The Miami Dolphins have a hole at the slot receiver position and current free agent Taylor Gabriel might be a guy that can fill it during the 2020 season.
With Albert Wilson deciding to make the difficult decision to opt-out of the 2020 NFL season, the Miami Dolphins need to find an answer at the slot receiver position for the short-term.
Reports have already emerged that suggest the Dolphins are giving seventh-round rookie Malcolm Perry a chance to learn the position, but a veteran free agent might produce better results for Brian Flores’ team.
One such player could be Taylor Gabriel, who most recently played for the Chicago Bears in the 2019 season.
More from Dolphins News
- Tua Tagovailoa practicing with teammates is everything a leader does
- 4 offensive tackles Miami Dolphins could draft at 51
- Miami Dolphins don’t need CB help but these 5 could be available at 51
- 4 players that could replace Wilkins if Miami Dolphins don’t re-sign him
- Miami Dolphins have a starting point with Wilkins after Simmons deal
The 29-year-old is entering his seventh year as a professional but finds himself without a team, having had two-year spells with the Bears, Cleveland Browns and Atlanta Falcons after entering the league as an undrafted free agent in 2014.
In 83 regular-season games in the NFL, Gabriel has caught 228 passes for 2860 yards and 14 touchdowns, with a catch success rate of 63%.
Standing at 5-foot-7, 168lbs, Gabriel plays primarily on the inside and has had some solid season in the NFL, though he has typically been fairly up-and-down in his consistently.
In each of the 2014, 2016 and 2018 seasons, Gabriel caught over 500 yards, with over 600 in 2014 and 2018. In the alternating seasons, the Dallas, Texas native failed to register 400+ yards.
Fortunately for Gabriel, and the Miami Dolphins should they opt to give him a look, he is entering what would be an ‘up’ season based on his career to date.
There are some concerns with regards to his health, as he suffered two concussions during the 2019 season with the Bears, limiting him to just nine games, but if he is healthy, he could really add some quality to a depleted Dolphins receiver corps.
Having a player with proven NFL experience and a ceiling of over 600 receiving yards, with a career-high six touchdown in 2016, would be a significant upgrade over a late-round rookie that seems more adept at rushing the ball and has caught just 22 total passes over the past four years in college – without a single reception in 2019.
The Dolphins have plenty of time to see what is available on the open market, with the likes of big names such as Josh Gordon and Antonio Brown still looking to join a team for the 2020 season, but Taylor Gabriel could be the best option for the southern Florida team if they want someone that can adequately fill the void left by Wilson.
He would be available for a manageable contract, largely due to his age and options. His last deal, which would have paid him $26 million over four years, was cut just two years in and it’s reasonable to expect he would accept a cheaper deal to prove himself and to get regular downs during the 2020 season.
The fact that he has not already been signed by another team should work in the Miami Dolphins’ favour when looking at what is available and the team could find themselves benefitting from landing a guy with experience and plenty to prove after a truly down season in 2019.