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Green Bay Packers sign defensive end Phillip Merling

The Green Bay Packersannounced that they have signed free-agent defensive end Phillip Merling and placed rookie tight end Cameron Ford and first-year quarterback Nick Hill on waivers.

Terms of Merling's contract were not disclosed.

The 6-foot-4, 295-pound Merling was a second-round pick out of Clemson by the Miami Dolphins in the 2008 NFL Draft. Merling started four of 32 games and recorded 59 tackles, 3.5 sacks and an interception over his first two seasons in the league.

He was arrested in 2010 for aggravated battery on a pregnant woman, but the charge was eventually dropped. Merling suffered a torn Achilles before the 2010 season.

Merling has appeared in 15 games over the past two seasons, posting seven tackles and three passes defensed in limited action. Because Merling was not activated off the reserve/non-football injury list in time to earn an accrued season in 2010, he was not eligible for unrestricted free agency this offseason.

The Dolphins had placed an original-round restricted free-agent tender on Merling, which included a non-guaranteed base salary of $1.26 million for the 2012 season, but chose to release him on April 23 after he signed.

Merling adds depth to a Packers defensive line that is currently expected to be without free-agent addition Anthony Hargrove for the first eight games of the season. Hargrove was suspended because of his involvement in the New Orleans Saints' "bounty" scandal. Hargrove is currently appealing his suspension.

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