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Dolphins agree to 1-year deals with LB Shaquil Barrett, S Jordan Poyer as defensive players leave

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — The Miami Dolphins added needed linebacker help on Tuesday, agreeing to terms with veteran Shaquil Barrett on a one-year contract worth up to $9 million, his agent Drew Rosenhaus confirmed.

Barrett, 31, spent the past five seasons with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, where he had 45 sacks, 15 forced fumbles and three interceptions. The inside linebacker fills an immediate need at the position, as pass rushers Bradley Chubb (ACL) and Jaelan Phillips (Achilles tendon) could miss time early in the season as they work their way back from serious injuries — though the team hopes to have them back in time.

The Dolphins also agreed to a one-year deal with former Bills safety Jordan Poyer, who will join his AFC East rival after seven seasons in Buffalo, according to a person familiar with the negotiations. The person spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the deal hadn't been finalized.

The moves can’t become official until the new league year begins Wednesday.

Barrett — undrafted out of Colorado State in 2014 — has won Super Bowls with the Buccaneers (2020 season) and Denver Broncos (2015 season) and was a Pro Bowl selection in 2019 and 2021. He led the league with 19 1/2 sacks during his first season in Tampa in 2019.

In 2023, Barrett had 52 tackles, 4 1/2 sacks and three forced fumbles. He played only eight games in 2022 because of a torn Achilles tendon.

Tampa Bay released Barrett earlier this month in a move that saved the team nearly $5 million against the salary cap. He was three years into a four-year, $72 million deal that he signed in 2021.

Poyer played 16 games for the Bills last season, with 100 tackles, four passes deflected and a sack. Poyer was drafted by Philadelphia in the seventh round in 2013 but failed to make a splash with the Eagles. He was released before the end of his rookie season.

Poyer signed with the Bills as a free agent in March 2017 after a stint with the Browns, and he became one of the pieces that solidified Buffalo's secondary. He was a first-team All-Pro in 2021 with 93 tackles, three sacks and five interceptions. He was selected to the Pro Bowl a year later.

Buffalo released Poyer last week in a cost-cutting move. He had signed a two-year extension with the team last offseason.

The Dolphins have lost several key pieces on their defense since the start of free agency.

Standout defensive tackle Christian Wilkins, who was drafted by the Dolphins in the first round in 2019, agreed to a four-year, $110 contract the Las Vegas Raiders. Linebacker Andrew Van Ginkel, who had a breakout 2023 season, left for the Vikings. And Miami released linebacker Jerome Baker and defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah earlier this month.

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AP Pro Football Writer Rob Maaddi contributed to this report.

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