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Dolphins making moves in advance of roster cuts

The Dolphins, and all other NFL teams, have until 4 p.m. on Tuesday to trim their roster to 75 players. This team isn't waiting.

Already this morning multiple back-of-the-roster players have been cut.

Two such players -- offensive lineman Jeff Braun and defensive tackle Chris Burnette -- already announced they've been cut on their twitter accounts.

[UPDATE: The Dolphins announced G Jeff Braun, G Chandler Burden, DT Chris Burnette, LB Alonzo Highsmith, and WR Kenny Stafford have been cut. More coming, folks.]

This was expected. Last year, for example, the Dolphins released nine players two days prior to the first NFL cutdown date. This is how they do business.

The Dolphins will have interesting decisions this year because the team has plenty of good players. Unfortunately for Miami, it has many more good defensive players than offensive players. So the truth is the Dolphins may keep some offensive players that are necessary to fill spots while cutting a couple of better defensive players who have earned a spot but got caught in a numbers game.

Having said all that, allow me to project your 2013 Miami Dolphins 53-man roster. This is simply a projection. It is based on opinion. Mine.

Quarterbacks (2): Ryan Tannehill, Matt Moore.

Analysis: And now you're freaking because Pat Devlin is not on the team. Well, I'm sorry, but he's not on my projection. He's done nothing wrong. He's had a solid preseason. But I think some of the sheen is coming off because he's had trouble staying healthy this preseason, his improvement is hardly eye-popping and if the Dolphins are down to their third starting QB this year, I simply don't see that person being Pat Devlin. They would bring in a veteran.

Running backs (4): Lamar Miller, Daniel Thomas, Mike Gillislee, KR Marcus Thigpen.

Analysis: Well, offensive coordinator Mike Sherman said this week the team is searching for a third running back. He didn't say a third and a fourth. But as Thigpen, who is working as a third-down back recently, is also the KR you can add him to this group. The third spot is up for grabs between Gillislee and Jonas Gray. The better player the next two weeks probably takes the spot. The loser? Dolphins will try to stash him on practice squad.

Fullback (1): Jorvorskie Lane.

Analysis: The club has sent Lane multiple messages this year. They flirted with Vonta Leach. They actually demoted Lane once in training camp. And they have given Evan Rodriguez plenty of opportunity to win the spot. Rodriguez is probably a better special teams player. Lane is a better blocker. Both need to be better pass-catchers. It's a toss-up but I'm going with the better blocker to help the running game. 

Receivers (5): Mike Wallace, Brian Hartline, Brandon Gibson, Rishard Matthews, Chad Bumphis

Analysis: Marvin McNutt might still bump Bumphis. Saturday night truly matters for these guys. But I simply don't trust his inconsistent hands. I do trust Bumphis more. He cannot let up, however.

Tight ends (4): Charles Clay, Dion Sims, Michael Egnew and Kyle Miller. 

Analysis: Offensive coordinator Mike Sherman loves tight ends. At one point in 2012, there were five tight ends on the Miami roster. Miller is a bubble guy and has to perform well Saturday to have a prayer, but if he's not on, I see the Dolphins searching the waiver wires or trying to make a trade to add a guy.

Offensive line (10): Jonathan Martin, John Jerry, Mike Pouncey, Richie Incognito, Tyson Clabo, Nate Garner, Will Yeatman, Joshn Samuda, Lance Louis, Dallas Thomas.

Analysis: The fact John Jerry had the knee injury will help Lance Louis because it is clear he's getting better as he himself recovers from knee surgery. Louis is going to be better in October and better still in December. And he's already better than Josh Samuda at the position. You keep him. The backup tackle situation is worrisome.

Defensive line (10): Cameron Wake, Olivier Vernon, Randy Starks, Paul Soliai, Jared Odrick, Derrick Shelby, Vaughn Martin, Dion Jordan, Tristan Okpalaugo, Kheeston Randall.

Analysis: Ten defensive linemen is too many, but the fact is Dion Jordan's shoulder injury makes for much uncertainty and that's why Okpalaugo is here. Antwan Applewhite might also be an option but he's a more expensive option because if you keep him, his salary is guaranteed. Maybe Miami cuts him and re-signs after the first week. Hate to cut A.J. Francis, but he's probably one of those good defensive players caught in bad numbers I talked about earlier.

Linebackers (6): Dannell Ellerbe, Koa Misi, Phillip Wheeler, Jason Trusnik, Austin Spitler, Jonathan Freeny.

Analysis: And you're freaking again because Jelani Jenkins isn't on the team. He might be, but the truth is I haven't seen him do much of anything. He has three tackles this preseason. I'd love to find a way to get Josh Kaddu on the team as well. Trusnik is on solely because he's a good special teams guy. Kaddu is better on defense, in my humble opinion.

Defensive backs (8): Brent Grimes, Will Davis, Dimitri Patterson, Nolan Carroll, Jimmy Wilson, Reshad Jones, Chris Clemons, Jamar Taylor. 

Analysis:  Wilson can back up at safety and help in the nickel. I'd like to have another safety, however. I believe Kelcie McCray is pushing for a spot as well. Hate to lose R.J. Stanford. 

Specialists (3): Punter Brandon Fields, K Caleb Sturgis, LS John Denney.

Analysis: Speaks for itself.

Comments

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Dont you think a 15 sack a year(if he pans out) is more important to the defense than a good corner. I dont think there is any wrong answer to that, just a matter of preference

Posted by: Rdubs | August 23, 2013 at 02:51 PM

Very legit question! The 15 sack a Yr. guy can cover the weakness of a subpar D-Backfield as the 2011 SB Champ Giants proved.

My question was after the initial shock of the pick then convincing yourself it was the best move didn't you sort of have a hindsight moment during the draft??

I did looking at the boards and thought 2 things:

1) If we didn't feel L.Johnson was worthy or thought K.Long a bit high at pick 3 (I thought it was great value given the little we gave Oak. to move up I would have made this trade myself if up to me really)then to me the best addition was Dee Milliner.

He had a shoulder and Sports hernia with pesky ankle he played through last Yr. (sounds like little nagging injuries outside of hernia to me given physical play out of Bama DB's under Saban)Truth is if you watched the SEC Championship game Vs. good Georgia competition his ability in Press coverage was very good, a need in todays game out of a CB you want to lock up 1 on 1. He runs a legit 4.37/40 and has good size at 6'2" for bigger WR's while speed to run with the fastest.

2) Trade the #3 in the last draft after the 2 Tackles were gone swapping for someone's 2014 #1 pick then next Yr. packaging both for Jadevious Clowney! Along with 2015 #1 if necessary on the best talent (ONCE IN A GENERATION PLAYER)I've seen at DE in a LOOOOOOOOOONG TIME!!!!!!!!

So for nickel packages we have Patterson, Clemons, Jones, Carroll, and Grimes. I guess 3 out of 5 ain't bad. If we go dime I imagine one of the rookies gets put in there (Taylor if healthy). Not too impressed with that secondary. Hopefully one of the rookies will step up, they really need to.

we need to re-sign Grimes......Davis could develop into a #2 but I see him more as a solid #3/nickel--reality is that teams need at least 3-4 good/decent CBs, so if Grimes walks, where is our depth (and that assumes Davis is ready to start and play well......talented, but raw). Carroll is below average/5th or 6th depth guy, in my opinion--even if we draft another CB or 2 (we should.....I'd draft 1 every year), cant assume theyd be ready to play right away (hardly the norm)--cant see letting both Grimes and Patterson walk.....would turn a position of depth/strength into a position of weakness again (with Marshall, Patterson, Grimes gone)-no.

Jonas Gray is money in the red zone and short yardage situations...keep

Bumphis has nice hands and YAC potential ... keep

Lane is a Sherman favorite from A&M he's staying.

Do you cut Devlin just to keep Okpalaugo on the D-line? not me...Devin stays, Oka goes

Jenkins is clearly on the bubble...IMO he's cut

DB's are a solid unit

All in all I agree with GM Salguero...my biggest keeper is Jonas Gray, guy has toughness you cannot teach.(Daniel Thomas...are you listening?)

Anybody remember when blogs like these were used to debate football instead of arguing over multiple screen names, fans being overly negative and other garbage?

Anyways, whoever said that Stanford has played well above this and that Carroll is better than Patterson is flat out wrong. Patterson has been the second best corner behind Grimes constantly throughout preseason games and in camp. Our second and third team dbs haven't been all that special and some have been terrible, but our first team dbs have been stellar barring Marshall which is why he was cut. Grimes, Patterson, Jones and Clemons have all played incredibly well. Nolan Carroll has always practiced well and then sucked in real games. That's why he'll be a back-up.
Cheaper than Patterson? Absolutely.
Better than Patterson? In no way.

I would say that Okpalaugo is out and AJ Francais is in. The front office and job are building for next season more so than this season. I could see them thinking 2014 being Wake, Jordan, OV (could replace Misi), Francais, Odrick. Reason they keep AJ over Okpalaugo is Odrick can slide to DE if it becomes light.

I agree but his potential is greater. Taylor and Davis will be #2 and 3 with Wilson and Carroll as backups... Wilson will play alot in nickel and dime

Serge.....is correct--Carroll stinks, honestly.....cheap, lower tier special teams depth guy--thats fine, all teams/rosters need them--Patterson is much better.....he's solid, not great, but decent--and experienced. Stanford is not even in the conversation.....and they should re-sign Clemons mid/late season, extend him for a reasonable 2-4mill/yr contract and solidify the safety position for awhile.....and if a stud S is available in the draft, take him and upgrade that position further.

I think they will re-sign Grimes if he holds up but it won't be cheap. He will get paid handsomely 6-7 mill over a three year contract or thereabouts.

: SergeHimself | August 23, 2013 at 03:15 PM

Agree again, good post Serge!

Honestly Mark, if Optimus Grimes is able to stay healthy, he's worth all of that. I'd give him an extension of three-four years for about that. He really is that good.

I WISH I WAS AS OPTIMISTIC AS ALL OF YOU ABOUT OUR CBs

I like our QB, RB, WR, Front 7, K, P, S

I am terrified of our OL and CBs.

f o c k this blog

Anybody remember when blogs like these were used to debate football instead of arguing over multiple screen names, fans being overly negative and other garbage?

The internet just keeps getting easier to use. Any moron can do it.

Who the hell is Serge?

Good that Sherman "loves" TEs. Too bad Ireland didn't get memo about TEs several years ago. Maybe there's a TE out there that needs a new home. I don't watch much anything that ain't Dolphins...anyone know?

O-line? Ditto

Secondary? We're supposed to be better but outside of Grimes, I haven't seen that much improvement. I do think it will get better.

Tannehill? A lot has been said about getting the ball out faster. But that all that means is, decision making. Receivers covered? Pump fake, freeze the D. Don't work? Run if you can or throw it out of bounds. DON'T FORCE THE BALL. O-line collapsing? Step up, step back, side step. These things should have been covered in offseason.

RBs? Mistake to let Bush go. Everybody knows Sparano wasn't using Bush in space and it spilled over into this regime. They finally 'got it' toward the last of the season. But by then there was some kinda beef going on. What, I don't know. I do know Bush wanted to be a 'every down back' which he never was and never will be. Too bad.

Agreed Serge. True #1 corners are worth their weight in gold.

Mark,


Good Pass rushers are worth their weight in Lobstertubes!

Is it basketball season yet?

3:32 - how much did Bush get from Detroit? He was never going to get that from Miami, and he is not going to last out his 4 years with the Lions. Free prediction.

when did Patterson become a true #1 corner? am I missing something? wasn't he cut from the browns and let go by the eagles before that...

Yeah, seeing as they have $20M in cap space, wish they would've found room for the multi purpose Reggie Bush. A ten carry, 5 rec a game guy. Would be a great outlet for Tannehill underneath - magnified more so with Keller down. And talk about your fallback slot options... he'd bea great one.

Who knws what happened behind the scenes though .. Bush wanted to be this, Dolphins wanted that ... decisions are not always strictlya bout football although in a perfect world, they would be

@ExposingTheFraud

I'm not worried about our o-line or cbs at all. Grimes is a beast. Patterson is a good number two on the other side. We got two young, talented rookies getting up to speed. So far in preseason, our starting cornerbacks have looked much improved over last year. They've actually done a good job holding starters from other teams back. The back-ups, now that's another story.

As for the o-line, they have steadily gotten better every week. Martin has been the most improved and he's actually played very well so far this preseason. Incognito and Pouncey are rock solid as usual and Clabo is starting to pick it up as well. Our only real problem with the o-line is our right guard spot which has been terrible but keep in mind that Jerry and Louis have been hurt and Samuda has been manning that spot. Samuda. A second year back-up center. Once Jerry or Louis jump into the starting spot when they're healthy, you'll see the entire unit become even better. I believe that starts this week with both Louis and Jerry returning. The best man will win the starting RG spot and our o-line will be very solid.

@fin4life

Thanks. I just call things like I see them. Bit obsessed with football so I tend to watch a lot of tape and read a lot on the team.

I FEAR NO ONE...

BLOOD, SWEAT, TEARS...

ALL WILL FALL...

......NEO MIAMI DOLPHINS...2013....

Those saturated napkins can really add up!

Anybody remember when blogs like these were used to debate football instead of arguing over multiple screen names, fans being overly negative and other garbage?

Posted by: SergeHimself | August 23, 2013 at 03:15 PM

If you didn't have arrogant, egotistical, always right even though they're wrong, reading comprehension deficient blabber mouthing block heads here, this blog would be pretty awesome.

Until then, tolerance is your best bet.

@oscar canosa

I usually post on thephinsider. I really limit reading comments on blogs like this or over at the palm beach post (I think it is) because everyone starts yelling at each other and turning into hormonal teenage girls which is counterproductive. I just like debating football, not listening to people argue about who's more of a moron or being internet tough guys. It's a waste of time.

Anyone remember when the Dolphins were relevant?
Me neither.

Allan about 15 years agon

But here's an honest question, if you don't like the direction the team is going in and you don't like the team's relevancy, then why do you bother posting? Isn't it a waste of your time as well as everyone elses that has to read it in between real football conversation? Again, counterproductive.

serge eat a fat one pls

@Craig

Thank you. You just proved my point.

Grimes will sign for at least 6-7 mill/yr.....isnt that what Sean Smith got?--Grimes is older and coming off an injury, but if he plays well and injury free this year, he's near pro bowl caliber.....made it a few years ago--he'll get closer to 8 mill/yr I bet, and probably should.

Serge,
I've noticed the following cause-effect relationship between the OL and the offensive production of the team:

When the OL is dominant the Offense is dominant

When the OL is average the offense is average

When the OL is weak the offense is weak

So far this preseason our first team offense vs first team defense has been more weak than average and we've been waiting for John Jerry to come and bail it out.

BTW, this is what Tony Gonzales had to say about the Keller hit....

Miami Dolphins talking point: Tony Gonzalez takes issue with hit that ended Dustin Keller’s season

Gonzalez, the Atlanta tight end and a surefire Hall of Famer, took exception to Houston rookie safety D.J. Swearinger telling The Palm Beach Post that he had no option but to hit Keller low, causing massive injuries to Keller’s knee.


Gonzalez

“I saw (Swearinger’s) remark, ‘That’s just football,’ and he showed a little bit of grief for the guy — I’m not buying it at all,” Gonzalez told USA Today. “Don’t tell me that the rules prohibit you from hitting a guy up top. You have a whole target area above his knee up to his neck that you can hit. I’ve watched that play a bunch of times.”

Dean Blandino, the NFL’s vice president of officiating, said on NFL Network that the hit was legal. Keller was considered a defenseless receiver in that situation, Blandino said, and thus was not allowed to be struck in the head or neck area or with the crown of a tackler’s helmet. Since Swearinger did neither, no penalty was called and no fine or suspension is forthcoming.

“You’re talking about a career-ending injury,” Gonzalez said (although Keller indicated he hopes that’s not the case). “… It should be a fineable offense, just like going for the head is. … I keep seeing the debate (on TV) and all these people saying, ‘They’re forcing defenders to go low.’ No, they’re not. That play was ridiculous.”

Two thoughts:

First, I’m still surprised that other than receiver Brian Hartline calling the hit “crap,” there has been little criticism coming out of Davie on the hit. I expected more and can’t help but wonder if players were told to avoid speaking out. Keller would have been a key component in this offense and players can’t be happy about losing his services. If the Dolphins did invoke the Cone of Silence on this one, it’s unfortunate. Hard to think Dolphins players in general don’t take issue with the hit.

Second, having often written on this subject, I back the commissioner’s efforts to curtail traumatic brain injuries in football 100 percent. But go back and watch the play in which Keller was injured. Freeze-frame it just before impact and think about what you’re seeing. Then ask yourself: Is there any way on Earth that what is going to happen next won’t be something you never want to see?

If that hit is within the rules, the rules need another look.


But here's an honest question, if you don't like the direction the team is going in and you don't like the team's relevancy, then why do you bother posting?
Posted by: SergeHimself | August 23, 2013 at 03:59 PM

Hoping for a change at the top and improvement.

cocoajoe ,

Injuries happen. Get over it.

well said cocoajoe. Not illegal but definitely not sporting. The fact that the hit is not ilelgal says there is something wrong with the rules. What's wrong with hitting Keller's thighs or midsection? Swearinger took a guy out when he didn't need to. (meaningless preseason game)

@ExposingTheFraud

Yeah, that's fair. Unfortunately, our receivers are still developing chemistry with Tannehill and a side effect of that is it takes some time for them to create separation and for the plays to develop. Tannehill is still developing somewhat as well, while the new receivers are learning the new playbook, so Tannehill needs some time in the pocket. A lot of the pressure has come from the right side, but Clabo has tightened up his game and Samuda is not a starting right guard. Louis or Jerry is the missing piece to making this a solid o-line. They need to get healthy and step up so that Tannehill can find his receivers, especially with Keller down for the season as he was our safety valve. I honestly think that was a dirty hit by Swearinger too, by the way.

HERE IS THE BOTTOM LINE ON HITS/INJURIES/FINES

When the hit is to the head:
-Both the hitter and the hittee suffer brain damage
-Neither team owner is injured in any way
-The owners can layoff the salary of the injured player on the insurance company
-The league levies a fine on the player which his owner gets to keep that money

When the hit is to the knee:
-The hitter suffers brain damage and the hittee suffers knee damage
-neither team owner is injured in any way
-The owners can layoff the injured players salary on the insurance company
-The league levies a fine on the player which means his owner gets to keep that money.

CONCLUSION: Player injuries harm the player physically but not financially; it hurts the fans emotionally and financially; it does not hurt the owner at all, in fact the more players get injured the more they collect from the insurance company and fines, the owners make out better the more injuries there are.

But here's an honest question, if you don't like the direction the team is going in and you don't like the team's relevancy, then why do you bother posting?
Posted by: SergeHimself | August 23, 2013 at 03:59 PM

Serge bro, the direction is 4 consecutive losing seasons... the worst stretch in Dolphin history. Only the Jets fans like our direction.

Serge,
Good reply.
I don't think the Keller hit was dirty because that would mean that Swearinger did it on purpose, which is a crime. I think it was an unfortunate accident.

@oscarcanosawhat, you fukkk.


cocoajoe ,

Injuries happen. Get over it.

Posted by: Allan | August 23, 2013 at 04:11 PM

======================================================
And you are who? Answer: Another dweeb who never played the game. Go play some video games.

Where has odin been lately?

Serge,
We in this blog have long ago accepted that this blog is more fun that the games are.

We enjoy debating each other, threatening each other, imitating each other, antagonizing each other and evidently some of the bloggers here even enjoy playing hottub periscopes with each other.

@JJ

Fair enough. Management has done a lot to imrpove this roster this offseason, so why not see if it pays off before defering to negativity and bashing the team? It might be the Dolphins that break out these next few years. After all those years of the 49ers sucking, did anyone really see them being as good as they were when they signed Harbaugh? It takes time.

@That's it

That's understandable when our team has been through what its been through, but posting negativity on a blog like this doesn't change anything and it definitely doesn't change Ross's or Ireland's minds. They don't read these comments so posting negative comments and expecting management change doesn't make any sense.

I'm as hard core of a Dolphins fan as they come and these last few years have been a pain in the ass, but pessimism and yelling at each other does absolutely nothing.

DIVER DOWN!

Oh they definitely read these comments ...

See, you are not allowed to impersonate anymore. But if We let you write, and oscarcanosa@ said such and such, it might turn out to be the same thing. You do see why we will attack you if you do so, don't you?

Who's looking forawrd to the new Playstation 4 or Xbox One? Man pre order sales are selling out everywhere. ps4vxboxone.com is great site to purchase the Xbox One, go dolphins!

@ExposingTheFraud

Lol, gotcha. That explains a lot. It's cool if that's the way things are done around here.

As for the Swearinger hit, I only say it was dirty because of his history in college and the fact that after watching the hit many, many times in slow motion, it looked like he saw Keller's knee and lined it up. Keller was defenseless and hadn't even turned around after catching the ball. Unfortunately, it's a legal hit by the rulebook's standards, but dirty by mine and many other people's standards.

I would think it would be a lot easier to trade for a RB like Felix Jones than it would be to trade for a TE like Keller. I don't think there is a TE better than Clay or Egnew available.

There are TEs sure, but are they better than what we have? I can't think of any.

Miss me ?

Been playing my new telecaster.

Damn she sure rocks.

Looking forward to tomorrow nights whoppin.

Yee haw boys it's beer time!

I'm positive. I'm positive this is the worst Dolphin team ever. 5th consecutive losing year coming up.

What's up gentlemen.

Had to post this, it's just classic Belichick and I love it.

"Afterwards Patriots coach Bill Belichick was asked: Why did you only play two quarterbacks?"

"Because we only played two quarterbacks," he said.

me neither. Shincoe maybe but he's more like Fasano which we have in Sims. Not going to make a diff

Lobster tube is okay, tubegalore is better!

Pray for new ownership.

Once Again:

Keller's career stats:
3-4 rec/game for 40-50 yds/game.

It is a huge loss in name recognition only.

I have to believe that our TE position with the guys we have can either make 3-4 rec/game or stay in to block and give Tanne time to find a target.

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