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Julius Thomas Reportedly Traded to Dolphins: Details and Reaction

DETROIT, MI - NOVEMBER 20: Julius Thomas #80 of the Jacksonville Jaguars runs for yardage against Rafael Bush #31 of the Detroit Lions during second half action at Ford Field on November 20, 2016 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Rey Del Rio/Getty Images)
Rey Del Rio/Getty Images
Scott PolacekFeatured ColumnistFebruary 20, 2017

The Miami Dolphins, who didn't have a tight end tally more than 256 receiving yards last season, reportedly acquired some much-needed depth Monday.

According to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com, the Jacksonville Jaguars traded tight end Julius Thomas to the Dolphins. Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald reported Miami will send a late-round 2017 draft pick to the Jaguars in exchange. Rapoport later reported it would be for a seventh-round pick, adding Thomas will be in Miami on Tuesday for a physical. 

Salguero also reported Thomas had his pay cut "significantly" as part of the deal. Salguero didn't cite exact numbers, but the tight end was set to have a cap hit of $8.3 million in 2017, $9.8 million in 2018 and $10.3 million in 2019, per Over The Cap. Salguero's report stated Thomas "will get a chance to earn back much of his money through incentives if he plays at the level he did in Denver."

This trade comes after Salguero reported the Dolphins and Jaguars agreed to a deal that would send left tackle Branden Albert to Jacksonville, although that move hasn't yet been finalized. Before the trade terms emerged, Omar Kelly of the Sun Sentinel reported the two teams were working on a swap of Albert for Thomas.

Thomas will give the Dolphins another dynamic pass-catcher. While wide receivers Jarvis Landry, DeVante Parker and Kenny Stills all topped 700 receiving yards in 2016, tight end Dion Sims had just 256 and tight end Jordan Cameron only had 60 in a mere three games during an injury-plagued season.

Salguero called head coach Adam Gase's offense "something of a godsend to a pass-catching tight end." Thomas would know that firsthand, as his best two seasons came in 2013 and 2014 with the Denver Broncos when Gase was his offensive coordinator:

Julius Thomas' Career Stats
SeasonTeamGamesCatchesReceiving YardsTouchdown Catches
2011Denver Broncos5150
2013Denver Broncos146578812
2014Denver Broncos134348912
2015Jacksonville Jaguars12464555
2016Jacksonville Jaguars9302814
Source: ESPN.com

Martellus Bennett and Zach Miller tallied 87 catches for 878 yards and eight touchdowns in 2015 for the Chicago Bears when Gase was the offensive coordinator in the Windy City.

Sims is a solid player and blocker, but he isn't the type of game-changing tight end who can quickly flip field position like Thomas. While the 28-year old was nowhere near as productive in Jacksonville as he was in Denver (when Peyton Manning was his quarterback), he now has the chance to reunite with his old offensive coordinator and could post double-digit touchdowns again.

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