Miami Dolphins: Sun Life Stadium

Dolphins Camp Report: Day 8

August, 2, 2014
Aug 2
3:20
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DAVIE, Fla. -- A daily review of the hot topics coming out of Miami Dolphins training camp:
  • Saturday was highlighted by the Dolphins’ annual team scrimmage at Sun Life Stadium. It was a good day for Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill, who threw for two touchdowns. Tannehill played mostly against the second-team defense during the scrimmage but looked sharp. His two touchdown throws were for 9 yards to running back Lamar Miller and 7 yards to tight end Dion Sims. Tannehill saved his best throws for the red zone, which will be key this season. “It felt good today,” Tannehill said. “It’s good to be in our stadium. It’s good to be in front of some fans. Myself and the rest of the offense, we’re growing day by day, getting better day by day. I feel myself becoming more in tune with the plays coming in, just having an idea exactly of what to do with the ball every play and that’s exciting for me.”
  • There were several very good plays by the defense in this scrimmage. The two that stood out most were Cortland Finnegan’s deep-ball interception off Dolphins backup quarterback Pat Devlin and rookie linebacker Jordie Tripp’s 70-plus yard fumble return for a touchdown. Tripp stripped rookie running back Damian Williams and recovered the ball in stride for the defensive touchdown.
  • Miller, Miami's incumbent starting running back, had a good day running the ball. He reeled off a pair of runs for 14 yards and 10 yards, showing good shiftiness. Miller also broke through several tacklers, which is something he didn’t do enough of in his first year as a starter last season. “He’s a guy that’s got a lot of skill and talent, and good speed,” Dolphins coach Joe Philbin said Saturday. “He does have elusiveness. I think that showed up today.”
  • The first-team offensive line actually held up well. There were no sacks allowed from the starting five in the trenches that included left tackle Branden Albert, left guard Daryn Colledge, center Nate Garner, right guard Dallas Thomas and rookie right tackle Ja’Wuan James. Miami is still trying to find its right combination up front. But Saturday’s performance was promising. “I think we got better today,” Albert said. “We just did a good job, from the quarterbacks to the running backs.”
  • There was one injury of note: Dolphins starting tight end Charles Clay went down early with an apparent right leg injury. The ailment didn't look serious, but Clay didn't return to the scrimmage.
  • After the scrimmage, the Dolphins announced their 2014 “Walk of Fame” members. The group includes former Dolphins cornerback Sam Madison, running back Tony Nathan, guard Ed Newman and defensive end Jeff Cross. The group will be inducted Sept. 21 before Miami’s home game against the Kansas City Chiefs.
  • The Dolphins are off on Sunday. Miami will return to the practice field on Monday at 8 a.m. ET to continue training camp at the team’s headquarters in Davie.
MIAMI -- The Miami Dolphins are about to have their annual team scrimmage at Sun Life Stadium at 9:30 a.m. ET. I'll be at the stadium this morning to bring you all the latest developments.

Miami head coach Joe Philbin said the goal of Saturday’s scrimmage is to get acclimated to game situations. Assistant coaches will be in the coach's box. Players will be divided on the sideline. It should be a productive scrimmage.

We will have a full report from Miami’s scrimmage in this page later today. But for those who cannot wait, follow me via Twitter @JamesWalkerNFL for live updates and photos from Sun Life Stadium as it happens. Also, be sure to check out ESPN.com's live Dolphins chat.

Live from Dolphins camp

August, 1, 2014
Aug 1
7:30
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The Miami Dolphins are in the middle of their toughest week of training camp. Miami will have its fourth consecutive practice Friday in what has been a grind for players.

This is the final practice of the week for the Dolphins. Miami is preparing for its annual team scrimmage Saturday at Sun Life Stadium.

I will post a full report from practice later this afternoon. But those who want immediate information can follow my Twitter account @JamesWalkerNFL for live updates from practice.

Live from Dolphins camp

July, 31, 2014
Jul 31
8:00
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The Miami Dolphins will have their sixth practice of training camp Thursday morning, and ESPN.com's Dolphins blog is here once again at the team's headquarters to take in all the action.

This is perhaps the hardest week of training camp. Miami will have four straight days of practice (Tuesday-Friday) and a team scrimmage at Sun Life Stadium on Saturday. This is when we will find out the mental and physical toughness of some players as they grind out the week.

I will also post a full report from practice later this afternoon. But those who want immediate information can follow my Twitter account @JamesWalkerNFL for live updates from practice.
The Miami Dolphins haven’t received much good news the past several weeks heading into training camp. First, Pro Bowl center Mike Pouncey needed hip surgery that will keep him out the first four to six games. Then, 2013 first-round pick Dion Jordan was suspended four games for violating the NFL’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.

On Wednesday, the Dolphins received another shock to the system courtesy of the reigning AFC East champions. The New England Patriots, Miami’s Week 1 opponent, cleared Rob Gronkowski (knee) for the start of training camp. Barring any setbacks, that virtually guarantees the dominant tight end will be ready in six weeks for New England's regular-season opener against Miami at Sun Life Stadium. This is a big game for both teams as they try to set the tone early in the division.

Miami’s defense has struggled in recent seasons defending tight ends and slot receivers over the middle. The Dolphins are trying to improve by making changes. They switched former middle linebacker Dannell Ellerbe to outside linebacker and moved Koa Misi inside. Miami also signed free-agent safety Louis Delmas to replace Chris Clemons.

Gronkowski is a matchup nightmare for Miami and certainly makes it tougher for the Dolphins to win their home opener. The Patriots did not have Gronkowski and were not at full strength during their most recent loss the Dolphins last December.

Miami has playoff aspirations this season and must improve within the division. The Dolphins are 4-8 the past two seasons against AFC East opponents.
Here are the most interesting Miami Dolphins stories Monday from around the Web:
  • Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reports the Dolphins will work out centers Darryn Colledge and Samson Satele Monday.
Morning take: Mike Pouncey's hip surgery will most likely keep him out 2-6 games. The Dolphins have options in house. But it's wise to see if there are better options outside the building.
  • Chris Perkins of the Sun Sentinel writes the Dolphins must establish their identity through defense.
Morning take: Based on offseason practices, Miami's defense is well ahead of the offense. That is expected for a defensive group that's been together for three seasons.
Morning take: The Dolphins have the green light to finally modernize their stadium. This is expected to eventually bring Super Bowls and big events to Miami.
  • Pete Prisco of CBS Sports lists linebacker Dannell Ellerbe as the Dolphins' most overrated player.
Morning take: Ellerbe struggled at times in the middle of last season after signing a big free-agent contract. The Dolphins believe they can get better production from Ellerbe this year by moving him to outside linebacker.
DAVIE, Fla. -- The Miami Dolphins took the field for the first of three practices during mandatory minicamp. It was a high-energy first session in what serves as a preview to training camp.

Here are seven observations from Tuesday's practice:
  • It was a strong day for the Dolphins' defense. Miami's defense was disruptive all practice and, by my count, recorded three interceptions and at least four would-be sacks. (The defense is not allowed to hit quarterbacks in practice.) The Dolphins' defense has been together for three seasons and has been well ahead of the offense on days practice was open to the media. “There's going to be days where one side of the ball has the upper hand,” Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin said. “It looked like the back end and the linebackers, we were doing some good things from a coverage standpoint.”
  • Miami receiver Brandon Gibson continues to make progress from last year's season-ending patella tendon tear. Gibson participated in team drills for the first time this offseason. He still doesn't look 100 percent but is moving around relatively well. At this point Gibson looks well on pace to be ready by Week 1.
  • Dolphins cornerback Jamar Taylor had arguably his best practice of the offseason. Taylor, who got reps on the first team, recorded a sideline interception off Dolphins quarterback Ryan Tannehill. Taylor also showed some athleticism by blowing up a running play. Taylor was injured must of last year but is making strong strides this offseason.
  • The Dolphins' coaching staff is putting several veterans on the maintenance program during minicamp. Pro Bowl center Mike Pouncey, defensive tackle Jared Odrick and cornerback Cortland Finnegan sat out team drills Tuesday. It is unknown if that will change during the week.
  • After a plan to renovate Sun Life Stadium was passed by the Miami-Dade County Commission in a 7-4 vote, Philbin credited owner Stephen Ross. “Most important to me is it shows the commitment our owner, Stephen Ross, has to making this a world-class organization,” Philbin said.
  • Miami rookie defensive end Terrence Fede had the play of the day. Fede, who is 6-foot-4 and 277 pounds, dropped in coverage and made a leaping interception off Dolphins backup quarterback Matt Moore. Fede then advanced the ball about 10 yards as his defensive teammates celebrated.
  • Dolphins defensive end Dion Jordan continues to flash in practice. He had another would-be sack on Tannehill coming off the corner. Jordan put on about 17 pounds of muscle since last year and looks ready to make a second-year jump after an ineffective rookie year.

Miami will continue its three-day minicamp on Wednesday morning.
Here are the most interesting Miami Dolphins stories Tuesday from around the Web:
  • Douglas Hanks of the Miami Herald reports the plan to renovate Sun Life Stadium is set to go to vote.
Morning take: Dolphins owner Stephen Ross plans to pay for the renovations while the county pays the Dolphins for big events. This plan appears to have a good chance to go through.
  • Omar Kelly of the Sun Sentinel examines whether Dolphins kick returner Marcus Thigpen has competition.
Morning take: There are several players who could emerge. Thigpen must keep his retuning job if he wants to make the team. He hasn’t offered much as a receiver or running back.
Morning take: This is the final chance to see the Dolphins before training camp at the end of July. It should be a fun few days in Davie.
  • Tyler McMullen of Rant Sports believes Dolphins tight end Michael Egnew can become a seam threat.
Morning take: Egnew is on the roster bubble after two unimpressive seasons. He is on the roster bubble and must prove he has something to offer in Bill Lazor’s new offense.
One of the headaches for the Miami Dolphins the past two seasons under head coach Joe Philbin has been the team’s inability to win within the AFC East. Philbin is a dreadful 4-8 against division teams since taking over the Dolphins in 2013. It’s one of the primary reasons Philbin is a below .500 coach (15-17) in Miami and is on the hot seat entering his third season.

Can the Dolphins turn things around against the AFC East this year? Winning within the division is the quickest way for Miami to end its playoff drought of six years.

Here is a preview of Miami’s AFC East matchups:

New England Patriots

Games: Week 1 and Week 15

Analysis: The Patriots have been the beasts of the AFC East for more than a decade. The Dolphins were able to forge a split against New England last season with a big win against the Patriots in Week 15 at Sun Life Stadium. The win set Miami up for a push to the playoffs, but the Dolphins collapsed down the stretch against a pair of division foes. Last season was a down year for the Patriots because of injuries, but they still cruised to 12 wins and won the division by a landslide. The Dolphins must at least split with New England to have a chance to win the division. The Patriots are legit Super Bowl contenders assuming all of their healthy players return. Miami’s best chance to beat New England is in Week 1 at Sun Life Stadium.

Difficulty level (On scale of 1-to-10): 9

Buffalo Bills

Games: Week 2 and Week 11

Analysis: The Dolphins were embarrassingly swept by the lowly Bills last season. Buffalo won six games, but two came against Miami. The Bills also played backup quarterback Thad Lewis in both games. This is the matchup the Dolphins can’t seem to shake. Buffalo is a team built to beat Miami. The Bills are a strong running team, which wore out Miami’s shaky run defense. The Bills also had a stout defensive line and players who can rush the passer. Miami’s offensive line was atrocious last season. Beating Buffalo isn’t difficult for most teams, but it is for Miami. However, if the Dolphins want to take the next step and get to the playoffs, they might have to sweep the Bills, which is a tall task.

Difficulty level: 8

New York Jets

Games: Week 13 and 17

Analysis: The Dolphins won’t face the Jets until later in the season. But that doesn’t make this divisional rivalry any less important. These games could have major playoff implications for both teams. The Dolphins and Jets both believe this is their year to make the postseason. The Patriots are the favorites to win the AFC East, and there might be one wild card in the division. The Dolphins and Jets have had a strong rivalry for many years. Recently, this matchup has taken an odd turn, as each team has been able to win on the road the past two seasons. A split seems to be the norm in this series. But if either team could sweep, that could increase its chances to make the playoffs.

Difficulty level: 7
The Miami Dolphins and Miami Heat share the same fan base in South Florida. Over the past few years, agony from football season -- the Dolphins haven’t made the playoffs since 2008 -- is usually washed away during basketball season, as the Heat have won back-to-back championships and three straight Eastern Conference titles.

But what is the annual cost for players on both teams? How much money is invested in big stars like LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh for the Heat and Mike Wallace, Cameron Wake and Ryan Tannehill for the Dolphins?

ESPN The Magazine did an interesting piece Tuesday on money spent to run the world’s best sports franchises.

Here is a side-by-side comparison:

 

Only $10 million separated the Heat and Dolphins in terms of player spending. But it’s important to remember the Dolphins pay 52 players on their active roster annually, while the Heat have just 12 players.

Still, the Heat got much more bang for their buck as they try to go for three-straight NBA championships. The Heat consistently packs American Airlines Arena and is the hottest ticket in town. Meanwhile, the Dolphins struggle with attendance annually at Sun Life Stadium.

It proves the biggest remedy for sports fans is winning.
The Miami Dolphins had a busy week at the NFL owners meetings. Locker-room culture was among the major topics discussed among the 32 teams and commissioner Roger Goodell. Miami also had media sessions with owner Stephen Ross, general manager Dennis Hickey and head coach Joe Philbin.

ESPN.com’s Dolphins page hit on many of the key points last week in Orlando, Fla. But here are some additional things we learned during our time at the owners meetings:
  • I get the sense Philbin is sincere in his goal to become more available and accessible to his players. Philbin admits that's an area where he can improve entering his third season. Philbin embarrassingly was unaware of the high-profile bullying scandal going on inside his locker room last season. All 32 head coaches were in Orlando last week, and Philbin got a chance to exchange notes and share his experience with peers he respects.
  • Ross is very optimistic that Sun Life Stadium renovations will take place. He is willing to pay about $350 million of his own money in exchange for property-tax relief. There are still some hurdles to climb in the process. But Ross and the Dolphins would like to have everything in order in time to make a Super Bowl bid for 2019 next summer.
  • The Dolphins still aren’t sure what position is best for 2013 third-round pick Dallas Thomas. Miami experimented with Thomas all through training camp at guard and offensive tackle. The Dolphins’ coaching staff believes narrowing Thomas’ workload to one position will help the second-year player’s growth. “You want to get the player comfortable,” Philbin said.
  • Miami’s coaching staff didn’t get enough explosive runs from Lamar Miller last season. Miller struggled with a poor offensive line, but he also didn’t do a good job of breaking tackles. He only had four rushes last season of 20 yards or more. The Dolphins signed projected starting running back Knowshon Moreno last week, which could move Miller to the bench next season. Moreno also is not an explosive running. But the Dolphins hope Miller can get longer gains with fewer carries.
  • The No. 2 and No. 3 cornerback spots are open in Miami. Pro Bowl cornerback Brent Grimes will man one spot, while veteran Cortland Finnegan and second-year players Jamar Taylor and Will Davis will compete for the other roles. Finnegan is the favorite due to experience. But Miami is not going to hand him a starting job.
  • For now Dannell Ellerbe is still the starting middle linebacker in Miami’s 4-3 defense. But the Dolphins haven’t ruled out any combination for next season until their roster is complete. Miami’s run defense was inconsistent last season and Ellerbe wasn’t fully comfortable with his role. The Dolphins hosted fellow middle linebacker D'Qwell Jackson last month when he was a free agent. Jackson, who signed with the Indianapolis Colts, could have provided a chance to move Ellerbe outside. The Dolphins may still look for an opportunity to add someone at middle linebacker via the draft or free agency.
  • The Dolphins are open to adding another quarterback to compete with No. 3 quarterback Pat Devlin. Miami tendered Devlin, who has been a developmental project for the Dolphins for four seasons, for one more season.
ORLANDO, Fla. -- The NFL league meetings are underway Monday in the sunshine state.

Here are some Miami Dolphins-centric items that took place:
  • There was some chatter on improving locker-room culture. The Dolphins set the stage last season when the Ted Wells report pulled back the curtain on their bullying scandal involving Richie Incognito and Jonathan Martin. Different coaches offered perspectives in Orlando. "I think coaches are held to a standard that sometimes is impossible," Arizona Cardinals coach Bruce Arians explained Monday. "We don't see our guys until April 21st. If they're living in New Orleans or somewhere else, I don't know how we're responsible for what they do. They're men. They have families. They have children. They're responsible for their actions, not the coach."
  • Dolphins president Tom Garfinkel said negotiations for stadium renovations are ongoing, and owner Stephen Ross plans to pay about $350 million of his own money into improving Sun Life Stadium. But the Dolphins are seeking property tax relief in exchange. "Miami Gardens is our neighborhood," Garfinkel explained. "We want to work with them, as well as the school board, to make sure that we're doing everything we can to make this work for everybody." The Dolphins' stadium plan is in its early stages and not on the docket at this year's league meetings.
  • Garfinkel also provided an interesting tidbit: The bidding process for the 2019 Super Bowl begins in the summer. Part of the reason the Dolphins are trying to renovate Sun Life Stadium is to make Miami more attractive for future Super Bowls. The Dolphins most likely would prefer to have all the answers on renovations by the summer in order to make the strongest bid possible.
  • Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis didn't completely close the door on Incognito signing with his team. The embattled Incognito, who was the central figure in Miami's bullying scandal, told NFL.com last week that he'd love to play for the Raiders because they fit his bad-boy image. "I'd have to think about that," Davis responded Monday.
  • The Dolphins will have a full slate of media availability on Tuesday. Miami head coach Joe Philbin will speak during the AFC coaches breakfast. GM Dennis Hickey and Ross also are expected to speak to the media on Tuesday afternoon.
Miami Dolphins owner Stephen Ross made a statement Tuesday on the proposed $350 million to $400 million in renovations to Sun Life Stadium. In return, the Dolphins would like property tax relief on the facility.

Here is the full statement from Ross:
“I have made clear I want the stadium modernized because it’s right for our fans and it’s right for Miami-Dade and South Florida. I have decided the best way to get this done is to pay for the project with private funds. All we ask in return is that we are treated the same as all franchises in the state of Florida. A world-class city needs a world-class stadium. We haven’t won a Super Bowl bid in Miami-Dade in far too long, and we know that with the stadium as an issue, we never will unless it is modernized. The Super Bowl Committee will have to decide if they want to compete for the next two Super Bowls so time is of the essence. It is time to move forward. This privately funded project will create more than 4,000 local jobs. We can bring back the Super Bowl, the College Football Playoff Championship and world-class soccer matches -- and all the revenue those big events generate for the local community. I am going to make the commitment and provide the resources because Miami deserves the economic benefits of a modernized stadium. But for me, this is about something more. I grew up here in Miami-Dade and have been part of this area for most of my life. I want to do this for the community that has done so much for me, and for this storied franchise that means so much to the people of South Florida. With this project, we can secure the future of the Dolphins in Miami-Dade for another 20 years. That is more important to me than anything else.”
Ryan Tannehill and Julio JonesUSA TODAY SportsRyan Tannehill and the undefeated Dolphins will try to upset Julio Jones and the Atlanta Falcons.
The Miami Dolphins are basking in the light of a 2-0 start while the Atlanta Falcons are just trying to find some healthy bodies.

The two teams play each other Sunday in a game that has big implications in the AFC East and NFC South races.

ESPN Dolphins reporter James Walker and ESPN Buccaneers reporter Pat Yasinskas examine this matchup:

Yasinskas: James, like many, I thought the Dolphins would be an improved team. But it's looking like they might be even better than I thought. They've gone out and started their season with two big wins on the road. What's going right for the Dolphins and, more importantly, how good are they?

Walker: It's early, Pat, but Miami is already exceeding my expectations. I pegged the Dolphins to be an 8-8 team this year. That still could happen if the team loses focus, but Miami is on pace to do better. I credit two things: improved playmaking ability and the growth of second-year quarterback Ryan Tannehill. Miami committed more than $200 million in free-agent contracts to players like receiver Mike Wallace, cornerback Brent Grimes and linebackers Dannell Ellerbe and Philip Wheeler. All of those players came up big in last Sunday's win over the Indianapolis Colts. When you add in the fact Tannehill has improved in his second year, it's easy to see why the Dolphins are also taking the next step. Atlanta is a team many believe is a Super Bowl contender, but the group is banged up. Pat, how much will injuries impact the Falcons in this game?

Yasinskas: Atlanta has some major injury problems. The Falcons had to put defensive end/linebacker Kroy Biermann and fullback Bradie Ewing on injured reserve this week and there are reports that running back Steven Jackson will miss a few weeks. The loss of Biermann means the Falcons will have to play rookies Joplo Bartu and Paul Worrilow at linebacker and second-year pro Jonathan Massaquoi at defensive end. If Jackson is out, the Falcons will have to go with Jacquizz Rodgers and Jason Snelling as their running backs, and that's a sharp drop-off. That probably means the Falcons will pass even more than usual and rely on Roddy White and Julio Jones. Is Miami's secondary ready for that tandem?

Walker: I had a good conversation with Miami's top cornerback, Grimes, on Tuesday. He was complimentary of both White and Jones -- and Grimes would know. The former Falcon watched both receivers grow in Atlanta and practiced against them. It will be fun to see who has the advantage between Grimes and White/Jones, depending on the play. Grimes told me they all know each other so well that it's probably a push. The bigger concern for Miami's secondary is the other cornerback spot. Veteran starter Dimitri Patterson didn't play in Week 2 due to a groin injury. He's working his way back and could play Sunday. Rookie corners Will Davis and Jamar Taylor also returned to practice this week, which could provide depth. Similar to the game against Indianapolis, Miami must do a lot of things schematically to cover up its issues opposite Grimes. That includes using the safeties over the top and getting a good pass rush. Speaking of pass rush, the Dolphins have nine sacks in the first two games. Can they exploit the Falcons in this area?

Yasinskas: Miami's pass rush has to be a major concern for the Falcons. Atlanta revamped its offensive line in the offseason and it's taking some time to come together. The right side of the line is of particular concern with guard Garrett Reynolds and Lamar Holmes as the starters. Reynolds is average at best and Holmes, a second-year pro, was thrown into the starting lineup when Mike Johnson went down with an injury in the preseason. Holmes is very much a work in progress, so the Falcons will have to try to give him some help by getting their tight ends and running backs involved as pass-blockers. Still, Atlanta should be able to move the ball through the air because it has Matt Ryan, Jones, White and tight end Tony Gonzalez. Has Tannehill developed enough to win a shootout?

Walker: That's an interesting question, Pat. I'm not sure anyone -- even Miami's coaching staff -- has the answer. I did notice the Dolphins' game plan in Week 1 against Cleveland was fairly conservative compared to Week 2 against Indianapolis. Those are two different teams, and perhaps the Dolphins realized they needed to be more aggressive throwing and take more vertical shots deep to match Colts quarterback Andrew Luck. This is a similar type of challenge, because Atlanta's offense is built around scoring points in the passing game. Tannehill is getting better at taking over parts of a game in Year 2. His play in the second half the past two weeks has been terrific. The Dolphins are outscoring opponents 24-6 in the third and fourth quarters, in part because Tannehill is moving the chains, putting points on the board and keeping Miami's defense fresh. I don't expect this game to be all on Tannehill's shoulders. The defense remains the strength of the Dolphins. Keeping Atlanta's scoring around 23 points or fewer, as opposed to having Tannehill throw for 400 yards, is probably Miami's best shot to win.

On Stephen Ross' donation to Michigan

September, 4, 2013
9/04/13
9:35
AM ET
MIAMI -- If there is one thing we know about Miami Dolphins billionaire owner Stephen Ross, it's that he's not afraid to spend money.

Ross opened his wallet again this week with a huge, $200 million donation to the University of Michigan, both the school and Dolphins announced Wednesday. Ross is a proud Wolverines alum and made the single largest donation in the school's history.

"This historic gift is not only an investment in the University of Michigan, but also in our state,” Michigan school president Mary Sue Coleman said. “Steve Ross believes deeply in our collective future as national and global leaders."

While this is a great thing for the University of Michigan and its state, this may rub some Dolphins fans in South Florida the wrong way.

Ross and the Dolphins just went through a lengthy and bitter battle with the state of Florida over getting public funding to upgrade Sun Life Stadium. The Dolphins put together a package where Ross and the state would share costs. However, the state legislature in Tallahassee nixed the bill before it went to public vote. Ross and the Dolphins were furious, because they felt they had enough momentum on their side with Florida residents. Ross told the media in August that he will not give up seeking public funding for Sun Life Stadium and may try again in 2014.

No one can argue that Ross is not putting money and resources into his own team. The Dolphins spent more than $200 million in free agency this offseason and made various upgrades to the uniforms, logo and other areas of the organization. My train of thought is it's Ross' money. He earned it and can spend it however he chooses.

But, right or wrong, don't expect Ross' $200 million donation to Michigan to sit well with many Florida residents and perhaps the state legislature if the Dolphins seek public funding again next year. The natural reaction is some of that money could have went to upgrading Sun Life Stadium, where the Dolphins have had attendance issues for many years.

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