Dolphins find likely starting right tackle, ink Mills

DAVIE, Fla. -- The Miami Dolphins likely found their starting tackle, signing right tackle Jordan Mills to a one-year contract on Thursday.

Financial terms were not disclosed but sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter the deal is worth $3 million.

This fills a big need for Miami, which has lacked a starting-caliber right tackle since Ja'Wuan James left for the Denver Broncos in free agency.

A big factor in this move was that Mills won't count against the compensatory formula since he was signed after May 8. The Dolphins are stockpiling picks for 2020, and are projected to receive a third- and fifth-round compensatory pick next season for losing James and defensive end Cameron Wake in free agency.

Miami is also projected to have over $100 million in cap space along with 10 draft picks (12 including projected compensatory picks) in the 2020 draft.

Mills, 28, started at right tackle over the past three seasons for the Buffalo Bills and he's started 82 of 87 games throughout his six-year NFL career. But he had some struggles in Buffalo and the team decided to let him test free agency. The Bills signed multiple offensive linemen and drafted former Oklahoma right tackle Cody Ford in the second round to help replace Mills.

The Dolphins will have to get more out of Mills than Buffalo did over the last few seasons for Josh Rosen or Ryan Fitzpatrick to feel comfortable with him protecting their right side. Either way, Dolphins general manager Chris Grier found a likely starter in May who won't cost the team a valuable 2020 draft pick.

Dolphins offensive line coach Pat Flaherty was glad to add some more competition to the right tackle position. He said Mills will compete with sixth-round pick Isaiah Prince and swing tackle Zach Sterup for that job.

Mills is the favorite to win the job, and he would add some more experience to an offensive line that will have at least two new starters in 2019.