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Justin Peele


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Looks like the Dolphins and Pennington were were familiar with another backup TE and Dolphins Mgt was aware of the salary differential.

Mularkey knows Peelle well. A pass catching TE can be a real boost to a rookie QB. This signing and Jason Jefferson yesterday could be significant.

More details from the S. Florida Sun-Sentinel:

Trying to fit four large tight ends on the same roster can be a tight squeeze, but it's not unprecedented.

When the Dolphins pare the roster from 70 to the mandated 53 by 6 p.m. Saturday, one of the toughest decisions will probably come down to choosing either Justin Peelle or Sean Ryan as the third tight end behind front-liners Anthony Fasano and David Martin.

"We had four tight ends in my last year at Jacksonville," said Ryan, who was originally drafted by then-Cowboys coach Bill Parcells in 2004, and was targeted in free agency this offseason. "Actually, it's up to whatever they want to do."

Ryan had the flashiest play in Thursday night's 14-10 exhibition win against the Saints. He twisted his 6-foot-5, 260-pound frame to make a leaping, one-handed catch in the end zone on an 8-yard dart from rookie Chad Henne. That partially atoned for the wide-open, 20-yard pass he dropped the week before against the Chiefs.

"It's always important when you get the opportunity to make an impression," said Ryan, who has nine career catches for 90 yards in two seasons with the Jets. "I had an opportunity to make a catch last week and didn't make it, so this one was a big situation I had to go up and make the catch.

"You always want to keep in the back of their mind that you're making plays when it comes down to cut time. ... Whoever makes this team is supposed to be on the team and I'm sure whoever doesn't make the team will have a job somewhere else."

Peelle came up with three catches for 23 yards, giving him four for 39 this preseason. Peelle, like Martin a holdover from the previous regime of coach Cam Cameron and GM Randy Mueller, has always been considered a dependable two-way player. Last year, Peelle, 29, had a career-high 29 catches for 228 yards with two touchdowns.

However, Peelle's hefty $1.3 million salary may count as a demerit on Parcells' comparison grocery list. Ryan is making $655,000 this season.

"They had a chance to get rid of me," Peelle said of the offseason overhaul of last year's 1-15 team. "Tony addressed that, saying he wanted everybody here. I don't know [about the money]. That's my contract. I want to be here and I hope they want me to be here. If not, I'll move on."

Quarterback Chad Pennington praised the tight ends as a group, but he has a history with Ryan, having played with him on the Jets for the past two seasons.

"He's going to do a great job in the running game and he's going to be solid in the passing game, but his toughness and mentality he brings to the offense is extremely important," Pennington said.

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Matt Ryan passed to his tight ends a lot at BC. Good to see that the Falcons addressed this issue. Crumpler will be tough (if not impossible) to replace, but having a target at Tight End is important in any offense - especially with a rookie QB.

Go Falcons.

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