Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Wheeler inks deal with free-agent hungry Dolphins


If you weren’t sure already, The Miami Dolphins want to revamp their linebacking corps.

In a third move in as many hours on Tuesday, the team has agreed to terms with former Oakland Raiders linebacker Philip Wheeler, this according to Pro Football Talk. The deal is reportedly for five years at $26 million, with half of that guaranteed. (photo: Jeffrey Beall, Flickr)

The move further complicates the team’s depth chart, and it puts an emphatic stamp on the fact that Miami came into free agency ready to make big changes, particularly on the defensive front.

The Dolphins agreed to terms with Ravens linebacker Dannell Ellerbe just hours before, then promptly released veteran Karlos Dansby.

Wheeler will likely replace one of the two remaining starters from last season, which were Kevin Burnett and Koa Misi. If age is the issue here, then Burnett will get the axe, as he’s slated to turn 31 this season. Misi had the weaker numbers, however, and he could go back to playing defensive end as he did in college to make room for Wheeler.

The 28-year-old Wheeler had 78 tackles with three sacks and two forced fumbles with Oakland in 2012.

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