Thursday, July 15, 2010

NT Jason Ferguson announces retirement

Coming off a torn biceps injury and facing an eight-game suspension to begin the 2010 season, Miami Dolphins veteran nose tackle Jason Ferguson has decided to retire after 13 seasons.

Thursday's announcement came just four months after the 35-year-old Ferguson opted to re-sign with the Dolphins as an unrestricted free agent.

Originally drafted by Bill Parcells and the New York Jets in the seventh round in 1997, Ferguson spent eight seasons with the Jets through the 2004 season.

Brought to Dallas by Parcells in 2005, Ferguson played three seasons for the Cowboys before being traded to the Dolphins in the 2008 offseason for a swap of sixth-round picks as well as a 2009 sixth-round pick.

In 25 games over two seasons with the Dolphins, Ferguson started all but three games at nose tackle and totaled 55 tackles.

With Randy Starks' move to the starting nose tackle position in 2010, Ferguson was likely to fill a veteran mentor role during his suspension and a rotational backup role upon his return.

Instead, the Dolphins will roll with Starks as the uncontested starter and 2007 fourth-rounder Paul Soliai as his primary backup.

Ryan Baker, who like Starks transitioned from defensive end to more of a nose tackle position, will have his chances of making the team significantly helped by Ferguson's retirement.

Undrafted rookie Travis Ivey of Maryland is the fourth and final nose tackle on the Dolphins' offseason roster, although he is not believed to be ready for the NFL at this time.

For Ferguson to officially retire, he will have to file paperwork with the league and be placed on the reserve/retired list by the Dolphins. Until that time, he will count toward the Dolphins 80-man roster, which currently has 76 players.

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