Monday, September 6, 2010

Dolphins re-sign six, add new face to practice squad

The Miami Dolphins have announced seven additions to their practice squad, today including six familiar faces in safety Jonathon Amaya, defensive end Ryan Baker, guard Ray Feinga, outside linebacker Chris McCoy, wide receiver Julius Pruitt, and inside linebacker Austin Spitler.

Also signed to the practice squad is tight end Nathan Overbay, who went undrafted out of Eastern Washington in 2010 and spent the preseason with the Denver Broncos.

The moves leave the Dolphins with one open spot left on the eight-man practice squad, although there is no timetable for when it will be filled.

A quick refresher on practice squads:
  • Players eligible for the practice squad must have not been active for nine games in any accrued season in the NFL and must not have three prior years of practice-squad experience.
  • Practice squad players essentially do everything with the team except for travel and play in games. They fully practice and attend meetings with the team during the week.
  • Typical weekly salary for the practice squad is $5,200, or $88,400 for a 17-week season.
  • Players on the practice squad can freely sign to any NFL team's active roster without penalty or compensation for their old club. Teams that sign a player to its active roster off another team's practice squad must remain there for three weeks before being waived.

Jonathon Amaya

Signed by the Dolphins as an undrafted free agent out of Nevada in 2010, Amaya totaled six tackles, an interception, and a pass deflection in the preseason.

Amaya has some upside despite being undrafted and is a good prospect to bring back on the practice squad. He'll work at strong safety behind No. 2 Tyrone Culver and continue to develop his skills on special teams.

Ryan Baker

After going undrafted out of Purdue in 2009, Baker wound up appearing in five games for the Dolphins as a rookie and recording two tackles and half a sack.

In all honesty, Baker is probably good enough to warrant a spot on the 53-man roster, but lost out to Tony McDaniel because he's the only one of the two that is practice-squad eligible.

A hard-working, versatile guy that has seen extensive time as defensive end and nose tackle, Baker is a prime candidate to be promoted sometime this season—possibly soon if the Dolphins try to slip Rob Rose to the practice squad.

Ray Feinga

Feinga joined the Dolphins' practice squad during the 2009 season offseason stints with the Rams and Chargers. He was re-signed by the Dolphins in 2010 but was hindered in camp due to various injuries.

Although he is reportedly still recovering from a broken finger suffered in the preseason, Feinga has the bulk the Dolphins like upfront. He'll work at one or both of the guard spots in practice.

Chris McCoy

A rookie seventh-round pick by the Dolphins out of Middle Tennessee State, McCoy didn't show much in the preseason to warrant a roster spot. Combine that with the fact that Quentin Moses has more experience and is not practice-squad eligible, and this was an obvious move.

McCoy should continue to work as the weak-side linebacker behind Cameron Wake and Charlie Anderson, but it'll be special teams that will get him on the active roster the quickest.

Nathan Overbay

The lone new face of these seven signings, Overbay is the nephew of Toronto Blue Jays first baseman Lyle Overbay. He went undrafted out of Eastern Washington in 2010 and signed with the Denver Broncos, catching zero passes in four preseason games.

Despite his preseason numbers, Overbay's biggest strength is his receiving ability. He's got more-than-adequate size at 6-5 and 260 pounds but doesn't have a whole lot of speed or burst, especially coming off the line.

Overbay was a much needed addition to the team with only two tight ends on the active roster. He'll try to prove to the team that he's worthy of being promoted as the No. 3 man with veteran David Martin now in Buffalo.

Update: Reports are that Overbay is wearing No. 81 in practice, which was most recently worn by injured tight end Joey Haynos, who is out for the season with a torn Achilles' tendon.

Julius Pruitt

Undrafted out of Ouachita Baptist in 2009, Pruitt went unsigned until being added to the Dolphins practice squad last August. He spent the entire season there and was re-signed in the 2010 offseason.

Pruitt possesses 4.3 speed to go along with a 6-foot-2, 206-pound frame, but he's very raw. He was a logical practice squad choice at receiver with Moore and Wallace on the active roster and Turner now with the Jets.

Austin Spitler

Spitler joins McCoy as another rookie seventh-round pick to join the Dolphins' practice squad. He was unable to stand out in the preseason after missing time due to salmonella.

Spitler has a bit more upside than J. D. Folsom and fits better in the 3-4 scheme, so that's why he's here. He's still not all that talented though, so I wouldn't expect him to have much of an impact, except on special teams.

As always, check out the my updated projected depth chart here.

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