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Rey Maualuga and Kelvin Sheppard leave Miami without contract

The Dolphins worked out two veteran linebackers on Wednesday, but signed neither.

NFL: Preseason-Cincinnati Bengals at Jacksonville Jaguars Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

The Dolphins continued their search for help at the linebacker position on Wednesday, but came up empty... for now.

According to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, the Dolphins hosted linebackers Rey Maualuga and Kelvin Sheppard for workouts today, but both left Miami without a contract. The team will continue to keep an eye out for other options, meaning both Maualuga and Sheppard remain candidates to sign with the team if the Dolphins are underwhelmed by other alternatives.

Maualuga has spent his entire eight-year career with the Cincinnati Bengals as one of the key cogs in their front seven. He started every game but two that he played with the team until 2016, when he became more of a rotational run-stuffer, prompting the team to release him this offseason. Luckily for Maualuga, a rotational run stuffer is just what the Dolphins need after losing talented rookie Raekwon McMillan to a season ending ACL tear. McMillan was projected to start at MLB for the Dolphins between Kiko Alonso and Lawrence Timmons.

Sheppard has spent time with four different teams during his six years in the league, with his most productive season occurring in Miami back in 2015. That year, the former Bill, Colt, Dolphin, and Giant, racked up 105 tackles along with 2 passes defended in 13 starts and 16 total games. Now a free agent after failing to be resigned by the Giants, Sheppard could make a solid stopgap option for the suddenly linebacker needy Dolphins.

Then again, speculating about potential veteran candidates could be completely moot should Miami decide to stick with second-year linebacker Mike Hull at the middle linebacker position. He played well in limited work last season and may be ready to make the jump to full-time starter on defense. Gambling on Hull’s quick development is a risk though, and it could come back to bite the Dolphins when points start to matter come week 1.


What direction should the Dolphins take at linebacker?

This poll is closed

  • 45%
    Sign Rey Maualuga
    (296 votes)
  • 5%
    Sign Kelvin Sheppard
    (33 votes)
  • 20%
    Look for another veteran in free agency or a trade
    (136 votes)
  • 28%
    Stick with Mike Hull and hope for the best
    (184 votes)
649 votes total Vote Now