A Look at the 2017 Dolphins Schedule with a Glance at the Good and the Bad

The 2017 NFL Schedule is out as well as the 2017 Miami Dolphins Schedule, and here’s a look at the slate for the upcoming season, with the home games in bold:

Sep. 10 Tampa Bay Buccaneers 1:00 PM

Sep. 17 at Los Angeles Chargers 4:05 PM

Sep. 24 at New York Jets 1:00 PM

Oct. 1 New Orleans Saints (London) 9:30 AM

Oct. 8 Tennessee Titans 1:00 PM

Oct. 15 at Atlanta Falcons 1:00 PM

Oct. 22 New York Jets 1:00 PM

Oct. 26 at Baltimore Ravens (Thu) 8:25 PM

Nov. 5 Oakland Raiders * 8:30 PM

Nov. 13 at Carolina Panthers (Mon) 8:30 PM

Nov. 19 BYE

Nov. 26 at New England Patriots 1:00 PM

Dec. 3 Denver Broncos 1:00 PM

Dec. 11 New England Patriots (Mon) 8:30 PM

Dec. 17 at Buffalo Bills 1:00 PM

Dec. 24 at Kansas City Chiefs 1:00 PM

Dec. 31 Buffalo Bills 1:00 PM

What’s Good about this Schedule: If the Dolphins are going to compete in 2017, they need to overcome the Pats, they have them on the road on November 26th, and then a home game vs the Broncos and then host the Pats on a Monday night on December 11th.

What’s Bad about this Schedule: The Dolphins have two of their last 3 on the road, and will face the Bills twice in that stretch. Another key in those three games is a big game against the Chiefs, a good team that likely again will be in the playoff mix in the AFC.

Dolphins Add Former Saints Assistant Coach Joe Vitt as Consultant

Former New Orleans Saints assistant coach Joe Vitt has been hired as a consultant to help his son-in-law, Miami Dolphins head coach Adam Gase, the Associated Press reports.

Vitt, fired as the Saints assistant head coach and linebackers coach after last season, will focus on special projects with the Dolphins, the team said Friday. His daughter is married to Gase, who led the Dolphins to the playoffs last season in his first year as an NFL coach.

Vitt went 5-5 as the Saints’ interim head coach in 2012, when Sean Payton was suspended in connection with the NFL’s bounty probe. Vitt also suspended six games that season because of his role in the Saints’ off-the-books, cash-for-hits incentive program.

Dolphins Ink Veteran Strong Safety T.J. McDonald

The Dolphins have made another signing in free agency, picking up safety T.J. McDonald, who won’t be able to play until halfway through the season as he has to serve a suspension.

The former Rams strong safety was a third-round pick in 2013, and in four seasons in the league, he’s tallied 218 tackles, as well as five sacks and four interceptions.

Dolphins to Visit with Free Agent LB Zach Brown

The Dolphins are planning to visit with Zach Brown, the top linebacker remaining in free agency, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports citing a league source.

Brown had 149 tackles, four passes defended, four sacks, an interception and two forced fumbles as a starter for the Buffalo Bills last season.

The Oakland Raiders also recently hosted Brown and are believed to be in the mix.

Rumors of Brown visiting the Dolphins began over the weekend, when an associate of a friend of Brown tweeted that he was coming to meet with Dolphins officials. Brown’s intentions to visit, barring something unforeseen, were confirmed by an independent party.

Brown, 27, spent the first four seasons of his career with the Tennessee Titans but did his best work with Buffalo last season.

He has 14 sacks in five pro seasons.

Dolphins LT Branden Albert in Jacksonville; Ready to Deal with Jaguars for TE Julius Thomas

The Dolphins and Jaguars are working on a trade involving offensive tackle Branden Albert and tight end Julius Thomas, but hurdles remain, Kevin Patra of NFL.com reports.

NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported that Albert is visiting the Jaguars on Monday to help facilitate a swap. An Albert-Thomas trade would likely happen if both players agreed to new deals, Rapoport reported.

A trade cannot be officially finalized until the new league year opens on March 9.

Albert is set to count $10.6 million on the salary cap. Moving on would save Miami $7.2 million on the cap. The veteran left tackle struggled last season while playing through injury — for reference, Pro Football Focus rated him their 65th best offensive tackle in 2016. However, he would be an upgrade for Jacksonville, who are not picking up Kelvin Beachum’s 2017 contract option.

Thomas’ contract currently runs through 2019, and $3 million of his $7 million owed this year is already guaranteed.

Former Dolphins DT Earl Mitchell Set to Meet with Four Teams

Former Dolphins defensive tackle Earl Mitchell is receiving interest from multiple teams days after his release, Andie Hagemann of NFL.com reports.

NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo reported on Saturday that Mitchell has visits scheduled with the Seattle Seahawks, San Francisco 49ers, Atlanta Falcons and Denver Broncos beginning next week, per a source informed of the player’s plans.

The Seahawks, 49ers and Falcons will all employ a 4-3 scheme this season — the same system Mitchell played in during his three-season stint in Miami.

Mitchell signed as an unrestricted free agent in 2014 (after four with the Houston Texans) and played in 37 games (21 starts) in three seasons with the Dolphins. He amassed 72 tackles (46 solo) and two sacks there.

Dolphins Making Cuts; Release LT Branden Albert, DE Mario Williams and More

The cost cutting moves of the offseason for the Dolphins has begun, as today reports say the team has cut both left tackle Branden Albert and linebacker Mario Williams.

Reports state the team also is releasing defensive tackle Earl Mitchell and cornerback Ifo Ekpre-Olomu.

Releasing Albert is a move that will open the door for last seasons’ first-round pick Laremy Tunsil to step in and become the starter in his second season.

Hal Habib of the Palm Beach Post gave his take on the roster cuts:

The Dolphins will save $20.4 million in salary cap space with the four moves, affording themselves flexibility to either retain upcoming free agents (including receiver Kenny Stills and defensive end Andre Branch), find new free agents or possibly extend the contracts of players such as receiver Jarvis Landry and safety Reshad Jones.

From the moment Tunsil was drafted, it was obvious even to Albert that Tunsil eventually would take over that key position on the Dolphins’ offensive line. In fact, Albert helped groom Tunsil for the role last season despite declaring after the draft that he (Albert) was the left tackle of the Dolphins.

Dolphins Hire Andre Carter as New Assistant Defensive Line Coach

Andre Carter, 37, has been hired as Miami’s assistant defensive line coach, a league source confirmed to Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald reports.

Carter replaces Jim Washburn, who retired last month.

This is Carter’s first coaching job on the NFL level. After retiring in 2013, he joined the University of California’s staff as a graduate assistant.

Carter, the No. 7 pick in 2001, spent his first five seasons with the 49ers, and his next five with Redskins. He made his lone Pro Bowl in 2011 with the Patriots.

In Miami, Carter will work with Terrell Williams, who’s now entering his third year as Dolphins’ defensive line coach.