Free-agent offensive tackle Jermon Bushrod reached an agreement with the Miami Dolphins on Thursday.
Bushrod's agency, BG Sports Enterprises, showed Bushrod signing his new deal:
Brittany G. @BGSport
@j_bushrod7475 is officially a @MiamiDolphins #teamBushrod #JermonBushrod #freeagency #Dolphins #NFL https://t.co/Hh8cUzZBQB2016-3-11 01:08:50
Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald reported it's a one-year deal.
Bushrod took to Twitter to comment on the news:
Jermon Bushrod @j_bushrod7475
Thank you @miamidolphins for this opportunity... I'm ready to get right and grind #phinsup 🐬 https://t.co/QVFjqUMOWq2016-3-11 01:12:50
Bushrod started 92 games along the offensive line for the New Orleans Saints and Chicago Bears between 2009 and 2014. He was forced into a reserve role for Chicago during the 2015 campaign, however, and the team proceeded to let him go in February.
Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network noted the move came after he failed a physical because of a shoulder injury. Adam Jahns of the Chicago-Sun Times passed along comments from the Towson product, who discussed the extent of the damage and his future:
At the end day, I had to realize the situation at hand. I messed up my shoulder pretty good. But I could still go. But after the year, and once I got the second opinion on it, the doctor gave me what he felt like was his best opinion.
We have to move forward. We have to get things better physically, and then we'll worry about where we're going to play next year.
Although those types of physical setbacks are never ideal, especially for a 31-year-old veteran, it wasn't all bad news. The lingering injury could help explain his drop-off in play, which limited him to just four starts for the Bears last season.
Signing him does come with some risk. Not only is he coming back from injury, but there's no guarantee he'll ever return to the same level he showcased during his prime. But getting a battle-tested tackle for a reasonable price presents upside, as well.
It's no surprise the Dolphins have sought out reinforcements up front. Football Outsiders rated the team's offensive line No. 24 in pass protection and No. 28 in run blocking for 2015. Those numbers must improve in order to make a serious playoff push.
Bushrod may be given an opportunity to battle Ja'Wuan James for the starting right tackle job during training camp. That said, the most likely scenario sees him serve as the chief reserve at both tackle spots behind James and Branden Albert in 2016.
Now that Bushrod has found a new home, the onus is on him to show he can still compete consistently and effectively in the trenches. It's a chance worth taking based on his track record before 2015.