Thursday, March 8, 2007
Team signs Feely, Worrell, and Campbell; Re-signs Traylor
[Update: 8:07 P.M.] Updating a previous report, the team officially announced its signing of WR Kelly Campbell. [End Update]
[Update: 5:14 P.M.] On Wednesday, a source said that the Dolphins are working on a trade that could send QB Trent Green to Miami as soon as this week. [End Update]
[Update: 2:34 P.M.] WR Kelly Campbell is expected to re-sign with Miami today. Campbell, 26, was waived by Miami last September after missing the preseason with a quadriceps injury. He also missed the 2005 season for a similar injury. Prior to coming to Miami, he played in Minnesota for three seasons with Daunte Culpepper. In those three seasons, he played in 37 games (11 starts) and caught 57 passes for 1,062 yards and 8 touchdowns. If healthy, he has the speed necessary to stretch the field, as evidenced by his career catch average of 18.6 yards. He also has experience returning kicks, an area of need for Miami after Wes Welker's departure. [End Update]
The team signed K Jay Feely to a three-year deal worth $6 million, with about $2.5 million guaranteed. This move means that Olindo Mare's release or trade is imminent. Feely, 30, played the last two seasons with the New York Giants where he converted 84% of his field goals. He has played for six seasons, posting a career conversion percentage of 79.6%. Last season, he notched 12 touchbacks and average 64.6 yards on kickoffs. Feely's career-long is 55 yards.
Mare's departure is partly due to his scheduled $2.1 million salary which did not reflect the dropping level of his play over the past few seasons. His recent inconsistencies were also a factor. While he holds a career conversion percentage of 80.9%, he only made 72.2% of his kicks this past season, although he did lead the league in touchbacks. Mare has played his entire 10-year career in Miami. It's clear that this move was necessary. Over the past few seasons, Mare just seemed to lose the confidence that made him successful. While the team might be giving up the best touchback kicker in the league, Feely's more consistent accuracy should more than make up for that. Having the offensive drives end more frequently in some kind of points is more important than having the opponent start on the 20-yard line. Olindo, thank you for the decade of great service you gave to the Dolphins. We wish you the best of luck in the future.
The team also signed S Cameron Worrell to a two-year contract. Worrell played the last four seasons with the Chicago Bears. He saw time in 43 games, all in a reserve role. He was one of the leaders on Chicago's tremendous special teams units. While he will provide some depth at safety, his main responsibilities will be on kick coverage units, where he seemed to excel while with the Bears.
The Dolphins also re-signed DT Keith Traylor to a two-year contract. Even though Traylor will be 38 years old and entering his 17th season in 2007, he still provides a massive run-stopping body in the middle of the defensive line. Last season, he played in 14 games (all starts) and registered 36 tackles and a career-high four sacks. Since joining Miami in 2005, the Dolphins defense has allowed an average of only 3.6 yards per carry.
-Free agent fullback Cory Schlesinger and WR Donte Stallworth will meet with the team today. Schlesinger, 34, spent his entire 12-year career with the Detroit Lions.
- In other news, the team has no intentions of cutting ties with WR Chris Chambers, despite his $7.9 million salary-cap number. The staff believes that he is capable of returning to Pro Bowl form.
- In a press conference, Defensive Coordinator Dom Capers said he plans to continue using the hybrid 3-4/4-3 defense from Nick Saban's tenure. Capers said he will get young DT Fred Evans "an awful lot of work" at nose tackle in the offseason. This statement was made before the team re-signed Keith Traylor. It now seems likely that Traylor will start at NT and Evans will be his primary substitute.
- Broncos running backs coach Bobby Turner is no longer a candidate for Miami's offensive coordinator position.