INDIANAPOLIS–The Dolphins are days away from finalizing a longstanding agreement with Jacksonville that will land them tight end Julius Thomas, but coach Adam Gase sees a significant role for Dion Sims as well.
Tight end was a problematic position for Miami last season, and Sims led the group with 26 catches, 256 yards and four touchdowns. The Dolphins expected solid production from Jordan Cameron, who was a Pro Bowl pick in 2013, but his season ended in Week 3 because of a concussion.
“There were some things that I wanted to really try to do with Jordan at the beginning of the season,” Gase said. “I couldn’t really click with him. I was trying to figure out what was best. I don’t know how many times I went back and watched Cleveland tape the year he had 80 catches to see what was I doing wrong, what did I have to try to do. We tried to emphasize that a little more as we got going.”
Gase can’t comment on Thomas until the trade becomes official, even in reference to coaching him with the Broncos. He was the quarterbacks coach in Thomas’ first two seasons, then offensive coordinator in 2013 and ’14–both Pro Bowl years for Thomas.
Even if Miami hadn’t added Thomas, Gase claimed he felt good about the tight end position assuming the Dolphins would be able to re-sign Sims.
“We liked where our guys were at,” he said when asked if pass-catching tight end was a glaring hole in last year’s roster. “And when we lost (Cameron), I think Dion did exactly what we needed him to do. I think we held him back a little bit and didn’t let him do some of the things that he probably could have done more of. We’ll see what goes on moving forward. I’ve got an idea of what we want to do… There’s a good plan in place.”
Sims has been with the Dolphins since they took him in the fourth round in 2013. Last year was his career-high for catches and touchdowns, and he was 28 yards short of his best mark in that category.
His career earnings are $3.6 million, with nearly half of that coming last season. Spotrac calculated Sims’ market value in this year’s free agency at $24.5 million over five years. That would give him the 18th-highest salary among current tight ends.
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