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Veteran linebacker Rey Maualuga signs with Dolphins

  • By Max Meyer
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The Dolphins added a much-needed boost to their linebacker group.

Miami has signed veteran middle linebacker Rey Maualuga, the team announced Saturday. A source informed of the deal told NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport that it's a one-year pact. Maualuga was released by the Bengals in March after spending his first eight seasons there.

This move is clearly a response to 2017 second-rounder Raekwon McMillan tearing his ACL in the Dolphins' preseason opener last week. McMillan had been receiving first-team snaps at middle linebacker throughout training camp, and his absence created a huge hole in the center of Miami's defense.

Maualuga started six games last season for the Bengals, and racked up 27 total tackles in the 14 contests he appeared in. At this stage of his career, Maualuga is mainly on the field on early downs and specializes in stopping the run.

The 30-year-old linebacker will also have a familiar face to work with along the sidelines. First-year Dolphins defensive coordinator Matt Burke was Cincinnati's linebackers coach from 2014-15.