Along with the previously reported Rey Maualuga, the linebacker-needy Dolphins worked out free agent Kelvin Sheppard on Wednesday, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald (on Twitter). Miami didn’t sign either player and “will keep monitoring options,” writes Jackson, who adds that the team hasn’t ruled out picking up Maualuga. Whether it will continue considering Sheppard is unclear.
Had the Dolphins inked Sheppard to a deal Wednesday, he’d have been in line for his second stint with the team. Sheppard was a member of the Dolphins from 2014-15, when he made 30 appearances with the club and started 15 times. Nearly all of those starting appearances (14) occurred in 2015, a season in which Sheppard amassed a career-high 102 tackles. The former LSU Tiger wasn’t much of a difference-maker in Miami, though, and also wasn’t a high-impact defender in stints with the Bills (2011-12), Colts (2013) and Giants (2016).
Sheppard, 29, appeared in each of the Giants’ games last season and made 11 starts, but he finished with just 47 tackles, failed to force any turnovers and earned a poor grade (39.1) from Pro Football Focus. He hadn’t generated any known interest in free agency until his workout with the Dolphins.
Miami’s decision to bring in Maualuga and Sheppard came as a reaction to the ACL tear that ended second-round rookie linebacker Raekwon McMillan‘s season last week. The Dolphins will also go without Koa Misi, whom they placed on injured reserve in June as a result of the spinal fusion surgery he underwent last year, further weakening their depth at linebacker.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.