Are any of the Miami Dolphins tight ends worth keeping?

The Miami Dolphins use the throwback two times a year - it should be all the time. - Image by Brian Miller
The Miami Dolphins use the throwback two times a year - it should be all the time. - Image by Brian Miller /

With four currently under contract, the Dolphins have the ‘bodies’ to compete but do they have any worth keeping?

Since Randy McMichael left after the 2006 season, Miami hasn’t had a reliable tight end on the roster.  In this installment of “Stay or Go” we will investigate whether the Dolphins currently have a tight end on the roster worthy of a roster spot.


Marqueis Gray was lined up at several places pres-nap in 2017 but did more damage as a short-yardage back/blocker than he did as a receiver (one catch for 14 yards).  Is that a product of a stubborn Adam Gase favoring ‘his guy’ Julius Thomas or does Gray simply lack the tools to be an effective tight end in the NFL?  With Gray’s versatility, and a salary of $925k, retaining him makes sense but will he see the field more often in 2018 than he did last year?


Julius Thomas was the leading name on the roster in 2017 therefore, it seems only fitting he lead the list of tight ends the Dolphins should cut.  No matter how Gase tries to spin it Thomas was a virtual non-factor as a receiver and a liability in the run game.  The Dolphins front office would be crazy to pay Thomas the $6.5M he is owed based on the production that Thomas has put up in his last three seasons.

What Miami ever saw in A.J. Derby is unimaginable.  His signing appears to be another case of Gase’s love affair with former Broncos tight ends (although it should be pointed out that Derby never played for Gase.)  While Derby is only credited with one dropped pass, my eyes told me his receiving ability is average at best.  Although he’s only under contract for $705k, Derby’s roster spot would be better allocated some place else.

I have seen nothing from Thomas Duarte that shows he is deserving of even making the 90-man roster; never mind the 53.  The former UCLA Bruins WR/TE has survived for two season due to his eligibility for the practice squad.  It’s time to end the experiment and sign a player that is better suited for the tight end position.

Signing Anthony Fasano last offseason was a nice addition because of his proficiency as a run-blocking tight end.  That said, Fasano will be 34-years old in April.  Only if the Dolphins fail to land two tight ends between free agency and the draft would I consider resigning Fasano.

There you have it.  Marqueis Gray is the only tight end that was on the roster in 2017 that merits a return in 2018.  If the Dolphins wish to improve on offense this season, some major changes are in store over the next 2-3 months.

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