It is a new day and that means that sometimes NFL players break news of their status before the local media does. That happened this afternoon when Dolphins defensive end Chris McCain reported his days with the team are over and he's headed to #whodat.
#whodat is New Orleans, where McCain was this afternoon dealt for a conditional seventh-round draft pick.
Thank you Dolphins for a wonderful 2 1/2 yrs. love Florida but GOD always has a plan. And I'm very thankful for this opportunity #whodat— Chris McCain (@DolphinEret) August 29, 2016
And suddenly the glut of defensive end talent the Dolphins seemed to have at defensive end starts to make more sense. The team has four defensive ends they are definitely keeping:
Cameron Wake, Mario Williams, Jason Jones and Andre Branch are on the team. The status of Terrence Fede is unclear based on his recent sprained MCL knee injury that will not require surgery but will require time to heal.
McCain was battling Fede for a roster spot, assuming the team was willing to keep more than four ends. He is a superior pass rusher while Fede is the better run defender.
But McCain's apparent inability to hold the edge and the fact the team is comfortable with other possibilities on the defensive line sealed McCain's time in Miami. So look, the Dolphins front office just traded a player that wasn't going to make the team for a late-round pick. I think that is what good front offices generally try to do. I remind you the Dolphins signed McCain as an undrafted free agent two years ago.
The same social media activity that led McCain to be popular among many fans, and unpopular with others, also had detractors within the Dolphins organization. And for a player at the bottom of the roster, that played a role in his being moved also.
So the Dolphins defensive line, considered a strength on the team rounds out at tackle with Ndamukong Suh, Jordan Phillips, and Earl Mitchell seemly assured of spots barring a trade of some sort. Who else?
The Dolphins seem poised to commit more spots to the tackle position than perhaps even the end spot. Both Julius Warmsley and Chris Jones have had good camps and preseasons.
Warmsley actually leads the team with three sacks this preseason.
It is possible the Dolphins keep four ends and five tackles.
The Dolphins now have 77 players on the roster. They must trim two by 4 p.m. Tuesday to be at the league's mandated 75 man limit.