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Dolphins sign third-round pick Hunter Long, add another tight end; one rookie remains unsigned

South Florida Sun Sentinel
South Florida Sun Sentinel
 2021-07-26
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Dolphins tight end Hunter Long goes through drills during minicamp on June 16. Mike Stocker / South Florida/Sun Sentinel

The Miami Dolphins and third-round pick tight end Hunter Long agreed to terms on a rookie contract while also making another move at the same position on Monday, the day before players report for training camp .

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but since he was selected with the No. 81 pick, Long was slotted to earn $4,968,706 over the course of his four-year deal, including a signing bonus worth $973,604. He could earn more due to playing time escalators, which third- through seventh-round picks are eligible for, unlike first- and second-round selections.

Long, a former Boston College standout, is now set to report for training camp Tuesday and the Dolphins’ first practice Wednesday. He will look to earn playing time over blocking tight end Durham Smythe behind the Dolphins’ top option at the position, Mike Gesicki.

After this deal and the signing second-round safety Jevon Holland on Friday, second-round offensive lineman Liam Eichenberg remains the only rookie still unsigned.

First-round picks in wide receiver Jaylen Waddle and outside linebacker Jaelan Phillips and seventh-round picks in offensive tackle Larnel Coleman and running back Gerrid Doaks previously signed their rookie contracts. All the rookies, whether signed or not, were able to participate in organized team activities and minicamp earlier in the offseason under waivers protecting them and their contracts in the event they were injured.

Long played in 36 games with 14 starts over three years at BC. He totaled 89 career receptions for 1,297 yards (14.6 yards per catch) and nine touchdowns. As a junior in 2020, Long started all 11 games and had 57 receptions for 685 yards and five touchdowns. His 57 receptions led all FBS tight ends, and his 685 yards were second. Long earned second-team All-American and first-team All-ACC honors in 2020.

The Dolphins weren’t done making changes to their tight end room later Monday evening. They announced the signing of Carson Meier while waiving Jibri Blount with an injury settlement.

Meier started one game for the Atlanta Falcons in 2019 and was not targeted in that November loss to the New Orleans Saints while playing 26 offensive snaps. He had multiple stints on Atlanta’s active roster in 2019 and spent training camp in 2020 with the Falcons.

Meier originally entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent with the Jacksonville Jaguars on April 2019. He was a second-team All-Big 12 selection in 2018 at Oklahoma.

Blount was signed by Miami on May 6 following a basketball career at North Carolina Central where he earned MEAC Player of the Year honors as a senior in 2019-20. While playing basketball in college, the 6-foot-5, 245-pound tight end prospect had football in his background as the son of Pro Football Hall of Fame cornerback Mel Blount.

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