The Miami Dolphins signed tight end Jordan Cameron this week in free agency. Widely known as a tall, lanky pass-catching tight end with excellent speed, the knock on him is that he has had multiple concussions in recent seasons, which make him a risk to suffer more concussions and potentially miss playing time.
The Dolphins did not risk a ton of money for him, as $5 million for a pro bowl level tight end is not far out of the market. The Dolphins will pay Cameron an additional $2.5 million, pro-rated for each game he plays, so if he is able to stay healthy, he will make top tight end money, which makes it a fair deal for both the team and the player. The signing also seems to signal that Charles Clay will not be returning, although the Dolphins and Clay are still talking, so that issue remains up in the air. For Cameron, the concussion issue is a double-edged sword. The good side is that it is not an injury that takes away a player’s speed or power. The down side is that it is a very serious injury that puts the player at a higher risk of having his playing career end suddenly.
On the pass catching side of playing tight end, Cameron is exceptional. He has very strong hands. I would say he immediately becomes one of the best players on the team at catching the ball, along with Jarvis Landry. He almost always secures the ball with his hands away from his body rather than using his body to catch it. This significantly expands his catch radius, and that, along with his size and speed combination, make him a very difficult matchup to cover.
So what are we getting with Cameron? This article is a film breakdown of some plays featuring Cameron. My biggest concern with a tall athletic tight end is how well he is able to block with leverage. So to start let’s look at how he did in a few games last year with the Browns.
In summary, Cameron appears to do a good job blocking faster players like linebackers and safeties, and I expect Miami will give him those assignments frequently in the running game. As you might expect for a tall, light tight end, he does struggle against defensive lineman, and Miami is going to have to work on his fundamentals to engage larger lineman and sustain blocks long enough to keep them from disrupting plays in the running lanes.
But ultimately, Cameron gives Miami an extremely polished and athletic pass-catching Tight end that creates mismatches, much in the fashion of a Jimmy Graham. This is huge for Miami, as they currently do not have any tall receivers. This will be the first time in Tannehill’s career that he will have the option to throw ‘jump ball’ passes, which will force defenses to play their safeties less tight to defend it. Simply put, Cameron is a great addition to the Miami Dolphins.
This article was written by Chad Ronnebaum. Follow him on Twitter @Gofins4SB
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