The Miami Dolphins hoped Ja’Wuan James would solidify himself into one of the top right tackles in the National Football League concluding the 2018 regular season. Unfortunately, James decided to take his talents to the West Coast, after becoming an unrestricted free agent heading into the 2019 offseason, signing a 4-year, $51 million deal with the Denver Broncos in March.
To supplement the line after James' departure, the Dolphins came to terms with former Bills offensive tackle Jordan Mills on Thursday. The deal is for one year, and $3 million, according to league sources. Mills, at the right tackle position, started all sixteen games for Buffalo in 2016, 2017 and 2018.
Prior to his tenure with the Buffalo Bills, Mills was a member of the Chicago Bears, from 2013-14, starting all 29 games he played with them.
“He’s a veteran. He’s played a lot of football." said offensive line coach Pat Flaherty. "He was in Buffalo this past season and watching tape from week to week, you have a lot of crossover tape. So, I had an opportunity to see him there. I think he’s a good football player. Still even though he’s been in the league a little bit, he has got a high ceiling and he can get better at a lot of things he’s doing. We’re excited about having him.”
Since Miami signed Mills after the May 7 deadline, the deal does not affect the Dolphins’ 2020 compensatory draft picks. Now, there will be a competition to see who gets to be the starter for the 2019 season.
“It’s going to be open." said Flaherty. "Zach Sterup has done a good job in the offseason program. He’s worked his tail off in the weight room and on the field. Now with Jordan Mills here and drafting Isaiah Prince, you would think that the two veteran guys have a little bit of a step ahead of the rookie, but we’ll see how it goes. It’s hard to evaluate really where you are at the offensive line until you put pads on.”
This story was written by Brandon Liguori. Follow him on Twitter: @BrandonRLiguori
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