(Note: This continues a series in Daily Dolphin spotlighting members of the team individually. In addition to reliving highlights and lowlights of the past season for each, we’ll provide analysis and criticism, plus take a look at how each player fits — or doesn’t fit — into the team’s plans for 2017.)
CB Lafayette Pitts
Height, weight: 5-11, 196
Experience: Entering second NFL season, both with Dolphins
Acquired: Signed as undrafted free agent in May 2016
Contract: Due to earn $540,000 in 2017 after receiving exclusive rights free-agent tender in March
Pro Football Focus rank: Unranked
Stats: Played in eight games on special teams, making three tackles
Straight talk: Maybe no one should squint to find the answer on why the Dolphins offered Pitts a free-agent tender despite seeing limited duty in 2016.
“Swagger,” coach Adam Gase said.
Gase was describing Pitts last season, which means he saw a trait in the rookie corner that many saw in the Dolphins’ rookie coach.
Pitts spent half the season on Miami’s practice squad but was promoted for the final eight games. He recorded three special teams tackles.
“It’s exciting,” Pitts said of joining the active roster. “I put in a lot of hard work so I’ve been waiting for this call for a long time. Just keep being consistent in practice and show them I can do it against our first-team guys.”
That’s exactly what led to the call-up.
“He gives our receivers fits as far as any time we do any kind of scout team,” Gase said.
Prospects for 2017
The Dolphins see room for growth. Pitts’ role will revolve around improvement and offseason moves to add depth to an area hard hit by injuries last season. The secondary became more crowded in April when Miami took Clemson CB Cordrea Tankersley in the third round.
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