Thursday, October 16, 2008

Magro out, Kershaw in on practice squad; Billingsley and Toribio swapped again

Linebacker Marc Magro's stay on the Dolphins' practice squad was a short one. A West Virginia alum who entered the league as an undrafted free agent with the St. Louis Rams in 2008, was released from the practice squad on October 14 just over a week after being signed. Taking Magro's place on the practice squad is journeyman linebacker William Kershaw.

Also, the Dolphins have once again released defensive tackle Anthony Toribio from the practice squad and re-signed cornerback Will Billingsley. This marks the third time Billingsley has been on the Dolphins' practice squad this season as well as the third time he has been swapped with Toribio.

Background

A North Carolina native, Kershaw played college football at Maryland and was a two-year starter. His 76 tackles were second-best among Maryland linebackers behind only D'Qwell Jackson. Kershaw also recorded 5.5 tackles for a loss, one sack and one interception on the season.

Undrafted in the 2006 NFL Draft, Kershaw was signed by the Kansas City Chiefs as an undrafted free agent on May 1. He spent most of his rookie season on the Chiefs' practice squad before being activated prior to the regular season finale. He made his NFL regular season debut against the Jacksonville Jaguars on December 31. The following week, he recorded three tackles in a playoff loss to the Indianapolis Colts.

Kershaw appeared in the Chiefs' 2007 regular season opener but did not record any stats. He was subsequently released on September 20. The Philadelphia Eagles added him to their practice squad on October 30, where he remained until the Houston Texans signed him to their active roster on November 28. He appeared in one game for the Texans before being released December 18. He finished the season on the Eagles' practice squad.

In February 2008, Kershaw signed a contract with the Denver Broncos. He was waived by the Broncos on April 28 and signed by the New Orleans Saints a month later. Kershaw appeared in three preseason games for the Saints in 2008 including one start, recording 10 tackles and a sack. He was released during final cuts on August 30. The Saints briefly re-signed him to the practice squad on September 25 only to release him October 8.

Kershaw becomes the third Maryland alum currently in the Dolphins' organization, joining tight end Joey Haynos and defensive end Randy Starks.

Analysis

As with the Magro signing a week ago, this transaction is of little importance. The Dolphins simply swapped out one project linebacker for another. Kershaw has good size for the position and solid athleticism but isn't dominant physically.

This is his sixth organization in just over two years, he has never started a regular season game and has appeared in only four regular season or postseason contests. Like Magro before him, he has an uphill battle to stick around in the NFL and will probably never be a starter. His primary goal will be to make the active roster on special teams. And, also like Magro, his position on the team is anything but secure.