The Miami Dolphins have made a lot of moves the past few days. On Friday, they had to cut their roster from 75 down to 53, then on Saturday they claimed 4 players off waivers. Once the players were claimed off waivers, 4 players that made the initial 53 had to be cut to make room for the 4 claimed off waivers. Once a player is claimed off waivers, he must be put on the 53 man roster. There is still another round of teams able to make waiver wire claims, which could include the Miami Dolphins making more claims.
As we take a closer look at the current 53 man roster, it is quite easy to tell that more moves are going to be made before the end of the weekend. By Tuesday, as the team begins preparation for their first game of the 2012 regular season, the finally 53 man roster will be set. Let’s take a closer look at the moves the Dolphins have made over the past few days, and moves still likely to be made.
The most obvious thing that now sticks out to me is that the Miami Dolphins have 4 quarterbacks on their roster. This is probably going to change. Over the weekend, rumors were flying around that Matt Moore was going to be traded. Possible trade partners included Green Bay, Denver, and Arizona. The Miami Dolphins have until September 9th before the contracts of David Garrard and Matt Moore are guaranteed. I expect a move to be made before this date to trim the quarterback position down to 3. Whoever Miami keeps between Moore and Garrard will back up Tannehill, and Pat Devlin has shown enough to be the third string QB.
The questions about the battle for the receiver spots were answered over the weekend, but many still speculate that the Dolphins are not finished addressing this position. The Dolphins claimed Anthony Armstong off waivers, joining Brian Hartline (who is now practicing), Davone Bess, Marlon Moore, Legadu Naanee, and Rishard Matthews. Matthews was the surprise to most, but if you watched all of the games during the preseason, he clearly out preformed most of the others trying to make the team. I’m super excited about this because I have know Rishard since he was playing in high school. He played through his junior season in Clovis, New Mexico, where I watched him play on Friday nights. He was a great kid back then, and has made everyone who knows him proud. I hope he continues to succeed for the Dolphins!
Cornerback is also a spot where more roster moves could take place. The most likely move now that Miami has claimed S Troy Nolan off waivers is that Jimmie Wilson would be moved back to corner. Miami also added RJ Stanford to the three corners they kept, Sean Smith, Nolan Carroll, and Richard Marshall. Stanford played in the same secondary with Smith at Utah. Ireland sure does rely heavily on whoever is doing the scouting for him in the Rocky Mountain area. Stanford joins Smith, Soliai, Wilson, Misi, and Shelby as players on the roster from that area. Jimmie Wilson is the only one from that list that didn’t play for Utah.
Lydon Murtha was a surprise cut from the offensive line, but due to his injuries no one can blame the Dolphins for letting him go. There is still a possibility that Miami could add another lineman. John Jerry survived the cuts, which is a good thing for the Dolphins. He has Pro Bowl potential if he can control his weight.
The big move promised by Jeff Ireland hasn’t happened yet. I don’t think signing Anthony Armstong is the move he was eluding to. Miami and Washington were rumored to be making a trade that would have sent Armstong to Miami for Steve Slaton. This trade never happened, Armstong was released and Slaton was later cut to make room for him. The ‘ammunition’ that Ireland talked about to make it possible for Miami to make a trade is still there, and Miami added to it by trading Ryan Cook to Dallas for a 7th rounder. There was a good chance that Cook was going to be released before the trade was made.
Say what you will about Jeff Ireland, but I think he has done a pretty good job of setting this team up for the future. It seems like he is rebuilding this team with what he and Philbin want. The blueprint that was left by Bill Parcells is almost gone now, this team is built different. Linemen are smaller and faster, same with receivers. The quarterback that was drafted didn’t fit the ‘prototype’ that Parcells always went for. Tannehill only had 19 starts in college at quarterback, Parcells probably wouldn’t have given him the time of day. What Parcells was trying to do in Miami is outdated, what Ireland is doing now is what is working. Have a high powered offense that is lead by young, fast talent. Miami has parted ways with most of the players brought here under Parcells, and has begun to build a new program with Ireland and Philbin. There are going to be growing pains, but this is how a team is built long term. Miami isn’t going after proven veterans to fill spots, they are going after younger guys with potential. They are also stock piling draft picks as well. Heading into next season as of today, here are the list of picks the Dolphins currently have: 1,2,2,3,3,4,5,6,7,7. 10 picks for the draft next April, and there is still a chance more could be added should the Dolphins get a deal for Matt Moore. Combine the picks with the estimated 40-50 million in cap space that Miami could have heading into next offseason and it’s easy to get excited about things 2-3 years from now. Notable free agents next offseason? Mike Wallace and Dwayne Bowe. Things could look extremely different next season. We just may have to struggle watching the growing pains this season.