Former Dolphins defensive lineman Jared Odrick, recently cut by Jacksonville, may have found a new home, and it’s one Miami fans probably won’t like.
Reports out of New England say Odrick passed his physical during a visit with the Patriots.
Although free agency doesn’t start until March 9, because Odrick was cut by the Jaguars, he’s free to sign right away.
What’s unclear: whether Odrick plans to visit with other NFL teams.
Also unclear: whether the Dolphins are interested.
A league source said a return engagement isn’t likely.
But it might make sense. Although there has been significant turnover here since he left, Odrick, 29, has familiarity playing alongside Cameron Wake. He was popular in the locker room. And most importantly, he’s a versatile player who began his career as a defensive end but also played defensive tackle for the Dolphins.
Miami recently released end Mario Williams, who was a major disappointment. End Andre Branch became Miami’s starter at end as the season wore on and performed well, recording 5.5 sacks, but he’s a free agent. The Dolphins also parted with tackle Earl Mitchell, who had injury problems, so Odrick’s versatility could solve more than one headache.
Odrick was the Dolphins’ first-round pick out of Penn State in 2010 but signed a five-year, $42.5 million contract with Jacksonville following the 2014 season. In 2015, he said he viewed his breakup with the Dolphins as a bit of a curious one. Mike Tannenbaum, Miami’s executive vice president of football operations, said before that free-agency period that the team wanted to retain him. Instead, the Dolphins targeted and landed Ndamukong Suh for $114 million.
That left no room for Odrick, who said he found it funny that coaches had told him they planned to be “going to bat for you when the time comes.” He said “nobody contacted me whatsoever. I kind of took it in stride and took it as an opportunity to go elsewhere.”
Things didn’t turn out as planned upstate. Odrick had 5.5 sacks and 23 tackles in his first season with the Jaguars but was limited to just six games, one sack and nine tackles last season amid a variety of injuries.
To say the least, Odrick took his release in stride, posting a humorous photo of himself grinning on the beach in the Dominican Republic with the caption, “This is me getting released by the @Jaguars.”
Then again, how surprising could that photo have been, coming from a guy who celebrates sacks with a Pee-wee Herman dance?
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