Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Dolphins sign pair of draft picks in Martin, Matthews


Four draft picks down, five to go.

Tuesday, the Dolphins reached agreements with second-round offensive tackle Jonathon Martin and seventh-round receiver Rishard Matthews, the third and fourth members of their 2012 draft class to sign with the team.

Martin was a four-year starter at Stanford where he was tasked with protecting 2012 No. 1 overall Andrew Lucks's blindside. He is an experienced, intelligent lineman who is a frontrunner to win the starting right tackle job right away for the Dolphins.

There he would replace retired veteran and 2011 turnstile Marc Colombo to shore up a weak right side of the line. His athleticism makes him a perfect fit in the zone-blocking scheme that Joe Philbin plans to run.

Matthews is a possession receiver who has a knack for making the catch in traffic. He was extremely productive in two seasons at Nevada, catching 147 passes for 2,243 yards and 13 touchdowns.

Fellow rookie and sixth-round pick B.J. Cunningham will both be fighting for a roster spot in Miami's thin receiving corps. They will face competition from journeyman Legedu Naanee and undrafted free agent out of Texas A&M Jeff Fuller, who has the distinct advantage of being familiar with Mike Sherman's offense.

Both deals are for four years, and Martin's deal is reportedly worth just under $5 million. Financial terms of Matthews' contract were not disclosed.

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