The status of Dolphins defensive end Phillip Merling has been cloudy due to his legal issues (he’s accused of assaulting his pregnant girlfriend). Well, a torn Achilles has made Merling’s immediate status much clearer. The third-year pro is out for the season.
Merling tore the Achilles while working out. However, he was not working out at Dolphin facilities. Thus, the Dolphins can put him on the non-football injury list and withhold $600,000 of his 2010 salary. (You can bet the Player’s Union will take a close look at the situation in this case.)
Replacing Merling won’t be overly difficult. Third-year pro Kendall Langford is an agile run defender (for a 3-4 end), and there are high hopes for first-round rookie end Jared Odrick.
UPDATE: The New York Daily News reports that the Dolphins have signed defensive end Marques Douglas to a two-year, $2.5 million contract. Douglas has played in a 3-4 scheme as a member of the Ravens, 49ers and Jets. He will likely come off the bench behind Langford.
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