The Miami Dolphins brought back two familiar faces today, re-signing defensive end Lionel Dotson and outside linebacker Erik Walden.
Walden has been a free agent since being waived by the Dolphins during final cuts, while Dotson spent the first week of the regular season on the practice squad of the Denver Broncos.
Because Dotson was signed directly off Denver's practice squad, Miami must keep him on the active roster at least three weeks.
The Dolphins also waived rookie defensive end Clifton Geathers today, just 10 days after claiming him off waivers from the Cleveland Browns. One more move needs to be made to make room for both signings.
Interestingly, both players' jersey numbers from their previous tenures in Miami have been taken since their release 10 days ago. Offensive lineman Cory Procter switched from No. 61 to Dotson's 71, while linebacker Bobby Carpenter donned Walden's No. 50 in the season opener against Buffalo.
A seventh-round pick by the Dolphins out of Arizona in 2008, Dotson appeared in two games his rookie season and recorded one tackle.
Dotson was a reserve defensive end once again in 2009, totaling two tackles in two games played.
After recording three tackles in the four preseason games of 2010, Dotson was waived by the team during final cuts.
A standout pass rusher at Middle Tennessee State, Walden was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys in the sixth round of the 2008 NFL Draft. However, he was waived by the team during final cuts.
The Kansas City Chiefs claimed Walden off waivers from Dallas, adding him to their active roster. He appeared in nine games and recorded 10 tackles before being waived on Nov. 19.
After being claimed off waivers by the Miami Dolphins, Walden appeared in six games on special teams and totaled five tackles.
A reserve outside linebacker, Walden was primarily limited to special teams again in 2009, totaling eight tackles in 11 games.
Despite recording six tackles and a sack in the 2010 preseason, Walden was waived during final cuts in favor of fellow reserve linebacker Quentin Moses.
It's no surprise to see either play back, as Walden is an excellent special teams player and Dotson is a familiar face capable of playing in a reserve role in the wake of Jared Odrick's leg injury.
While I've never been high on Dotson and don't feel like he has much upside, he's obviously more NFL-ready than rookies Clifton Geathers or Rob Rose, who were both claimed off waivers a week ago.
I'm particularly glad to see Walden re-signed, as he is a quality special teams player. In fact, I expected Walden to make the team over Moses simply because of that fact. Neither is much of an asset on defense, so I think it makes more sense to keep Walden because of his other abilities.
One thing I am a little surprised about is the fact that Geathers was waived and not Rose. Geathers has the more appealing physical attributes and seemingly more upside.
It's possible Rose could be cut too with another roster move needing to be made, but cutting two defensive ends while adding one after Odrick's injury doesn't make a whole lot of sense.
Instead, I'd expect wide receiver Roberto Wallace, offensive tackle Jermey Parnell, or linebacker Micah Johnson to get the ax to make room for Dotson. All three are eligible for the practice squad.
As always, check out the updated projected depth chart reflecting these transactions here.
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