Miami Dolphins

Why the Dolphins cut Nkemdiche, plus when will Miami’s highest-paid player return?

If there’s not a place for Robert Nkemdiche on the Miami Dolphins, is there a place for him in the NFL?

The Dolphins moved on from the former first-round pick Tuesday, cutting the defensive tackle after just 18 snaps. He earned roughly a quarter-million dollars during his time in Miami, according to Spotrac.

So it’s fair to wonder: Does Nkemdiche have a future in professional sports? He washed out in Arizona after just three seasons because of injury, fitness and off-field issues.

And the Dolphins saw enough from him in only two games to make a move — despite patiently waiting six weeks for him to come off the physically unable to perform list.

NFL Network reported Tuesday that “tardiness was a bit of an issue” with Nkemdiche, although did not say that was the reason the Dolphins moved on.

Dolphins coach Brian Flores pushed back on that narrative Wednesday when asked why the Dolphins cut Nkemdiche.

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“I like Robert Nkemdiche,” Flores said. “He’s a hard-working kid. We needed to make a change in our roster. It just didn’t work out. He worked hard. There’s things floating around about his behavior, and those aren’t true. This is a good kid. I liked him a lot and want to wish him the best.”

In his four-year career, Nkemdiche has 44 tackles and 4 1/2 sacks. He has earned $7.3 million over that time.

Jones update

Speaking of well-compensated athletes, the Dolphins’ highest-paid player has appeared in less than half of the teams’ games this year. Reshad Jones is working through a chest injury after missing two weeks with an ankle issue earlier in the season.

Jones participated in Wednesday’s practice padded in at least a limited basis, and the Dolphins are hopeful he will play Sunday against the Colts.

“He’s getting closer,” Flores said. “He’s getting a lot closer. We’ll see. We’ve got a chance this week. He’s doing everything he can to get back out there. He practiced last week. Hopefully we’ll see a little more of him. It’s still early in the week, so no decisions have been made yet. Hopefully we can get him out there. We could use him, that’s for sure.”

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Adam Beasley has covered the Dolphins for the Miami Herald since 2012, and has worked for the newspaper since 2006. He is a graduate of Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Communications and has written about sports professionally since 1996.
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