Miami Dolphins Re-Sign Ryan Baker and Ray Feinga, Add to Practice Squad
The Miami Dolphins have brought back a few familiar faces, re-signing free-agent defensive lineman Ryan Baker and promoting offensive lineman Ray Feinga from the practice squad.
To make room for the pair, the Dolphins waived/injured defensive lineman Igor Olshansky and outright waived placekicker Shayne Graham.
Olshansky was signed in late September to provide defensive line depth, however, he was reportedly unhappy with his playing time and recorded just seven tackles in eight relief appearances. He was waived/injured with a calf injury and will likely revert to injured reserve before being let go with an injury settlement in the near future.
Graham's departure signals that placekicker Dan Carpenter is over his groin injury and is ready to resume play after a two-game absence. In two games for the Dolphins, the 33-year-old Graham converted all six extra points and went 4-for-5 in field-goal attempts, but his lone miss proved costly in the Dolphins' 20-19 loss to the Dallas Cowboys on Thanksgiving Day.
The Dolphins also made another roster move Wednesday, signing offensive tackle Andre Ramsey to the practice squad to take Feinga's spot. The Dolphins worked out Ramsey and former Florida State tight end Caz Piurowski yesterday, but only Ramsey has been signed thus far.
Undrafted out of Purdue in 2009, Baker served as a versatile backup defensive lineman for much of the previous two seasons. He appeared in five games as a rookie after earning a promotion from the practice squad in November and recorded two tackles in five games.
Baker initially began the 2010 season on the practice squad as well before being promoted a few weeks into the season. He went on to play in nine games (zero starts) and record four tackles. In 2011, he appeared in games Weeks 2 and 3 before being waived a week after the addition of Olshansky.
Although he has had numerous workouts since his release from the Dolphins on Sept. 28, Baker has not signed elsewhere and is not eligible for the practice squad. He will presumably wear his old No. 90, although it is currently taken by practice squad nose tackle Isaako Aaitui.
Originally signed by the St. Louis Rams as an undrafted free agent in 2009, Feinga also spent time with the Chargers in training camp before being waived during final cuts. He was signed to the Dolphins practice squad late that season and was re-signed the following offseason.
In 2010, Feinga bounced between the Dolphins' practice squad, active roster, and free agency while serving a four-game suspension imposed by the league. He made his first three regular season appearances in a reserve role that season.
Despite a strong preseason showing, Feinga began the 2011 season on the Dolphins practice squad once again and was actually released before being re-added in late mid-October. Donning No. 69, he works primarily at guard but also has the ability to play tackle.
A first-team All-MAC selection at Ball State, Ramsey (6'5", 322) was undrafted in 2009 and signed with the Seattle Seahawks before being waived during final cuts. He spent most of his rookie season on the Buffalo Bills practice squad before earning a late-season promotion and appearing in two contests.
Ramsey did not appear in a game in 2010, spending just over a month on the Jets practice squad from October to December before finishing the season on the practice squad of the Baltimore Ravens. The team waived Ramsey during final cuts following the 2011 preseason.
I like Olshansky's talent significantly better than Baker's, but if Igor was whining in the locker room his production certainly doesn't merit keeping him around any long.
Baker is your typical hard-working, blue-collar player. He knows the defensive scheme and has the versatility to play both defensive end and nose tackle in Miami's 3-4, but he's unlikely to make more of an impact than he did over his first few seasons with the Dolphins.
Feinga's addition likely means there is concern that starting right guard Vernon Carey may miss this weekend's game against the Raiders after suffering an ankle injury last week in Dallas. Nate Garner (and not John Jerry, as some terrible beat writers would have you believe) would start at Carey's place at right guard if Carey cannot go.
Feinga would then serve as a backup, and it honestly wouldn't surprise me if the Dolphins dressed Feinga on the bench and kept Jerry inactive, as he has been lately. I think the Dolphins may actually like Feinga better than Jerry, but only Feinga is practice-squad-eligible and that has allowed the team to keep their disappointing 2010 third-rounder in hopes that he turns this around.
As for Ramsey, his addition gives the Dolphins a little more practice depth now that Garner is in the starting lineup for the time being. He was a left tackle in college but is probably more of a right tackle in the pros, so he'll probably work at Garner's spots in practice while Garner fills in for Carey as the first-team right guard.
Ramsey doesn't offer a whole lot of upside, but he will have this opportunity to serve as an audition for being brought back in 2012 to compete for a roster spot in training camp.
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 currently works 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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