- Paul Kuharsky, ESPN Staff Writer
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Posted by ESPN.com's Paul Kuharsky
Near the end of Ernest Wilford's four years in Jacksonville, the Jaguars thought about trying the 6-foot-5, 235-pound wide receiver as a tight end. But it wasn't a move they were going to be able to make.
"Yeah, it wasn't going to be a good sell when he was trying to get a free agent contract as a wideout, so the timing didn't work but [the Miami Dolphins] have obviously have gone that route in the time that he's been down there and we really were headed in that direction because he does do a lot of things right," Jack Del Rio told Jacksonville reporters Tuesday. "He's the right kind of guy. He does have some toughness. He's not going to be a point of attack blocking tight end, he's never going to be that. But we'll work with him and give him a chance, develop what they've done already with him and build on that and give him an opportunity to compete as a guy who can do some things on the move and present some problems match-up-wise."
That's the same thinking the team is using with sixth-round pick Zach Miller, a former college quarterback at Nebraska-Omaha who's making the move but has been out of action due to injury.
The Dolphins made a lot of the right moves in going from 1-15 in 2007 to 11-5 and the playoffs in 2008. But Wilford wasn't one of them. They gave him a four-year contract with $6 million guaranteed and he made three catches for 25 yards all season. Then they set the switch to tight end in motion, but recently ended it when they cut him.
It seems Wilford was well-liked in Jacksonville and would make for a good story if he can stick. He'll be a project for assistant Mike Tice and will get his first work as a tight end for the Jags Thursday night in Philadelphia.