The Miami Dolphins have worked out free agent linebacker Zaviar Gooden, according to a report from ESPN’s Adam Caplan. The Dolphins have limited depth at linebacker, a situation exacerbated by the indefinite suspension of Lawrence Timmons by the team on Tuesday. Miami has also lost potential starting linebackers Raekwon McMillan and Koa Misi to the injured reserve list this year; undrafted free agent rookie Chase Allen started on the outside on Sunday against the Los Angeles Chargers, replacing Timmons, while second-year linebacker Mike Hull played in the middle. Veteran Kiko Alonso played outside, the only linebacker expected to be an opening day starter this year.
Gooden was a third-round draft choice of the Tennessee Titans in 2013, spending two seasons with the team. He was out of football in 2015 after being placed on injured reserve by the Titans due to a hamstring injury; he was released with an injury settlement a few weeks later.
In 2016, Gooden played for the Detroit Lions and Arizona Cardinals, making eight appearances as he bounced between the active rosters and practice squads for both teams. He has a career total of 37 tackles in 24 games played, including three starts.
Meanwhile on Tuesday, the Buffalo Bills announced they had released linebacker Jelani Jenkins, who had signed with the team a week earlier. He was inactive for the team’s Week 2 contest. Also a 2013 draft selection, Jenkins was picked by the Dolphins in the fourth round, playing four seasons in South Florida. He appeared in 53 games, with 34 starts, tallying 227 tackles, 3.5 sacks, five passes defensed, three forced fumbles, and a fumble recovery in that time.
Last season, Jenkins played in nine games for Miami, starting seven games. He started this year with the Oakland Raiders, but landed on injured reserve as part of the team’s final roster cuts. He then joined the Bills after an injury settlement released him from Oakland.
Jenkins, if healthy, could be an option to provide some depth to the Dolphins’ linebackers corps. He is familiar with the team and the basic defensive system, though he would have to familiarize himself with any changes defensive coordinator Matt Burke made after taking over for Vance Joseph this offseason. Jenkins may not be a long-term solution for the Dolphins, but he probably is someone the team should at least consider.