The Miami Dolphins appear to finally have the on again off again on again trade with the Jacksonville Jaguars for tight-end Julius Thomas. Unless of course tomorrow they change their mind.
And here we go again. In the last week the Dolphins have released Branden Albert, changed their minds, traded him to Jacksonville, then they didn’t, then traded him for Julius Thomas, then they didn’t, then traded him for a draft pick without Julius Thomas, and now are trading for Julius Thomas. Confused yet?
According to multiple reports but most notably Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald the Dolphins have agreed to a trade for the Jaguar tight-end. Miami will send a late round draft pick in 2017 to the Jaguars for Thomas.
It’s expected that Thomas will renegotiate his contract (see update below) with the Dolphins. He will meet with Miami on Tuesday and take a physical according to reports. The deal for Thomas has been in the works for a few days but those reports have been hit or miss.
Branden Albert was supposed to got to the Jaguars as part of the trade but apparently that was not the case as a straight up player for player deal. Not sure exactly why. The Jaguars will still get Albert. They will reportedly send the Dolphins a conditional late round draft pick in 2018.
With Thomas the Dolphins are getting a very good tight-end who had his best seasons while with the Denver Broncos under Adam Gase. The biggest issue with Thomas is his health. Thomas has not played in all 16 games in any season during his career. Even those two seasons in Denver when he made the Pro-Bowl.
If Thomas can stay healthy he will give Miami a big red-zone target and a big seam threat tight-end that the Adam Gase offense lacks.
The trade can not be official until March 9th, the start of free agency and the leagues “new year”. Last season the Dolphins made a splash when they traded for Kiko Alonso and Byron Maxwell ahead of the start of free agency. Some believe that the Dolphins may try and make another move before the start of free agency.
As to the Thomas contract there is nothing being reported yet as it’s likely not completed. The Dolphins, should they leave the contract the way it is, will have an out in 2018 when Thomas’ contract jumps from $8.3 million to $9.7 million. The Dolphins would save all but $2.4 million if he is released next off-season. Unless of course the contract is restructured as expected.
UPDATE: According to Salguero, Thomas has restructured his contract and has “significantly” reduced his salary but can earn back much of the money with incentives. The exact numbers have not been released.
"Those numbers have been cut significantly, according to a league source as has the paragraph 5 salary Thomas is scheduled to earn. But Thomas will get a chance to earn back much of his money through incentives…” Armando Salguero"
Once the trade of Albert is finalized the Dolphins will save a little over $7 million in cap space.
In other news that falls into the “might want to keep an eye on” category, the Jaguars released Jared Odrick today. The former first round pick of the Dolphins was entering the 2nd year of a big contract with the Jaguars but injuries hurt his season in 2016. The Dolphins who need a defensive end could look back towards Odrick who might not be that expensive.
Things are starting to heat up around Davie, Fl. lately and the next three weeks could be crazy.