Miami Dolphins, needing LB help, trade for Saints’ Stephone Anthony

Stephone Anthony of the Saints tackles Houston’s Nate Washington in 2015. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

The Dolphins, facing a pressing need at linebacker with Lawrence Timmons out of the picture, acquired Stephone Anthony from the New Orleans Saints on Tuesday for an undisclosed pick in 2018.

The pick will be a fifth-rounder, according to a league source.

Anthony, 25, was the Saints’ first-round pick (31st overall) out of Clemson in 2015, when he  started all 16 games. He made 112 total tackles and made the All-Rookie Team as selected by the Pro Football Writers Association.

Stephone Anthony. (Photo by Brian Blanco/Getty Images)

But his career has slowed since. He played in 10 games last season, starting only three, and was credited with 12 total tackles.

Anthony has had injury problems, including an ankle currently bothering him, and had difficulty adjusting to playing weakside linebacker as the Saints have twice moved him around. His greatest success was as the middle linebacker as a rookie.

The Dolphins needed help at the position because Timmons went AWOL Saturday night, just before the opener against the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday afternoon.

The team indefinitely suspended Timmons on Tuesday.

Anthony is 6-feet-3 and 245 pounds.

During this summer’s training camp, Saints defensive coordinator Dennis Allen told the New Orleans Times-Picayune he wanted to test Anthony at weakside linebacker.

“I think when you put him out there at the ‘will,’ you take a little bit off his plate, as far as the communication process,” Allen said. “I thought he had a really good spring and in our league, you never know what’s going to happen.”

Anthony may have felt extra pressure because he was the player drafted with the pick acquired when the Saints traded tight end Jimmy Graham.

Anthony may get a shot at facing his old team almost immediately. The Dolphins play the Saints in London on Oct. 1.

Anthony earned All-ACC honors as a senior in 2014.

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