Miami Dolphins roster watch: veteran bubble
By Brian Miller
The Miami Dolphins won’t need to make any roster cuts for another couple of weeks but several players are not making a strong case to remain on the 53 man roster. Reports from practice on several veterans haven’t been positive and these players could be looking for another team if they can’t turn camp around.
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The next two pre-season games will be key for several members of the teams squad but it’s the veterans that we are going to focus on here.
Josh Freeman – Freeman has not looked good in practice and he didn’t look good in pre-season game one vs. Chicago. It was a long shot for him to make the roster anyways but it’s disappointing to see how poorly he has played given his draft history of a former first round pick and a player who has a lot of starts under his belt.
LaMichael James – James started off fast but has since slowed considerably. It was only a week ago that many were talking about James becoming the 2nd running back on the team. Poor practices and a sub-par game against the Bears has not helped his case. In a crowded back-field James needs to impress the coaches enough to keep four runners.
Mike Gillislee – Another long shot at the start of camp, Gillislee didn’t help his case last Thursday night. He fumbled once and didn’t run with much conviction. He is getting reps with the 3rd team unit and has still been unable to impress the coaching staff.
Gerrell Robinson – Robinson spent time with the Dolphins last season at tight end but thus far through camp he has been quiet. The Dolphins will likely carry three tight-ends into the season and right now Robinson is battling with Jake Stoneburner who has looked better on the field.
J.D. Walton – Walton has been surpassed by Sam Brenner for the back-up center duties. Walton started all 16 games for the Giants in 2014 but thus far he has yet to show any reason to make the squad.
Jacques McClendon – Another free agent signing this off-season that isn’t panning out. Making matters worse for McClendon is the fact that there are so many questions on the offensive line and he has yet to really show up and play.
Michael Preston – Preston started camp on fire but has cooled considerably. Preston still has a shot at making the roster but he is behind Rishard Matthews and is now being challenged by third year receiver LaRon Byrd. Byrd is on the bubble as well but he is coming on strong as of late. Miami is likely to keep five maybe six receivers and Byrd appears to be making the most of his chances now to earn that 6th spot if there is one.
C.J. Mosley – When Mosley was signed this off-season it appeared that the Dolphins may have found a gem. Instead they haven’t come close to seeing what they had hoped from Mosley. Last Thursday Mosley played with the 4th quarter units and made no impact. He was unable to gain push upfield and his practices haven’t gone much better.
Spencer Paysinger – Yet another off-season addition, Paysinger has starts at linebacker with the Giants but he isn’t showing enough yet to warrant a roster spot. Paysinger’s biggest attribute is he is a veteran on a young unit but that will only get him so far. At some point he needs to convince the coaches that he is too valuable to release and he hasn’t done that yet.
Zack Bowman – Bowman chose Miami this off-season because he was told he would compete for a starting job. He is instead competing for a roster spot. Bowman has been very inconsistent thus far and the Dolphins like many of their other young corners. Jamar Taylor has the starting job opposite Brent Grimes locked down but Will Davis is showing quite a bit of improvement whereas Bowman hasn’t shown much at all. Bowman may need the special teams unit to make the roster. Starting is not in his future right now.
Brandon Fields – Believe it or not Fields isn’t guaranteed a job. Rookie Matt Darr is playing very well and is pushing Fields for his job. Fields had his lowest season in 2014. The last time the Dolphins opted to make a move with a kicker after an off year, they sent kicker Dan Carpenter packing for Caleb Sturgis. That hasn’t worked out all that well. You can read more about this by going to the Miami Herald.