The Dolphins on Monday signed veteran offensive lineman Daryn Colledge, whose addition will provide depth and versatility on a unit trying to compensate for the indefinite loss of Pro Bowl center Mike Pouncey.
Colledge was one of four offensive linemen who auditioned for the Dolphins on Monday. The others: former Dolphins center Samson Satele, ex-Broncos center Steve Vallos and former Houston tackle Ryan Harris.
Colledge, 32, has played some center and tackle but has been a guard primarily during his eight-year NFL career, and the Dolphins intend to use him at guard.
Dolphins general manager Dennis Hickey said Colledge “is a proven player who brings a tremendous amount of experience and versatility to the organization.”
With Pouncey expected to miss between two and six regular season games after hip surgery, the Dolphins’ options at center include backups Sam Brenner and Nate Garner and potentially first-team right guard Shelley Smith.
Smith has taken snaps at center during the offseason program but has never played the position in an NFL game. As of Monday, he had not been told if he will be moved to center during Pouncey’s absence.
Colledge could settle in as a backup, but there are two scenarios in which he could emerge as a starter to begin the season:
• If he beats out Dallas Thomas, who has taken most of the first-team snaps at left guard during the offseason program, and rookie Billy Turner.
• Or if Smith moves to center until Pouncey’s return, which would open a starting guard spot. Colledge, Thomas and Turner would compete for two starting guard jobs in that scenario.
Brenner took the first-team snaps at center during the one minicamp practice that Pouncey missed.
Colledge has started 124 of his 128 NFL games, including every game the past six seasons. He played his first five seasons with Green Bay and his past three with Arizona. Last year, Colledge played left guard, and Pro Football Focus rated him 45th of 81 qualifying guards — 32nd in pass protection (he allowed two sacks) and 53rd as a run blocker.
Colledge knows Dolphins coach Joe Philbin well from their time together in Green Bay. He grew up in North Pole, Alaska, and was the Packers’ second-round pick out of Boise State in 2006.
The Dolphins aren’t signing Satele or Harris at this time, but both received positive feedback after their workouts and both remain possibilities if Miami decides to make another addition later this summer.
Among Miami’s tackles, the Dolphins feel good about starters Branden Albert and Ja’Wuan James and backup Jason Fox.