Dolphins

Dolphins trim 22 players to reach 53-man limit, but more moves likely

 

bjackson@MiamiHerald.com

A day packed with personnel moves left the Dolphins with four quarterbacks, just three cornerbacks and a roster still very much under construction.

Miami jettisoned 22 players to reach the 53-man limit by Friday’s 9 p.m. deadline. But the Dolphins, far from done, are scouring the waiver wire for options at cornerback and receiver and possibly elsewhere.

To make a waiver claim on players who have less than four years of NFL experience, Miami would have the eighth pick in the waiver process, based on inverse order of 2011 records. Other players can sign with whichever team they choose.

“I think you can find [help],” coach Joe Philbin said. “Let’s say we claim four guys. Are you going to hit four for four? Probably not. Sometimes players become available and changes are made, and I’m sure things still have to be done here.”

It would be surprising if the Dolphins keep four quarterbacks for very long. The Dolphins reportedly are shopping Matt Moore, with Arizona, Green Bay and Denver potential targets, according to CBS.

“I’m not exactly sure how long that’s going to be,” Philbin said of keeping four. “It could be for a long time. I wouldn’t rule it out.”

David Garrard has been throwing and made progress this week in his recovery from knee surgery and hopes to be available for the first or second game. Pat Devlin also was retained, at least for now.

The contracts of Garrard ($2.25 million this season) and Moore ($2.75 million) won’t be guaranteed until Sept. 9, giving the Dolphins time to make a decision.

With Sean Smith, Richard Marshall and Nolan Carroll the only cornerbacks under contract, the Dolphins were considering several options, including veteran Rod Hood, who has 15 interceptions in eight seasons. He auditioned for Miami on Friday and was given a second medical exam, unlike the other cornerbacks who worked out: Drew Coleman and Donald Strickland.

Veteran cornerbacks who were released Friday who could emerge as options include Joselio Hanson, Drayton Florence, Alphonso Smith, Darius Butler and Jonathan Wilhite. The Dolphins released three young corners — Quinten Lawrence, Vincent Agnew and Kevyn Scott (injury settlement).

Philbin would not rule out moving safety Jimmy Wilson back to cornerback, adding, “Good common sense would tell you that would be an option.”

At receiver, the Dolphins had five under contract by the 9 p.m. deadline: Brian Hartline, Davone Bess, Legedu Naanee, Marlon Moore and Rishard Matthews. They released five others: Roberto Wallace, Clyde Gates, Jeff Fuller, Chris Hogan and B.J. Cunningham, with the last three all options for the practice squad.

The Dolphins hoped Gates, drafted in the fourth round of 2011, would develop into a reliable deep threat.

“Clyde showed some flashes, but the body of work he was able to present to us didn’t show enough value in terms of keeping him,” Philbin said. “He missed a bunch of practice.”

The Dolphins gave second medical exams to two receivers who worked out Friday: Donte’ Stallworth and ex-Florida A&M rookie Brian Tymes.

Among the receivers released Friday league-wide: Anthony Armstrong, Deion Branch, Rashied Davis, Maurice Stovall and former Packers practice squad players Diondre Borel and Tori Gurley.

A look at where the Dolphins stand at other positions:

•  Offensive line: The Dolphins kept nine. Lydon Murtha, who entered camp as the third tackle, was released after being sidelined by a foot injury the past week.

Also cut: Andrew McDonald (possibly bound for the practice squad), Will Barker, Ray Feinga and Chandler Burden.

Miami traded center Ryan Cook to Dallas for a seventh-round pick, opting instead to keep undrafted rookie Josh Samuda as the backup center. Will Yeatman, who was moved from tight end to tackle in July, also made the 53, for now.

•  Running back: The Dolphins surprisingly kept six: Reggie Bush, Daniel Thomas, Lamar Miller, Steve Slaton, Marcus Thigpen (who has emerged as the primary kickoff returner) and fullback Jorvorskie Lane. Philbin said he likes how Lane breaks tackles but “he didn’t do great blocking” against Dallas.

Slaton said the Dolphins told him there was nothing to a Friday Washington Times report that he would be traded to the Redskins for Armstrong, who was later released.

•  Tight end: Miami kept four: Anthony Fasano, Charles Clay, Jeron Mastrud and rookie Michael Egnew.

•  Defensive line (eight kept): The Dolphins kept rookie end Derrick Shelby and cut Jamaal Westerman, who had 31/2 sacks for the Jets last season, and also released Jarrell Root. At defensive tackle, the Dolphins chose to keep rookie seventh-round pick Kheeston Randall instead of veteran Ryan Baker and rookie Isaako Aaitui, who is expected to join the practice squad.

•  Linebacker (seven kept): Veteran Gary Guyton, who started 32 games for the Patriots over the past four years, was released, leaving Miami with Jason Trusnik, Austin Spitler, Jonathan Freeny and fifth-round rookie Josh Kaddu as its backup linebackers. Cameron Collins and Shelly Lyons also were released.

•  Safety: The Dolphins released Anderson Russell and kept four: Reshad Jones, Chris Clemons, Wilson and Tyrone Culver.

For now, the roster has 28 on offense, 22 on defense, plus kicker Dan Carpenter, punter Brandon Fields and long snapper John Denney.

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