- Dolphins lose in preseason to Bears Miami's starters looked great, but the backups dropped to the Bears, 27-10
- Parker's return still uncertain WR Devante Parker is not sure if he will be ready for the season opener
- Suh dominates in scrimmage DT Suh had a sack and two tackles for a loss in the Fins intersquad scrimmage
- QB Ryan Tannehill signs extension Tannehill signs 6 year $96 mil extension!
On September 1st, NFL teams begin their first round of roster cuts, with teams trimming their rosters down to 75 players. Four days later, on Sept. 5th, things will get very interesting as the NFL teams rosters must go down to 53.
Some Dolphin player cuts will come as no surprise to anyone. (QB Josh Freeman for example.) But there are some players on the bubble, who if released, might surprise a few Dolphin fans. So hold on to your hats Fin fans! Here are 6 potential roster cuts that might be a bit unexpected.
CB Zach Bowman
Bowman was signed in the off-season as a special teamer and to provide depth for a secondary with question marks. While Bowman’s run stopping ability is not the greatest, his pass coverage skills are adequate. But with the play of Jamar Taylor and Brice McCain, as well as the development of rookie Bobby McCain, Bowman has sunk some on the depth chart.
Bowman is a veteran among a DB group with a lot of youth and inexperience. But at age 30, Bowman could be a casualty as the Dolphins give the younger players more of an opportunity to develop and shine.
Bowman’s contract had an $80,000 signing bonus, which would be the cap penalty should he be released.
K Caleb Sturgis
Caleb Sturgis was not very consistent last year, hitting 29 of 37 FGs. As a result, he has been battling Andrew Franks for the kicking position this year. Unfortunately, neither one has been consistent so far in camp.
I give the nod to Sturgis over Franks at the moment, but I would not be in the least bit surprised if the Dolphins don’t scan the waiver wire for his replacement on September 6th.
Cutting Sturgis would cost the Fins $36,140 in dead money.
DT Anthony Johnson
I wondered if Johnson was on “borrowed time” when the Dolphins drafted Jordan Phillips and signed CJ Mosley this off-season. But Johnson was listed on the second team DT when the Dolphins lined up against the Bears in their first preseason game.
Johnson’s grasp on a roster spot dropped when he had 3 separate false start penalties against the Bears, and was demoted behind Mosley as a result. With Mosley playing better, Johnson may not beat out AJ Francis and could be gone.
The cap hit for releasing Johnson would be negligible.
WR Michael Preston
After languishing on the Titans roster for two years, (hauling in 2 TD passes in 2013), Preston was cut by the Titans at the beginning of the 2014 season. After the 2014 season, the Fins grabbed the 6’5 Preston. It appeared that the Dolphins may have found a hidden gem in Preston, as he turned some heads with his play early on in camp.
At the end of last season, the Dolphins continued their playoff drought. Having not made the playoffs since 2008 of course leads to some questions about the team’s problems. Questions that fans wanted addressed in the off-season.
Some of those questions include:
Are the problems with the receivers/tight ends resolved?
Last year Mike Wallace was not a happy camper, and was benched in the final loss to the Jets. Although he had 10 TDs in 2014, he never had a season with Miami where he reached 1000 receiving yards. He certainly was not worthy of his high price tag.
Brian Hartline, who had consecutive 1000 yard seasons before 2014 and had signed a contract extension in 2013, seemed to be the odd man out in OC Bill Lazor’s offense last year. Could he find his niche? What about Brandon Gibson?
Charles Clay, a former 6th round draft pick out of Tulsa, was making a name for himself in the league, and was on the final year of his rookie contract. How would the Fins approach that?
Answer – It appears so
On paper, the Fins appeared to have improved. Miami traded away Dannell Ellerbe and a 3rd round pick for Kenny Stills. The speedy Stills has had 95 receptions for 1572 yards and 8 TDs in his two year career. Stills could be on the verge of a breakout season.
Statically, Stills’ numbers (63 receptions for 931 yards) were almost identical to Wallace’s (67 receptions for 862 yards) last season, other than TD receptions. Each is credited with 4 dropped passes, though Stills reception per target percentage is over 75% while Wallace’s is less than 60%.
The biggest difference between the two is salary. Kenny Stills has two years remaining on a rookie minimum deal while Wallace was the highest paid receiver in the NFL.
Ok, so I have had a little time to digest this year’s Dolphin draft. I generally try to take a day or two to avoid knee jerk reactions. Initially, I was underwhelmed. But now that I’ve thought on it, I’ve realized that this draft was ok. Not great, but not terrible either.
In the first round I think James will be the immediate starter on the right side of the line. I don’t see him as a dominating, Pro Bowler type. Think more along the lines of a Todd Wade or Vernon Carey type. I still think Miami could of traded down 5-10 spots and landed him, making him somewhat of a reach in my opinion. But if he can solidify the right tackle position, I’ll be happy.
In the second and third rounds, the Fins traded back and forth multiple times. Overall, I think the Fins may have lost some trade value here as they selected WR Jarvis Landry out of LSU and then traded back up for Turner.
For the record, I have no problem with this selection. Landry is a superb route runner, and has hands of glue. While he does not having blazing speed, his skill set is perfect for a WCO. If Landry becomes another OJ McDuffie type receiver, in a year or two no one will remember how much trading went on by Miami leading up to his selection.
In the 3rd round, Miami selected “versitile” OL Billy Turner. You should remember that Coach Philbin used that term last year in describing third round pick Dallas Thomas. But a lot of scouts like Turner, and talked about his high ceiling. I guess we will see if he can break the Miami tradition of selecting offensive linemen in the mid rounds who wash out.
In a radio interview on WQAM, OT Bryant McKinnie stated that he would be willing to move to the right tackle position if he came back to Miami.
Bryant, who will turn 35 in May, has never played right tackle. (But he believes he could make the transition.) This year’s NFL draft has some quality depth at right tackle position also.
But Bryant played decent last year for Miami, helping to stabilize an offensive line that was in disarry. By bringing him back as a one year stop gap, it allows the Dolphins to use their 6 NFL draft picks in other areas.
Plus, McKinnie would be the backup to LT Albert should Albert get hurt. Thoughts? Good idea to bring him back? Join us on our message board and share your thoughts on this at FinNation Forums
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When Miami released Dimitri Patterson and let Nolan Carroll move on to the Eagles, I had wondered if that meant that the Fins were going to allow Jamar Taylor or Will Davis step up into the #2 spot opposite Brent Grimes.
Taylor, a 2nd round pick, was a playmaker in college. But he battled a hernia problem for much of last season. Davis flashed big play potential in training camp last year. But the coaching staff felt he needed to develop more, so he was limited to playing in just 5 games. (Mainly due to injury.)
When the Dolphins brought CB Cortland Finnegan in for a visit, I realized that the coaching staff wanted another veteran back there. It makes sense. With Grimes locking down one side, you know opposing QBs are going to test the other CB.
But when I read that Miami signed Finnegan to a 2 year deal worth $11 million, I have to say I was not thrilled like so many other Fin fans. I didn’t have v Continue reading