The Miami Dolphins are suddenly short on wide receivers after both Allen Hurns and Albert Wilson opted out of the 2020 NFL season, citing family concerns.
While neither have shined in the aqua green, both represented key depth pieces behind starters DeVante Parker and Preston Williams, with the latter coming off of a torn ACL. Williams has been cleared for football activities, but the luxury to ease him back on the field may have been lost.
Wilson has been one of the more disappointing free-agent signings of recent years. After signing a three-year, $24 million deal with Miami Wilson has played just 20 games over the past two seasons, starting only seven of those. He failed to surpass 400 receiving yards in either season and restructured his contract in May of 2020 to avoid being a cap casualty. He will be 29 years old and is no lock for the 2021 roster.
Hurns was a low risk signing by the Dolphins back in July of 2019. Once a rising star for the Jacksonville Jaguars, Hurns fell back to Earth and suffered a gruesome ankle injury as a Dallas Cowboy in January of 2019, leading to his release. The Dolphins then signed him to a one-year, $2.5 million contract as he rehabbed from the injury, serving as a solid depth receiver for the team. He earned himself a two-year, $8 million extension in November, and his veteran presence was certainly welcome in a young offense. Now Hurns will be staying at home preparing for the 2021 season where he, like Wilson, will be 29 years old on a contract year.
Neither were direct contributors towards one’s fantasy team, but they certainly helped the offense as capable depth pieces. The aforementioned Williams receives a bump in job security with both Hurns and Wilson done for the year, making him a worthy dart-throw late in drafts due to his talent and opportunity. It could also open up targets to tight end Mike Gesicki, who notably thrived once Williams got injured. Less targets going to wide receivers could result in a boost for Gesicki.
Isaiah Ford is likely the biggest winner from these opt outs. A 2017 seventh-round pick, Ford finally found playing time towards the end of last season and performed well. He grabbed 21 of his 29 targets for 235 yards over the final four weeks, and now has the opportunity to beat special teams ace Jakeem Grant for the No. 3 role. He likely won’t carry any direct value, but he’s a name to watch, especially in dynasty leagues. The opt outs certainly secure his spot on the 53-man roster.