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Sticking within the division, Miami signed free agent linebacker Jamaal Westerman, formerly of the New York Jets. The Dolphins also re-signed defensive end Ryan Baker and terminated the contract of veteran safety
The 6-foot-3, 255-pound Westerman had his best season in 2011 with the Jets with 3.5 sacks and 32 tackles (23 solo) in 16 games. He is a Fort Lauderdale native and played his freshman season at St. Thomas Aquinas before moving to Brampton, Ontario in Canada to finish out his high school career at Notre Dame Secondary School.
Westerman received three scholarship offers from NCAA Division I schools before choosing Rutgers University. He excelled for the Scarlet Knights during his time with them, earning second-team All-Big East honors twice, but he went undrafted in the 2009 NFL Draft.
The Jets signed him as an undrafted rookie free agent in 2009 and he made an immediate impression, beating out other draft picks for a final spot on the 53-man roster as an outside linebacker. He is versatile enough to play outside linebacker and defensive end in a 4-3 scheme.
This will be Baker’s fourth season with the Dolphins and in 15 games he has recorded a half a sack and seven tackles (five solo). At 6-5, 295, the Purdue grad was a solid depth player in Miami since signing as an undrafted college free agent in 2009.
During his four years with the Boilermakers in his home state of Indiana, Baker racked up 88 tackles (55 solo), eight sacks, two fumble recoveries, two interceptions and 24 tackles for loss. He was voted team captain as a senior and was four-time Academic All-Big Ten.
Bell was the longest-tenured member of the Dolphins and the leading tackler last season with 107 tackles (81 solo) and was a team captain.
“When I spoke with (Bell’s agent) Drew (Rosenhaus) a couple of weeks ago, I had no intention of making this move,” Dolphins General Manager Jeff Ireland told the Miami Herald. “But things change. Sometimes the allocation of resources makes it necessary to change direction and you make decisions that you previously didn’t’ think you’d make.”
Ireland told Bell that if he does not find a new team in free agency and the Dolphins haven’t addressed the strong safety spot at that time he’d be open to re-signing him.