Having lost two linebackers to season-ending injuries, the Dolphins have summoned several linebackers to team heaquarters for a Wednesday workout, including NFL veteran Rey Maualuga, according to a team source.
Maualuga, 30, spent his first eight seasons with the Cincinnati Bengals, starting 108 of the 119 games in which he appeared and produced 343 tackles, four sacks, seven interceptions and six forced fumbles.
Last season, he started six games and appeared in 14, producing 17 tackles and an interception and playing 30 percent of the Bengals’ defensive snaps.
By releasing him in March, the Bengals saved $3.7 million against the cap.
"Rey has been a tough and productive player for us, and a fine teammate, and this is a difficult decision,” Bengals coach Marvin Lewis said in March. “It’s one of several we have made to transition to a younger group at linebacker as we continue to shape our 2017 roster. We wish Rey and his family the very best.”
A former second-round pick out of Southern California, Maualuga is known as a skilled run stuffer.
“He realizes the way the league is now," defensive coordinator Paul Guenther told Cincinnati.com at the NFL Scouting Combine in early March. "I tell Rey a lot he's synonymous with the fullback. The run-stopping linebacker is the fullback, as soon as you see the fullback run on the field he can run on, too. But that doesn't happen very often."
Mauluga has an association with Dolphins defensive coordinator Matt Burke, who was the Bengals’ linebackers coach in 2014 and 2015 before taking the same job on Adam Gase’s staff last season.
The Dolphins’ linebacker depth was depleted by the loss of Raekwon McMillan to a season-ending knee injury and Koa Misi to the aftermath of neck surgery.
While the identity of the other linebackers coming in for workouts wasn’t revealed, don’t be surprised if the Dolphins also look at middle linebacker Perry Riley, who started from 2012 through 2015 for Washington, then started 11 games for Oakland last season.
The Dolphins have been playing third-year veteran Mike Hull as their middle linebacker, alongsider starters Kiko Alonso and Lawrence Timmons.
Linebacker Neville Hewitt has been out in recent days with a shoulder injury, leaving Trevor Reilly, Chase Allen, Deon Lacey, Brandon Watts and Junior Sylvestre as the healthy backups.
Here are my other two Dolphins posts today: on six roster moves they made today, plus injury updates and how Miami plans to deal with Tony Lippett’s season-ending injury.... Twitter: @flasportsbuzz