Miami Dolphins’ Albert Wilson looks good: ‘Nothing I can’t do now’ – Palm Beach Post

It’s really hard to gauge who’s doing well in organized team activity and minicamp.

The players rarely wear helmets and pads. They don’t tackle. They don’t hit. 

So — who has looked good for the Miami Dolphins this spring?

What if we told you wide receiver Albert Wilson? What if we told you Wilson looks healthy and fit and quick and dangerous again?

“I feel like there’s nothing I can’t do out there,” Wilson said this week, after a minicamp practice. “It’s exciting.”

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Wilson has been a bit lost in the shuffle. And that’s understandable. After all, he chose to sit out the 2020 season due to COVID-19 concerns.

But guess what that year of rest did for Wilson’s 28-year-old body.

Yes — it did the body good.

“Night and day,” Wilson said of how he feels now in comparison to spring of 2019. “I feel great right now, just my whole body including the hip. Just going into the season truly healthy and just knowing you can do anything you want.”

Wilson fractured his hip in October of 2018. That’s more than two-and-a-half calendar years ago. It took a while for Wilson to regain his mojo, but it really does appear back.

It’s easy to forget that Wilson was one of the best yards-after-catch receivers in the NFL in 2017 and 2018. He was dangerous in his final season with the Chiefs. He was dangerous in his first season with Miami, under Adam Gase.

But Wilson, a wide receiver with running back skills, played only seven games in 2018 due to the injury. And then Wilson wasn’t flashing his typical game-breaking ability in 2019.

Wilson has averaged 12 yards per catch in his career, but averaged only 8.2 two years ago. It was Brian Flores’ first year as Miami coach. Chad O’Shea was offensive coordinator. Ryan Fitzpatrick was quarterback.

Wilson just never seemed like his explosive self.

“It was just some things,” Wilson said. “I just wasn’t pretty much comfortable with doing things that year, and then just getting myself back to where I was. The coaches do a great job. They were aware of what I was able to do and now that we’re fully healthy, going into camp and to see what we can make shape.”

Prior to last season, Wilson adjusted his contract to one year and $3 million, and that carries into 2021. Wilson had initially signed a three-year deal worth $8 million a year.

The Dolphins have exceptional depth at wide receiver. It could be argued that at the moment DeVante Parker, Jaylen Waddle, Will Fuller, Preston Williams, Lynn Bowden, Jakeem Grant and perhaps Allen Hurns are ahead of Wilson on the depth chart.

But that could change. Wilson could be an excellent value play, considering his talent in relation to his salary. 

Speaking of Wilson and Hurns, who also sat out last season due to the pandemic, Flores said he’s been really pleased.

“I think that they’re both in good shape,” Flores said. “I think they both look good. I think they both – there’s always a little rust from any player after having some time off – but I think they look really good. They’re both in good shape. I think they’re both running well, moving well, picking up the offensive concepts well.”

The Dolphins could consider trade opportunities for Hurns and Jakeem Grant, if Wilson looks outstanding in training camp and the preseason. One thing going against Wilson is that almost all of Miami’s receivers can also play the slot position.

Of note, Waddle is the Dolphins’ likely starter in the slot.

“Man, I’m excited to see the kid go to work,” Wilson said of Waddle. “I see myself in him. So anything I can do to help him get going right now, I’m here for him.”

Wilson is from Port St. Lucie, Florida. He wanted to be a Dolphin. Though he could also prove to be a valuable trade asset, he hopes to stay a Dolphin. Miami’s receivers have a history of injury, so some of this may sort itself out.

Flores said the club could keep five, six or seven receivers.

Fuller is suspended by the NFL for the opener. If Miami were to keep six more receivers, the final spot could come down to a battle between Hurns and Wilson. 

The biggest reason it’s difficult to cut Hurns is that his dead cap hit would be greater than his cap savings if released this summer. In other words, Miami would lose the player and clear no money.

Wilson feels he has a good relationship with wide receivers coach Josh Grizzard, who was on the staff in 2019. He also feels he has a solid relationship with quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, who he caught passes from in the offseason.

“It’s all about having that chemistry and being on the same page, so the more time we have to do that, the better we’ll become,” Wilson said.

Wilson is in good shape. He looks quick. He looks explosive. He looks ready to be a contributor again.

“I’m just trying to get in and be able to compete and go to work,” Wilson said. “I’m not too caught onto how things are going to play out. I’m just looking for that opportunity.”