Dolphins claim speedster Broussard on waivers

Updated: June 29, 2006, 1:08 PM ET
By Len Pasquarelli | ESPN.com

Still seeking more speed at wide receiver and in the return game, the Miami Dolphins have claimed second-year veteran Jamall Broussard on waivers from the Cincinnati Bengals.

The former San Jose State standout, who made the Carolina Panthers' roster as an undrafted college free agent in 2004 and then spent the entire 2005 campaign on the Bengals' practice squad, figures to primarily vie for a spot on special teams.

Broussard, 24, is an undersized wideout (5-feet-9, 175 pounds), but his explosive speed and all-around quickness make him an interesting role player. Although the Bengals' coaching staff was intrigued by his big-play potential, Broussard became expendable when Cincinnati signed former Green Bay return man Antonio Chatman earlier this spring.

The Bengals allocated Broussard to the NFL Europe League this spring in an effort to accelerate his development as an all-around contributor and he returned 11 punts for a 9.9-yard average and had 24 receptions for 262 yards before a sprained ankle prematurely ended his season.

With the Panthers in 2004, he returned 24 kickoffs for a 23.1-yard average and had 10 punt returns for 43 yards in eight appearances. Two of his kickoff returns were for 40-plus yards.

Miami ranked ninth in the league in punt returns in 2005 with a 9.1-yard average, but the Dolphins hope to upgrade their kickoff return game this season. As a team, the Dolphins averaged 22.1 yards on kickoff returns in 2005, ranking them 17th.

In addition to Broussard, free agent Marcus Vick, a quarterback in college but being converted to wide receiver by Miami, will be among the new competitors in camp for the return jobs. By claiming Broussard on waivers, the Dolphins inherit the two years on his Bengals contract, each of which included the minimum base salary.

Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com.