Defensive end Phillip Merling is in the Broward County main jail this morning after being arrested Wednesday for aggravated battery on woman, according to the Broward Sheriff's office.
Details of the incident that led to the arrest are still forthcoming but this one is not good: The woman Merling allegedly hit is pregnant.
And the initial report says Merling knew or should have known that.
Merling is the fourth Dolphins player arrested since the end of the 2009 regular season. Will Allen (DUI), Ronnie Brown (DUI) and Tony McDaniel (domestic battery) were also arrested this offseason.
The Dolphins are still gathering information and have no comment at the moment.
This is never good news. But the news is worse when the player combines off-field problems with those on-the-field.
And Merling, it could be argued, has had problems on the field. After being drafted 32nd overall in the 2008 draft -- the 32nd pick is typically a first-round selection but was the first pick of the second round in '08 when New England lost its pick -- Merling has been inconsistent at best.
His practice habits have been internally criticized by coaches. Merling admitted as much to me last year. His performance in games has been better, but still not good enough to earn him a starting job.
Merling was working with the first-team defense in Miami's most recent OTA session open to the media. The Dolphins begin a three-day minicamp on Friday.