Dolphins release Walton, citing unspecified police matter
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. - The Miami Dolphins released troubled running back Mark Walton on Tuesday, saying he had been involved in an unspecified police matter.
The announcement came as the second-year player served a four-game suspension for violating NFL conduct and substance abuse policies following three arrests last offseason in his hometown of Miami.
“We were made aware of a police matter earlier this morning regarding Mark Walton. We hold our players to a high standard and take these matters very seriously. We will have no further comment at this time,” General Manager Chris Grier said in a statement.
The Dolphins did not immediately return calls seeking specifics about the police matter and Walton’s defense attorney, Michael A. Gottlieb, declined comment. Walton’s contract representatives, First Round Management, did not return a call seeking comment.
An online search of arrests in three South Florida counties did not turn up any results, but jail databases are often hours behind.
The Dolphins signed Walton, 22, in May, one month after the Cincinnati Bengals released him because of the arrests. The Bengals had drafted him in the fourth round of the 2017 draft out of Miami.
A Florida court sentenced Walton in August to six months’ probation after pleading no contest to a misdemeanor weapons charge. Other charges, including marijuana possession and reckless driving, were dismissed.
“I think people deserve a second chance,” Dolphins coach Brian Flores said then. “I don’t want to judge people based on one incident, two incidents.”
The NFL suspended Walton two weeks ago and he had been eligible to return Dec. 2. The suspension had been expected when the Dolphins signed him. Flores said at the time that Walton “has done everything we have asked of him both on and off the field.”
In seven games with the Dolphins this season, Walton rushed 53 times for 201 yards, an average of 3.8 yards per carry. He also had 15 receptions for 89 yards.