The Miami Dolphins have their final 53 man roster but it’s far from final. Teams will begin adding practice squad players today and the bottom of the roster will churn yet again.
There are likely four or five players who sit on that roster bubble and while the team practices today to get ready for the Seattle Seahawks a week from now, one or two of those players could be called off the field to get their playbooks.
Most of the cuts made on Saturday were not really surprises. What was a surprise is who the team kept. The offensive side of the ball is a little thicker than the defensive side which is not a huge surprise given Adam Gase’s experience on that side.
This is the first NFL roster for Adam Gase and Chris Grier.
Here is a look at the roster by position. It goes without saying that this roster is fluid. Also of note, veteran players are guaranteed their full year salary if they are on a roster week one of the season so any veterans on the free agent market may not sign until after next Sunday when their contracts are not guaranteed.
The Dolphins will carry for now three quarterbacks into the season. Ryan Tannehill and Matt Moore will be active on Sunday’s but Brandon Doughty will not be active. In fact, the Dolphins could still part ways with Doughty after this weekend and the sign him to the practice squad.
Unfortunately Zac Dysert couldn’t overcome the Dolphins hopes for Doughty and you have to wonder if Dan Marino who knows Doughy had a little influence in that decision given that everything else was pretty even.
Surprisingly the Dolphins opted to carry five runners on their roster. Daniel Thomas was the lone cut on Saturday. Arian Foster and Jay Ajayi were locks and the Dolphins didn’t get to see much of Kenyan Drake due to injury. His draft status kept him on.
The biggest question was whether the Dolphins would cut Damien Williams or Isaiah Pead. Pead had a good pre-season but the Dolphins like Williams. They kept them both. Perhaps the injury history of Foster and Ajayi had an affect on that decision.
Typically teams carry five and maybe six receivers on their 53 man roster and for the Dolphins, six was the number. It’s not surprising given the talent of the unit. Jarvis Landry, Kenny Stills, and the seemingly often banged up DeVante Parker were the top three. Miami also kept a pair of draft picks in Jakeem Grant and Leonte Carroo.
The sixth spot was given to Griff Whalen who is a solid possession receiver and can play on special teams. Whalen is at the bottom of the group but it’s unlikely given Parker’s recent hamstring issues that any changes are made before the season begins.
Miami will carry three tight-ends into the season and frankly not a single one of them have played well enough to earn a spot. They simply had no other real competition. MarQuies Gary won the 3rd tight-end job over 7th round pick Thomas Duarte while Dion Sims and Jordan Cameron return for what could and maybe should be their last years in Miami. If their play does not change.
The Jets on Saturday released Jace Amaro who has a lot of potential but got lost in New York. Miami could potentially show interest.
Laremy Tunsil, Ja’Wuan James, Mike Pouncey, Branden Albert and Jermon Bushrod are the starting five up front and Anthony Steen is holding the job until Pouncey gets back. Those six make up a big part of the Dolphins offensive line.
Miami will carry only nine offensive lineman into the season. Kraig Urbik won the final roster spot over Sam Young and Ulrick John. Dallas Thomas and Billy Turner both make it back for another season but for now they are relegated to back-ups. John Denney returns for his 12th season as the teams long snapper.
Keep an eye on the free agent market however as there is some talent on the streets. The question is whether or not Chris Grier and Mike Tannenbaum see an opportunity to make the line better. One name is Josh Sitton who is a 30 year old pro-bowl guard who was surprisingly released by the Packers.
Next: The defensive mess on the other side