Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Dolphins Roster Cuts Loom

The Miami Dolphins made three cuts over the weekend that included the release of tight end Michael Egnew. They have eleven more cuts remaining to get to the league mandated 75 man roster by Tuesday afternoon. The team currently has 86 players on their roster.

Across the NFL teams are paring down their rosters ahead of the start to the seasons which is now a little over a week away. In most cases, the first wave of cuts doesn’t bring many surprises. That is not always the case however if a team believes that a veteran is taking valuable time away from a younger player who they want to get a deeper look at.

The Dolphins have a handful of players that could easily fall into this weeks eleven but complicating the situation is the fact the team needs to add a player as well. The Dolphins don’t have a healthy kicker. With Caleb Sturgis still nursing a groin injury and John Potter nursing a hip injury the Dolphins are set to sign journeyman kicker Jake Rogers to do the duties for the final pre-season game. Maybe longer if the other two kickers can’t get healthy. Why is this important? Because with the addition of Rogers, the team will now need to cut 12 players instead of 11.

There are many ways for a team to get to the NFL mandated roster size including trades. The Dolphins don’t have many players of value that would bring interest from around the league but two players that could draw some attention are running back Daniel Thomas and quarterback Matt Moore. The Rams lost quarterback Sam Bradford for the season and while Moore isn’t a franchise quarterback, he could run the St. Louis offense for a season and give them a quarterback with starting experience.

Thomas is a different story all together. He is almost certainly facing his release in the wake of Knowshon Moreno’s return. Of course we have been saying that Thomas will be cut for three years now. He will survive this weeks pairing to 75 but his chances of making the 53 are getting slimmer. There are teams who need running back help and while Thomas would not be a solution for a starting need he is more than capable of serving as insurance for the right team.

The Dolphins are not likely to make any moves however as NFL trades can be difficult to orchestrate.

The easiest way to trim the roster is to cut from the bottom up. Sure that seems like a no-brainer but all teams look at the bottom of their roster to see what they may have with the younger players, parting ways with fringe veterans to give more reps to the younger guys. To me, there are enough players on the roster to trim from the bottom without making gashing cuts in your farm system. Some of those cuts may come from the wide receiver position.

The Dolphins can afford to cut three wide-receivers right now. Kevin Cone, Matt Hazel, and Ryan Spadola. The move would leave the Dolphins with nine players to release and give more time to Armon Binns, Rishard Matthews, and Damian Williams to make their case for the final one or two positions. While it makes sense reality says that releasing three wide-receivers would leave the team a little thin at the position for the final Thursday night pre-season game. We are not expecting to see much of Brian Hartline or Mike Wallace on Thursday night. So let’s say they release one, you can pick.

Tight-end has been an interesting battle this training camp and tough decisions loom for the team as the 53 man deadline approaches. Dion Sims and Charles Clay are locks but Arthur Lynch, Brett Brackett and Gator Hoskins have made strong cases that they deserve a roster spot as well. I still don’t believe the team will keep six tight ends on the final roster so Kyle Miller could be released. Miller should and deserves to stay around until the final roster cuts so the Dolphins can get a good look at the position and how they all fit together but Evan Wilson is not someone the team needs to keep now so releasing him Tuesday brings Miami’s numbers down to nine.

The nine remaining cuts could and will come from all over the roster and the Dolphins might consider releasing kicker John Potter now as they can bring him back later when he is healthy. He is not likely to be in high demand. The Dolphins could trim a player from each unit and make the 75 man size. Safety Demetrius Wright, linebacker Andrew Wilson, running back Orleans Darkwa or a trade for Thomas, quarterback Seth Lobato or Brady Quinn, cornerback Steven Clarke, defensive end Rakim Cox, defensive tackle Kamal Johnson, and guard Evan Finkenberg.

The first round of cuts is due by Tuesday close of business and the Dolphins will make the cuts necessary to meet that deadline. All cuts are tough but this first round won’t be nearly as difficult for Dennis Hickey and Joe Philbin as the next ones that will be due on Saturday.

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