David J. Phillip/Associated Press
If you can’t beat them, sign their former players.
According to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, the Miami Dolphins—who are coached by former New England Patriots assistant Brian Flores—”have at least some level of interest in several players who have been Patriots last season or in the past.”
Jackson listed cornerback Logan Ryan, guard Joe Thuney and safety Devin McCourty as players the Dolphins are interested in as the offseason continues.
While Jackson made a point of saying it is the “exploratory stage of free agency,” he also listed center Ted Karras, linebacker Kyle Van Noy and defensive tackle Danny Shelton as players the Dolphins may pursue.
There are far worse organizations than the Patriots when it comes to going after a team’s former players.
New England is the league’s ultimate measuring stick and a dynasty that has won six Super Bowls and reached and lost three more since the start of the 2001 season. Miami, by contrast, has been to the playoffs just three times in that span without a single postseason win.
The Dolphins were just 5-11 in 2019 but made strides under Flores as the season continued. They won their final two games, and all five victories came in November and December following an abysmal 0-7 start to the campaign.
Ryan is just 29 years old and a two-time Super Bowl champion, Thuney is 27 years old and a two-time Super Bowl champion, and McCourty is 32 years old and a three-time Super Bowl champion. McCourty is also a two-time Pro Bowler who would add a veteran presence to the back line of the secondary.
All would help the team make strides in areas where it needs to improve.
Football Outsiders ranked the offensive line last in the league in run blocking and 29th in pass protection during the 2019 campaign, while the defense was a mere 26th in the league in passing yards allowed per game.
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