Dolphins' CFL history

Below is a detailed account of the Miami Dolphins' acquisitions and findings from the Canadian Football League. Not only does it include a list of the Dolphins' CFL signings, but also a continued record of how those players did with the Dolphins if they ended up making any notable impact.

This account is accurate as of the 2008 season, marked by the arrival of Bill Parcells and Jeff Ireland to the Miami front office. I would like to expand this section before the 2008 season, so if you have any additional information, please drop me a line.


In January, the Dolphins worked out offensive lineman Brian Simmons (Hamilton Tiger-Cats), as well as defensive end Lee Robinson (Edmonton Eskimos) and wide receiver Spencer Watt (Toronto Argonauts). Robinson signed with the team and appeared in all four preseason games, but was released by the Dolphins during final cuts.

Meanwhile, Marcus Thigpen continued to serve as a backup running back and primary return specialist for the Dolphins for a second consecutive season. He finished the 2013 campaign with 6 carries for 18 yards and 8 catches for 97 yards, including his first NFL offensive touchdown. As a returner, Thigpen saw both his kickoff and punt return averages from the prior season, averaging 22.5 yards on kick returns and 7.8 on punt returns.


The Dolphins signed kick returner Marcus Thigpen (Hamilton Tiger-Cats) in January and running back/fullback Jerome Messam (Edmonton Eskimos) in February. Messam was waived on August 25, while Thigpen made the active roster out of training camp. In May, Pro Bowl pass rusher Cameron Wake signed a $49 million contract extension with the Dolphins worth $20 million guaranteed.

The 2012 season began the Dolphins' biggest success in terms of production from ex-CFL players. Wake, back at his old defensive end position in the Dolphins' new 4-3 scheme, notched a career-high 15.0 sacks and earned his second Pro Bowl selection, while Thigpen was one of the NFL's best return specialists. He was one of only three players in the NFL in 2012 with touchdown returns on both a kickoff and a punt and ranked in the top three in kickoff and punt return averages.


In January, the Dolphins were in contract talks with wide receiver Emmanuel Arceneaux (BC Lions), who eventually signed with the Minnesota Vikings. The Dolphins did sign linebacker Mark Restelli (Edmonton Eskimos), who worked at strong safety for the Dolphins during the preseason but was waived during final cuts.

Linebacker Cameron Wake notched a deceiving 8.5 sacks and 42 tackles, although he was graded by Pro Football Focus as the top player at his position thanks to an incredible 52 hurries.

In December, the Dolphins worked out nose tackle Khalif Mitchell (BC Lions), guard Jovan Oliafoye (BC Lions) and kick returner Marcus Thigpen (Hamilton Tiger-Cats). The team offered Mitchell a contract but were turned down, while Olafioye signed with the Rams and was released soon after with a medical issue. Thigpen signed with the Dolphins the following offseason (see 2012).


The 2010 offseason saw the Dolphins bring in three new CFL players: fullback Rolly Lumbala (BC Lions), wide receiver Ryan Grice-Mullen (BC Lions) and guard Dimitri Tsoumpas (Calgary Stampeders), whom the team worked out late in 2009. Tsoumpas was waived in late July, Grice-Mullen was let go in mid-August and Lumbala was among the Dolphins' final cuts on Sept. 4.

During the 2010 regular season, Wake experienced a breakout season with 57 tackles, 14.0 sacks and three forced fumbles on the way to his first career Pro Bowl selection. It was an incredible achievement who was barely looked at as an undrafted rookie from Penn State in 2006.


In addition to re-signing practice squad wide receiver Todd Lowber (see 2008), the Dolphins also inked linebackers Tearrius George (Calgary Stampeders)and Cameron Wake (BC Lions) in January and added wide receiver James Robinson (Toronto Argonauts) in August. Lowber was released in June and George was cut during the preseason, while Robinson spent part of the regular season on the Dolphins' practice squad.

Meanwhile, Wake showed promise as a rookie, ranking fourth on the team with 5.5 sacks as a situational pass rusher behind veteran starters Joey Porter and Jason Taylor. In December of that year, the team worked out guard Dimitri Tsoumpas (Calgary Stampeders), whom they would later sign (see 2010).


The Dolphins signed former Toronto Argonauts wide receiver Todd Lowber to the on in November 2008. A speedster with no college football experience, Lowber remained on the practice squad for the duration of the 2008 season.