Breaking Down the Roster Moves

The Dolphins have been busy the last couple of days tweaking their personnel, both on the 53-man roster and on the practice squad. There was no move, however, as interesting as the one involving the release of veteran wide receiver Jabar Gaffney.

Coming off consecutive seasons where he set new career high in receptions, first with 65 for Denver in 2010 and then with 68 for Washington last year, Gaffney was expected to give the Dolphins' much-maligned wide receiver corps a boost when he was signed in October.

Instead, he barely registered a blip.

Gaffney lasted six games on the active roster but appeared in only three, first because of problems picking up the offense and later because of a knee injury.

When he did play, Gaffney had only four catches for 68 yards in those three appearances — one against the Jets, two against Indianapolis and one against Tennessee.

We hardly ever noticed he was on the team.

The problem? Probably nothing other than unrealistic expectations. While he put up solid numbers the last two years, Gaffney really never has been a front-line wide receiver. On top of that, he was coming off a leg injury and he's also about to turn 32.

His departure means that Rishard Matthews or Marlon Moore now will step up to take over as the third wide receiver, and based on what we saw last Thursday at Buffalo, the guess here is that it will be Matthews.

To take Gaffney's spot, the Dolphins claimed tight end Kyle Miller off waivers from Indianapolis.

A first-year player out of Division III powerhouse Mount Union, Miller made his NFL debut this past Sunday in the Colts' 59-24 blowout loss at New England but didn't catch a pass.

Miller should be viewed at this point as strictly a developmental player, although the Dolphins do have a need for a second blocking tight end these days with Jeron Mastrud missing the last two games with a hamstring injury. At 6-5, 260, Miller definitely has the size to help out as an extra blocker.

The Dolphins now have five tight ends on the roster, but Charles Clay is more of an H-back type and Michael Egnew never was considered a top blocker at Missouri.

The other move involving the active roster on Wednesday was the signing of guard Ryan Durand, a second-year player from Syracuse.

Durand fills the roster spot that had been open since the day before the Tennessee game, but we're not quite sure what to make of that one.

The Dolphins now have nine offensive linemen on the roster, with Josh Samuda, Nate Garner, Will Yeatman and Durand as the backups.

On top of that, the one practice squad transaction this week involved adding yet another offensive lineman, tackle Jeff Adams.

The rookie from Columbia becomes the third O-lineman on the practice squad, joining Chandler Burden and Andrew McDonald.

That means that 12 of the Dolphins' 63 roster spots, including practice squad, belong to offensive linemen — a pretty high ratio.

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