The Miami Dolphins trimmed to 53 yesterday. Today they likely will shake up anywhere from 4 to 10 more members of the team. Some at the bottom, some at the top, and some in the middle. The Dolphins roster is far from set.
Disappointed by the pre-season effort of his team, Joe Philbin didn’t mince words yesterday when he told reporters that the team would have a busy Saturday and likely would add at least four players off waivers. It’s an indication of two things. One, Joe Philbin isn’t going to settle for mediocrity and is is using his first year as a coach to set a tone of what he is demanding from his players. And two, this team is in a rebuild mode.
No one likes to say that word, rebuild, but it is true. I believe the Dolphins had a plan coming into this season that involved key additions in free agency or the draft that didn’t materialize. Once the pre-season games started, I believe they realized that the guys they had on the team simply were not going to get the job done. Rather than attempt to go into the season hoping for the best and reliving through this at the end of the season, it seems the Dolphins cut their losses and are beginning that process early. It’s a smart move.
Today, Saturday, is expected to be busy. Jeff Ireland is likely on the phone now working out trades for one or two of his guys. Matt Moore has been a hot topic and members in the media are saying that Green Bay and Arizona are interested. Yesterday I posted that a friend of mine, heard through a friend of his that the Broncos and Dolphins are talking as well. Initially brushed off by some who bothered to respond to me about it, their is some real possibility.
Denver doesn’t have anyone behind Manning with the starting experience that Moore possesses. In addition, John Fox is a big Matt Moore fan, coaching him in Carolina. So keep an eye on this as the day progresses.
Steve Slaton yesterday was an early trade rumor heading to Washington. According to the reports from the D.C. media, Slaton was going to be shipped to the Redskins for WR Anthony Armstrong. Not sure how all that went down or if there was any truth to it, Ireland told Slaton that the rumors were false. Last night, the Skins cut Armstrong outright. Will he be a waiver addition for Ireland who released him in 2009 after a stint the year before on the practice squad?
Outside of those two players, no names have popped up on the trade block but that doesn’t mean the Dolphins will not entertain offers for anyone on the team. The reality is this team is going to rebuild itself and this year likely is going to be an audition for the future and a season for Ryan Tannehill to adjust to the NFL. If fans were still hoping beyond hope that a miracle season was in the cards, the release of all corners sans four should be an indication to the contrary.
The good news is that there are players available this year that should help the team. There are veteran cornerbacks who could step in and add solid depth to a unit that needs some direction as well as a few WR’s who could provide Tannehill a reliable outlet in the passing game.
By today’s end, it’s very possible that WR’s Legedu Naane and Marlon Moore will be without a job as well as a few other bubble players like Will Yeatman on the offensive line and one of the runningbacks or quarterbacks, or both.
I don’t like to speculate on what’s available on the market or the waiver wire. The fact is I don’t know what the vision of these coaches are yet. The Dolphins are not looking this year for bottom of the roster additions that can be culled into starters down the road. It almost appears that they are looking for one year fixes while they actually work to develop their own roster bottom. That says to me, if true, that some of the higher depth players could be looking for work.
If the Dolphins do make trades today, those trades will likely be for draft picks or players that they believe will be on the roster for the foreseeable future.
As today unfolds, the Dolphins have the 8th spot in the waiver order, fans and media alike will question why the team opted for this guy over that one, or why they didn’t look at that guy but showed interest in someone else. Fans like to toss around names. For example, O.J. Atogwe is available but what does he actually bring to your team? Some of these vets are going to want larger salaries and simply don’t bring the talent that they used to have and don’t have the potential for the future.
Regardless, in an hour, we are going to know who lands on the Miami’s waiver list. The NFL releases that information at noon.