James had a solid season last year, perhaps aided by the steadily rising talent around him. But the Dolphins also trusted him significantly, and were rewarded with the rise of Pro Bowl running back Jay Ajayi. According to NFL Research, the Dolphins ranked second in the league in running plays off the outside hip of the right tackle, meaning it was quite a busy year for the veteran. The average gain on those plays? An average of 4.96 yards per carry. It was nearly double the amount of plays Miami ran off the left tackle.
The move signals what should be a wave of last-minute option pickups over the course of the next 48 hours. Some high 2014 picks like Sammy Watkins, Blake Bortles, Anthony Barr and Eric Ebron have yet to hear a definitive word about their future.