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Examining the roster ties between Patriots, Dolphins ahead of Week 18

The past Patriots and past Dolphins set to meet again in Sunday’s finale.

Miami Dolphins v New England Patriots Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images

When Miami Dolphins coaches Brian Flores, George Godsey and Josh Boyer will host their former employer on Sunday, so will a long line of players.

Nine ex-New England Patriots are in the fold at Hard Rock Stadium between the active roster, practice squad and reserve lists. But the connections flow both directions between AFC East teams that last met in the season opener.

Here’s a glance heading into the 4:25 p.m. ET flexed season finale.


Jacoby Brissett, quarterback — The North Carolina State transfer landed in New England at No. 91 overall in the 2016 NFL draft. Two starts followed. Brissett went 34-of-55 passing for 400 yards and added 83 yards and one touchdown rushing as a rookie. His stay brought a Super Bowl LI ring before being traded to the Indianapolis Colts on Labor Day weekend in 2017 in exchange for wide receiver Phillip Dorsett. Brissett went on to start 30 games with Indianapolis. The 29-year-old quarterback then signed a one-year deal with Miami in March. Brissett has since appeared in 11 games and started five to complete 62.7 percent of his passes for 1,283 yards with five touchdowns and four picks. He’s logged 70 yards and one touchdown on the ground.

Isaiah Ford, wide receiver — At the 2020 NFL trade deadline, the Patriots acquired Ford from the Dolphins in exchange for a conditional late-round selection in the 2022 draft. The wideout dressed for one game and did not play a snap while in Foxborough. He instead made his way back to Miami Gardens after clearing waivers in December. Ford began September on the practice squad before signing to the 53-man roster in October. The 25-year-old has proceeded to catch a dozen passes for 162 yards and two touchdowns. Ford, a starter the past two weeks, originally landed with the organization in the seventh round of the 2017 draft out of Virginia Tech.

Adam Butler, defensive tackle — Arriving as part of New England’s 2017 undrafted class, the converted Vanderbilt defensive lineman checked into 63 games over his regular seasons from there and started 12. Butler totaled 96 tackles and 15 sacks as a Patriot while batting down nine passes. After playing on the second-round restricted tender in 2020, the Super Bowl LIII champion reached a two-year, $7 million contract with the Dolphins as an unrestricted free agent. Butler had amassed five sacks over eight career games versus Miami. And in his inaugural campaign with the club, the 27-year-old stands with two sacks, three tipped passes and 17 tackles. He’s appeared in every game and started one.

Elandon Roberts, linebacker — A 2019 Patriots captain and a 2020 Dolphins captain, Roberts was retained for 2021. The linebacker by way of Morgan State and Houston had accumulated 206 tackles, four sacks, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery with New England after arriving in the sixth round back in 2016. And at fullback, he scored a touchdown versus Miami. Roberts then started 11 contests last season before being placed on injured reserve due to a knee injury. The 27-year-old has gone on to start 14 games this season. Those games have included one sack and a career-high 79 tackles, two forced fumbles as well as his first NFL interception. It went for an 85-yard touchdown.

Calvin Munson, linebacker — The Dolphins claimed Munson off waivers from the Patriots midway through December. The move marked a return to the other side of the division for the 26-year-old linebacker. Munson, who had agreed join Miami’s 53-man roster off New England’s practice squad late in the 2019 season, was part of the opposite transaction in October and left Miami’s practice squad for New England’s 53-man roster. The San Diego State product originally entered the league as an undrafted rookie with the New York Giants in 2017. Munson then earned a Super Bowl LIII ring on the Patriots’ scout team under his current head coach. Over his past three seasons between the rivals, Munson has appeared in 27 games and totaled 27 tackles.

Justin Coleman, cornerback — From the Minnesota Vikings to the Patriots to the Seattle Seahawks and back to New England the undrafted rookie went in 2015. From there, Coleman appeared in 20 games, made his initial three starts and deflected eight passes. The slot cornerback would be traded heading into 2017 after earning a Super Bowl LI ring. He then signed with Miami heading into 2021 after being released halfway through a four-year, $36 million contract with the Detroit Lions. With a stint on the Covid-19 reserve list in December, Coleman has played in 15 games and started four for the Dolphins. The 28-year-old has netted 27 tackles and two interceptions.

Jamal Perry, cornerback — Suffering season-ending knee injury in November, Perry had made the Dolphins’ 53-man roster in consecutive years before beginning 2021 on the practice squad. He was elevated as a Covid-19 replacement for Week 1 appeared in additional three games before being moved to injured reserve. Perry previously spent the duration of two seasons on the Patriots’ practice squad after going undrafted in 2017. The 27-year-old corner out of Iowa State now finds himself 31 games and seven starts into his NFL run. Perry has recorded 86 tackles, seven passes defensed and an interception with Miami.

Eric Rowe, safety — From cornerback to safety Rowe transitioned on the way to signing a three-year, $18 million extension with the Dolphins in 2020. By then, he had eclipsed 1,000 defensive snaps and returned an interception for a touchdown versus the Patriots. Part of two Super Bowl championships with New England after being acquired from Philadelphia for a conditional draft choice in 2016, the Utah Ute has since started 33 games for Miami. Four of which have come this season with rookie Jevon Holland emerging next to Byron Jones. Now 29 years old, Rowe stands with 68 tackles, three forced fumbles and four pass breakups.

Jason McCourty, safety — Among eight finalists for the 2021 Art Rooney Sportsmanship Award, McCourty sustained a season-ending foot injury in October after seven games and four starts. Prior to then, the 34-year-old Rutgers alum had been named a team captain upon agreeing to terms with Miami in May. McCourty played in 47 games and started 36 while with New England, including postseason, after coming over from the Cleveland Browns in a swap of late-round selections that were situated a dozen slots apart. He amassed 162 tackles, 23 passes defensed, two interceptions and a rundown in the end zone during Super Bowl LIII. McCourty served as a 2020 Patriots captain while in the same secondary as his twin brother.


Brandon Bolden, running back — Bolden has posted 37 carries for 180 yards to go with 39 catches for 385 yards and a touchdown this season with New England. It’s where the 2012 undrafted free agent out of Ole Miss has remained for all but 2018. It ensued after his release during the league’s roster deadline. And it gave way to 16 games with Miami. Bolden had two touchdowns and two tackles that year during divisional bouts with the Patriots and finished with 66 percent of the snaps on special teams for the Dolphins. A two-time Super Bowl champion, Bolden, now 31, returned to the Patriots on a two-year pact that tolled into 2021.

Ted Karras, guard — The 28-year-old Karras has started 12 consecutive games at left guard for the Patriots after returning in March on a contract carrying $3 million guaranteed. The Patriots selected the Illinois interior lineman in the sixth round of the 2016 draft, and he went on to appear in 60 games during his initial stay on the before signing a one-year contract with the Dolphins in 2020. An offensive captain Karras became for Miami. And a 16-game starter he would become, as well. Karras played all 1,067 snaps at center last season.

Davon Godchaux, defensive tackle — Godchaux has started 15 of his 16 games for the Patriots since signing a two-year deal worth up to $16 million in March. There have been 58 tackles, one sack and one forced fumble accounted for by the nose tackle. Godchaux previously started 42 of his 52 games for Miami after being taken in the fifth round of the 2017 draft out of LSU. The 27-year-old’s final season in the middle of the Dolphins’ defensive front ended on injured reserve due to a torn biceps last October after five starts.

Kyle Van Noy, linebacker — Twice a Super Bowl champion and a member of the franchise’s latest All-Decade team, Van Noy checks in with sevem starts this campaign with New England. He also checks in with 59 tackles, four sacks, a pair of forced fumbles, a fumble recovery and an interception returned for a touchdown. Released by the Dolphins one year into a four-year, $51 million contract, Van Noy reconvened with the Patriots in March. The 30-year-old linebacker had started 13 games while a Miami captain. Those games featured 69 tackles, six sacks, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.

Raekwon McMillan, linebacker — McMillan agreed to terms with the Patriots in March before a torn ACL sent him to injured reserve amid training camp in August. He’s since seen his deal re-upped for 2022. The Ohio State Buckeye originally entered the league with the Dolphins at pick No. 54 overall in the 2017 draft. After missing his rookie season due to a torn ACL, McMillan worked back to start 28 contests over the next two seasons. He tallied 177 tackles, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery in the process. After 1,346 defensive snaps for Miami, McMillan was traded to the Las Vegas Raiders in the summer of 2020.