Analyzing Monday's Moves

NFL teams have eight more days to get down to 75 players in preparation for the final roster cuts of Sept. 5, but the Dolphins got a head start on Monday when they were busy with several moves. We break down the moves and their ramifications.

First, let us run down the moves:

The Dolphins waived the following four players: RB Anthony Kimble, LB Orion Martin, LB Tearrius George, NT Joe Cohen; they waived/injured WR Chris Williams; and they terminated the contract of WR/TE Ernest Wilford.

Finally, the Dolphins also have traded two offensive linemen, Andy Alleman and Ikechuku Ndukwe, to Kansas City for an undisclosed 2010 draft pick.

We'll start with the trade.

The Dolphins likely will keep eight or nine offensive linemen on their 53-man roster, but besides the five starters — Jake Long, Justin Smiley, Jake Grove, Donald Thomas and Vernon Carey — the only sure thing at this point appears to be Joe Berger.

That means that there were two or three other openings. Before they were traded, Alleman and Ndukwe were competing with the following five players: Mark Lewis, Andrew Gardner, Nate Garner, Shawn Murphy and Brandon Frye.

From this vantage point, Alleman had a good chance of making the team, while Ndukwe didn't show enough as a starter at right guard last year after Thomas was injured or at tackle this offseason to have made the team.

By trading Alleman, the Dolphins basically are saying there wasn't much separation between him and the other candidates.

With him gone, look for the other three spots to go to Murphy, Gardner and Frye.

Now, the Wilford move.

Really, this can't be seen as a surprise. He was a bust as a wide receiver last year after signing a four-year deal as a free agent, so the Dolphins decided to take a look at him at tight end this summer.

It's not an easy transition to make, and Wilford's blocking wasn't nearly impressive enough for him to make much of an impact. And we already know about his inconsistency as a receiver.

Add to that the fact the Dolphins drafted a tight end this year (John Nalbone) and all three of their tight ends returning from last year, and it was clear that Wilford always was a long shot to make the team.

The only thing that might have saved him was the cap hit the Dolphins will take for letting him go. From a pure football standpoint, though, this move was expected — and made sense.

The four players waived really had no shot to make the roster, and Williams sealed his fate when he let a punt bounce off his facemask against Carolina Saturday night.

He was waived/injured (we don't know the nature of his injury) and will revert to injured reserve once he clears waivers.

Williams is a player with some ability, but he couldn't afford to make mistakes while returning kicks and also had to show game-breaking ability. In the end, he simply dropped the ball.


Dolphins Report Top Stories