The Dolphins signed edge rusher Nate Orchard, according to Adam Caplan of SiriusXM (on Twitter). Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald (Twitter link) first reported that a deal was close on Wednesday night.
Orchard signed with the Seahawks in early April, inking a one-year deal with a club that has a history of taking chances on former early-round defenders (Barkevious Mingo, Dion Jordan). However, the 26-year-old was made redundant after Seattle inked fellow defensive end Ziggy Ansah, and Orchard was waived last week.
Orchard comes with pedigree, as the Browns selected him 51st overall in the 2015 draft. An 11-game starter during his rookie campaign, Orchard has started only two contests since 2015. His last significant action came in 2017, when he played on 40% of Cleveland’s defensive snaps while grading as the NFL’s No. 68 edge defender among 123 qualifiers, per Pro Football Focus. Last year, despite a valiant effort on HBO’s Hard Knocks, Orchard was waived by the Browns at final cutdowns, and subsequently spent time with the Bills and Chiefs.
In Miami, Orchard stands a far better chance of making the roster — and earning playing time — than he would have in Seattle. The Dolphins are seeking to replace nearly the nearly 1,700 snaps played by now-departed defensive ends Cameron Wake, Robert Quinn, and Andre Branch, and there’s little ahead of Orchard on the club’s depth chart aside from 2017 first-round pick Charles Harris and veteran journeyman Tank Carradine. Miami didn’t add an edge defender with any of its six 2019 draft choices.
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