Roster Cuts Preview

The Dolphins have to cut 22 players this weekend to get down to the roster limit of 53, and there will be some tough decisions that have to be made. We break down the Dolphins roster by position, and tell you what to expect.

QUARTERBACKS

Currently on the roster (4): Trent Green, Cleo Lemon, John Beck, Gibran Hamdan

Likely number on 53-man roster: 3

Who's in: Green, Lemon, Beck

Who's out: Hamdan

Who's on the bubble: Nobody

Analysis: This is a slam dunk, just like the specialists.

HALFBACKS

Currently on the roster (4): Ronnie Brown, Jesse Chatman, Lorenzo Booker, Patrick Cobbs

Likely number on 53-man roster: 3 or 4

Who's in: Brown, Chatman, Booker

Who's out: Nobody

Who's on the bubble: Cobbs

Analysis: On merit alone, Cobbs clearly deserves a spot on the team. He badly outplayed Booker in the preseason, but Booker is not going anywhere considering he was a third-round pick. So it will come down to whether the Dolphins feel comfortable carrying four halfbacks. Our best guess at this point is Cobbs makes it.

FULLBACKS

Currently on the roster (4): CORY Schlesinger, Reagan Mauia, Tim Massaquoi, Kyle Eckel

Likely number on 53-man roster: 1 or 2

Who's in: Schlesinger

Who's out: Massaquoi, Eckel

Who's on the bubble: Mauia

Analysis: The only question here is whether the Dolphins decide to keep two pure fullbacks. Massaquoi has a little bit of a chance because he can also play tight end, but we don't think he makes it. We think Mauia will.

TIGHT ENDS

Currently on the roster (4): David Martin, Justin Peelle, Aaron Halterman, Courtney Anderson

Likely number on 53-man roster: 2 or 3

Who's in: Martin, Peelle

Who's out: Nobody

Who's on the bubble: Halterman, Anderson

Analysis: This may come down to whether the Dolphins prefer a blocker (Halterman) or a pass catcher (Anderson) as their third tight end. We go with Anderson.

WIDE RECEIVERS

Currently on the roster (8): Chris Chambers, Marty Booker, Ted Ginn Jr., Derek Hagan, Az-Zahir Hakim, Kerry Reed, P.K. Sam, Michael Malone

Likely number on 53-man roster: 4 or 5

Who's in: Chambers, Booker, Ginn, Hagan

Who's out: Malone

Who's on the bubble: Hakim, Reed, Sam

Analysis: Much like Lorenzo Booker, Hagan might not have a spot on the team if he weren't a year removed from being a third-round pick. It's also a testament to the lack of depth at the position. That's why it's conceivable the Dolphins could keep only four at the position. For now, we'll go with Hakim as the fifth because of his experience.

OFFENSIVE LINE

Currently on the roster (13): Vernon Carey, Chris Liwienski, Samson Satele, Rex Hadnot, Anthony Alabi, L.J. Shelton, Drew Mormino, Johnathan Ingram, Tala Esera, Julius Wilson, Marquay Love, Dan Stevenson, Stephen Parker

Likely number on 53-man roster: 8 or 9

Who's in: Carey, Liwienski, Satele, Hadnot, Alabi, Shelton, Mormino

Who's out: Love, Stevenson, Parker

Who's on the bubble: Esera, Ingram, Wilson

Analysis: Again, depth is a concern here and there could be one or two guys who will make the roster this year who wouldn't have a shot in other years. Cam Cameron likes versatility in his offensive linemen, and that gives Esera and Ingram an edge. Wilson once looked like a good bet to make the team, but he played himself off the roster the last two weeks. So make it Esera and Ingram as the last two.

DEFENSIVE LINE

Currently on the roster (12): Jason Taylor, Matt Roth, Keith Traylor, Vonnie Holliday, Akbar Gbaja-Biamila, Chase Page, Rodrique Wright, Paul Soliai, Mkristo Bruce, Jorge Cordova, Steve Fifita, Brian Soi

Likely number on 53-man roster: 8 or 9

Who's in: Taylor, Roth, Traylor, Holliday, Gbaja-Biamila, Page, Wright, Soliai

Who's out: Bruce, Cordova, Soi

Who's on the bubble: Fifita

Analysis: The Dolphins appear pretty set here, and it will come down to whether they carry eight or nine D-linemen. We say they go with eight.

LINEBACKERS

Currently on the roster (10): Zach Thomas, Channing Crowder, Joey Porter, Robert McCune, Derrick Pope, Donnie Spragan, Kelvin Smith, Edmond Miles, Jim Maxwell, Abraham Wright

Likely number on 53-man roster: 6 or 7

Who's in: Thomas, Crowder, Porter, Pope,

Who's out: Nobody

Who's on the bubble: Spragan, Smith, Miles, Maxwell, Wright

Analysis: This easily is the most contested roster battle on the team because the Dolphins have a lot of good-looking young players here. That's why Spragan, a versatile veteran who started last year, is no lock to make the team. In fact, we think he'll wind up getting edged out by McCune, Smith and Miles. But this spot is really, really tough to call.

DEFENSIVE BACKS

Currently on the roster (13): Will Allen, Travis Daniels, Yeremiah Bell, Renaldo Hill, Andre' Goodman, Michael Lehan, Jason Allen, Travares Tillman, Cameron Worrell, Geoff Pope, Courtney Bryan, Tuff Harris

Likely number on 53-man roster: 9 or 10

Who's in: Will Allen, Daniels, Bell, Hill, Goodman, Lehan, Jason Allen, Tillman, Worrell

Who's out: Pope, Bryan

Who's on the bubble: Harris

Analysis: This is pretty set unless the Dolphins wind up putting Goodman on reserve/PUP for the first six weeks of the season, in which case Harris would sneak his way onto the roster.

SPECIALISTS

Currently on the roster (3): K Jay Feely, P Brandon Fields, LS John Denney

Likely number on 53-man roster: 3

Who's in: Feely, Fields, Denney

Who's out: Nobody

Who's on the bubble: Nobody

Analysis: This was a given a while ago.


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Alain Poupart is the Associate Editor of Dolphin Digest and DolphinDigest.com. To read him every day, visit DolphinDigest.com and become a Miami Dolphins insider.