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Dolphins to sign Charles Grant Thursday

Searching to further protect themselves following the unexpected loss of Phillip Merling to a season-ending Achilles' injury, the Dolphins today will announce the addition of defensive end Charles Grant to the roster.

According to a source, the deal is for two years.

Grant Grant, 31, is 6-3 and 295 pounds. He has played in the 4-3 system all his life, but he is obviously big enough to project as a 3-4 end. He was available after being released by the Saints in March, possibly because he had legal troubles hanging over his head.

Grant, you see, was indicted on charges of involuntary manslaughter stemming from a February 2008 altercation in a bar -- what else? -- in which a pregnant woman was shot to death. Grant initially denied being an instigator or a participant in the incident.

But that changed when the issue went to court. He pleaded no contest to affray, which means fighting. Assistant District Attorney Ron Smith told the Associated Press Grant was fined $1,000 and ordered to pay $20,000 restitution to the Early County Sheriff's Office for his role in the fight.  Grant, who is from Colquitt, Ga., was stabbed in the neck during the fight in nearby Blakely that resulted in the death of 23-year-old Korynda Reed.

Smith said Grant's longtime friend, Laquient Macklin, and Grant's cousin, Marshae Stromer, pleaded guilty to charges of involuntary manslaughter and affray and paid $1,000 fines and were put on two years probation.

Grant played all of last season but missed the Saints' run to the Super Bowl crown because he was placed on injured reserve for the playoffs with a torn triceps.

Grant, a first round pick of the Saints in 2002, was due to be suspende for testing positive for a diuretic. But the NFL delayed the suspension pending the outcome of litigation by other players accused of testing positive for the same diuretic. It is likely Grant could be scrutinized and face league action in connection to the nightclub death as part of the NFL's personal conduct policy.

Look, folks, this player has shown talent in the past. He's still relatively young. But let's face it: He is coming to the Dolphins as a camp body with much, much, much to prove and major clouds hanging over his head.