Friday, January 3, 2014

Dolphins sign CFL lineman Michael Ola

UPDATE (1/22): It took a while for this signing to become official (I noted on Twitter earlier in January that the signing did not come in the days immediately following Ola's tweet) but it did finally become official on Jan. 15.)

Always a franchise looking to mine for talent from our neighbors to the north, the Miami Dolphins brought in their first fresh face of the 2014 offseason with the signing of Canadian Football League veteran Michael Ola.

The move has not been made official as of Friday's NFL transactions, but Ola announce the deal himself Thursday on Twitter, documenting his time at the Dolphins' facility:

A former right tackle at Hampton, Ola went undrafted in 2011 and had a brief stint in the arena league in 2012 before heading to the Montreal, where he played the last two seasons for the CFL's Alouettes. Full information on games played/started is currently unavailable, but it appears Ola primarily played right tackle for the Alouettes as well.

In the NFL, however, Ola projects as more of an interior lineman and should see most if not all of his offseason work with the Dolphins at one of the guard positions.

Both of the Dolphins' starting guards entering the 2013 season—Richie Incognito and John Jerry—are unrestricted free agents and seem unlikely to return (almost certainly in Incognito's case). Meanwhile, backup Danny Watkins (a former first-round pick of the Eagles) is a restricted free agent.

That currently leaves Sam Brenner and Nate Garner on the left side and David Arkin on the right side, making it seem likely Ola slides into the right guard competition with Arkin. However, it's quite possible if not probable that neither of the Dolphins' starting guards in 2014 is currently on the roster.

The Dolphins obviously saw something in Ola's play in Canada to bring him onto their roster, but the 6-foot-3, 278-pound lineman (listed at 325 pounds before the 2011 Draft) will need to bulk up and have a tremendous showing in offseason workouts to make it to training camp and compete for a spot on the regular season roster.