The Miami Dolphins have signed six players to Reserve/Future contracts today, the team announced. In order to be eligible for these contracts, a player must not have been on any team's active roster at the end of the regular season, with the contract being for the 2014 season.
Essentially, the players being signed either had to be practice squad members from around the league, or were out of football completely. If a player was on an active 53-man roster at the end of the year, and has a contract that expires after this season, he remains a member of that team until the end of the league year and start of free agency. This year, that date is March 11.
The six players signed by the Dolphins are:
- Isaako Aaitui, defensive tackle - Aaitui is familiar to Dolphins fans. He was signed as an undrafted free agent in 2011, then was a storyline during the team's appearance on HBO's Hard Knocks in 2012. He was waived during the final cuts, and was claimed by the New York Jets. However, he would tear his ACL and MCL in his first practice with New York and miss all of the 2012 season. Aaitui signed with the New Orleans Saints for the 2013 season, but was waived during the final roster cuts in August. He re-joined the Dolphins in Spetember, splitting time between the 53-man roster and the practice squad, playing in four games for the Dolphins this year. He finished the season on the practice squad.
- Cameron Marshall, running back - Marshall signed as an undrafted free agent with the Dolphins after the 2013 Draft out of Arizona State, spending the year with the Miami practice squad.
- Kyle Miller, tight end - Miller signed as an undrafted free agent in 2012 with the Jacksonville Jaguars. After being released by the Jaguars, Miller joined the Indianapolis Colts, where he spent the majority of the 2012 season on the practice squad. He was promoted to the active roster for Indianapolis for one week, late in the year, then was waived, and claimed by the Dolphins.He spent all of the 2013 season on the Miami practice squad.
- Emmanuel Ogbuehi, tight end - Signed as an undrafted free agent out of Georgia State in 2013 by the Washington Redskins, Ogbuehi was a long shot to make the Redskins' roster, and was eventually released, though he does have this preseason game-winning two point conversion on a pass from former Dolphins quarterback Pat White. He remained on a few teams rosters, seeing try outs during the season, including with the Houston Texans. He signed with the Dolphins practice squad at the beginning of December.
- Ryan Spadola, wide receiver - Spadola originally signed as an undrafted free agent with the New York Jets, making the team's roster and appearing in three games before being waived, with the expectation of being re-signed to the practice squad. However, the Dolphins managed to sign him to their practice squad instead. He was activated for the team's Halloween game against the Cincinnati Bengals after the season ending injury to Brandon Gibson. Spadola made an appearance as a special teams player in the game, before being waived and re-signed to the practice squad, where he finished the year.
- Jason Weaver, tackle - Signed as an undrafted free agent with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers following the 2013 Draft, the Souther Mississippi product was waived at the beginning of training camp and claimed by the Cincinnati Bengals. He was then waived during the final roster cuts by the Bengals and signed to the Dolphins practice squad at the beginning of September. He spent the year on the practice squad for Miami.
Realistically, all these players are simply camp bodies, hoping to make an impact sometime during the OTAs or training camp next year to claim one of the back-end roster spots. Potentially, Aaitui and Spadola have the best chance at cracking the 53-man roster next year, but these are all depth signings at this point, positioning the team to start filling the 90-man offseason roster.