With rosters needing to be trimmed to 53 men by 4 p.m on Saturday, the Miami Dolphins rounded out the end of their lineups. There aren’t too many head scratchers along the way. Miami’s success in the preseason with a few of the new regimes rookies spelled the end of the line in Miami for some players. The NFL is a cold and unforgiving world so who made the cuts?
RB Daniel Thomas: Just can’t seem to stick. His third time was signing with the Miami Dolphins. Thomas was bumped down to a long shot when the team signed Arian Foster. With Foster, Ajayi and Howard almost 100% guaranteed a roster spot there might only be room for one more running back. Thomas did little in the preseason to warrant his roster spot.
OL Sam Young: Miami needed as much help as it could get along the offensive line. Between drafting Laremy Tunsil and bringing a small army of veterans, Young was buried on the depth chart. Once the starting units seemed to start gelling, Young’s days were numbered.
TE Dominique Jones: Dominque Jones made a small contribution during the preseason. While playing against backups makes any player look good, blocking for a tight end is a necessity on NFL rosters. Miami already has a pair of blocking tight ends, so Jones was cut.
OL Jamil Douglas: A 4th round pick in last year’s draft, who never caught on. With Bushrod and Tunsil’s success, Douglas was on the chopping block. To no surprise, the team moved on.
WR Reshawn Scott: When Miami drafted Carroo and Grant, the roster spots became limited. Then Griff Whalen snuck out from out of the darkness and made an impact on the preseason. Whalen became the team’s sixth receiving option. Not too many teams carry more than that.
TE Thomas Duarte: Late draft picks are expected to be contributors on special teams if they can’t contribute right away. Thomas Duarte did neither of those two things. With Sims and Cameron locked in, there was only room for one tight end should Miami keep more than 2. Duarte didn’t make the cut.
OL Ulrick John: Another lineman who didn’t stand out enough to earn the team’s much-needed depth. Miami doesn’t have much room on their depth charts for underperforming. John might catch on elsewhere. There’s never a shortage of work for a lineman.
QB Zac Dysert: While Dysert enjoyed mild success in the preseason, the team drafted a backup quarterback late in this year’s draft. The decision to cut Dysert may have come from the success in preseason Brandon Doughty had. Doughty made an early impression in camp and the preseason. There’s still somewhat of a surprise that Dysert was let go.
DL Chris Jones: Jones’ cut was a product of four preseason games. He started off camp a hot commodity and cooled quickly late in camps. If the preseason was shorter, he might have had a chance. Ultimately Miami decided to move on.
DB Rashaan Melvin: Melvin struggled to find his footing on the Dolphins roster. Whether it was the system or talent, he never seemed to be up to game speed.
CB Chimdi Chekwa: Chekwa was penciled in at starter until getting hurt. Unfortunately for him, and fortunately for the team, Xavien Howard recovered fast and is seemingly on the fast track to a starting job.
DB Shamiel Gary: Safety was not one of the areas Miami was worried about. Gary would’ve been a long-shot to make the roster.
DL DeAndre Coleman: When you’re stuck behind names like Ndamukong Suh, Earl Mitchell, and Jordan Phillips, you have to be a star to make the roster. There was little room for failure that deep on the depth chart. Coleman was never a stand out player.
DE Cleyon Laing: Another victim of the depth chart. Cameron Wake, Mario Williams, Jason Jones, and Andre Branch all made an impact in Miami. Laing did not.
DE Jordan Williams: (See Laing)
CB Lafayette Pitts: Pitts would’ve been a long-shot to make the team if Xavien Howard didn’t get healthy. Then the Dolphins added a veteran, Chris Culver. Miami needs help at corner, but maybe they have a free agent in mind or waiting to see who else is cut around the league.
LB James Burgess: With Miami looking to upgrade the unit, Burgess stood a chance. However, with backups Hewitt and Paysinger making strides, Burgess was the odd man out. Unfortunately, he was another player who was quiet this preseason.
LB James-Michael Johnson: Miami must’ve liked what they saw out of Mike Hull. The final linebacker spot seems to have been granted to him. Johnson had some minor plays in camp and preseason but might have come down to special teams plays.
DB AJ Hendy: (see Shamiel Gary)
DE Cedric Reed: Reed was another d-lineman who was primarily for competition’s sake.The defensive line was one of Miami’s deepest units. Only a handful of players were trying to take one or two spots.
Miami’s cuts leaned towards the defensive side of the ball. The majority of cuts were a long shot to make the team. However, the shocker is Miami, for now, carrying five running backs on their roster. While that’s not the normal for most NFL teams, No Dolphins running back has stepped up and cemented their position as a clear favorite. The 53 man roster is set, for now. Let’s see who’s on the team when week one rolls into town. Teams will still be picking from the new crop of free agents. There’s still a long week to go.