The Miami Dolphins have traded their quarterback questions for other issues on the team.
The Tua Tagovailoa era will start in Week 8 when the rookie quarterback from Alabama faces the Los Angeles Rams. Unlike the Rams, the Dolphins have a severe defensive line problem after placing veteran Davon Godchaux on injured reserve.
The Miami Dolphins may have found a possible answer to those defensive line problems in the form of a former second-round bust who never played an NFL down.
The Miami Dolphins need defensive line depth
Malik McDowell was a bust in Seattle
Seattle Seahawks fans may never want to hear Malik McDowell’s name again.
McDowell starred at Michigan State, totaling 7.5 sacks and 24.5 tackles for loss from 2014-16. Standing 6 feet 6 inches and weighing 299 pounds, McDowell earned second-team All-Big Ten honors in 2015 and 2016.
McDowell had the makings of a star defensive lineman at the NFL level. Unfortunately for McDowell and the Seahawks, that never happened.
Weeks after he signed a four-year, $6.95 million contract with $4.4 million guaranteed, McDowell was involved in an ATV accident.
Seattle placed him on the non-football injury list that summer, and McDowell missed his entire rookie season. McDowell was arrested twice over the next few months and Seattle cut him in July 2018.
McDowell had other legal issues, and received an 11-month prison sentence last November. Michigan police arrested McDowell in February 2019 and charged him with assault, resisting arrest, and operating a vehicle while intoxicated.
Police later arrested McDowell for being in possession of a stolen car.
According to ESPN, an Oakland County (Mich.) judge also ordered McDowell to write four essays with at least 750 words on topics such as “finding meaning in life other than committing crimes” and “the principles of the Declaration of Independence and how his behavior undermined them.”
The Miami Dolphins are interested in Malik McDowell
Of the four defensive linemen that Miami worked out in Week 7, Malik McDowell stood out in terms of name recognition.
Miami also worked out Daylon Mack, Javier Edwards, and Miles Brown.
McDowell is still only 24, and he doesn’t turn 25 until June 2021. Dolphins head coach Brian Flores spent the bulk of his coaching career in New England, where the Patriots frequently signed troubled players.
Miami hadn’t signed McDowell as of publication. Because of COVID-19 rules and needing to learn the playbook, there is no guarantee that McDowell would even play before mid-November if he signed with the Dolphins.
But if McDowell is getting a workout with one team, that could translate to more chances down the line. Whether or not he deserves those opportunities is another conversation, however.
For now, the Dolphins need defensive line depth — and if they see Malik McDowell as the solution, look for them to take that risk.