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Jason Ferguson

Ferguson with the Dolphins in 2009
No. 95     Miami Dolphins
Nose tackle
Personal information
Date of birth: November 28, 1974 (1974-11-28) (age 35)
Place of birth: Nettleton, Mississippi
Height: 6 ft 3 in (1.91 m) Weight: 310 lb (141 kg)
Career information
College: Georgia
NFL Draft: 1997 / Round: 7 / Pick: 229
Debuted in 1997 for the New York Jets
Career history
 As player:
Roster status: Unrestricted Free Agent
Career highlights and awards
  • N/A
Career NFL statistics as of Week 17, 2009
Tackles     325
Sacks     21.5
INT     0
Stats at NFL.com

Jason O. Ferguson (born November 28, 1974 in Nettleton, Mississippi) is an American football defensive tackle for the Miami Dolphins of the National Football League. He was drafted by the New York Jets in the seventh round of the 1997 NFL Draft. He played college football at Georgia.

Ferguson has also played for the Dallas Cowboys.

Contents

Early years

Ferguson attended Nettleton High School, and earned varsity letters in football, as a center on the basketball team, and in track and field. In football, he was a two-time All-South honoree and a three-time All-District honoree.

College career

Ferguson played college football at Itawamba Community College for two years and was a two-time All-Area and an All-State honoree. In 1994, he also earned Junior College All-American status, after recording 88 tackles and 2.5 sacks. Ferguson originally intended to go Ole Miss from Itawamba, but switched to Georgia in the final 72 hours before 1995 National Signing Day.[1]

Playing for the Georgia Bulldogs in 1995 and 1996, he lined up next to Jermaine Smith in Georgia's defensive front. In a memorable game against Auburn, Ferguson sacked quarterback Dameyune Craig on fourth-and-3 in the fourth overtime, sealing Georgia's 56-49 win.[2]

Professional career

Former Cowboys teammates Ferguson (right) and Akin Ayodele in Miami in 2009.
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New York Jets

Falling to the seventh round of the 1997 NFL Draft, Ferguson was selected 229th overall by Bill Parcells' New York Jets. The Jets were the only club to invite him for a visit before the draft, because most teams apparently dissuaded from considering him after he was tested positive for marijuana at the pre-draft combine, reportedly being the only player to do so.[3] Seventeen defensive tackles were taken ahead of him, including Darrell Russell and Renaldo Wynn in the first round. Parcells originally expressed reluctance to pick Ferguson at all, but trusted Georgia's head coach, Jim Donnan.[4] Ferguson was signed to a two-year deal by the Jets only few days after the draft.[5]

In his first season with the Jets, Ferguson shared time with veteran Ernie Logan at nose tackle, before replacing him as starter at the beginning of the 1998 NFL season. In 1999, Ferguson was suspended for four games after testing positive for steroids.[6] After earning a $12 millon contract during the 2000–2001 offseason, Ferguson tore his right rotator cuff during the first practice and missed all of the 2001 NFL season.[7] He returned to the field to following season and played all games in 2002, 2003 and 2004.

Dallas Cowboys

A highly coveted free-agent in 2005, coming off a very strong 2004 season in which he totaled 59 tackles and 3½ sacks, Ferguson left the Jets for the Dallas Cowboys, rejoining Bill Parcells who had become their head coach in 2003. Ferguson was signed to a five-year, $21.5 million contract that included a $9 million signing bonus.[8] A replacement for La'Roi Glover most of the season, Ferguson started three games in 2005. After Glover left for the Rams in 2006, Ferguson took over as full-time starter.

Following a season-ending biceps injury in the Cowboys' victory over the New York Giants in Week 1 of the 2007 season, Ferguson lost his starting job to Jay Ratliff. That following off-season he was traded to the Miami Dolphins in exchange for a sixth round draft pick in the 2009 NFL Draft. The teams also swapped their 2008 sixth-rounders, with the Cowboys moving up from the bottom third to the top of that round.[9]

Miami Dolphins

Rejoining Bill Parcells on a third team, Ferguson became the Dolphins' starting nose tackle in 2008. He has since appeared in all games and, as of November 2009, compiled 55 tackles (33 solo). In 2008, the Dolphins' opponents averaged only 101.3 rushing yards per game, and 4.2 yards per carry.[10]

In a game against the Carolina Panthers on November 19, Ferguson suffered right knee injury that caused him to miss the rest of the 2009 NFL season. Considering his age and that fact that he is playing on the last year of his contract, this injury could end his 13-year tenure as an NFL player because he planned to either re-sign with the Dolphins, or retire.[11]

On March 6, 2010, Ferguson was suspended for the first eight games of the regular season.[12]

On March 9, 2010, Fergeson re-signed with the Dolphins.[12]

References

  1. ^ "Georgia adds 310-pounder Ferguson to DL", The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, January 31, 1995 
  2. ^ "Feisty Bulldogs Win In Fourth Overtime", New York Times, November 17, 1996, http://www.nytimes.com/1996/11/17/sports/feisty-bulldogs-win-in-fourth-overtime.html 
  3. ^ Eskenazi, Gerald (November 13, 1997), "Parcells Demotes Cornerback as Jets' Shake-Up Continues", New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com/1997/11/13/sports/pro-football-parcells-demotes-cornerback-as-jets-shake-up-continues.html 
  4. ^ Eskenazi, Gerald (August 9, 1999), "Jets' Ferguson: Outsider to Man in Middle", New York Times, http://www.nytimes.com/1999/08/09/sports/pro-football-jets-ferguson-outsider-to-man-in-middle.html 
  5. ^ "Jets Sign Their Last Pick", New York Times, May 1, 1997, http://www.nytimes.com/1997/05/01/sports/jets-sign-their-last-pick.html 
  6. ^ Cannizzaro, Mark (November 25, 1999), "NFL nails Jets' Ferguson, suspends NT 4 games after positive test for steriods", New York Post, http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/nypost/access/68517449.html?dids=68517449:68517449&FMT=ABS&FMTS=ABS:FT&type=current 
  7. ^ Sanderson, Ryan (August 23, 2001), "Injury Bug Hurting Pro Dawgs", Dawg Post, http://georgia.scout.com/2/14225.html 
  8. ^ Pasquarelli, Len (March 2, 2005), "Cowboys guarantee $20M to free agent pickups", ESPN, http://sports.espn.go.com/nfl/columns/story?columnist=pasquarelli_len&id=2003511 
  9. ^ Breer, Albert (March 1, 2008), "Free agency starts slow for Dallas Cowboys", Dallas Morning News, http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/spt/stories/030108dnspocowboyslede.b88ce40.html 
  10. ^ Kelly, Omar (June 13, 2009), "Dolphins NT Jason Ferguson: "I'm a vintage wine"", South Florida Sun-Sentinel, http://blogs.sun-sentinel.com/sports_football_dolphins/2009/06/dolphins-nt-jason-ferguson-im-a-vintage-wine.html 
  11. ^ Kelly, Omar (November 21, 2009), "Source: Dolphins to finish season without injured Ferguson", South Florida Sun-Sentinel, http://www.sun-sentinel.com/sports/miami-dolphins/fl-dolphins-jason-ferguson-20091121,0,2652543.story 
  12. ^ a b "NT Jason Ferguson re-signed by Dolphins even though he faces 8-game suspension". Yahoo! Sports. 09 March 2010. http://sports.yahoo.com/nfl/news?slug=capress-fbn_dolphins_ferguson-094085527&prov=capress&type=lgns. Retrieved 09 March 2010. 

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