NFL rules mandate the Dolphins slice their roster from 90 players to 53 by 4 p.m. Saturday.
The Dolphins made one surprising cut Saturday morning, releasing linebacker Deon Lacey, the former CFL player who had shown potential on special teams.
But Lacey was victimized a couple of times in pass coverage in Thursday’s preseason finale at Minnesota.
Also among Saturday’s early cuts: long snapper Winston Chapman. That means John Denney will be Miami’s long snapper for a 13th consecutive season.
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Also released: Defensive end Praise Martin-Oguike, the rookie from Temple.
They got a head-start on the process Friday, when they waived or released at least eight players: punter Matt Darr; defensive linemen Julius Warmsley, Nick Williams and Lawrence Okoye; cornerback Larry Hope; linebacker Junior Sylvestre; offensive lineman Avery Young; and wide receiver Rashad Lawrence.
Receiver Mitch Matthews also reportedly has been released.
Updates to come throughout the day. In the meantime, check out Armando Salguero’s mock 53-man roster.
11:29 A.M. UPDATE: Two 2016 draft picks, quarterback Brandon Doughty and safety Jordan Lucas, have been waived. Both are strong candidates for practice squad if they clear waivers.
Tackle Sean Hickey has also been let go.
Receiver Drew Morgan faded in training camp after an excellent spring, and as a result, he’s been cut. Fellow wideout Malcolm Lewis has as well.
11:45 A.M. UPDATE: Defensive back Lafayette Pitts, who appeared in the Dolphins’ playoff loss to the Steelers back in January, has also been a roster casualty. Another strong candidate for practice squad.
Meanwhile, this is as good a time as any to remind you that we’ve already reported that both Ted Larsen and Neville Hewitt are destined for injured reserve. Larsen will be designated to return; Hewitt might as well.
12:03 P.M. UPDATE: Some non-Dolphins news that could interest the Dolphins: linebackers Kelvin Sheppard and Jelani Jenkins both look like they’ll be available. Each played for Miami in recent years; neither is expected to survive cut-down day. Both could be an option for Miami going forward.
12:22 P.M. UPDATE: Add Joby Saint-Fleur to the list of defensive linemen cut by the Dolphins.
12:55 P.M. UPDATE: David Fales’ excellent game in Thursday’s preseason finale was not enough to convince the Dolphins to keep a third quarterback. They’ll go with two — Jay Cutler and Matt Moore. But Fales could draw interest elsewhere after a strong preseason. Fales completed 27 of 54 passes for 424 yards with five touchdowns and an interception — a passer rating of 99.6.
1:27 P.M. UPDATE: Brad Kaaya skipped his senior year at Miami to enter the NFL Draft. We can now all agree that decision was a mistake, right? Kaaya was cut by the Lions, ESPN first reported.
1:34 P.M. UPDATE: Instead of IR’ing Hewitt, which would have ended his season, they cut him, which allows them to bring him back if and when he’s healthy. The linebacker had been dealing with a shoulder injury since the second week of training camp and still appeared to be a ways off from returning.
Rashawn Scott, meanwhile, will start the season on the physically unable to perform list. He hurt his foot back in the spring and only recently came out of a walking boot.
2:27 P.M. UPDATE: Maurice “Mo” Smith has been a consistently impressive under-the-radar rookie free agent this summer. Smith’s camp has been led to believe that the 6-foot, 197-pound safety has made the Dolphins’ 53-man roster.
3:02 P.M. UPDATE: Add running back Storm Johnson to the list of cuts. He was clearly behind Sinorise Perry in the race to for the Dolphins’ fourth running back job (assuming they keep that many). Perry had not been notified of his status as of this moment.
3:14 P.M. UPDATE: Another member of the Class of 2016 goes down. Thomas Duarte has also been cut, joining Lucas and Doughty. All three could end up on the practice squad.
3:31 P.M. UPDATE: One Dolphin on the bubble who got good news Saturday: cornerback Torry McTyer, a rookie out of UNLV. He beat out Pitts and Lucas, among others, and made the 53-man roster.
3:57 P.M. UPDATE: Defensive lineman Cameron Malveaux has been waived.
4:03 P.M. UPDATE: The NFL deadline has come and gone, and safety Michael Thomas, linebacker Trevor Reilly, running back Sinorise Perry, center Jake Brendel and tackle Eric Smith are all on the right side of the 53-man roster. None was cut Saturday.
4:21 P.M. UPDATE: Another rookie free agent to win a job: linebacker Chase Allen. He’s on the roster. The brings the number of rookie free agents to survive cut-down day to at least five: Allen, McTyer, the two Smiths and punter Matt Haack.
4:34 P.M. UPDATE: The Dolphins’ full list of roster moves has been released. Along with what we previously reported, here are the rest of Miami’s cuts: tackle Sam Young, guard Isame Faciane, receiver Trey Griffey, safety A.J. Hendy, tight end Chris Pantale, running back De’Veon Smith and wide receiver Damore’ea Stringfellow.
Linebacker Brandon Watts was waived/injured. Cornerback Tony Lippett and linebacker Raekwon McMillan were both placed on injured reserve.