The Miami Dolphins are bringing back joint running back Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson Jr., according to multiple sources on Tuesday.
The pair’s return essentially solves the puzzle of the Dolphins’ backfield this offseason, as the team started free agency with all of its rebounds from last season’s active roster going into free agency. Rumors swirled about Miami exploring trade options for top running backs like the Titans’ Derrick Henry or the Vikings’ Dalvin Cook.
Both have two-year contracts. Mostert’s contract is for two years and $5.6 million, with $2.2 million guaranteed, according to the NFL Network. ESPN reported that the deal could be worth up to $7.6 million with incentives. Wilson’s contract, according to a source, has a maximum value of $8.2 million.
The news about the two quarterbacks returning with head coach Mike McDaniel to the San Francisco 49ers lineup comes after the Dolphins also re-signed running back Salvon Ahmed, who was entering restricted free agency, on Friday. Wilson expressed interest in returning to the Dolphins in 2023, and general manager Chris Grier said it was possible the pair could be reunited.
“We’re very open for these guys to come back,” Grier said at the NFL scouting combine on March 1. “We talked about the scenario in which they could be back. We can have the same backfield next year.”
The decision comes after the Dolphins drove three plays on Monday, the NFL’s first day of free agency. They added backup quarterback Mike White, linebacker David Long and re-signed backup linebacker Duke Riley. On Sunday, Miami closed a highly successful trade with the Los Angeles Rams for cornerback Jalen Ramsey.
While Mostert and Wilson can sign immediately when they return to the Dolphins, outside free agents can start signing new teams as early as 4 p.m. None of the recent acquisitions were announced by the team as of Tuesday afternoon.
Mostert, who turns 31 on April 9, led the Dolphins last season with 891 rushing yards. Returning from a torn meniscus in his knee that cost him his 2021 campaign, his final season with the San Francisco 49ers, he averaged 4.9 yards per carry after trailing McDaniel to Miami.
Mostert’s career yards per carry average of 5.4 would be enough to be the NFL’s all-time leader among tailbacks over Jamaal Charles if he had enough quick attempts to qualify.
Mostert, who has an extensive injury history, showed he could stay healthy in his first season with the Dolphins, tying his regular season career high with 16 games played. He missed the playoff loss against the Buffalo Bills with a broken thumb and a minor injury ruled him out of a November victory over the Houston Texans.
Prior to the 2021 knee injury he recovered to prepare for last season, an MCL sprain and two separate ankle sprains cost him eight total games in 2020. That was after his 2019 campaign, when he racked up 772 runs, a career-high. yards and had his epic four-touchdown performance as the 49ers’ NFC Championship Game win over the Green Bay Packers to reach the Super Bowl.
In 2017, a previous knee MCL sprain cost him the season, and a forearm fracture in 2018 cut the season short.
Wilson rushed for 392 yards and a 4.7 average in eight games after being traded to the 49ers at the deadline last season. He added 23 rushing yards in Buffalo’s postseason game.
The Dolphins have Myles Gaskin as their remaining running back on their 2022 roster, who is a free agent this offseason.
This story will be updated.
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