Consider yourselves on notice, Miami Dolphins running backs. The franchise may have balked at the idea of taking a running back early in the NFL draft for the second consecutive year in 2021, but that doesn’t mean that the team isn’t going to be in the market for the right fits to add to the room. And, as we found out according to a report from ESPN’s Field Yates this morning, the Dolphins very nearly found the right add-on to the running back in the immediate aftermath of the 2021 NFL draft courtesy of former Detroit Lions running back Kerryon Johnson.
Johnson, who was formerly a 2nd-round draft choice by Detroit in 2017, is a powerful runner who saw his share of carries whittled away by the Lions after the team drafted one of the backs commonly associated with the Dolphins in 2020: D’Andre Swift.
The Dolphins did what they could to make it happen, filing a waiver claim to add Johnson to the expanded roster after he was cut by Detroit. But the Dolphins were beaten to the punch by the Philadelphia Eagles, who owned a higher priority waiver claim and were therefore granted the rights to Johnson and his rookie contract for the 2021 season.
Miami does have some power in their backfield courtesy of Malcolm Brown, who the team signed to a 1-year deal earlier this offseason as well as the presence of Gerrid Doaks, a 7th-round draft choice out of Cincinnati in last month’s NFL draft. But it should be considered telling that Miami appeared to be in the market for another addition as well — meaning we should expect the team to continue to kick the tires on potential running back add-ons throughout the course of the summer months before the start of the 2021 season.
The Dolphins have four months from today to find any additions they deem worthwhile for the backfield before the season kicks off in a trip to Foxborough to play the Patriots in Week 1.