The Alliance of American Football opened their inaugural season this past weekend, bringing football into the spring. This league is designed to compliment the NFL – though, despite games being aired on NFL Network, it is not officially affiliated with the NFL – and the eight team rosters are filled with players who had a shot at the NFL but did not stick. Some of these are undrafted free agents who did not make the roster in their rookie season and some are veterans who are hoping to get another crack at the league.
The AAF – or The Alliance as they like to use in their marketing – is fairly straight forward when it comes to a comparison between it and the NFL, though there are some rules changes. Some of the biggest differences are the removal of kickoffs (offenses just start from their own 25-yard line), removal of extra points (all teams must go for two after every touchdown), 35-second play clock, no TV timeouts, onside kicks replaced by a 4th-and-12 play, only 5-man pass rush. and the inclusion of a “sky judge” referee who is in the press box and can correct obvious officiating errors – both called and not called.
As for the players in the league, there are several former Miami Dolphins players/coaches who will be competing throughout the spring. The San Antonio Commanders are the only team without a former Dolphins player/coach on the roster. Of course, I may have missed someone, so if you see a player/coach somewhere that has a Dolphins tie and I do not have them listed, let me know in the comments at the bottom of the page.
Thomas Duarte, tight end – A seventh-round pick by the Dolphins in 2016, he spent the 2016 and 2017 season, mostly as a practice squad member. He made one appearance with Miami in 2016. He began 2018 with Miami before being released at the end of the preseason, then signed to the San Diego Chargers’ practice squad but only stayed there a couple of weeks.
Kevin Coyle, head coach – Served as the Dolphins defensive coordinator under Joe Philbin from 2012 to 2015. Also worked on coaching staffs of the Cincinnati Bengals along with college work at LSU, Fresno State, Maryland, Syracuse, Holy Cross, U.S. Merchant Marine, Arkansas, and Cincinnati. This is his first stint as a head coach.
Lawrence Okoye, defensive end – An 2012 Olympian, he signed as an undrafted free agent with the San Francisco 49ers in 2013, he also spent time with the Arizona Cardinals, the New York Jets, the Dallas Cowboys, and Chicago Bears before spending the 2017 preseason with Miami. He played 2017 with the Montreal Alouettes in the Canadian Football League and was out of football in 2018.
Avery Young, guard – Signed as an undrafted free agent in 2016 with the New Orleans Saints, spending his rookie season on the non-football injury list. He signed as a free agent with the Dolphins in 2017 but was cut after the preseason. He also spent time with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2017 and 2018, as well as the Seattle Seahawks in 2018.
Anthony Johnson, defensive end – Signed as an undrafted free agent with the Dolphins in 2014, spending his rookie year with the team. He was released during the 2015 preseason, then signed with the Washington Redskins practice squad late in the year. He signed a futures contract with Washington but was released prior to training camp. He spent the 2016 preseason with the New England Patriots and most of the regular season on the practice squad with a brief promotion to the active roster before being signed off the Patriots practice squad by the New York Jets in November. He was placed on injured reserve during the 2017 preseason by New York then an injury settlement allowed him to sign with the Indianapolis Colts practice squad before being promoted at the end of the year. He was again placed on injured reserve to start the 2018 season before reaching an injury settlement in mid-September.
Damore’ea Stringfellow, wide receiver – Signed with the Dolphins as an undrafted free agent in 2017 and was cut after the preseason. Also spent time with the New York Jets, Seattle Seahawks, and Tennessee Titans.
Dallas Thomas, guard – Third-round pick by Miami in 2013 playing in 37 games with 26 starts before being released in October 2016. Spent 2017 training camp and preseason with the Philadelphia Eagles before being released.
Julius Warmsley, defensive tackle – Signed with the Houston Texans as an undrafted free agent in 2014. Spent time on the Seattle Seahawks practice squad throughout 2014 and 2015 before joining the Dolphins’ practice squad in late 2015, then spending the 2016 season with the Dolphins, appearing in five games with eight tackles. He was cut at the end of the 2017 preseason, spending that year with the Tennessee Titans on their practice squad, then was released after the 2018 preseason.
Terence Garvin, linebacker – Signed as an undrafted free agent with the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2013. Moved to the Washington Redskins in 2016, then the Seattle Seahawks in 2017. He spent the 2018 preseason with the Dolphins before being released and signed by the San Francisco 49ers, then was released ten days later. He did not appear in a game with Miami, but has played in 75 games in his career, primarily as a special teams player.
Anthony Moten, Jr., defensive tackle – Signed as an undrafted free agent with Miami in 2018, and was cut at the end of the preseason.
Leon Orr, defensive tackle – Signed as an undrafted free agent with the Oakland Raiders in 2015, spending most of the season on the practice squad. He was released by the Raiders in August 2016, with the Dolphins signing him to the practice squad in September, then promoting him to the active roster in October. After being arrested in November 2016, the Dolphins released him. He appeared in five games for Miami, with one tackle on defense.
De’Veon Smith, running back – Signed as an undrafted free agent with the Dolphins in 2017, then spent most of the year on the practice squad, with two promotions to the active roster. He spent training camp and the preseason in 2018 with the Washington Redskins before being cut. With the Dolphins, he appeared in five games, recording three receptions for 27 yards.
Salt Lake Stallions
Will Davis, cornerback – Drafted in the third round in 2013, Davis spent two-plus years with Miami. He was traded in the 2015 season to the Baltimore Ravens, where he sustained an ACL tear and was out for the season. He was released during the 2016 season, then spent the 2017 preseason with the San Francisco 49ers before being released. He played in 15 games for Miami, recording 25 tackles and three passes defensed along with special teams work.
Trevor Reilly, linebacker – Drafted in the seventh round of the 2014 NFL Draft by the New York Jets, he played two years with the team before an injury landed him on IR with the Jets in 2016. After an injury settlement released him from New York, he signed with the New England Patriots in mid-2016 as a member of their practice squad. The Dolphins signed him off the Patriots’ practice squad in December 2016, then added him to their practice squad to start 2017 before being released. He re-joined the Patriots’ practice squad in October 2017, before being promoted then signed back to the practice squad. He appeared in two games with the Dolphins, playing on special teams.
Lamar Thomas, wide receivers coach – As a player, he was drafted in the third round by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, playing three seasons with the team. He joined the Dolphins in 1996, playing three seasons with two more years spent on injured reserve. He caught 81 passes for 1,171 yards with eight touchdowns with Miami.
San Diego Fleet
Ryan DiSalvo, long snapper – Signed as an undrafted free agent with Miami in 2016 before being released at the end of the preseason. Spent time in 2017 preseason with the Tennessee Titans, but was placed on injured reserve at the start of the season.
Gavin Escobar, tight end – Second-round pick of the Dallas Cowboys in 2013, spending three seasons with the team. In 2017, started the year with the Kansas City Chiefs before being released at the end of the preseason, then signed with the Baltimore Ravens as depth due to injuries; was released three weeks later. Signed a futures contract with the Cleveland Browns in 2018, but was released in April 2018 before being signed by the Dolphins. He was released at the end of the preseason, then re-signed later that week before being released again five days later. Made no appearances for the Dolphins; had 30 career receptions for 333 yards with eight touchdowns, all with the Cowboys.
Az-Zahir Hakim, wide receivers coach – As a player, fourth-round pick of the St. Louis Rams in 1998, spent four years with the team. Spent three years with the Detroit Lions, a year with the New Orleans Saints, then split 2006 between the Lions and the San Diego Chargers. In 2007, the Dolphins signed him as a free agent addition, but he was released at the end of the preseason. Made no appearance for the Dolphins; had 316 career receptions for 4,191 yards with 28 touchdowns.
Damontre Moore, defensive end – Third-round pick of the New York Giants in 2013, played into December 2015 with the team before being waived. Claimed by the Dolphins off waivers, then was released in May 2016. Spent training camp with the Oakland Raiders in 2016, then was signed mid-season by the Seattle Seahawks. Spent early 2017 with the Dallas Cowboys and was signed in late 2018 by the Raiders. Appeared in three games for the Dolphins in 2015, recording four tackles, a sack, and a pass defensed; had 77 career tackles with ten sacks, two forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, and four passes defensed.
Francis Owusu, wide receiver – Signed as an undrafted free agent with Miami in 2017. Placed on injured reserve in August 2017, then was released with an injury settlement. Re-signed with the Dolphins in 2018, then spend the season on the practice squad.
Terry Poole, tackle – Fourth-round pick by the Seattle Seahawks in 2015, spent his rookie season on the practice squad then was placed on injured reserve to start the 2016 season before being released with an injury settlement. Signed to the Dolphins practice squad in 2016 then re-signed to a futures contract for 2017 but was waived during the preseason. He was claimed by the Houston Texans but failed his physical and was waived.
Demetrious Wright, safety – Signed as an undrafted free agent with Miami in 2014, released during the preseason. Spent 2015, 2016, and 2018 in the Canadian Football League.