The Miami Dolphins signed running back Mark Walton after his successful tryout at their rookie minicamp this weekend.
Walton, a 2018 fourth-round pick out of the University of Miami, was arrested three times in 2019 before being waived by the Cincinnati Bengals this offseason.
Dolphins coach Brian Flores said Saturday that “people deserve a second chance” in reference to the Walton tryout.
“I don’t want to judge people based on one incident (or) two incidents,” Flores said. “I think it’s a case-by-case situation for a player and just for people in general. That’s kind of my stance.”
Bengals waive RB Walton following 3rd arrest
When speaking with reporters Saturday, Walton declined to comment on his legal situation, but he did show gratitude for the Dolphins giving him this opportunity.
“There’s a lot of things that were happening in the offseason, but right now my focus is on the task at hand, and right now that’s trying out for the Miami Dolphins and that’s what I’m going to talk about right now,” Walton said.
The legal matters from his arrests on March 12, Feb. 16 and Jan. 16 are still pending, and the NFL could decide to impose discipline at a later date.
He is facing a felony charge of carrying a concealed weapon along with three misdemeanor charges: resisting an officer without violence, marijuana possession and reckless driving from the March 12 incident, a battery charge in the Feb. 16 case, and misdemeanor possession of marijuana from the Jan. 16 arrest.
Flores, general manager Chris Grier and others on the Dolphins staff discussed his legal issues before trying him out and eventually signing him.
Mark Walton, who played in college at the University of Miami, is getting a second chance in the NFL from the Dolphins after he was waived by the Bengals following three arrests this offseason. Streeter Lecka/Getty Images
Walton is from Miami, presenting an opportunity for him to restart his NFL career close to home.
“He’s a talented player,” Flores said. “We wanted to definitely take a look at him and see if he was a fit for us on the field (and) off the field.”
Walton joins a running back room led by Kenyan Drake and Kalen Ballage. The Dolphins also drafted a fullback, Chandler Cox, and a running back, Myles Gaskin, each in the seventh round.
Flores said he anticipates the Dolphins keeping five or six backs on their final 53-man roster.
Walton, who had 14 carries for 34 yards and five catches for 41 yards in 14 games for Bengals last season, is at his best as a pass-catching running back.