Did Miami Dolphins off-season moves bring “culture change?”
By Brian Miller
Rounding out the bigger changes on the offensive line, Miami opted to keep James on the 5th year option at $9.2 million. James was offered a contract extension but has yet to sign a new deal. James’ names was floated around in several trades including one with Denver and another potential with the Los Angeles Chargers. The Dolphin’s must have viewed the trade value less than keeping him.
James is a very good pass blocking right tackle and needs to get better at run blocking. He has bene saddled however with average to below average guards. The Dolphins appear to be ready to use either Sam Young who is expected to re-sign but has not yet or Jesse Davis at right guard.
Davis is intriguing given his massive size. Miami also let Anthony Steen hit free agency but kept Jake Brendel who was an exclusive rights free agent.
James is coming off the IR this year but should be fine he will be banking on his health and future by playing on what is essentially a one year deal unless a new contract can be worked out.
Walt Aikens can play safety and corner but his speciality has been special teams where he has emerged as a leader on the field. Aikens was set to become a free agent but opted to stay with the Dolphins on a two-year contract.
Miami keeping Aikens lessens the blow of losing Michael Thomas who is still an unsigned free agent. There were reports that Thomas may hang up playing football. He suffered a knee injury that ended his season last year and he has grown considerably outside of football as a professional. Working within communities to bridge racial lines.
Aikens provides the Dolphins with a solid back-up at safety and an extra corner while preserving consistency and leadership on special teams.