The Miami Dolphins have signed XFL linebacker Mike Rose, who was the Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year in 2020.
Roster Moves | We have signed safety Myles Dorn and linebacker Mike Rose. pic.twitter.com/geA7wQDFlP
Rose played for the St. Louis Battlehawks in the most recent XFL season, when the 23-year-old was the youngest player on their roster. He made 35 combined tackles in his eight games (six starts) and missed some time with an ankle injury.
Last year, the Iowa State University product was not selected in the NFL Draft and was in Kansas City Chiefs camp as an undrafted free agent. He made 321 total tackles in his four seasons at Iowa State, including 96 in his award-winning season of 2020, when teammate Breece Hall also won Offensive Player of the Year.
“Obviously, the past year hasn’t gone as planned for me,” Rose said. “My goal is to play in the NFL, and after getting a chance in training camp with the Kansas City Chiefs last year, I really wasn’t sure about taking that next step. I prayed about it, I talked to a few people, and I’m happy with the way things have worked out.
“I’m still young and hopeful that if I can continue to work and improve, I’ll have a chance to prove to some NFL team that they’re missing out.”
A player with Rose’s profile is likely to be looked at as someone who will be asked to contribute on special teams, and the Dolphins could use improvement in that area of the game. Last season, the unit was ranked 28th in the NFL by Football Outsiders’ efficiency rankings. Myles Dorn, also signed by the Dolphins, is a defensive back who has played special teams for the Minnesota Vikings.
The Battlehawks are coached by former NFL tight end Anthony Becht and finished 7-3 this XFL season. According to the XFL, as of late June, more than 100 of its players had received NFL invites and contracts.
The Dolphins are looking to upgrade their roster in any way possible as they prepare to compete in the difficult AFC East. They are expected to contend for the division title with the Buffalo Bills and New York Jets, and a playoff berth would mean their first back-to-back postseason appearances in more than 20 years.
Miami did get some bad news already in training camp with Jalen Ramsey now recovering from knee surgery as a result of an injury in practice. The star cornerback is optimistic he can return sooner than the expected timeline, which some reports have said will be many months.
The Dolphins also are waiting on a decision from free agent running back Dalvin Cook, who has visited the Jets while looking for alternatives to a contract offer made by Miami that he is not yet willing to accept.
Rose obviously isn’t the same caliber of player as Pro Bowlers like Ramsey and Cook, but he will be looking to find a way to help the Dolphins reach their lofty goals and expectations just the same.