A look at the Miami Dolphins recent roster moves as final cuts loom
The Miami Dolphins continued making moves this week with the release of Akeem Spence, Chase Allen, Jordan Mills, and Clive Walford.
With Jordan Mills and Clive Walford injury settlements were agreed to. Jordan Mills was brought in to help at right tackle however he did not perform to expectations.
The release of Mills will likely indicate that Jesse Davis will start season at right tackle instead of right guard. Spence’s departure is a bit of a surprise since he posted a career high in tackles as well as tackles for loss in the 2018 campaign. Walford’s release although involving an injury settlement, is not much of a surprise as Miami currently has five tight ends on its roster with the release. More roster moves involving the tight end position do seem likely.
Both offensive and defensive lines continue to be the biggest question marks for a wide range of reasons. On the offensive line, most notably is the question mark of long-term options outside of Laremy Tunsil. Although the draft did bring in Michael Deiter, as well as Shaq Calhoun and Isaiah Prince. With the release of Mills, all three look like they are poised to make the 53 man roster. It is looking more and more likely, that the starting line for the 2019 season will be Kilgore at center with Deiter and Tunsil on the left side and Jesse Davis, Aaron Monteiro, Prince, Zach Sterup, Calhoun and Michael Dunn to help solidify the right side of the line.
Defensively, the release of Spence is another step in the rebuild and although he posted career highs in tackles and tackles for loss, his play could not match expectations and clears the way at defensive tackle for first round pick Christian Wilkins to start. In keeping with the mentality of the Dolphins, having the best 11 players on defense doesn’t necessarily mean the team will field on defensive tackle in a 3-4 or two defensive tackles in a 4-3, however safe money will be Davon Godchaux and Wilkens getting the bulk of the play at the tackle spots. The defensive end spots are still a cause for concern.
The linebacker unit looks poised to see some overhaul heading into this year, as newcomer Sam Eguavoen has certainly positioned himself to not only make the final 53 man roster, but to possibly start week one. Sam has certainly made an impact after spending three seasons in the CFL with the Saskatchewan Roughriders. With Jerome Baker, Eguavoen, Andrew Van Ginkel, and Raekwon McMillan clear locks to be on the roster. A decision on Kiko Alonso should determine if there is one or two spots left for a combination of Quintin Poling, Nick DeLuca, Terrance Smith, and Terrill Hanks.
Lastly and certainly not least by any means, is the defensive backfield. With Xavien Howard, Minkah Fitzpatrick, Reshad Jones, Bobby McCain, Eric Rowe, and Jomal Wiltz solidified in their spots on the roster at either corner or safety. The decision on the remainder of the backfield will be what combination of Nik Needham, Chris Lammons, Cornell Armstrong, Walt Aikens, Montre Hartage, and Maurice Smith.