With the Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos preparing to meet in Super Bowl XLVIII this Sunday, there are many ways to preview the game, and many storylines to consider. This morning, we take a minute to look at the
three four players - Tony McDaniel, Nathan Palmer, Wes Welker, and Kevin Vickerson - on the two Super Bowl teams who have also spent time with the Miami Dolphins.
Tony McDaniel, DT, Seattle - After being signed as an undrafted free agent in 2006 by the Jacksonville Jaguars, McDaniel appeared in 25 games over three years for the North Florida franchise. He was traded in 2009 to the Dolphins for a seventh round pick. Now in South Florida, McDaniel played in 54 games, with 2 starts, tallying 7 sacks, 7 passes defensed, 1 fumble recovery, and 82 tackles.
After four years with the Dolphins, McDaniel signed a one-year contract with the Seahawks this year, starting 15 of the team's 16 games and recorded a career high in tackles.
Nathan Palmer, WR, Denver (Practice Squad) - Palmer is a practice squad player, so he won't be playing in the game, but he may still be in position to get a ring (NFL teams decide if practice squad players get rings, and most of the time they will). Palmer started his career with the San Francisco 49ers, making the team's practice squad at the start of the 2012 season. However, the Indianapolis Colts poached him less than a month into the season, playing him in five games. Coming into the 2013 season, Palmer landed on injured reserve before reaching an injury settlement and being released by the Colts in early September.
The Dolphins signed him to their practice squad in October to replace Brian Tyms, who had been poached by the Cleveland Browns. He was released from the practice squad a week before the end of the season and was signed the same day by the Broncos to their practice squad.
Wes Welker, WR, Denver Broncos - Signed by the San Diego Chargers as an undrafted free agent in 2004, Welker spent one week with the Chargers before being released. He then signed with the Dolphins, being used primarily as a special teams player in his rookie season. He saw more playing time as a receiver in his second year (29 rec, 434 yards) and again saw an increase in his third season (67 rec, 687 yards, 1 touchdown). He also worked as the team's primary punt and kick returner during his three years in South Florida, averaging 9.7 yards per return on punts for Miami and 21.5 yards per kick return.
Then came the poison pill story. Welker was a restricted free agent after the 2006 season, and Miami offered him a one-year, second round tender at $1.35 million. The Patriots then pursued Welker, looking to sign him to a offer sheet including a threatened poison pill - a clause in the contract that would have given Welker an huge bonus for playing a certain number of games in the state of Florida, meaning the Dolphins would have to pay the bonus while the Patriots didn't - then giving the Dolphins the seven days to match. Instead of relying on the offer, the Patriots proposed a trade with the Dolphins, sending a second- and seventh-round pick to Miami.
Welker left Miami with having played 46 games, with 3 starts, catching 96 passes for 1,131 yards, with 1 touchdown. He also had one carry for five yards. Welker holds the Dolphins' career record in punt returns (127 - tied with OJ McDuffie and Jake Scott), kickoff returns (166), and kickoff return yards (3,756).[EDITOR'S NOTE: As finhead83 pointed out, I missed a player. Here's the update:]
Kevin Vickerson, DT, Denver Broncos - Vickerson joined the Dolphins in 2005 as a seventh round draft pick. Despite a late report to training camp, Vickerson looked good in the early preseason before injuring his knee and landing on injured reserve, ending his rookie campaign. In 2006, the Dolphins were said to be looking to trade Vickerson during the preseason, but in the end kept him on the 53-man roster for year, though he was never activate for a game. Miami did not extend an exlcusive right free agent tender to Vickerson in free agency that next offseason, but did re-sign him and allocated him to NFL-Europe before cutting him at the end of the preseason. Two months later, he was signed by the Tennessee Titans as a practice squad member before being promoted to the active roster and making his NFL debut. The Titans included Vickerson in a trade to the Seattle Seahawks in 2010, but he never appeared in a game and was relesed. Two days later, he signed with the Denver Broncos, where he has appeared in 47 games, starting 41, with 5 sacks, 1 interception, and 108 tackles. He is currently on Injured Reserve after dislocating his hip in November.
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