Thursday, December 25, 2008

Dolphins Re-Sign CB Scorpio Babers to Practice Squad

The same day cornerback Will Allen was held out of practice, the Dolphins added a second cornerback to the practice squad by re-signing rookie Scorpio Babers on Wednesday.

Originally signed by Miami as an undrafted rookie out of Sam Houston State in May, Babers failed to make both the Dolphins' and Packers' squads and has been a free agent since the end of August.

Background

Babers played three seasons (2003-2004, 2006) at Sam Houston State. As a senior, he was an honorable mention All-Southland Conference after recording 46 tackles, an interception and eight pass deflections. He finished his collegiate career with 67 career tackles.

Babers originally attended the Dolphins' May 2008 minicamp on a tryout basis and was signed to a contract on May 5. He was waived on July 30 in favor of cornerback Chris Roberson.

Signed by the Green Bay Packers on Aug. 7 to take the roster spot vacated by Brett Favre, Babers went on to appear in three preseason games and record three tackles. He was waived during final cuts on Aug. 30 and remained unsigned.

A free agent since being let go by the Packers, Babers was re-signed to the Dolphins' practice squad on Dec. 24. He joins fellow rookie Will Billingsley as one of two cornerbacks on the practice squad and fills the opening left by linebacker William Kershaw, who was signed to the active roster on Dec. 20.

Babers will presumably continue to wear No. 35, which he was assigned during the offseason and wore prior to his release in July. He will make roughly $5,200 for each week he is on the practice squad and his contract will expire at season's end.

Analysis

Having not paid much attention to the guy when he was here the first time, I failed to notice that Babers was apparently not an undrafted rookie but rather a street free agent when he signed with Miami in May. If the Dolphins' website is correct and Babers did play at Sam Houston State between 2003-2006, then he would have been eligible for the 2007 NFL Draft.

It appears, like Billingsley, Babers went undrafted and then spent over a year out of football, assuming he didn't play in some random indoor league. I've found no evidence of him playing in the CFL, AFL or af2 in 2007, but since he wasn't playing college ball I'm not sure what he was up to.

Regardless, there is little significance to this move. Will Allen may be dinged up, but he's likely to play and even if he were not Babers would factor into the equation little more than I would. Looking at the Dolphins' roster, there are at least seven players (W. Allen, Goodman, Jones, Thomas, J. Allen, Culver, Hill) that either do or would play corner before Babers. It is highly unrealistic and bordering impossible that Babers could ever be activated before the Jets' game.

Essentially, the only reason Babers was re-signed now is because of familiarity. Having been with the Dolphins in the offseason, Babers is at least somewhat familiar with the defensive scheme and should be able to pick it up better than a totally fresh face would.

This late in the season, and with Will Allen hurting, Babers simply gives the Dolphins another body at corner during this week of practice. You might also say Babers is auditioning for a future contract with the team in January, but he's far from a lock even for that and probably doesn't have an NFL career ahead of him.

But hey, at least he can always say he was the guy who replaced Brett Favre on the Packers' roster!