Former Oklahoma running back Damien Williams (26) was dismissed in November for violating team rules. (William Purnell/Icon SMI)
The Miami Dolphins entered 2014 already under a microscope in regards to the behavior of their players, but that hasn't stopped their front office from taking a few risks on talented though troubled college stars.
Fresh off the Richie Incognito-Jonathan Martin debacle, the Dolphins have signed three players who were kicked off their college team and a fourth who was suspended for a year, according to The Miami Herald's Barry Jackson.
By signing California linebacker Chris McCain this week, the Dolphins now have added at least three rookies who were thrown off their college teams (Liberty’s Walt Aikens – by Illinois; Oklahoma’s Damien Williams and McCain). They also added another, Marist’s Terence Fede, who was suspended a year.
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It's a risk general managers are sometimes willing to take when it comes to a single player, though signing multiple players with red flags is rather unique.
Of course, none of the contracts are heavy investments, and having just one of the players turn into an NFL talent is a risk the Dolphins are obviously okay with taking. Still, for a team whose public perception is already reeling as a result of character concerns, it's an odd move.
As for the reported troubles of the players, McCain was dismissed for conduct detrimental to his team, Fede suspended for violating team rules and Williams dismissed for reported failed drug tests, while Aikens was arrested for an alleged theft.
In fairness to the Dolphins, they also drafted a handful of collegiate team captains as well, so not all of their rookie additions have glaring character concerns.