Miami Dolphins Sign FB Deon Anderson, Release LB Bobby Carpenter
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The Miami Dolphins weren't finished re-shaping the special teams unit with the firing of coordinator John Bonamego two weeks ago.
After a number of costly special teams errors, the Dolphins terminated the contract of linebacker Bobby Carpenter on Monday.
The Dolphins have replaced one former Cowboy with another, reportedly signing former Cowboys fullback Deon Anderson to take his roster spot.
With a fully-stocked active roster and practice squad, there are no roster moves imminent for the Dolphins at this time.
A disappointing former first-round pick by Bill Parcells in Dallas, Carpenter was brought in by the Dolphins before the 2010 regular season to provide defensive depth and help on special teams.
It was that last department that eventually got Carpenter cut, however, as crucial mistakes on special teams over the past few games led to his release yesterday.
In the Dolphins' 41-14 loss to the Patriots in Week 4, Carpenter took a bad route to Brandon Tate on his 103-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, and also missed a block that allowed a Brandon Fields punt to be blocked.
Carpenter's special teams gaffes continued Sunday in Green Bay, as he allowed another punt to be partially deflected by a Packers rusher.
That mistake proved to be the end of the line for Carpenter, who will now try to latch on with his fourth team since May.
Carpenter ends his tenure with the Dolphins having recorded 10 tackles in five games (two starts). He has 106 tackles and 3.5 sacks over four-plus seasons since being the 18th overall pick in the 2006 NFL Draft out of Ohio State.
A teammate of former Dolphins' guard Donald Thomas at UConn, Anderson was drafted by the Cowboys in the sixth round of the 2007 NFL Draft.
After starting four of the Cowboys' first eight games during his rookie season, Anderson was placed on season-ending injured reserve in November with a rotator cuff injury.
A knee injury forced Anderson to miss the beginning of the 2008 season, but he would return to appear in 14 games (five starts) and score his first NFL touchdown on a reception from Tony Romo.
Anderson served as the Cowboys' full-time starting fullback in 2009, opening nine of the 16 contests in which he appeared. He caught only one pass for five yards that season and did not have a carry, although he did help Cowboys' running backs Marion Barber III and Felix Jones combine for over 1,600 yards on the ground.
After appearing in the Cowboys' regular season opener in 2010, Anderson suffered a knee injury that was expected to keep him out at least two to four weeks.
The Cowboys waived/injured Anderson on Sept. 24, after which time he reverted to injured reserve. Dallas released him with an injury settlement soon after.
In addition to his contributions as a lead blocker, Anderson was a consistently productive special teams player in Dallas, amassing 21 special teams tackles in three seasons, including a career high in 2009.
Anderson was arrested in February after police were called to a disturbance between Anderson and a restaurant staff and traffic warranted were discovered.
Likely signed to a one- or two-year deal for the veteran minimum, Anderson will wear No. 33 for the Dolphins.
It's no surprise to see Carpenter cut here, as special teams has been a troubling spot for the Dolphins this season and Carpenter had been one of the biggest culprits.
Carpenter never lived up to his draft status in Dallas, and while he's a solid backup linebacker, he clearly is never going to. If he's going to make costly errors on special teams, he's going to have a hard time staying employed in the National Football League.
Anderson becomes the latest ex-Cowboys to join the Dolphins team, joining fellow fullback Lousaka Polite, who essentially lost the Cowboys' fullback job to Anderson in 2007.
Polite is reportedly a little banged up right now and was unable to finish the game against Green Bay, and Anderson is a more reasonable emergency option at fullback than tailback Lex Hilliard.
However, Polite has developed into one of the league's top fullbacks and Anderson lacks the ball-carrying or lead-blocking abilities to unseat Polite permanently.
Anderson is by no means safe on the Dolphins' roster. He could last a day or he could last the whole season. A lot of that will depend on how performs on special teams and the health of Polite.
As always, check out the updated projected depth chart reflecting these transactions here!
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Chris J. Nelson majored in journalism at Georgia State University and is currently a programming coordinator for Turner Sports in Atlanta. He operates his own Miami Dolphins website, The Miami Dolphins Spotlight, and he can be followed on Twitter here.
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