Despite being handed an eight-game suspension by the NFL earlier this week, free-agent safety T.J. McDonald has signed a one-year minimum salary contract with Miami Dolphins, Armando Salguero of the Miami Herald reports.
Welcome to Miami, T.J. McDonald! pic.twitter.com/qR1Y69ZERF
— Miami Dolphins (@MiamiDolphins) March 31, 2017
McDonald was given the suspension on Wednesday for violating the league’s substance abuse policy after an incident in May in which he was suspected of driving under the influence of prescription drugs. He pleaded no contest to a lesser charge in January.
McDonald learned of his suspension during his free-agent visit with the Dolphins.
According to Salguero, although McDonald signed a one-year deal, the Dolphins view it as a “one-day contract,” meaning if he get into any trouble, the team will immediately release him.
Sources told Salguero, that multiple teams wanted to sign McDonald, but he picked the Dolphins based on the opportunity to have a fresh start away from west coast.
McDonald, who was selected by the Rams in the third round of the 2013 draft out of USC, is aggressive, ball-hawking strong safety. He started 43 of 48 games he played for the Rams over the past three seasons, compiling three interceptions, 14 pass deflections, two fumble recoveries, one forced fumble, four sacks and 171 total tackles.
McDonald will be allowed to participate in OTAs and training camp, but once the season start he won’t be allowed at the team’s facility for anything but meeting.
The Dolphins were in need depth at safety opposite former Pro Bowler Reshad Jones, who recently signed a $60 million extension. Former starter Isa Abdul-Quddus suffered a late-season neck injury and retired. The Dolphins also signed free agent Nate Allen, who is expected to begin the 2017 season in the starting lineup.