Advertisement

What to watch for at Dolphins’ three-day mandatory minicamp this week

The Miami Dolphins completed their two weeks of voluntary organized team activities, and they now have a three-day mandatory minicamp on tap from Tuesday through Thursday.

The sessions wrap up offseason workouts for the team before training camp begins in late July.

The Dolphins went through six OTA practices the past two weeks, two of those days of drills were open to the media.

While many of Miami’s top players weren’t present for those voluntary workouts, minicamp should offer a greater glimpse of the 2024 Dolphins as a whole.

Here are some of the storylines to look out for this week at minicamp.

An $84 million smile from Jaylen Waddle

The Dolphins just worked out a three-year extension for standout wide receiver Jaylen Waddle to keep him with the team through the 2028 season.

Waddle, though, has not been present for the OTA sessions open to the media the past two weeks. So this will be the first look at Waddle after adding north of $84 million, with $76 million guaranteed, to his deal.

Waddle, once the extension kicks in after 2025, will be paid as one of the top five wide receivers in the NFL — before other high-end receivers also earn new deals, like the Minnesota VikingsJustin Jefferson just did Monday.

This is a key offseason for him after three straight 1,000-yard seasons to kick off his professional career, but the Dolphins would like him to make the ascension to be a Pro Bowl-caliber receiver.

Related Articles

Of course, the last two seasons, he has been the No. 2 option to Tyreek Hill, but the franchise, with this deal, showed a belief that he will be ready to produce like a No. 1 whenever life after Hill comes.

Tua talk

Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa is expected to address the media for just the second time this offseason. The first time was at his charity luau, where he wasn’t particularly pressed on offseason topics like training to slim down or his work with personal quarterback coach John Beck — and offered little when asked about those matters.

Hearing from Tagovailoa at minicamp will be a big deal, especially as talks are ongoing between him and the team for his pending contract extension, which should be a record figure for the Dolphins.

Viral video from his event with clothing brand Perry Ellis in Aventura last week showed he has lost considerable weight.

Coach Mike McDaniel already deemed him “svelte” at OTAs two weeks ago, and he assured that Tagovailoa has maintained strength added in the 2023 offseason while trimming fat.

McDaniel has seen Tagovailoa generate more force on passes with his tweaked throwing motion. That much was evident from his deep throws to receivers Erik Ezukanma and Tahj Washington at last week’s open session. He’ll have more of his top targets present this week.

Armstead’s status

We haven’t heard from left tackle Terron Armstead since the end of the season.

Armstead, who turns 33 in July, already contemplated retirement this offseason before ultimately deciding to give it another go with the Dolphins.

So is the five-time Pro Bowler ready to call this his final season?

Armstead has had to nurse multiple injuries his first two seasons with the Dolphins, so it’s important he lets his body recover in the offseason before a ramp-up in activity in training camp.

How much he would participate in minicamp drills is unknown.

New additions?

The Dolphins had $18.5 million added to the books Sunday due to the cap relief received from the release of ex-cornerback Xavien Howard with a post-June 1 designation.

Now, what to do with those funds?

Some will surely go to necessary tasks of signing Miami’s seven draft picks, but there are predetermined slot values for those selections.

Could the team look to bring in a veteran either at defensive tackle, safety or on the interior of the offensive line? Somewhere else?

This week would be a good opportunity to bring in such a veteran for a visit to check out a minicamp practice before training camp.

New WR trio together

And the last major free agent signing the Dolphins made still hasn’t been seen working with the team.

Odell Beckham Jr. would stand to make his practice debut with Miami at minicamp.

It would offer the first look at having Hill, Waddle and Beckham on the field together for both McDaniel and Tagovailoa.

Hill’s agent, Drew Rosenhaus, told WSVN on Sunday night that he wants more money from the team and the two sides have been in communication. Hill’s contract is not guaranteed beyond this season.

Anyone missing?

OTAs and prior offseason workouts were voluntary, but now minicamp is mandatory.

Tagovailoa has been in and out of Dolphins facilities in the offseason, as have running backs Raheem Mostert and De’Von Achane, along with defensive tackle Zach Sieler. That receiver trio of HIll, Waddle and Beckham hasn’t been together. Tight end Jonnu Smith wasn’t seen with the team during OTAs. Armstead, cornerbacks Jalen Ramsey and Kendall Fuller are other standouts that haven’t practiced with the team.

There are fines associated with missing minicamp drills, so it would hit a player’s pocket if he’s not present due to an unexcused absence.

With Waddle’s deal done, there aren’t expectations of any player missing minicamp due to a contract holdout, as Tagovailoa and safety Jevon Holland have been seen at OTAs. Could Hill be a surprise holdout, though, if he wants more money?

Rehab progress?

Outside linebackers Jaelan Phillips and Bradley Chubb have been working out on the side of drills during OTAs as they rehab their season-ending injuries.

Phillips tore an Achilles in late November and Chubb an ACL on Dec. 31.

If one is upgraded to participating in some kind of on-field work at minicamp, that would be incredibly encouraging progress at this point, but the expectation shouldn’t be such this week.

The two are candidates to start training camp in late July on the physically-unable-to-perform list, but the next two months will be key in determining that status.