Aug 27, 2011; Tampa, FL, USA; Miami Dolphins defensive end Phillip Merling (97) reacts during a preseason game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Fernando Medina-US PRESSWIRE

Dolphins To Release Phillip Merling

Breaking news from NFL’s Jeff Darlington, the Miami Dolphins will release DE Phillip Merling today or at the latest prior to the draft.

The news broke a short time ago VIA “Twitter” and comes with a slew of questions.  If this is true and there is little doubt to it’s validity, the Dolphins have likely been trying to trade the DE over the last few weeks with not takers.  The move would also leave the Dolphins further depleted along the defensive end position where they lost Kendall Langford in free agency.

The Dolphins have had horrible luck with their second round picks since Bill Parcells joined the team and brought Jeff Ireland.  They have missed on Langford, Chad Henne, Pat White, and Koa Misi is looking to be replaced possibly in this years draft.  CB Sean Smith has also failed to become elite as well.  Looking back further into the Dolphins history of 2nd round busts, John Beck, Donovan McNabb and AJ Feely VIA trades, Eddie Moore, and Samson Satele.

The good news for the Dolphins is that this years draft is very deep at the position.  The bad news is that the team has so many other holes to fill it’s going to be next to impossible to get them taken care of.

I’m actually surprised that the team didn’t at least hold onto him until the draft was over and use him maybe in a trade up scenario in one of the later rounds.

Truth be told, as I look at this move, I have to wonder about the implications on the draft and how this move will make the Dolphins plans appear.  By creating a hole days before the draft, focus will turn from Ryan Tannehill to possibly Fletcher Cox.  Cox is a reported target of the Philadelphia Eagles who own two second round selections.  If the Dolphins were going to release Merling then doing so now could create the impression that the team is targeting someone not named Tannehill and thus allow the team more options for a trade partner.  Just saying.

UPDATE:  According to several sources the move is official.

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