This afternoon, the Dolphins signed their number one pick in time for the opening of training camp. At this time, Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio is reporting close to a 13.4 million dollar signing bonus, front loaded, with league minimum salaries each year. In addition, certain incentives have been placed into the contract as workout bonuses and training camp bonuses. The deal, however includes the offset language that GM Jeff Ireland and Executive VP of Football Administration Dawn Aponte were adamant about including in last year's deal with Ryan Tannehill. In fact, Jordan's signing set forth a similar signing with offensive tackle Lane Johnson (4th pick) of the Eagles shortly after.
With that said, the Miami Dolphins have the most expensive rookie player that has yet to see the field. Unfortunately, it could be 1-2 weeks before Dolphins fans see Dion Jordan in uniform and in pads due to recovery from a shoulder surgery. While Jordan can run and work out, he cannot practice at full-contact with the team.
With 1-2 weeks before Dion is ready for football contact, a lot of speculation will arise and whether or not the Dolphins’ Jeff Ireland made the wise choice to stare down the Raiders Reggie McKenzie for Jordan versus selecting a much needed offensive lineman. Perhaps Ireland didn’t want to make the same mistake taking a lineman in the first round and went toward his evaluative strength, defensive players. Or, Ireland finally made true on his "pillar of defense" comment prior to his first draft in 2008 when he selected Jake Long.
What Dion Jordan brings is a versatility and athleticism as a defensive lineman opposite Cameron Wake, he has the potential to be a Jason Taylor type of player. Jordan’s body type with height (6’6”) and weight (247lbs) scream freak of nature athleticism that cannot be coached nor taught.
However, Dolphins fans and media members are left waiting to see what Dion Jordan will do for the Dolphins. For one, Jordan has yet to see the practice field other than basic conditioning.in which he could only attend the rookie minicamp. Injury and an NFL rule kept him from OTAs and the June minicamp.
As for the Dolphins depth chart, one could see Olivier Vernon starting during training camp, since he has been the starter all off-season. Vernon, the second year player out of Miami has had a year under his belt and flashed in spurts last season with explosiveness to rush the quarterback and block field goals. Vernon has an advantage given he knows the playbook and has chemistry with his teammates.
On the other hand, the Dolphins could hand Dion Jordan the starting gig right away and make it his job to earn back should he lose it. However, it might be possible that the Dolphins plan to use Jordan in a limited role on 3rd down as he acclimates to the playbook and gets comfortable playing with this teammates and gets conditioned to play defensive end for 16 games.
Let’s not forget that Dion Jordan has been brought here for a reason and his speed off the edge and the ability to force turnovers is that reason that GM Jeff Ireland moved up nine spots to grab him.
Bottom line, the Dolphins go into camp with everyone signed and everyone present for what promises to be a memorable year!
Phins up and happy training camp!