The Dolphins’ defensive line somehow got even better Wednesday as the team bolstered its best position with C.J. Mosley, another run-stuffer to add to its growing collection.
Mosley, who visited the team Tuesday, signed a one-year deal with the Dolphins the following day. The team waived defensive tackle Kamal Johnson to make room.
The 11th-year veteran will again team up with all-pro defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh. They played together in Detroit the previous two years; Suh, Mosley and Nick Fairley were the backbone of arguably the league’s best defense in 2014.
The Lions last year ranked first in rushing (69.3 yards per game), first in yards per rush (3.2), second in total defense (300.9), fourth in yards per play allowed (4.9) and eighth in sacks (42). The analytics website Football Outsiders rated the Lions’ defensive line as the league’s best against the run.
The Dolphins hope Suh and Mosley bring that magic to South Florida. The pieces are in place. Suh and Mosley will team with Earl Mitchell, Jordan Phillips and others on what is shaping up to be a frightening interior defensive line. The Dolphins missed the playoffs last year, in large part, because their defense crumbled, allowing 141 points in the final four weeks.
By keeping on defensive coordinator Kevin Coyle for a fourth season, the Dolphins suggested they believe their problem was talent, not scheme. They have since cut Randy Starks and allowed Jared Odrick to walk in free agency. By signing Suh, drafting Phillips and now adding Mosley, a shaky position has become their most stable.
The move is probably bad news for either Anthony Johnson or A.J. Francis, young players who were competing for roster spots before the Mosley addition.
Mosley, 31, attended Missouri and was a sixth-round pick in 2005. He has had NFL stops with the Vikings, Jets, Browns, Jaguars and Lions, tallying 188 tackles and 14 sacks in his career.
Pro Football Focus rated Mosley the league’s 26th-best defensive tackle last year and was durable. Mosley was on the field for more than half of Detroit’s defensive snaps in games he was active.
However, his 2014 campaign was not without controversy.
Mosley was sent home from the Lions’ game in London after marijuana was discovered in his hotel room. Someone had disconnected the smoke alarm system, alerting the hotel staff. The Lions suspended Mosley two weeks for conduct detrimental to the club.