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Dolphins bring back Isaiah Ford once again, adding to deep receiver unit

South Florida Sun Sentinel
South Florida Sun Sentinel
 2021-07-16

The Miami Dolphins added to the team’s deepest unit less than two weeks before the start of training camp, re-signing veteran slot receiver Isaiah Ford.

The addition of Ford, a 2017 seventh-round draft pick who has spent the past four seasons working his way up the depth chart, means the Dolphins will enter training camp with 14 receivers — with most of them having proven they belong on an NFL team’s 53-man roster.

With Friday’s roster move, which corresponds with the release of safety Brian Cole and center Tyler Gauthier, the team’s top executives are clearly fine-tuning the 90-player training camp roster, getting the team ready for the start of practices on July 27 and the exhibition season.

The Dolphins have significant depth at safety and Cole was viewed as a long-shot to make the team’s 53-man roster with Eric Rowe, Jevon Holland, Brandon Jones, Jason McCourty, Clayton Fejedelem, Nate Holley and Trill Williams firmly ahead of him.

As for Gauthier, a former Miami Hurricanes standout, it appears the Dolphins have a solid trio of center options in Matt Skura, the veteran starter added as a free agent this offseason, Michael Deiter, a 2019 third-round pick who spent last season transitioning from guard to center, and Cameron Tom, a fifth-year veteran added this offseason.

Skura, Deiter and Tom will compete to determine who becomes the starting center during training camp in what is viewed as one of the few open position battles.

As for receiver, that happens to be the team’s deepest position because of this offseason’s signing of Will Fuller and Robert Foster, the re-signing of Mack Hollins, a special teams standout, the selection of Jaylen Waddle in the first round of the April’s draft, and the return of veterans Albert WIlson and Allen Hurns, who both opted out of playing in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Waddle, Lynn Bowden Jr. and Wilson are viewed as the leaders to handle the slot role, and now Ford will likely be added to the mix.

Ford has routinely been praised as one of the team’s smartest receivers, and has spent the past two years establishing himself as the team’s top slot receiver. He’s played in 19 career games — all with the Dolphins — contributing 51 receptions for 520 yards the past three seasons.

Last year, the Dolphins traded Ford to the New England Patriots for a 2022 late-round draft pick, but he was re-signed by Miami after New England released him a few weeks later. Ford finished the 2020 season catching 28 passes for 276 yards.

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