The Miami Dolphins made 34 moves to trim their roster to the NFL-mandated 53 players. Here’s a closer look at the final moves:
Most significant move: There were no major surprises among Miami’s cuts. But it is notable the team is moving on from a trio of players from its 2016 draft class. Defensive back Jordan Lucas, tight end Thomas Duarte and backup quarterback Brandon Doughty were all late-round picks for the Dolphins a year ago. Lucas hung around on the active roster, while Duarte bounced back and forth between active and the practice squad. Doughty was active for one game last season and spent the rest of the year on Miami’s practice squad. The Dolphins worked a lot on developing these young players but decided not to keep them on the active roster. Despite the cuts, this trio is eligible for the practice squad if they go unclaimed.
Change at punter: For the second time in three seasons, the Dolphins decided to go in another direction at punter. The team kept undrafted rookie Matt Haack over Matt Darr, who had been Miami’s punter the past two seasons. The two had been in a close battle throughout training camp and the preseason, with Haack outperforming Darr in the end. The move also saved Miami about $150,000. In 2015, Darr beat out longtime veteran Brandon Fields for the punting job.
Youth in secondary: The Dolphins infused some youth in the secondary by keeping a pair of undrafted rookies. Cornerback Torry McTyer and safety Maurice Smith were considered longshots when they arrived in the spring. But both rookies were consistent throughout training camp and the preseason, while also contributing on special teams. The Dolphins rewarded them by keeping them on the 53-man roster. They have some issues with depth in the secondary after losing cornerback Tony Lippett for the year with an Achilles injury and safety T.J. McDonald for eight games due to a suspension.
Released (29): P Matt Darr, LB Neville Hewitt, LS Winston Chapman, QB Brandon Doughty, TE Thomas Duarte, G Isame Faciane, QB David Fales, WR Trey Griffey, S A.J. Hendy, OT Sean Hickey, CB Larry Hope, RB Storm Johnson, LB Deon Lacey, WR Rashad Lawrence, WR Malcolm Lewis, CB Jordan Lucas, DE Cameron Malveaux, DE Praise Martin-Oguike, WR Mitch Mathews, WR Drew Morgan, DT Lawrence Okoye, TE Chris Pantale, CB Lafayette Pitts, DE Joby Saint Fleur, RB De’Veon Smith, WR Damore’ea Stringfellow, LB Junior Sylvestre, DE Julius Warmsley, OT Avery Young
Waived/injured (2): LB Neville Hewitt, LB Brandon Watts
Injured reserve (2): CB Tony Lippett, LB Raekwon McMillan
Physically unable to perform list: WR Rashawn Scott