Julius Thomas passes Miami Dolphins physical required to complete trade

DETROIT, MI - NOVEMBER 20: Julius Thomas #80 of the Jacksonville Jaguars runs for yardage against Rafael Bush #31 of the Detroit Lions during second half action at Ford Field on November 20, 2016 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)

Julius Thomas will be the next Miami Dolphins tight end. (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)

Julius Thomas passed a physical examination necessary to complete a trade to the Miami Dolphins, according to a league source.

The examination was not a formality as Thomas has reportedly missed NFL games due to injuries to his ankles, knees, fingers, hands, chest, abdomen, elbow and back.

When the league year officially begins on March 9, Thomas is expected to be dealt to Miami for a seventh-round draft choice. In a connected but separate deal the Jaguars are expected to acquire Dolphins tackle Branden Albert for a seventh-rounder.

Thomas had the two best seasons of his career in 2013 and 2014, when Miami coach Adam Gase was offensive coordinator of the Denver Broncos. Thomas had 65 catches for 788 yards and 12 touchdowns for Denver in 2013 and 43 catches for 489 yards and 12 touchdowns in 2014.

Miami’s top tight end last season, Dion Sims, caught 26 passes for 256 yards and four touchdowns and is about to become an unrestricted free agent. The Dolphins have also re-signed backup tight end MarQueis Gray.

Last offseason, the Dolphins found value in a trade for cornerback Byron Maxwell, who was considered a free-agent bust. Thomas is viewed by some the same way in Jacksonville.
Thomas is expected to restructure the terms of his contract before the deal becomes official. Thomas’ cap hits in the next three seasons were scheduled to be: $8.3 million, $9.8 million and $10.3 million.
The deal was structured so that Thomas could be cut after the 2017 season with a cap hit of only $1.2 million if it were to occur after June 1, 2018.

Thomas is 6-feet-5, 257 pounds, but he is known more for his natural pass-catching skills than his run-blocking skills. Miami’s tight ends, particularly Sims and MarQueis Gray (who has re-signed with Miami) are strong run-blockers, helping to open holes for running back Jay Ajayi.

The Dolphins are interested in re-signing Sims, but if he hits free agency, an offer seems probable to exceed their budget.

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