Miami Dolphins: Cornerback Nate Ness Claimed Off Waivers
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The Miami Dolphins claimed a player off waivers Wednesday, but it wasn't the one many had expected (and some had hoped for).
While the Dolphins failed to enter a claim to controversial wide receiver Randy Moss, who went to the Tennessee Titans, they did claim cornerback Nate Ness off waivers from the Seattle Seahawks.
Ness, who spent the offseason and preseason in Miami before being waived during final cuts, re-joins the Dolphins after spending the past two months in Seattle.
Veteran cornerback Evan Oglesby, who was re-signed by the Dolphins last week, was waived to make room for Ness on the active roster.
An Arizona alum, Ness was signed by the Cleveland Browns as an undrafted free agent in May 2009, but was waived in July.
He then spent just under two weeks with the New York Jets during the 2009 preseason, appearing in three games before being waived on Aug. 31.
Ness was briefly picked up by the Seattle Seahawks on Sept. 2, only to be waived during final cuts three days later. He remained a free agent until being added to the Dolphins' practice squad in late October.
The Dolphins promoted Ness to the active roster for a game against the Carolina Panthers, but he did not play. He was later waived and re-signed to the practice squad, where he remained through the end of the season.
Having re-signed with the Dolphins in the 2010 offseason, Ness made a splash in the preseason opener against the Buccaneers with four tackles, two forced fumbles and three pass deflections.
After losing a numbers game with the Dolphins, Ness was waived and picked up by the Seahawks. He spent the first six games of the season inactive.
Due to injuries to Seahawks cornerbacks Kelly Jennings and Walter Thurmond, Ness made his NFL regular season debut against the Oakland Raiders on Oct. 31. He struggled in a 33-3 Seattle loss, allowing a 69-yard touchdown to Raiders wideout Darrius Heyward-Bey.
The Seahawks waived Ness on Tuesday in a flurry of roster moves.
As soon as I saw the Seahawks waived Ness yesterday, I knew he was going to be picked up by the Dolphins. Miami likely wanted to sneak him to their practice squad when they waived him on Sept. 4, but those plans were foiled when Seattle claimed him.
While Ness doesn't offer much upside, he is worth having on the roster more than the recently re-signed Evan Oglesby, simply based on youth and what potential he does have.
Oglesby is pretty well-traveled and has yet to establish himself as anything more than a fringe player as he approaches 29 years of age. Meanwhile, Ness doesn't turn 25 until next season and still has some room to grow and learn.
Additionally, Ness offers familiarity with the Dolphins' defensive scheme and has the versatility to play cornerback and free safety—something that could come in handy with Nolan Carroll and Reshad Jones currently banged up.
There is no guarantee Ness will have any more of an impact with the Dolphins than he did in his last stint with the team, but it will be interesting to see if he can continue the development he showed in the preseason.
Ness is probably a long way from seeing the field on defense, but it wouldn't be surprising to see him on special teams as soon as this Sunday.
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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