The Miami Dolphins have lost a draft pick after fifth-round selection Curtis Weaver was claimed off waivers by the Cleveland Browns on Tuesday. Miami placed Weaver on waivers with an injured designation on Monday, anticipating he would clear waivers and revert back to the Dolphins’ injured reserve list. The Browns’ claim was reported by NFL Network reporter Tom Pelissero.
Weaver was selected by Miami back in April in the fifth round of the 2020 NFL Draft. He was a three-year letterman at Boise State, starting his final two seasons. He recorded 128 tackles, 34 sacks, two interceptions, eight passes defensed, three forced fumbles, and one fumble recovery in 41 career games with 22 starts. His 34 career sacks are a Mountain West Conference record.
Under NFL rules, non-vested players must pass through waivers with an injured designation before being added to a team’s IR list. The rule prevents teams from stashing young players on IR for a year if they are not ready to be immediate contributors. Weaver, who sustained a presumed season-ending foot injury, will likely remain on the Browns’ roster until Week 1 of the regular season, when he can then be added to Cleveland’s IR list without the waivers process.
Weaver was seen as a steal by the Dolphins, with an unexpected fall to the fifth round, though pass rushers who fall to the fifth round are clearly not locks to be a star in the league. It is not unusual for teams to go through the waiver process to put mid- to late-round draft picks on IR when an injury occurs. Typically, it happens without a player being claimed - though, as Pelissero points out, this is the second time this summer it has happened, with the Seattle Seahawks claiming safety D.J. Reed after the San Francisco 49ers waived him with an injury designation earlier this month. Teams could use the backend of the training camp roster to stash players for the remainder of the summer, then add them to IR once the regular season begins.