Saturday, September 24, 2011

Dolphins work out seven free agents Wednesday

As always, the Miami Dolphins spent the middle part of the week working out various free agents for the purposes of updating scouting reports and filling out the Rolodex in case of injuries.

This week, the Dolphins chose to focus a few positions, bringing in running backs James Davis and Richard Medlin, nose tackles Isaako Aaitui, Sealver Siliga, and Jay Ross, and cornerbacks Roderick Hood and Fabian Washington.

It's not hard to understand why these positions were targeted. The Dolphins ended up signing Medlin to their practice squad, which is likely due to the release of Larry Johnson, the work of Lex Hilliard at fullback, and the potential for Reggie Bush to be moved around more in the offense.

Nose tackles are likely being looked at as a result of Frank Kearse signing with the Carolina Panthers on Monday. The team's seventh-round pick out of Alabama A&M had been on the Dolphins practice squad since the regular season began.

And of course cornerback Vontae Davis and Chris Clemons continue to nurse hamstring injuries while backup Nolan Carroll has struggled, which is obviously the reason the team has been looking at experienced cornerbacks.

The team is likely finished signing players for the week with the addition of Medlin to the practice squad as well as veteran cornerback Nate Jones and Igor Olshansky to the active roster, but here is some brief info on all the other players brought in by the Dolphins this week.

NT Isaako Aaitui

A Pago Pago native, Aaitui is your typical nose tackle at 6-foot-3 and 315 pounds. He spent four seasons at UNLV including the last three years as a starter, appearing in 43 games and totaling 100 tackles (16.5 for a loss), four sacks, a forced fumble, and blocked kick. He went undrafted in the 2011 NFL Draft and did not attend training camp with the team.

RB James Davis

A two-time first-team All-ACC pick, Davis led Clemson in rushing each of his four seasons and departed the school ranking fourth in Tigers history with 4,309 all-purpose yards. He was drafted in the sixth round by the Cleveland Browns in 2009, but appeared in only two games as a rookie before a torn labrum ended his season. Davis (5-11, 218) had four carries for the Browns in 2010 before being waived on Oct. 25. He was signed to the Redskins' practice squad and eventually promoted to the active roster, appearing in three games and rushing for 51 yards. Unhappy with his playing time during the 2011 preseason, Davis reportedly walked out on the team and was later waived.

CB Roderick Hood

Undrafted out of Auburn in 2003, Hood signed with the Philadelphia Eagles and became a key special-teamer and reserve cornerback in four seasons with the team. He appeared in 56 games with the Eagles during that span, recording 122 tackles and five interceptions. Hood signed with the Arizona Cardinals in 2007 and spent two seasons as a starting cornerback, recording 90 tackles, six interceptions, and 36 pass deflections. After being released during the 2009 offseason, Hood spent time with the Browns and Bears but did not make either squad. He signed with the Titans mid-season and started four of six games played, intercepting three passes. A torn ACL wiped out Hood's 2010 campaign and he became a free agent after the season.

NT Jay Ross

Ross (6-3, 302) went undrafted out of East Carolina in 2010 and signed with the New Orleans Saints as a free agent. He was waived by the team during final cuts and later signed to the practice squad of the Green Bay Packers in October. Ross recorded two tackles in four games during the 2011 preseason, but was once again waived during final cuts.

NT Sealver Siliga

A 6-foot-2, 307-pound defensive lineman, Siliga spent three seasons at Utah, starting 21 of 37 contested played and recording 97 tackles (11 for a loss) and 2.5 sacks. He was a two-time honorable mention All-Mountain West pick before declaring for the 2011 NFL Draft following his junior season. After going undrafted, Siliga signed with the San Francisco 49ers. He appeared in four preseason games and totaled four tackles and a sack, but was waived during final cuts on Sept. 3.

CB Fabian Washington

Washington (5-11, 175) earned All-Big 12 selections all three seasons at Nebraska before declaring for the 2005 NFL Draft, where he was selected 23rd overall by the Oakland Raiders. He spent three seasons with the team, opening 28 of 45 contests and totaling 123 tackles, five interceptions, and 28 pass deflections. Washington was traded to the Baltimore Ravens in April 2008 in exchange for a fourth-round draft pick. He started 15 games for the Ravens in 2008, setting a career high with 15 pass deflections. After a torn ACL cut short his 2009 campaign, Washington opened eight of 14 games in 2010 but was benched during the season in favor of Josh Wilson. The New Orleans Saints signed Washington as a free agent on July 31, but placed him on injured reserve on Sept. 1 and later released him with an injury settlement.

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