Breaking Down the Murphy Move

The Dolphins didn't make any deals before the trading deadline passed on Tuesday, but they did make a roster move by signing tackle Lydon Murtha off the Lions practice squad and waiving guard Shawn Murphy. We take a look at what those transactions mean.

The signing of Murtha, who's 6-7, 315, tells you the Dolphins continue to look to improve the offensive line, particularly when it comes to adding depth.

But the significance of the move is in the release of Murphy, who was drafted in the fourth round of the 2008 draft.

What the release proves, in case some Dolphins fans didn't already know it, is that as talented as Bill Parcells and Jeff Ireland might be when it comes to evaluating talent, nobody is perfect. And they clearly missed the boat on Murphy.

Murphy wasn't considered much of a prospect before the Dolphins selected him rather high in the 2008 draft, and he ended up being inactive for all 21 games of his Miami tenure.

Murphy was a small-school prospect from Utah State, and he wasn't invited to the scouting combine, meaning the NFL didn't think he was going to get drafted. That he was drafted in the fourth round seemed like a reach in the first place, but to give up on him this early is quite an admission.

The problem with Murphy, in addition to not facing top-level competition in college, was that he wasn't physically strong enough to play at the NFL level.

Here's the other point that needs to be taken from his release: Don't read anything into who's practicing where in training camp.

Remember that while Donald Thomas was continuing to rehab from his offseason chest injury, Murphy was taking reps with the first-team offensive line. All of a sudden, we started reading stories of his amazing turnaround in one season and how he could wind up being a surprise starter.

Well, not only did Murphy not get the starting job, he never made it to the active list and now he's gone.

Moral of the story: Tony Sparano will use different combinations at different positions to see what guys can and will do against better players, and no more should be read into that.

It's the same thing we saw this summer with rookie Brian Hartline lining up with the first-team offense for a couple of preseason game but Greg Camarillo getting the nod for the opener at Atlanta.


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