Former Seahawks LB Shaquem Griffin signs with the Dolphins

The Miami Dolphins bolstered their linebacker depth Friday by signing free agent LB Shaquem Griffin to a one-year contract.

Miami Dolphins sign LB Shaquem Griffin to one-year deal

Griffin, who has 25 tackles and 6 quarterback hits in his career, joins a Dolphins’ defense that ranked in the top 10 in scoring in 2020. However, that was largely a function of Xavien Howard’s 10 interceptions. The linebackers, meanwhile, were fine, but they should be far better than that this year.

Dolphins LB depth in 2021

Here’s a look at the Brian Flores’ linebacking depth entering training camp.

Projected Starters

Andrew Van Ginkel, Benardrick McKinney, Jerome Baker, and Jaelan Phillips

The Dolphins suddenly have invested serious capital in that position. First, they traded Shaq Lawson for McKinney, who can play both off ball and on the edge. In June, they gave Jerome Baker — perhaps their best defensive player not named Xavien Howard — a three-year, $37.5 million contract extension. In the 2021 NFL Draft, the Dolphins used a first-round pick on Phillips, a pass rusher out of Miami. Van Ginkel is the cheapest of the group, but with 5.5 sacks in 2020, he might also be the best.

Solid Depth

Shaquem Griffin, Duke Riley, Brennan Scarlett, Sam Eguavoen, Vince Biegel, Elandon Roberts

Riley, an offseason addition, should be an effective passing-down coverage linebacker. Scarlett knows McKinney well, as the two played together in Houston. And there’s a good chance they pass the rusher at the same time on a multiple defense.

Eguavoen has carved out a nice NFL career after impressing in the CFL. He’ll be a solid backup on the interior along with a key special-teams contributor.

Griffin, who has inspired countless by playing with one full arm, should be a core special teamer and a spot player on defense. Biegel’s biggest question is his health. He tore his Achilles last year. When healthy, he can get pressure on the quarterback.

Roberts is also coming off a major injury. But when healthy, he might be the Dolphins’ best run-stopping LB.

Needs to impress

Kylan Johnson, Calvin Munson

Johnson joined the Dolphins as an undrafted college free agent in 2020. Munson, meanwhile, was drafted by the New York Giants in 2017. With Miami last season, he had four total tackles. It’s hard to see how either makes the team without a spectacular preseason.

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