Thursday, January 3, 2013

Dolphins re-sign seven to future contracts

The Miami Dolphins concluded the 2012 season with just 40 players under contract. With offseason roster sizes increased to 90 players last offseason, the Dolphins are currently well short of a training camp roster.

Many of those spots will be filled by retained free agents, other team's free agents, trades, draft picks and undrafted rookies, but the team also did what all teams do Wednesday by re-signing a number of their practice squad players.

Seven players that ended the 2012 season on the Dolphins' practice squad have inked two-year deals with the team this week. Those players are offensive tackle Jeff Adams, defensive tackle Chas Alecxih, guard Chandler Burden, wide receiver Jeff Fuller, offensive tackle Andrew McDonald, cornerback De'Andre Presley and wide receiver Brian Tyms.

Cornerback Dion Turner has not been re-signed by the Dolphins as of yet. He is no lock to return considering he was just signed in December and didn't have much time to impress the coaching staff.

OT Jeff Adams

An undrafted rookie from Columbia in 2012, the three-time All-Ivy selection spent the preseason with the Dallas Cowboys and the first 10 weeks of the regular season on the practice squad of the Cincinnati Bengals. He closed out the season with the Dolphins' practice squad after signing on Nov. 20. Presumably, he will work at left tackle if he makes it to training camp, competing for a backup job behind likely-starter Jonathan Martin.

DT Chas Alecxih

A former walk-on at Pitt, Alecxih followed an impressive collegiate career by going undrafted and spending camp with the Dolphins. He received a bit of attention on Hard Knocks but was waived during final cuts. He spent the final 16 weeks of the season on the team's practice squad after re-signing on Sept. 11. I question how well his physical abilities translate to the NFL and I think he'll have a hard time making a roster, but he should at least have a chance to compete.

OG Chandler Burden

Initially a college defensive tackle who converted to offensive tackle at Kentucky, Burden was signed by the Dolphins early in camp after a brief stint with the Titans after going undrafted in 2012. He spent the entire regular season on the practice squad and even earned a healthy boost in pay from the minimum $5,700 per week at some point during the season. This says to me another team wanted to poach him for their active roster, so perhaps there's a little upside here. I expect him to compete for a backup guard role in camp.

WR Jeff Fuller

Once regarded as a potential high draft pick at Texas A&M, drops and lack of speed killed Fuller's stock and he went undrafted in 2012. Despite the Dolphins' weak receiving corps coupled with his extensive experience with coordinator Mike Sherman and quarterback Ryan Tannehill, Fuller failed to earn a promotion during the regular season. That probably says a ton about his upside right now and he'll need a huge camp to earn a roster spot in 2013.

OT Andrew McDonald

McDonald was signed in mid-May well after the initial class of undrafted rookie free agents. Nevertheless, the Iowa alum worked all camp as the backup right tackle and spent all 17 weeks of the regular season on the practice squad doing the same thing. I'm not sure how much upside there is here, but he'll have a chance to earn a backup job with Jake Long and Nate Garner heading for free agency.

CB De'Andre Presley

A former quarterback, wide receiver and defensive back, Presley switched to cornerback full-time when he signed with the San Diego Chargers as an undrafted free agent. He was released during final cuts and signed to the Dolphins' practice squad as the lone new face on Sept. 4. After a four-game stint on the active roster in October, Presley was waived to make room for Bryan McCann and remained on the practice squad the rest of the season. Presley will have a battle on his hands to make the roster as a final corner.

WR Brian Tyms

An undrafted rookie from FIU, Tyms has an incredible and heartbreaking backstory. He was rejected by FSU and walked on to FIU, where he really didn't make an impact until his senior season. However, his physical attribute earned him a training camp invite from the San Francisco 49ers and he later spent the final 16 weeks of the regular season on the Dolphins' practice squad. He even traveled with the team to New England for the season finale with Davone Bess injured, although he was not promoted. Tyms seems to have better stock than Fuller right now, but he'll still have an uphill battle to crack the 53 considering all the additions the team will presumably make to the receiver position in the offseason.