Maualuga, 30, played eight years for the Bengals, including two seasons with current Miami defensive coordinator Matt Burke. The familiarity between Maualuga and Burke partially led to the signing. Maualuga registered 584 combined tackles and 4.0 sacks during his career.
The Dolphins are hurting at middle linebacker after losing second-round pick and potential starter Raekwon McMillan (knee) for the season in Miami's first exhibition game. Undrafted third-year player Mike Hull started in place of McMillan last week against the Baltimore Ravens and will compete with Maualuga for the remainder of the preseason.
Miami must improve its linebacker play from a year ago, especially against the run. The Dolphins were 29th in total defense and 30th in run defense last season.
The Dolphins also put wide receiver Isaiah Ford on injured reserve.