Miami Dolphins Were Making These Moves Before Suh
By Brian Miller
The Miami Dolphins have been making a lot of roster moves lately. Many see these moves as a sign pointing to their interest in Ndamukong Suh but in reality, these moves were likely going to be made with or without him.
There was no question entering the 2015 off-season that the Dolphins were ready to jettison dead wait and over priced contracts. The team knew this would happen when they signed these players. Had the players worked out, they kept them if they didn’t, they took a hit on the cap and moved on. This is what remains of Jeff Ireland’s attempts to stave off job elimination and poor decisions since 2008.
Dannell Ellerbe was a foregone conclusion given his injury last year and inflated contract. Through his tenure in Miami, Ellerbe never flashed the potential he did in Baltimore backing up Ray Lewis. Phillip Wheeler has been a nightmare at linebacker since his arrival from Oakland in 2013. He is often out of position and can’t seem to make the tackles at the line of scrimmage. The fact that both came to the team together in the same off-season only makes it fitting that they leave together as well.
News continues to break about Dolphins releasing players. Brandon Fields had a down season in 2014 but $3 million for a punter is a large amount of cap space. Jared Odrick will hit the free agent market tomorrow and while many had hoped, including me, that Odrick would be back, his contract ceiling didn’t coincide with the play on the field. Odrick is going to get a very good contract on the market and while the addition of Suh will make his expendable he has yet to reach his full potential.
On offense no one thought for a minute that Brian Hartline, Brandon Gibson, Nate Garner, and Charles Clay were locks to return. Clay received a transition tag but that only guarantees Miami can try and match an offer received from another team. Louis Delmas, Cortland Finnegan, and possibly Randy Starks were always questionable to return to the Dolphins in 2015.
The fact that Ndamukong Suh is being mentioned makes it look like the Dolphins had suddenly realized they needed cap space. They do but not because they are signing Suh. The Dolphins will still need to replace those players. Some like Ellerbe will be replaced by Jelani Jenkins, others will be found in free agency and still more in the draft. It’s the state of the NFL and the check is coming due.
Are the Miami Dolphins better without those players? Are they better without those players with Suh? Time will be the answer to that question.