Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Dolphins sign linebackers J. D. Folsom, Mortty Ivy to practice squad

A preseason fan favorite met his end Tuesday, as undrafted rookie linebacker Micah Johnson was released from the practice squad and replaced with free-agent linebacker Mortty Ivy on Tuesday.

Johnson, who had a brief stint with the New York Giants as an undrafted rookie out of Kentucky, spent the preseason with the Dolphins and totaled 13 tackles in four games, including a high of five against the Atlanta Falcons.

Having earned a spot on the team's active roster, Johnson appeared in the team's regular season opener at Buffalo and recorded one tackle.

After an injury to defensive end Jared Odrick against the Bills, the Dolphins opted to waive Johnson and re-sign Lionel Dotson for defensive line depth. Johnson was re-signed to the practice squad.

When the Dolphins were looking for a special teams boost in early October, it was seventh-round rookie Austin Spitler, and not Johnson, who earned the call up to the active roster.

The Dolphins also added linebacker J. D. Folsom back to the practice squad Wednesday on a spot cleared by nose tackle Chris Baker, who was promoted to the active roster before last Sunday's game in Oakland.

A seventh-round pick by the Dolphins out of Weber State in 2009, Folsom spent two games on the active roster as a rookie and recorded one tackle.

Since failing to garner a roster spot with the Dolphins following the 2010 preseason, Folsom has been signed to and released from the practice squads of the Chicago Bears, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Arizona Cardinals. He was most recently let go by the Cardinals on Nov. 9.


Mortty Ivy

A Pennsylvania native, Ivy played all three linebacker positions during his four-year career at West Virginia. He was second on the team with 89 tackles as a junior in 2007, and earned first-team All-Big East honors with 90 tackles (seven for a loss) and three interceptions.

Ivy participated in the East-West Shrine Game following his senior season and attended the NFL Scouting Combine, but was not selected in the 2009 NFL Draft.

The Carolina Panthers signed Ivy as an undrafted free agent. He totaled 13 tackles and a forced fumble in his first preseason, but was waived and re-signed to the team's practice squad.

Ivy spent the first 16 weeks of his rookie season on the practice squad before being promoted to the active roster on Jan. 1. He was inactive for the regular season finale against New Orleans.

Despite recording 16 tackles and a forced fumbles in the 2010 preseason, Ivy was once again waived by the Panthers during final cuts. He has has two stints on the St. Louis Rams' practice squad during the regular season, with his last release coming on Oct. 25.


Analysis

Folsom, who originally wore No. 59 for the Dolphins (which is now worn by Ikaika Alama-Francis), will wear No. 57 during his second stint with the team. Ivy will wear No. 44.

Folsom, who has been cut from three teams' practice squads since he was let go by the Dolphins and has never been a good fit in the team's scheme anyway, returns solely to serve as a practice body that is familiar with the defense while Channing Crowder and Karlos Dansby nurse minor injuries.

My guess is that Folsom's stay on the practice squad doesn't last very long, and that he is released again when the team gets some of its depth back at inside linebacker.

As for Ivy, he's similar to Folsom in that he's a bit undersized for the 3-4 scheme and doesn't have a whole lot of upside.

Ivy will work on special teams in his time here and will try to make an impression that way, but he's no lock to even remain on the practice squad for very long. My guess, however, is that he will outlast Folsom.

There is always a chance Ivy could impress enough to be promoted for special teams spot, but that is far from a certainty and that's really a best-case scenario.

As always, check out the updated projected depth chart reflecting these transactions here.


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