Former New England Patriots defensive end Jabaal Sheard has drawn the attention of an AFC East rival, according to multiple reports.
Sheard, who became an unrestricted free agent when the NFL league year opened Thursday afternoon, reportedly has a visit scheduled with the Miami Dolphins. It will be Sheard’s first free-agent visit, sources told Omar Kelly of the Sun Sentinel.
Joining the Dolphins would represent a homecoming of sorts for the 27-year-old, who grew up just north of Miami in Hollywood, Fla.
After recording eight sacks during the 2015 season, Sheard took a step back in 2016, managing just five sacks in 15 games. He was benched for New England’s Week 11 win over the San Francisco 49ers and came off the bench for the rest of the season, bumped out of the starting lineup by emerging star Trey Flowers.
The Dolphins also reportedly have shown interest in Patriots linebacker Dont’a Hightower, another unrestricted free agent.
UPDATE (10:05 p.m. ET): The Dolphins confirmed Sheard visited with the team Thursday.
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images
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