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NFL Notes: Dolphins, Packers, Lions & Titans

 

Dolphins

Dolphins HC Joe Philbin mentioned that CBs Jamar Taylor and Will Daviswill be given every chance” this summer to win the starting job opposite to Brent Grimes.

“Those are guys we thought highly of; they had injury issues,” Philbin said, via the Miami Herald.

This is interesting give that the Dolphins signed veteran CB Cortland Finnegan to a two-year contract worth $11 million, which included $5.5 million guaranteed this offseason. The guarantees in his contract are likely enough to keep him around at least for the 2014 season, but he’ll obviously need to show a lot of improvement from last year to hold off Taylor and Davis.

On a different topic relating to the Dolphins, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald writes that there is a “good enough” chance that RB Daniel Thomas will be back for another season, despite the fact that he has continued to disappoint.

Jackson does admit that “it’s not 100 percent certain” Thomas is back, but the lack of a trade market could be enough for Miami to give him one last opportunity.

Thomas, 26, is entering the final year of his rookie contract and is set to make $816,321 for the 2014 season. Miami could free up $816,321 in cap space by releasing Thomas, according to OverTheCap.com.

Packers

Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com mentioned over the holiday weekend that ILB Brad Jones could be the “the veteran most in jeopardy of losing his starting job.

Demovsky concedes that GM Ted Thompson has given every indication that Jones is likely to be back next season.

However, Jones could see increased competition from guys like Jamari Lattimore and Sam Barrington. There was even some speculation that fourth-round pick Carl Bradford could also see time at inside linebacker during training camp, but that idea hasn’t gained much traction in the weeks following the draft.

Jones, 28, signed a three-year, $11.75 million contract with Green Bay back in 2012. Over the next two seasons he’ll make base salaries of $2.5 million and $3.25 million, which is decent money for a player who struggled with injuries last season.

In 2013, he appeared 12 games and totaled 83 tackles, three sacks, a forced fumble and a recovery. Pro Football Focus had him rated as a below-average inside linebacker.

Lions

Lions RB Mikel Leshoure has been taking an increased number of reps during the team’s offseason training program or OTAs due to Joique Bell rehabbing a knee injury.

“I’m taking full advantage of it,” Leshoure said, DetroitLions.com. “Right now coach is giving me the opportunity to get more carries. Theo is getting a few more reps, too, and we’re here to take full advantage of it.

The decision to bring in former Saints QBs coach Joe Lombardi as their new offensive coordinator has GM Martin Mayhew and Leshoure both optimistic about his role in the team’s offense.

“Guys that make plays will get carries,” Mayhew said. “You can go back to New Orleans’ offense, which is what encouraged me about Joe (Lombardi). Pierre Thomas had a role. (Darren) Sproles had a role. Mark Ingram had a role. At one point Chris Ivory had a role when he was down there with them. They found a way to utilize guys who could make plays.”

Leshoure, 24, is entering the final year of his rookie contract and stands to make $645,000 for the 2014 season. Last year, he was limited to appearing in just three games and was rumored to be on the trading block.

Titans

Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean writes that hasn’t heard “any buzz” that RB Shonn Greene could be jeopardy of being released.

Even so, Wyatt listed him among the five players who need to set up their game in training camp.

Wyatt points to the fact that Greene is coming off of a second knee surgery and was largely underwhelming in his first year with the Titans. On top of that, Greene is scheduled to make $2.3 million in 2014, which is a pretty decent salary for a running back coming off of less than spectacular season.

Tennessee spent money on Dexter McCluster this offseason and then wasted no time selecting Bishop Sankey in the second-round of this year’s draft.

Greene, 28, still has two years remaining on his three-year, $10 million contract that included $4.5 million guaranteed.

The Titans could free up $2.4 million if they were to release Greene after June 1, according to OverTheCap.com.

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