The Miami Dolphins will be able to keep 90 players for camp but they should consider only 80.
Today the NFL sent teams the roster limit rules and for the Miami Dolphins, it might be much better to go with the 80 player option instead.
Training camps are hard enough and for a team like the Miami Dolphins who are already below the 90 player limit, the best option for the 2020 training camp session may be the 80 player option.
The memo sent to the teams from the NFL allows teams to conduct training camp in one of two options. The first option allows teams to carry 90 players into camp. Those teams electing to do so will use a “split-squad” format which means that rookies, injured players, and some quarterbacks, and others will need to practice by themselves.
Full detail on roster size is here. Teams have two options.
• Option 1: Cut to 80 before vet report date.
• Option 2: Stay at 90, go split-squad until Aug. 16 (at which point all teams have to go to 80.)
Split-squad: Vets in one; rookies, first-year and rehab guys in other. https://t.co/PVSSRgfwfm
— Albert Breer (@AlbertBreer) July 25, 2020
One of the two “squads” will have to practice at Hard Rock Stadium or whatever other facilities a team has available. Players may not share the same locker room.
Teams have until their veterans are scheduled to report to make that decision. The two squads of players may not interact during camp until teams cut down to 53. Players are not allowed to switch between groups either. That means if QB A is assigned to one squad he can’t move to the other if QB B is injured or tests positive for COVID.
Plan or option 2 in this memo allows teams to have a unified practice with all of their players together in one location and not split up. The caveat, however, is that teams must only have 80 players on their roster. That decision must be made by the time the veterans report.
For the Miami Dolphins, it would make sense to keep all players together in one location. By now the Dolphins should have a pretty good idea of who will not make the roster this year and if they are officially below the 90 player count, they have less to release to make that number.
This won’t be easy for any team including Miami. Coaches will have a tough decision to make deciding which players should be allowed to come to camp but this is the new way of doing things in order to have a season.
Option two should be the Miami Dolphins decision for how to handle training camp.
With opting out an option for players now as well, the Dolphins will need to wait until the opt-out window closes, which is reported to be seven days. One player in the NFL has announced that he will opt, a guard for the Chiefs.
Miami would be smart to see who opts out but even if they don’t, they can always call players back should someone back out. The NFL is imposing strict policies as well for the upcoming season.
Players have been informed they may not attend a variety of public venues and those who violate those rules, such as attending bars, concerts, parties, etc…, could be fined, suspended for the season, and if they test positive as a result, could see their guaranteed money forfeited.
With the Dolphins working towards a culture change and rebuild, those fringe 10 players who be invited to camp would only separate the team and frankly, unity, is an important part of the camp days. Miami needs to make the right call here.
Brian Flores won’t be able to be in two places at once and while having the team split could get more work done, the reality is that at some point you need these players to come together so why separate them now?