Dolphins 2016 offensive line preview: Mike Pouncey


The Miami Dolphins signed offensive lineman Mike Pouncey to a 5-year contract extension in 2015.  Pouncey will serve as the team’s starting center in 2016.

Mike Pouncey has been on the Dolphins’ roster since joining the team as a draft pick in 2011.  After playing out the first four years of his five-year rookie contract, the team signed him to a new, five-year, $45 million contract in 2015, including a $5 million signing bonus, $22 million guaranteed, and an average annual salary of just under $9 million.  The team’s decision to sign Pouncey to a new contract before he was scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent in 2016 gave the team a consistently outstanding starting center in front of Ryan Tannehill for years to come.

2015 review

Pouncey started all 14 of the games that he played in during the 2015 season before missing the final two games after suffering a foot injury that required him to be helped off the field in the third quarter of the Week 15 game in San Diego.  He had offseason surgery to fix his hip (not his foot), a surgery that shaved down the bone on the hip opposite the one repaired through surgery in 2014.

Pouncey’s performance prior to the injury was good enough to earn him his third-straight Pro Bowl invitation, an invite he declined in order to undergo surgery and begin his recovery.  Pouncey was the only Dolphins player to receive an invitation when the Pro Bowl rosters were first announced.  Pouncey made the Pro Bowl at center in 2013 as well, and he was invited in 2014 for his performance at guard after missing the first four games of the season with a hip injury.  Pouncey is the just the third center in Dolphins’ history to make multiple trips to the Pro Bowl, joining Hall of Famers Jim Langer and Dwight Stephenson.

2015 stats

14 starts in 14 games played at center.

2016 preview

Pouncey will enter the 2016 season as the Dolphins’ starting center, a position he has held for five of his six years on the team.  The hope is that he can remain healthy for the entire season, unlike the previous two years.  On the field, he serves as the strong and talented leader of the offensive line.  Off the field, he has been working hard on his rehabilitation as well as his relationship with his new coaches and teammates, and he has been a strong supporter of quarterback Ryan Tannehill.

More from Dolphins News

Recently, Pouncey offered his goals for the offensive line’s 2016 season (see  Among them are keeping sacks down and quarterback Ryan Tannehill on his feet.  In addition, he would like to have a 1,000-yard running back out of the backfield.  Ultimately, of course, his goal is to make the playoffs and win a championship.

Professional career

Pouncey was originally the Dolphins’ first-round draft pick (15th overall) in the 2011 NFL Draft.