Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Miami Dolphins sign DE Derrick Jones to practice squad

The Miami Dolphins have opted for a little more bulk up front in practice, releasing linebacker K. C. Asiodu from the practice squad and adding third-year defensive end Derrick Jones.

Originally with the St. Louis Rams as an undrafted free agent, Asiodu joined the Dolphins' practice squad on Sept. 29, replacing linebacker Danny Lansanah.

Background

A California native, Jones played two seasons at Grand Valley State University. He led the Lakers with 9.5 sacks as a senior in 2006, while also recording 62 tackles (17.5 for a loss), three forced fumbles and a fumble recovery.

After going undrafted in the 2007 NFL Draft, Jones (then 280 pounds) signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers as a defensive end in their 3-4 scheme. He battled calf and knee injuries during the preseason and was waived on Aug. 27.

Jones joined the Atlanta Falcons' practice squad during the 2007 regular season and earned a promotion to the active roster on Dec. 26. He made his NFL debut against the Seattle Seahawks on Dec. 30 but did not record a tackle.

After being waived by the Falcons in June 2008, Jones signed with the Buffalo Bills in August. However, he was waived during final cuts on Aug. 30.

Jones signed a future contract with the Tennessee Titans in 2009, but was waived on July 29. He re-signed with the Bills on Aug. 6, but was once again waived during final cuts.

Jones will wear No. 62 with the Dolphins, which was previously worn by nose tackle Joe Cohen in training camp. As a practice squad player, Jones will receiver roughly $5,200 a week.

Analysis

Though some reports have him listed as a defensive tackle, Jones tells me that he will be playing defensive end for the Dolphins. He's up to about 315 pounds now, but he still doesn't quite have the bulk for nose tackle and makes much more sense as an end in the 3-4 scheme.

This move makes sense, as Dolphins defensive end Phillip Merling is still nursing an ankle injury suffered last week against the Buffalo Bills.

Though Jones provides a bit of NFL experience and a sixth body for practice at defensive end, he has little job security as a practice squad player. There is simply no way of knowing at this point what kind of future, if any, he has in Miami.