Analysis: Breaking down the roster cuts

It's not really going out on a limb to say the release of veteran tight end David Martin was the most eye-opening move made by the Dolphins on Saturday, but it was far from the only one. Keeping in mind that the roster very well may change in the days right before and right after the opener at Buffalo, here is one man's take of the Dolphins' moves.

QUARTERBACK

On the 53-man roster (3): Chad Henne, Chad Pennington, Tyler Thigpen

Released: Pat White

Analysis: This was one of the easiest positions to predict. The only question is whether another team in the league will give White a shot.

RUNNING BACK

On the 53-man roster (5): Ronnie Brown, Ricky Williams, Patrick Cobbs, Lex Hilliard, Lousaka Polite

Released: Rolly Lumbala

Analysis: Another easy position to predict. Lumbala actually didn't look bad during his audition with the Dolphins, but he had no shot to unseat Lousaka Polite at fullback.

WIDE RECEIVER

On the 53-man roster (5): Brandon Marshall, Davone Bess, Brian Hartline, Roberto Wallace, Marlon Moore

Released: Patrick Turner, Julius Pruitt

Analysis: Turner getting released certainly was an eye-opener, particularly with Wallace beating him out. The fact that Turner doesn't really play special teams wound up costing him a roster spot. This will go down as a wasted third-round pick. Yuck!

TIGHT END

On the 53-man roster (2): Anthony Fasano, John Nalbone

Released: David Martin

Analysis: That one is a shocker. It's been suggested that Martin was released so the Dolphins wouldn't have to guarantee him his salary for the full season by being on the roster in the first game, but he was scheduled to make $755,000 in base salary, which is not huge money. Nothing against Nalbone, but we saw him drop a lot of passes in camp and just don't understand him being kept. This is one position where we can easily see the Dolphins doing something else before long.

OFFENSIVE LINE

On the 53-man roster (9): Jake Long, Richie Incognito, Jake Grove, John Jerry, Vernon Carey, Joe Berger, Cory Procter, Pat McQuistan, Lydon Murtha

Released: Ray Feinga, Andrew Gardner, Andrew Hartline, Donald Thomas

Analysis: The one surprising name here is Donald Thomas, but then again he seemed to become an afterthought along the offensive line as training camp moved on. Hartline's release is another indication not to read too much in who lines up with the first team during training camp. Maybe Murtha being kept qualifies as a bit of a surprise, but the big move here clearly was the one involving Thomas.

DEFENSIVE LINE

On the 53-man roster (7): Kendall Langford, Randy Starks, jared Odrick, Paul Soliai, Marques Douglas, Tony McDaniel, Charles Grant

Released: Montavious Stanley, Lionel Dotson, Ryan Baker

Analysis: Nothing surprising here. It's been suggested that the Dolphins will look to replace Grant and Douglas because of their age, but they're still productive players. On an off-the-field note, it's sad to see Baker go because he's a great guy.

LINEBACKER

On the 53-man roster (9): Karlos Dansby, Channing Crowder, Cameron Wake, Ikaika Alama-Francis, Koa Misi, Charlie Anderson, Quentin Moses, Tim Dobbins, Micah Johnson

Released: Austin Spitler, J.D. Folsom, Chris McCoy, Erik Walden

Analysis: The only real suspense here was whether the Dolphins would keep Walden, a very good special teams player, or Moses as the ninth linebacker. Moses being the choice might quality as a mild upset. Micah Johnson might be a surprise to some fans, but the Dolphins were going to keep four inside linebackers, and Johnson clearly looks like a better player than either Spitler or Folsom.

DEFENSIVE BACK

On the 53-man roster (10): Vontae Davis, Sean Smith, Yeremiah Bell, Chris Clemons, Will Allen, Jason Allen, Nolan Carroll, Benny Sapp, Tyrone Culver, Reshad Jones

Released: Nate Ness, Jonathon Amaya, Kevin Hobbs, Ross Weaver

Analysis: Absolutely nothing surprising here. The Dolphins needed to keep 10 DBs because of Will Allen's injury and nobody released was a big name. Some might think Nate Ness was a surprise because he got a lot of publicity after the first preseason game, but it was one game against Tampa Bay's backups.

SPECIALISTS

On the 53-man roster (3): Dan Carpenter, Brandon Fields, John Denney

Released: Nobody

Analysis: Does there need to be one? The Dolphins had only one punter, one kicker and one long-snapper on the roster.


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