Earlier this offseason, the Miami Dolphins addressed a need at the tight end position by bringing back Anthony Fasano for a second stint with the team. Fasano spent five seasons with the team from 2008-12, finishing with 23 touchdowns in a Miami uniform.
Fasano will be mostly a compliment to former Denver Bronco and Jacksonville Jaguar Julius Thomas, but if he were able to be a success in Miami, he wouldn’t be the first player in franchise history to have two successful stints with the team. Here’s a look at five others:
Larry Csonka, FB (1968-74, 1979)
A Hall of Famer and arguably the greatest back in franchise history, Larry Csonka scored 53 touchdowns and rushed for 1,000 yards on three different occasions during his career with the Dolphins. Csonka’s number were particularly impressive, considering he was a fullback and had to split touches with backfield mates Jim Kiick and Mercury Morris. Csonka was MVP of Super Bowl VIII in Miami’s 24-7 win over the Minnesota Vikings as he rushed for a then Super Bowl record 145 yards. After four years away from South Florida, Csonka returned for his final season of 1979 and led the team with 837 yards rushing.
Tony Martin, WR (1990-93, 1999-2000)
During his first stint with the Miami Dolphins, Tony Martin was mostly a compliment to tandems of Mark Clayton and Mark Duper and Irving Fryar and Mark Ingram, but was still productive. After breaking out as a member of the San Diego Chargers and Atlanta Falcons, Martin returned to the Dolphins in 1999 to help fill the team’s need for a deep threat. That year, Martin finished with 67 catches for 1,037 yards — both team-highs — and five touchdown grabs.
Louis Oliver, S (1989-93, 95-96)
Louis Oliver played only one of his eight NFL seasons in a city other than Miami, which was Cincinnati in 1994. Oliver somehow never made a Pro Bowl during his career, but was a All-AFC selection by UPI in 1990 and 1992 and a second-team All-Pro in 1992. In seven years with Miami, Oliver recorded 449 total tackles, three forced fumbles, two sacks, two defensive touchdowns and 24 interceptions, which is tied for sixth in team history.
Jason Taylor, DE (1997-2007, 2009, 2011)
Miami’s all-time leader in sacks and a recent Hall of Fame inductee, Jason Taylor spent not two, but three stints as a Miami Dolphin. Over 13 total seasons in South Florida, Taylor totaled 131 sacks, 43 forced fumbles and nine defensive touchdowns. Taylor was a six-time Pro Bowler and the 2006 NFL Defensive Player of the Year, according to the Associated Press. Taylor is not only the best multi-stint player in team history, but he is arguably the franchise’s best defensive player ever.
Ricky Williams, RB (2002-03, 2005-10)
This one obviously deserves a caveat since Ricky Williams didn’t play for another team between Miami tenures, but decided to retire unexpectedly before the 2004 season. Williams was one of the league’s best backs during his first two seasons in Miami, including the league’s leading rusher in 2002 with 1,853 yards. Williams was somewhat productive upon returning in 2005, but missed all of 2006 for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy. Over his final four seasons, he split time with Ronnie Brown for the most part. In 2009, Williams rushed for 1,121 yards. It marked the longest stint in between 1,000-yard rushing seasons in NFL history. In total, Williams had three 1,000-yard rushing campaigns and is the team’s second all-time leading rusher behind Larry Csonka.
Mike Ferguson is a sports writer and reporter for several publications and the Pro Football Spot lead writer for the Miami Dolphins. Follow Mike on Twitter @MikeWFerguson