On a day where adding a new player to the mix was the biggest news, the Miami Dolphins took care of one of their own, re-signing defensive back Walt Aikens to a two-year, $2.7 million dollar deal, with $1.3 million guaranteed.
Aikens was one of about a dozen free agents entering the offseason, and one that the team hoped to re-sign. Bringing him back means one less position that will need to be addressed in free agency and the upcoming NFL draft.
Aikens was a fourth round draft pick out of Liberty in 2014, and played safety in college and for his first three years in the league. The Dolphins moved him to cornerback last season, but his biggest contributions came on special teams.
As a special teams player, Aikens has emerged as one of the league's best. In 2016, Aikens returned a blocked extra point against the Arizona Cardinals all the way to the other side of the field for a score.
Then the following week, he blocked a punt against the New York Jets, picked up the ball and returned it for a touchdown.
Aikens fits the team-first culture that the team is coveting of late, being on record as saying, “At the end of the day I do what I can to help the team win. And if coach needs me to be the best special teams player, I’m going to be the best special teams player. If coach wants to throw me in on defense, I’m going to go out there and do my thing.”
This story was written by Eldon Jenson. Follow him on Twitter @EJFootball
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