Dolphins sign top CFL linebacker Wake

Updated: January 19, 2009, 10:02 PM ET
By Tim Graham | ESPN.com

NFL teams were frothing over the workouts of Canadian Football League pass-rush specialist Cameron Wake, and the Miami Dolphins had to fork over a nice sum to land him.

The Dolphins signed Wake to what's believed to be the richest CFL-to-NFL contract: four years worth as much as $4.9 million and nearly $1 million in guaranteed money.

Wake, who is 260 pounds and amassed 39 sacks over the past two seasons for the B.C. Lions, will play outside linebacker in the Dolphins' 3-4 scheme and could be a dangerous force opposite Joey Porter.

Wake, a two-time CFL defensive player of the year the past two seasons, received interest from 17 teams and received offers from eight, his agent, Paul Sheehy, said.
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"Overall, the Dolphins were the best fit for his skill set," Sheehy said. "[Dolphins general manager] Jeff Ireland and [assistant director of player personnel] Brian Gaine did a great job of explaining what his role would be and came up with a great starting proposal out of the gate that got the deal done swiftly."

Wake narrowed his choices to four teams, including the Buffalo Bills, before choosing the Dolphins.

"Buffalo really put a great package together," Sheehy said. "They did a wonderful job recruiting him."

He was a hybrid linebacker-defensive end at Penn State. He went undrafted and signed with the New York Giants as a rookie free agent but didn't make it to training camp.

He joined the B.C. Lions in 2007 and became a full-time defensive end. He twice led the CFL with 16 sacks his first year and 23 sacks last season.

Wake also worked out for the Indianapolis Colts, Denver Broncos and Arizona Cardinals among several other clubs.

Tim Graham covers the AFC East for ESPN.com.