sports 4 days ago

Veteran tackle Jordan Mills excited to take advantage of 'great opportunity' with Miami Dolphins

Sun Sentinel — Christy Cabrera Chirinos Sun Sentinel

May 15--Even as the weeks stretched on and teams around the league grew closer to the starts of their respective organized team activities, free agent Jordan Mills wasn't worried that he hadn't been signed yet.

He knew at some point, the right opportunity would come along.

That opportunity came last Thursday when Mills -- a right tackle who started every game for the Buffalo Bills between 2015-18 -- signed a one-year, $3 million deal with the Miami Dolphins.

Tuesday, Mills was on the field, working with the Dolphins' second unit as Miami began OTAs and he started the latest chapter in a seven-year NFL career that began in 2013 when he was a fifth-round draft pick of the Chicago Bears and has included stops in Dallas and Detroit, since.

"Oh, this is a great opportunity," Mills said after his first workout as a Dolphin. "Great young team, a new coaching staff that's coming out here to build a championship, playoff-caliber type of team and then getting the opportunity to play for this great organization with a great history, it's a true blessing. I'm glad to be here."

With the Dolphins working to rebuild their offensive line, the hope is Mills will help provide some much-needed experience to a young group that currently features six rookies and another five players who've each been in the NFL fewer than four years.

The 29 year old will likely be competing with third-year veteran Zach Sterup and rookie Isaiah Price of Ohio State for the starting right tackle job vacated when former free agent Ja'Wuan James signed with the Denver Broncos in March.

Though Mills declined Tuesday to discuss which other teams showed an interest in adding him to their rosters, he reportedly visited with Cincinnati Bengals and Houston Texans before signing with Miami.

"After the draft, we re-evaluated what else was out there. We saw Jordan and obviously, I know him and this organization knows him from playing against him in Buffalo," Dolphins coach Brian Flores said. "We just saw an opportunity to add a veteran player who has some experience and thought it was a good move for our team."

Being one of the veteran presences in Miami's offensive line room is a responsibility Mills said he's happy to take on, especially with help from nine-year veteran Daniel Kilgore and fourth-year tackle Laremy Tunsil.

But Mills -- who has played in 58 consecutive games with 53 starts -- acknowledges there is still much work to be done, even in his own game.

According to ProFootballFocus.com, Mills led the Bills in total pressures allowed and had the lowest pass-blocking grade among the team's qualifying offensive linemen since 2016.

Mills noted Tuesday he's willing to do the work to make both himself and the Dolphins better.

"I've got a lot of experience, you know, [but] some of these guys do [too], like LT, Kilgore and the rest of the guys," Mills said.

"I'm just coming in to add my savvy, my experience. Just come out here and compete and work hard every day. That's the task at hand right now, to come in and help this team get better each day. ... Honestly, the time until I got here, I've just been working out and training hard. ... I knew I was going to end up with a team sooner or later. I just had to keep continuing to do what I had been doing for the past six years, seven years. I landed here and I'm going to make the best of the opportunity."

Added Dolphins offensive line coach Pat Flaherty, "He's a veteran. He's played a lot of football. He was in Buffalo this past season and watching tape from week to week, you have a lot of crossover tape. So, I had an opportunity to see him there. I think he's a good football player. Still even though he's been in the league a little bit, he has got a high ceiling and he can get better at a lot of things he's doing. We're excited about having him."

Staff writer Safid Deen contributed to this report.

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