Cutdown preview

The Dolphins, like every other team in the NFL, will have to start cutting their roster by next Tuesday. The first cut is to 65, but that does not include NFL Europe exemptions, of which the Dolphins have 10. We now examine the Dolphins roster and the possible cuts that will be coming not only next Tuesday, but also the following Sunday.

Quarterbacks

Currently on the roster (4): Brock Berlin, A.J. Feeley, Gus Frerotte, Sage Rosenfels

Analysis: Barring a shocker, Berlin is the odd man out here, although it might not happen until the final cut to 53.

Running backs

Currently on the roster: Ronnie Brown, Heath Evans, Lamar Gordon, Kay-Jay Harris, Jamar Martin, Travis Minor, Sammy Morris, Ricky Williams

Analysis: The Dolphins probably will keep five, but keep in mind that Williams won't count against the 53-man roster during his four-game suspension at the beginning of the season. Brown, Evans, Morris and Williams appear to be the locks here, so it's going to come down to Gordon or Minor. Gordon is the better pure running back, but Minor can do more things and that's why we see him eventually winning out. Martin's lack of pass-catching ability is going to hurt him, while Harris simply will lose the numbers battle. He might get cut on Tuesday.

Wide receiver

Currently on the roster (10): Marty Booker, David Boston, Chris Chambers, Josh Davis, Danny Farmer, Bryan Gilmore, Maurice Mann, Kendall Newson, Derrius Thompson, Wes Welker

Analysis: The Dolphins will keep five here, and Chambers, Booker, Welker are locks. At this point, it would be a big surprise if the other two weren't Boston and Gilmore. Newson is headed to IR, while Farmer, Davis and Mann are candidates to get cut Tuesday.

Tight ends

Currently on the roster (5): Lorenzo Diamond, Alex Holmes, Donald Lee, Randy McMichael, Jason Rader

Analysis: The Dolphins might keep only two here because long-snapper Ed Perry can fill in on an emergency basis. McMichael obviously is a given, while Diamond has moved ahead of Lee. On the first cut, Rader is the most likely to go.

Offensive line

Currently on the roster (17): Anthony Alabi, Vernon Carey, Damion Cook, Alonzo Ephraim, Rex Hadnot, Jeno James, Stockar McDougle, Damion McIntosh, Seth McKinney, Frank Middleton, Rodney Reed, Wade Smith, John St. Clair, Jason Thomas, Orrin Thompson, Taylor Whitley, Eric Wilson

Analysis: This is going to be fun. The Dolphins figure to keep nine at this position, and the locks or near-locks are Carey, Hadnot, James, McDougle, McIntosh, McKinney and St. Clair. That leaves the other guys to fight for two spots. Wade Smith might be a candidate for PUP, and the most likely to get cut in the first cutdown date are Reed, Thompson and Wilson.

Defensive line

Currently on the roster (15): David Bowens, Kevin Carter, Larry Chester, Vonnie Holliday, Reggie Rhodes, Dario Romero, Matt Roth, Josh Shaw, Chris Solomona, Jason Taylor, Keith Traylor, Kevin Vickerson, Manuel Wright, Jeff Zgonina

Analysis: The Dolphins probably will keep eight or nine here, and Bowens, Carter, Holliday, Roth, Taylor and Traylor are the givens. Chester will either make the team or start the season on PUP. Wright and Vickerson probably will make the team because they have too much potential to give up on them at this point. In the first cut, you can look for Solomona and perhaps Rhodes to be let go.

Linebackers

Currently on the roster (10): Brendon Ayanbadejo, Channing Crowder, Jason Glenn, Corey Jenkins, Eddie Moore, Derrick Pope, Junior Seau, Donnie Spragan, Winston Taylor, Zach Thomas

Analysis: The top five of Thomas, Seau, Spragan, Crowder and Glenn appears pretty safe, and we're guessing Pope also will have a spot on the team. Beyond that, it's too close to call. In the first cutdown, we're seeing Winston Taylor getting released.

Defensive backs

Currently on the roster (16): Yeremiah Bell, Tony Bua, Travis Daniels, Mario Edwards, Deandre Eiland, Ray Green, Reggie Howard, Jack Hunt, Tebucky Jones, Sam Madison, Shirdonya Mitchell, Billy Parker, Will Poole, Kris Richard, Lance Schulters, Travares Tillman

Analysis: Make that number 14 because both Poole and Mitchell will go on some sort of injury list. The Dolphins probably will keep 9 or 10 here, and the locks appear to be Bell, Daniels, Jones, Madison and Schulters. In the first cut, we can see Green being let go and the same could happen to 2004 fifth-round pick Tony Bua, who has had a hard time readjusting to safety after playing linebacker as a rookie.

Specialists

Currently on the roster (5): John Denney, Donnie Jones, Olindo Mare, Ed Perry, Matt Turk

Analysis: Denney has no shot at beating out Perry for the long-snapper job and he very well might go Tuesday. As far as the punting job is concerned, Turk still appears to be leading Jones, but we're thinking Nick Saban won't make a move here until the final cutdown.


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