Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Three Ex-Dolphins Find New Homes

It's been a good week for three ex-Dolphins that are back in the NFL. Wide receiver Derek Hagan and linebacker Edmond Miles have both signed with the New York Giants, while cornerback Michael Lehan has signed with the New Orleans Saints.

Miles was waived by the Dolphins during final cuts in August, while Hagan and Lehan were released during the season. Lehan was already on injured reserve at the time of his release.

Derek Hagan

A third-round pick by Nick Saban in 2005, Hagan rarely stood out with the Dolphins. After a very productive career at Arizona State, a case of the drops during Senior Bowl week seemingly followed Hagan to the NFL for 2+ seasons. The Dolphins finally gave up on Hagan in early November as he finished his Dolphins career with 53 catches for 645 yards and three touchdowns in 36 games.

Even with Plaxico Burress out, Hagan is unlikely to have an impact in New York this season. He still has five other receivers in front of him and probably isn't better than any of them. He's unlikely to ever be a starter in the NFL again.

Edmond Miles

Just as with safety Courtney Bryan, Miles' time with the Dolphins' somewhat screwed him over because he appeared in too many games as a rookie to ever be eligible for a practice squad. This is a problem for borderline roster guys like Miles, who need every opportunity they can get to latch on with a team and the practice squad is a perfect outlet.

Despite being a strong special teams player (Miles recorded 18 tackles and a forced fumble as an undrafted rookie in 2007) I knew his time with Miami was finished when Bill Parcells was hired. At just 6-0 and 230 pounds, Miles is extremely undersized for the 3-4 scheme and could never have had much of a role on defense here. Consequently, the Dolphins waived Miles during final cuts on Aug. 30.

With six more talented linebackers already on the roster ahead of him, Miles' contributions to the Giants (and likely to any other team he plays for) will likely be limited to special teams. It's nice to see him get a shot though because it was a role he performed admirably in Miami.

Michael Lehan

Lehan had durability issues his last year with the Dolphins but had a strong 2007 season in which he started a career-high 14 games. After signing him to a three-year contract in the offseason, the Dolphins eventually gave up on Lehan by placing him on injured reserve in October and releasing him earlier this month.

The Dolphins did Lehan a favor by releasing him last week as it allowed him to join another team to finish out the season. In New Orleans, he goes to an organization with a poor pass defense and a dearth of talent at cornerback.

It might be too late in the season for Lehan to make any big contributions in 2008. However, assuming Lehan signed a mutli-year deal, it seems possibly he could compete for a nickel or dime job with New Orleans in 2009.