The Dolphins have released safety Keith Davis.
This is a curious move for several reasons.
First: Davis has been starting on practically every special team the Dolphins play. He has, by all accounts, acquitted himself well on those special teams.
Secondly: The team is under the 75-man roster limit. It didn't need to release anyone. So it raises eyebrows that Davis would get released when there was no roster mechanism that required the move.
I spoke with agent Curtis Stephens, who represents Davis, and he is obviously not thrilled his client was released but assures me the transaction is simply a matter of a player being released for not meeting a team's need. Stephens read my previous post on this subject and was concerned it left open the possibility the release was caused by something other than the Dolphins going in a different direction -- which Stephens says is not the case here.
"Players get released in the NFL every day and this is no different from any of those instances in any way," Stephens said. "Believe me, there is nothing curious about this. There was no off-field issue involved in this and when you complete your due diligence, I'm certain you'll find that to be true."
I will trust Stephen's word.
Davis was listed on the team's flight manifest for Wednesday's trip to New Orleans. He was even given a room number. But he was told of his release before the team left South Florida so he didn't make the trip. The Dolphins, meanwhile, offered no comment on the Davis transaction.
Davis was signed as an unrestricted free agent from the Cowboys this offseason. He was part of the Cowboyfication of the Dolphins that included tight end Anthony Fasano, linebacker Akin Ayodele and others.
During his time with the Cowboys, Davis was shot twice in what appear to be random incidents. He was shot in the head in 2006 when he was driving along a Dallas highway. He drove himself to the hospital and was later released.
In 2003 he was shot in the hip and elbow while picking up a friend at a topless bar. Bill Parcells then released Davis on the first day of his first training camp with the Cowboys, but the player was eventually re-signed in 2004 and became a starter.
This release is not so great for Davis, but it benefits Renaldo Hill. Hill had been playing third team strong safety, to Davis' second-team, since the start of training camp. But of late Hill had been coming on strong and playing well, even getting an interception during one of the preseason games and earning the praise of coach Tony Sparano for his special teams play.
So Hill looks more likely to make the team now that Davis is gone.