Safety net

The secondary is one of the big question marks on this Dolphins team, but it got a big boost Thursday when the team signed former Pro Bowl selection Lance Schulters to a one-year contract.

Schulters made the Pro Bowl following the 1999 season as a member of the San Francisco 49ers, for whom he played the first four years of his NFL career.

Schulters had been with Tennessee since joining the Titans in 2002. He was limited to three games last year because of a foot injury.

"Schulters is a veteran player in the secondary who we considered for a long, long time," said Dolphins coach Nick Saban. "It finally got to a point where it seemed to be in our best interest to sign him."

Since his rookie season, Schulters has started all 61 games he has appeared in. And it would be a major surprise if Schulters didn't start for the Dolphins.

Miami's two starting safeties last season, Sammy Knight and Arturo Freeman, are now with other teams. Schulters should compete for the starting free safety job with Travares Tillman, although all safeties are learning both safety positions at this point.

Schulters, who also drew interest from Dallas and Atlanta, said the chance to compete for a starting job was one reason he chose to sign with the Dolphins.

Another was Saban.

"I know from my first meeting he was intense, he knows exactly what he's doing as far as his defense and where he wants the team to go," Schulters said. "He just told me I'd have an opportunity to compete for a starting job. That's all I need, is an opportunity. That's what he gave me."

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