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Dolphins release three players, more stuff

The Dolphins have just announced they released receivers John Dunlap and Selwyn Lymon and linebacker Keith Saunders.

Huge news, I know.

But, in truth, the receivers have been prominent on my mind of late. First, let me say they seemed to catch the football much better in practice this week. Derek Hagan had a very good week of practice in my estimation. Ted Ginn Jr. continues to catch the football well, although I've yet to see his deep-threat ability.

And then there is the third receiver situation.

It seemed settled coming into camp that the three would be Ginn, Hagan and Ernest Wilford. Except that before this week of practice, Wilford was dropping on the depth chart like a brick in water. I know that General Manager Jeff Ireland has been frustrated with Wilford because it doesn't seem to be a talent issue, but perhaps more of a concentration and focus issue.

The result has been that not only has Wilford dropped behind Hagan as a starter, he is losing ground to undrafted free agent rookie Davone Bess for the third receiver role. On Saturday when the Dolphins play the Jaguars, rather than celebrating his return to his old haunts, Wilford will return as Miami's fourth receiver.

This is not, however, a permanent situation. While Bess is expected to get first-team snaps in the multiple receiver sets and Wilford gets a lot of second-team snaps, what happens Saturday night will be telling as to how long this situation lasts.

If Bess is impressive, it could be a while. If Wilford recovers, he'll be back in better graces.

By the way, I get asked a lot if it is possible the Dolphins might cut Wilford. At this point, I don't see that. He got a $6 million guarantee and that is hard to simply swallow by cutting a guy. I also don't think there is a big trade market for him. And despite his early camp inconsistencies, he remains Miami's most experienced and accomplished receiver.

So patience will be the order of the day for now.