for a big man.'

Fantasy Spin: Ballage rushed for 191 yards and one touchdown in limited playing time this past season but could be a contender for the starting running back job in 2019. He has a chance to be a No. 3 or No. 4 fantasy running back depending on his role.

Stephen Gostkowski Feb 18 7:33pm ET

New England Patriots impending free-agent PK Stephen Gostkowski will be a candidate for the franchise tag if the two sides are not able to agree to a long-term extension over the next few weeks.

Trey Flowers Feb 18 7:23pm ET

New England Patriots impending free-agent OT Trent Brown and DE Trey Flowers likely will not be candidates for the franchise tag because it is believed the team probably would think the franchise tag salaries would be too high for the players, in the opinion of ESPN.com's Mike Reiss.

David Irving Feb 18 6:13pm ET

Dallas Cowboys impending free-agent DT David Irving is not expected to be retained, according to a source.

Calais Campbell Feb 18 5:23pm ET

Jacksonville Jaguars DE Calais Campbell had his $12 million option for 2019 exercised Monday, Feb. 18. Options for LB Lerentee McCray and FS Cody Davis were also picked up. TE Austin Seferian-Jenkins did not have his optioned picked up.