The Miami Dolphins wasted no time to begin the blood letting this weekend. The NFL's first roster cut deadline is Monday at 4pm Eastern time, when rosters must shrink from 90 to 75. The Dolphins got a head start on that today, releasing 10 players to reach 78 total players remaining on the roster. The team will have to release three more players before the deadline.
The team has officially released defensive tackle Chas Alecxih, tight end Les Brown, cornerback Marcus Brown, cornerback Trent Hughes, safety Tyrell Johnson, linebacker Josh Linam, running back Jerome Messam, defensive end Jacquies Smith, and cornerback Jonathan Wade. The team also placed running back Jonas Gray on the Physically Unable to Perform - Non-Football Injury list.
The surprises out of the first groups of cuts were Les Brown and Alecxih. Brown has become a major story line in HBO's Hard Knocks: Training Camp with the Miami Dolphins as he attempted to make his way back to football after five years or pursuing basketball. While he was never really a threat to crack the 53-man roster, his raw skills had made him a possible practice squad player. But, being cut in the first round of roster reductions is not a good sign for Brown. He is now free to explore job possibilities with other teams, and he could still come back to Miami's practice squad, but this could also be the end of the line for a player who coaches enjoyed having on the team.
Alecxih was another player who was thought to be practice squad material. Like Brown, he could end up back with the Dolphins', but he has the raw skills to catch on with some other team this preseason. He's not ready to start, or even get regular playing time, but he can still develop as a defensive tackle.
With the first round of cuts officially starting, look for the Dolphins to start searching the acorns released for some depth players. Essentially the Dolphins, and the NFL as a whole, will use this as a "mini-free agency" period. We'l have to wait to see who gets cuts off other teams, and if the Dolphins have any interest in anyone.
[Hat tip to texascowpunk]