Insiders Analysis: The Wednesday NFL moves

Free agency is right around the corner and the cap purge began with some big names on Wednesday. Four names on the list were Dolphins players who will be looking for jobs with new teams very soon. Could any of the released players, including the former Dolphins, be of interest to Miami?

DOLPHINS - Released OT Damion McIntosh, CBs Reggie Howard and Sam Madison, and S Tebucky Jones.

Analysis: Some point to a recent off-the-field issue as part of McIntosh's release. Fact is, he was an underachiever and not up to starting caliber for a left tackle. He would be best suited as depth for a team, not a starter.

Howard turned out to be a major free agent bust for the team and got relegated to a dime role at one point last season. He'll find a roster somewhere in a backup capacity.

The signs were there in recent seasons that Madison wasn't the player that he once was, plus he was making too much money ($3.4 million in base salary).

Dolphins Interest: It's difficult to envision the Dolphins bringing back Howard under any circumstances, but the other three could be brought back at the right price if better alternatives aren't found elsewhere. But McIntosh will be looking to start somewhere and the Dolphins want someone better at left tackle.

BILLS - Released TE Mark Campbell, DT Sam Adams, and S Lawyer Milloy.

Analysis: Campbell wasn't a surprise as new offensive coordinator Steve Fairchild will run a version of the Rams offense, which didn't use the tight end position much. The team is hoping that second-year TE Kevin Everett will be a major contributor at the position.

Adams was at odds with the team over playing time/role last year so the move to release him was expected. The team is very light on talent and depth at the position so look for that position to be addressed in the draft.

Milloy was the one surprise as there wasn't a strong indication that he was going to be released. He should find a starting job elsewhere. For now, backup S Coy Wire, whose job Milloy took in the first place, steps back in with the first team defense.

Dolphins Interest: Adams is the type of plugger in the middle of the defense that Nick Saban loves, but he's already got Keith Traylor to fill that role. At the right price, Milloy could be of interest because he's still a quality player and the Dolphins already have released Tebucky Jones and Lance Schulters is a free agent.

BRONCOS - Released RB Mike Anderson, TE Jeb Putzier, and DL Trevor Pryce.

Analysis: Anderson was a minor surprise but, believe it or not, the team believes veteran RB Ron Dayne could have a major role in the running game next season along with RB Tatum Bell. This move gives credence that they were interested in trading for RB Ricky Williams.

As for Putzier, scout.com noted at the NFL Combine that the team was leaning toward not picking up his roster bonus and that's essentially what happened. They'll look for a more complete player who blocks better. Still, Putzier is a terrific athlete who is a good fit for a West Coast offense.

It isn't as though Pryce was very old (turns 31 in August) but his play waned in recent seasons and he was part of a deep defensive line rotation so he became expendable. Still, the versatile veteran can play inside or outside and should find interest in free agency.

Dolphins Interest: Pryce is a top-notch defensive end, although his play has slipped a little the last two seasons and he's also spent his career in a 4-3. So he doesn't seem to be a great fit for the Dolphins. Mike Anderson would be of interest only if Ricky Williams' league suspension sticks and he's unavailable in 2006 or the Dolphins trade him, which will be more difficult now regardless of how his situation plays out.

BROWNS - Re-signed UFA DL Orpheus Roye and signed DT Ethan Kelley to a one-year extension.

Analysis: Roye proved to be a terrific fit for head coach Romeo Crennel's version of the 3-4 defense and Roye put up career tackle numbers. At 32 years old, he should have at least two good years left.

While he won't ever be an All-Pro, Kelley is a young player with a little upside and has extensive experience in Crennel's defense as the two were with the Patriots together. Kelley will be used in a rotational basis again, which is the best role for him.

BUCCANEERS - Re-signed RFA QB Chris Simms.

Analysis: Unable to get him signed to an extension, the Bucs were still able to get him under contract for another season and it's not out of the question they get him signed longer should a CBA get done soon.

JAGUARS - Re-signed UFA DL Rob Meier and RFA LB Tony Gilbert.

Analysis: The versatile Meier is a good rotational player that can give the starters a breather inside or outside.

Gilbert is one of their best special teams players, plus he backs up starting MLB Mike Peterson.

PANTHERS - Released RB Stephen Davis, RB Rod Smart, DT Brenston Buckner.

Analysis: The Davis moves comes as no surprise (was set to make $1.85 million) as the team is hoping second-year RB Eric Shelton can take over at least the short-yardage role. Davis is clearly at the end of the line and probably will only play another year if that.

Smart is a decent special teams player but the team was deep at running back and he wasn't really needed.

The team is high on young defensive tackles Jordan Carstens and Kindal Moorehead, so Buckner and his $1.85 million salary became expendable. The team badly wants to re-sign UFA WLB Will Witherspoon so Buckner's cap space should help.

Dolphins Interest: Davis has a lot of mileage on him, so the Dolphins probably would have no interest. Smart also has no appeal because the Dolphins already have a good of backup running backs who are good on special teams in Sammy Morris and Travis Minor. As for Buckner, he's a capable player, but the Dolphins might want to see what they've got at defensive tackle in 2005 draft picks Kevin Vickerson and Manuel Wright.

RAVENS - Re-signed RFA TE Daniel Wilcox to a three-year extension.

Analysis: Wilcox is a nice story and finally found a home as one of their key backup players on offense.


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