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Who is FB Tyler Clutts?

FB Tyler Clutts

Miami claimed fullback Tyler Clutts over the weekend. Photo courtesy StateoftheTexans.com.

One of the smaller headlines over the weekend was the release of “hybrid” fullback Evan Rodriguez and signing traditional style blocking fullback Tyler Clutts. And yes, that’s pronounced klutz.

Technically Miami claimed Clutts off of waivers from the Texans who released him. By doing so Miami assumed Clutts contract, which has one year at $555,000 on it.

Clutts path to Miami is an interesting one. In college the 6’2″ Clutts played defensive end at Fresno State (he played quarterback and defensive end in high school).

The NFL wasn’t interested in Clutts after he graduated, and for the next three years he bounced around in the alternative football leagues, playing for the Edmonton Eskimos (CFL) in 2008, Utah Blaze (AFL) in 2009 where he started playing fullback, and Sacramento Mountain Lions (UFL) in 2010. His performance at 1+ seasons at fullback was good enough to earn him a contract with the Browns in January 2011.

He played that preseason with the Browns and was signed to their practice squadafterthe53man roster cuts. However, the Bears had played the Browns in the 4th preseason game and saw enough in Clutts to sign him to a three year deal off of the Browns practice squad.Clutts performance in his “rookie” 2011 season was good enough to place him 5th in Pro Bowl voting that year (he was fifth in 2012 also).On a positive note, Clutts stepped in quickly with the Bears in 2011 and performed well, even doing long snapper duties when called upon due to an injury to the Bears long snapper. Clutts has the size and attitude to perform well and came at a fraction of the cost of offseason free agent Vontae Leach who the Dolphins reportedly flirted with. Most significantly, the 260 pound Clutts brings some much needed “umph” to the short yardage rushing packages.

On a negative note, Clutts only has year on his deal and adds to the growing list of 2014 unrestricted free agents, which currently includes starters Paul Soliai, Randy Starks, Brent Grimes, Richie Incognito, Tyson Clabo, Dustin Keller (IR), John Jerry, Chris Clemons, Koa Misi, and more than a few backups.

Clutts isn’t a big name acquisition – few fullbacks are. However, we shouldn’t underestimate his potential impact as a true blocking fullback, especially in the crucial short yardage situations. Here’s hoping the one time high school state wrestling champion helps the Dolphins to make the playoffs in 2013 and beyond.

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