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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
Odell Beckham Jr. Feb 18 2:03pm ET

New York Giants WR Odell Beckham Jr. was sought after by the New England Patriots ahead of the last season's trade deadline, according to NBC's Chris Simms, who reported New England was the team 'most aggressively pursuing' Beckham at that point of time.

Fantasy Spin: The Patriots obviously settled on Josh Gordon, but his status is such that Beckham could easily be a target of theirs again in 2019. While Gordon may be able to return again at some point in 2019, New England knows it can't count on him for any length of time. The Patriots' biggest need may be an outside receiver, and the prospect of playing the next two to three years with Tom Brady could be too tantalizing for the team to pass up if they are willing to pay the price to get Beckham.

Josh Rosen Feb 18 12:30pm ET

Arizona Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen was "OK" after being involved in a minor car accident in Los Angeles on Saturday, and no injuries were reported. In one of the worst offenses in football in his rookie year, Rosen looked pretty bad in his 14 games played. He completed 55.2 percent of his passes for 2,278 yards, 11 touchdowns and 14 interceptions. His terrible offensive line didn't make it easier on him, and he dealt with a lack of weapons around him. Arizona should look to bolster their playmakers around him this season, but Rosen probably won't improve drastically overnight. Until further notice he'll be a weak QB2 with upside.

From RotoBaller

Jadeveon Clowney Feb 18 9:53am ET

Houston Texans impending free-agent LB Jadeveon Clowney is unlikely to receive a long-term deal, in the opinion of MMQB's Peter King, because he's not the worker bee that some others are on defense. He's likely to receive the franchise tag.

Dontrelle Inman Feb 17 11:03pm ET

Indianapolis Colts impending free-agent WR Dontrelle Inman could be a fit for the Minnesota Vikings, according to Bill Barnwell of ESPN.com, and Barnwell believes Inman's size would add a different element to Minnesota's passing attack.

Muhammad Wilkerson Feb 17 10:13pm ET

Green Bay Packers impending free-agent DL Muhammad Wilkerson (ankle) could receive another 'prove-it deal' to remain with the team, according to Bill Barnwell of ESPN.com.

Demaryius Thomas Feb 17 9:50pm ET

Free-agent wide receiver Demaryius Thomas was involved in a car crash near downtown Denver early Saturday, according to Denver police. Thomas' vehicle rolled over after he lost control. He and a male passenger suffered minor injuries and were taken to the hospital, while a female passenger sustained possible serious injuries that weren't life-threatening. The cause of the crash is being investigated, but it doesn't appear that drugs or alcohol played a role. Thomas was released by the Texans last Tuesday after his season ended prematurely due to a torn left Achilles. The 31-year-old had 59 catches for 677 yards and five touchdowns in 15 games with the Broncos and Texans in 2018. He's in danger of missing the start of the regular season and won't have a hot free-agent market for his services. As of now, it's looking like Thomas won't be one to draft in standard-sized leagues in 2019.

From RotoBaller

Rob Gronkowski Feb 17 9:40pm ET

New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski remains non-committal about his playing future, but he has shown up to Gillette Stadium multiple times over the last couple of weeks. Gronk might just be receiving treatment for his thigh, but ESPN Boston's Mike Reiss views it as the tight end being in a good place with how the season ended. Gronkowski will be 30 if he plays in 2019, and he remains a big injury risk that looked much slower in 2018. He'd still be a TE1 if he returns for another season, but Gronk is no longer elite at a very weak position.

From RotoBaller

Alex Smith Feb 17 6:53pm ET

Washington Redskins senior vice president of football operations Doug Williams said QB Alex Smith (leg) hopefully will be able to play at some point in 2019.

Fantasy Spin: Smith suffered a serious leg injury and there is still not definite timetable for his return. The Redskins likely will add at least one more quarterback this season, but owners in all fantasy leagues probably should avoid the Redskins quarterback situation next season.

Raheem Mostert Feb 17 6:13pm ET

San Francisco 49ers restricted free-agent RB Raheem Mostert likely will receive a tender offer this offseason and could even receive a multi-year extension from the team.

Alfred Morris Feb 17 6:13pm ET

San Francisco 49ers impending free-agent Alfred Morris is not expected to re-sign with the 49ers this offseason.

Zay Jones Feb 17 5:03pm ET

Buffalo Bills WR Zay Jones has the ability to be a slot receiver and played the position during his college career, in the opinion of BuffaloBills.com's Chris Brown.

Fantasy Spin: Jones is coming off a decent season with 652 yards and seven touchdowns. He likely will be a top-three receiver for the Bills next season and could be a late-round option in fantasy leagues.

Dwayne Allen Feb 17 4:13pm ET

New England Patriots impending free-agent TE Dwayne Allen could re-sign with the Patriots this offseason, but he would likely have to accept a pay cut, in the opinion of ESPN.com's Mike Reiss. Several people in the Patriots organization like Allen's professional approach, and he has been around Gillette Stadium over the last few weeks.

Buster Skrine Feb 17 4:03pm ET

New York Jets impending free-agent CB Buster Skrine appears unlikely to re-sign with the Jets this offseason since the team has CB Parry Nickerson ready to replace him at cornerback, in the opinion of the New York Post's Brian Costello.

Steve McLendon Feb 17 4:03pm ET

New York Jets impending free-agent DT Steve McLendon appears unlikely to re-sign with the Jets this offseason, in the opinion of the New York Post's Brian Costello.

Ndamukong Suh Feb 17 3:53pm ET

Los Angeles Rams impending free-agent DE Dante Fowler, DT Ndamukong Suh and S Lamarcus Joyner likely will not receive the franchise tag this offseason, in the opinion of ProFootballTalk.com's Mike Florio.

Robbie Gould Feb 17 3:43pm ET

San Francisco 49ers impending free-agent PK Robbie Gould could be an option for the franchise tag this offseason, in the opinion of ProFootballTalk.com's Mike Florio.

Jordan Phillips Feb 17 3:33pm ET

Buffalo Bills impending free-agent DT Jordan Phillips said he is having contract talks with the Bills.

Mark Ingram Feb 17 3:33pm ET

New Orleans Saints impending free-agent RB Mark Ingram likely will not receive the franchise tag this offseason, in the opinion of ProFootballTalk.com's Mike Florio.

Fantasy Spin: The Saints likely will go with Alvin Kamara as their main running back next season and probably will be a No. 1 running back in most fantasy leagues. Ingram should receive interest from several teams during free agency and could be a No. 2 fantasy back depending on his situation.

Joe Flacco Feb 17 3:03pm ET

Denver Broncos QB Joe Flacco also was coveted by the Washington Redskins, helping spark the Broncos to make the trade with the Baltimore Ravens on Wednesday, Feb. 13.

Fantasy Spin: Just as the QB he is replacing (Case Keenum) was in 2018, value Flacco as a mid-to-low-end QB2 next season in an offense that isn't expected to feature a high volume of passes.

Colin Kaepernick Feb 17 2:23pm ET

Mark Geragos, the attorney for free-agent QB Colin Kaepernick (49ers) said Saturday, Feb. 16, that the quarterback 'absolutely' wants to resume his NFL career and projects that Kaepernick will receive an offer within the next two weeks.