The Miami Dolphins agreed to terms on a one-year contract with free agent safety T.J. McDonald on Friday. McDonald played all 16 games for the Los Angeles Rams last year and recorded 64 tackles, two interceptions and one sack.
Terms: One year, details N/A
Grade C-plus: This is a tough one to grade, because it has to be on a curve. McDonald is a solid young player who likely would have received more interest in free agency if not for the eight-game suspension he was handed for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy.
What it means: The Dolphins are fully aware they need help at the safety position. So much is this the case that they are willing to wait half the season to get McDonald on the field. McDonald will get to work out and learn the system during the offseason program and training camp. The suspension kicks in at the start of the regular season. McDonald is a good player who could turn out to be a starter by the end of the year.
What’s the risk: The Dolphins are signing a player now who cannot help until late October or early November. That’s the biggest risk with this signing. We will know the exact point McDonald is eligible to return in April when the NFL schedule is released.