Veteran linebacker Lawrence Timmons was dealt a team suspension earlier today after leaving the Dolphins over the weekend, so the club was on the hunt for help at the second level of its defense. Anthony, who can be controlled through the 2019 season via the fifth-year option, will give Miami reinforcements at linebacker for the remainder of the season and also for the long haul.
Thought to be a candidate for release prior to the regular season, Anthony has been bandied about as a trade candidate for some time. The Saints simply have too many linebackers on their roster, and the club’s starting jobs went to free agent acquisitions Manti Te’o and A.J. Klein and third-round rookie Alex Anzalone. With Craig Robertson, Michael Mauti, and Nathan Stupar also available in reserve, New Orleans had no place for Anthony.
Anthony, 25, was a full-time starter in 2015 after entering the league as a first-round selection out of Clemson. But his playing time dwindled last season, as he started only three games and played on just 133 defensive snaps before a knee injury ended his campaign in December. Anthony, who also played on roughly a quarter of New Orleans’ special teams snaps, managed just 15 tackles after posting 112 stops during his rookie year.
The Dolphins will be on the hook for the remainder of Anthony’s ~$1.1MM base salary (which is fully guaranteed), and will be responsible for a similar, non-guaranteed figure in 2018. Miami will then have until next May to decide on Anthony’s 2019 fifth-year option. The Dolphins won’t need to make a roster move to accommodate Anthony’s arrival, as Timmons no longer counts against the team’s 53-man count.
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