The PhinPhanatic staff is recapping the 2016 season for each Miami Dolphins player as the team prepares for the start of free agency. This is the 2016 player recap for Dominique Jones.
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Dominique Jones is a perfect model of a journeyman player. He had stints starting with the Colts then on the Miami Dolphins practice squad, back to the Colts then the Chiefs, Bills PS, Broncos, Ravens PS, Giants PS, Vikings PS then back on the Dolphins and released by the Dolphins as part of final roster cuts then was re-signed on October 3, 2016.
For the 2016 season Jones played in 12 games he was targeted ten times and had seven receptions averaging 8.7 yards and scoring one touchdown. While these numbers seem lackadaisical how they came about was impressive.
It was the week nine game Vs the Jets both Jordan Cameron (concussion, I.R.) and Dion Sims (concussion) were out, Jones and MarQueis Gray had to fill in as the tight ends. Jones caught three of four targets for 42 yards and a touchdown his first in his career, he had only three catches in prior Dolphins’ games to that point and six overall in his career.
For such an inexperienced player with hardly any past game time receptions he made it look natural and played in the clutch making the most out of his opportunity. The staff thought enough of him to give him five snaps in the wildcard playoff game Vs the Steelers although he did not have any game stats from them.
Miami Dolphins tight end Dominique Jones has the size and skill set that should strike fear in opposing teams however he is near the end of the picking order along with Thomas Duarte who was a seventh-round rookie and was cut at one point last season but stashed on the practice squad after clearing waivers.
Jones is an impending restricted free agent and could find himself in the same situation as Duarte only he might get claimed by some other team. That is if the Dolphins should seek to expand the tight ends room. While Dolphins impending free agent TE Dion Sims has stated he was informed to be the starting number one TE next season, things could change.
There are a few highly sought after TE’s coming in the next draft with O.J. Howard and David Njoku. The Dolphins have the 22nd pick and Mel Kiper Jr. has been salivating over this possibility. While it may not be the highest need on the list and Kiper has whiffed a lot on his predictions you just never know how the best player available left on the board pans out in drafts.
Also a factor is how head coach Adam Gase has used tight ends in his past. One example is Julius Thomas back when they were both on the Broncos, Thomas had consecutive seasons with 12 touchdowns each. He is a prime example as rumors have surfaced from multiple sources last week that the Jaguars are expected to cut tight end Julius Thomas. He would provide a second seem threat to go along with Jarvis Landry.
Martellus Bennett also has ties to Gase from his tenure with the Bears and Bennett recently turned down a $7MM per year extension offer from the Pats. Other teams are said to be seeking his services setting up a possible bidding war. While that might be enough to pry Bennett away from the Pats it most likely will keep the Miami Dolphins from emptying the bank.