Three-time Pro Bowl center Mike Pouncey was released Thursday as part of an offensive line makeover. Miami also acquired center Daniel Kilgore in a trade with San Francisco, and four-time Pro Bowl guard Josh Sitton agreed to terms on a two-year deal that could be worth nearly $18 million including incentives, said his agent, Jack Reale.
Pouncey, 28, has been plagued by serious problems with both hips, and at one time said he feared the issue might be career-ending. But last season he played in all 16 games for the first time since 2012.
The Dolphins also sealed their deals with former New England Patriots receiver Danny Amendola and former Kansas City Chiefs wideout Albert Wilson. They re-signed defensive back Walt Aikens, a standout on special teams, and re-signed long snapper John Denney, who has been with Miami since 2005 and turns 40 in December.
Quarterback David Fales agreed to terms on a one-year deal and could win the backup job behind Ryan Tannehill. Fales threw for 265 yards in last season’s finale against Buffalo and won praise fr om coach Adam Gase.
Pouncey became the fifth starter jettisoned by Gase after a 6-10 season. Five-time Pro Bowl defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh was released, as were linebacker Lawrence Timmons and tight end Julius Thomas, and three-time Pro Bowl receiver Jarvis Landry was traded.
Changes on offense were expected after Miami ranked 28th in points last season.
Pouncey, a first-round draft pick by the Dolphins in 2011, made the Pro Bowl in 2013-15. But he never played in a playoff game and was at the center of team’s bullying scandal in 2013.
Kilgore is a seven-year veteran who started all 16 games for the 49ers in 2017. Last month they signed him to an $11.78 million, three-year contract extension, but he became expendable when San Francisco signed free agent center Weston Richburg to a $47.5 million, five-year deal this week.
As part of Miami’s trade with the 49ers, the teams swapped seventh-round draft picks.
Amendola signed a $12 million, two-year contract, and Wilson received a $24 million, three-year deal. They’ll combine to replace Landry, who has a $16 million franchise tag for this year.
Amendola, 32, is a nine-year veteran with 426 receptions, including 61 last season. Since 2013, he has played in 13 postseason games with Tom Brady. Wilson is a four-year veteran with 124 career catches – a dozen more than NFL leader Landry made last season.
Donte DiVincenzo’s draft stock started rising after a breakout performance in the NCAA Tournament championship game.
Now the sixth man for Villanova’s title-winning squad is a first-round draft choice for one of the NBA’s up-and-coming teams. The Milwaukee Bucks selected DiVincenzo with the 17th overall pick of the NBA draft on Thursday night.
DiVincenzo fills a critical need for a perimeter shooter in Milwaukee, wh ere he should feel comfortable coming off the bench as a rookie.
”And to watch him come off the bench the majority of the time and contribute and produce the way that he did, shows that he really not only says that he wants to play a role in winning and will sacrifice and do whatever it takes to win, but he actually did it,” Bucks general manager Jon Horst said. ”And not only did he do it, he did it at a high level.”
Starting just 10 games last year, DiVincenzo was named the top sixth man in the Big East after averaging 13.4 points, 4.8 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game. His 31-point outburst against Michigan in the title game, including five 3-pointers, helped scouts take notice of the 6-foot-5 sophomore.
They were also wowed by DiVincenzo’s combine-best 42-inch vertical leap. His athleticism fits a roster with a core led by All-Star Giannis Antetokounmpo, the 6-foot-11 forward with a 7-3 wingspan.
Perhaps most important to the Bucks
The Bucks shot 35.5 percent from 3-point range last season, tied for 21st in the NBA. They averaged just 8.8 3s a game, 27th in the league. Better shooting from teammates could give Antetokounmpo even more room to maneuver in the lane for a highlight-reel bucket.
”Unreal,” DiVincenzo said at the draft in Brooklyn when asked about playing with Antetokounmpo. ”My job is to just to go in there and make sure he has all the confidence in the world that I’m on the court with him.”
The Bucks had their pick of wings with shooting ability with the 17th pick, with Miami’s Lonnie Walker and Maryland’s Kevin Huerter also on the board. They could also use a rugged interior defender and rebounder.
But DiVincenzo was too good to pass up. He also played in a pro-style system at Villanova, which Horst said could help the guard get better acclimated to the NBA.
”But for us to be able to get him … a guy that has positional size, that can shoot, pass, dribble, defend at a high level, compete and, again, to win at a high level, he’s proven he can do that. Very excited to have him,” Horst said.
DiVincenzo will still have to earn playing time from Mike Budenholzer, who was hired last month to replace interim coach Joe Prunty. In Budenholzer, Horst hired a coach with a reputation for player development who took the Atlanta Hawks to the Eastern Conference finals in 2015.
One of the league’s up-and-coming franchises hopes to take another step forward after first-round playoff exits in three of the past four seasons. The Bucks are also moving into a new arena this fall.
”They’re a playoff team and they’re … on the rise,” DiVincenzo said. ”My job is just coming there with no ego and just be the hardest worker and just build confidence in the people around me.”