Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Dolphins work out Tiki Barber, sign undrafted tackle Micah Kia

Even with the addition of Reggie Bush, the Miami Dolphins are in need of a true backup behind rookie Daniel Thomas to carry the load in the event of an injury or ineffectiveness.

To that end, the Dolphins reportedly worked out retired running back Tiki Barber on Wednesday. Barber, who spent 10 seasons with the New York Giants from 1997 to 2006 before abruptly retiring, has since held numerous broadcasting positions, including Football Night in America, The Today Show, and Fox & Friends.

A three-time Pro Bowl selection, Barber ranks 22nd all-time with 10,449 yards and scored 55 touchdowns on the ground while adding over 5,000 yards receiving. His final two seasons were some of his best, as he rushed for 1,860 yards in 2005 and 1,662 yards in 2006 while averaging over five yards per carry both seasons.

Now 36 and four years removed from the game, Barber is reportedly attempting a comeback due to financial difficulties following a divorce settlement, although Barber himself denies this is the case. The Giants, who continued to own his rights during his retirement, officially released Barber on July 28, making him a free agent.

Personally, I don't care for Barber as a person and I'm wary of a guy that doesn't seem to be motivated for love of the game. I see no reason to get into Barber's personal issues and I just don't want the guy on the team or in the locker room.

From a football standpoint, I also have no desire to add a running back that old and that far removed from NFL action, regardless of the shape he's in. I fail to see how he's a better alternative than the likes of Kevin Smith, Jerome Harrison, or even Ricky Williams.

The Dolphins certainly need a true backup to Thomas because Bush has shown he can't handle a full load and isn't going to be used in that manner, but I truly hope that they were simply doing Barber a favor rather than showing genuine interest.

Dolphins sign undrafted rookie tackle Micah Kia

The Miami Dolphins have added another undrafted rookie, this time signing versatile lineman Micah Kia from UCLA. The news was first reported by Aaron Wilson via twitter.

A 6-foot-5, 321-pound native Hawaiian, Kia started 20 games over five years with the Bruins, including the first two under current Dolphins quarterbacks coach Karl Dorrell. He played sparingly as a true freshman before starting eight games as a sophomore. Kia started seven of 12 games in 2008 at three different positions.

A torn ACL suffered in practice forced Kia to miss the entire 2009 season and he was granted a medical redshirt by the NCAA. Returning to the field in 2010 but slowed by other injuries, Kia started two games at left tackle, two at right tackle, and one at tight end as a senior.

While his experience and versatility are positives, Kia is a very borderline NFL talent and was not even considered draftable by many outlets with durability and overall talent being concerns. He has more experience at tackle, but could translate to guard in the NFL due to lack of athleticism or ability.

It's hard to know where Kia will practice with the Dolphins, as the team is has quite a few bodies at tackle. I'd expect him to work at guard behind Richie Incognito, but I don't give him any real shot at making the squad regardless.

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

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