The Dolphins agreed to a deal with former Broncos and Giants center J.D. Walton, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport on Twitter.
Walton, who visited with the Dolphins today, started two years with the Broncos and one with the Giants. Last year’s starting snapper in Miami, Samson Satele saw his one-year contract expired earlier this month, opening up the Dolphins’ center position. But former Pro Bowl center Mike Pouncey, moved to right guard last season, could return to his former post and make Walton a depth piece. ESPN Dolphins reporter James Walker expects this to be the case.
Terms of the deal are not yet disclosed. The Giants released Walton, a 2010 third-round pick of the Broncos, one season into the two-year, $6MM contract he signed last March. Walton, who will be 28 in five days, endured a rough 2014 campaign, finishing as the league’s 38th-best center, according to Pro Football Focus’ metrics (subscription required). But with the Giants having no better option, the ex-Baylor standout led all centers in snaps with 1,145.
The Dolphins didn’t receive much better production from Satele, brought in last August, and appear to be letting him move on in free agency.
Starting 16 games in both 2010 and 2011, Walton blocked for both Kyle Orton and Tim Tebow in those seasons. But a severe ankle injury sustained four games into Peyton Manning‘s tenure a year later sidelined him for the rest of 2012 and led to the Broncos waiving him in December 2013. Walton drew PFF’s ire in both of his Broncos campaigns as well, finishing as the fourth-worst and worst center, respectively, in his first two seasons.