Miami Dolphins sign LB Rey Maualuga, place WR Isaiah Ford on IR

Miami Dolphins sign LB Rey Maualuga, place WR Isaiah Ford on IR

The Dolphins are hurting at middle linebacker after losing second-round pick and potential starter Raekwon McMillan (knee) for the season in Miami's first exhibition game.

With a clear need to fill late in the offseason, the Dolphins could have done far worse than Maualuga.

Four days later the Dolphins announced the signing of Maualuga.

Dolphins defensive coordinator Matt Burke was Maualuga's linebacker coach at Cincinnati from 2014-15, so that could have been one of the determining factors in the signing. He originally entered the National Football League as a second-round pick (38th overall) by Cincinnati in the 2009 National Football League draft.

However, last season he reported training camp overweight, and ended up missing a great deal of it due to injury. In 2016, Maualuga played in 14 games, starting in six of them, as he had 27 tackles and an interception. The Bengals released him in March.

Miami had previously used the minimum salary benefit on cornerback Alterruan Verner, who was signed last month and will likely play a key role in the Dolphins secondary this season. The injury bug bit them early, but at least they found some veteran replacements that have been successful at times during their carer.

The Dolphins also put wide receiver Isaiah Ford on injured reserve.