The NFL completed the massive cutting of around 700 players last night, with the majority of those hitting the waiver wire. Every team in the league is able to put in a waiver claim on any of the players, with the rights to each player being awarded in the pre-trades order of the first round of the NFL draft back in April (i.e., the Miami Dolphins have the eighth priority). With those claims in mind, here are some of the big names that are available today - and players that could be possible targets for the Dolphins.
The biggest name available is former New England Patriots wide receiver Deion Branch. The wide out is a vested veteran, so he should be a free agent right now, able to sign with a new team without going through the waiver process. He happens to play one of the two biggest positions of need for the Dolphins, but it's doubtful he would agree to terms with Miami. He's nearing the end of his career, and he most likely would not want to play for a "rebuilding" team.
Interestingly, another name to watch comes from the Patriots as well. Dan Koppen was released, having served as the New England center for the past nine seasons. He could be in play for the Dolphins if he were willing to move to guard for Miami, but he would probably ask for more money than the Dolphins would be willing to pay, and, like Branch, he probably won't want to go to a rebuilding franchise.
A key name to watch today for the Dolphins will be former Washington Redskins wide receiver Anthony Armstrong. The one time Miami practice squad player was nearly traded to the Dolphins yesterday, but was waived by the Redskins when the deal could not be completed. Now, Miami could put in a claim for Armstrong, hoping he slides past the top seven teams and lands back with the Dolphins.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers had two wide receivers that could interested the Dolphins. The first is Tiquan Underwood. You may remember Underwood as the player the Dolphins could not stop in the first preseason game this year. The other receiver who could draw some attention, but may not be the right fit with the Dolphins is former Cincinnati Bengals and Tampa wide out Jordan Shipley.
One of the top defensive backs the Dolphins should target today is former Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Joselio Hanson. The Eagles also put DBs Oshiomogho Atogwe and Phillip Thomas on waivers, giving the Dolphins a few targets to consider, along with a surprise receiver available - Marvin McNutt. Many Dolphins fans were demanding the team draft McNutt last April, and were upset with general manager Jeff Ireland that the team did not take him, despite having three opportunities to grab him. Now, after an apparent poor showing with the Eagles, the Dolphins could have another change to take McNutt.
Of course, the team that many people feel will give the Dolphins the most targets this waiver period, is the Green Bay Packers. Current Miami head coach Joe Philbin had been the Packers offensive coordinator for the previous five seasons. With that in mind, everyone the Packers released could be considered targets by the Dolphins, especially if they have been there for any length of time. Green Bay released wide receivers Curenski Gilleylen, Tori Gurley, and Dale Moss, as well as cornerback Otis Merrill.
The Atlanta Falcons also could have given the Dolphins a cornerback target when they released Dominique Franks. Atlanta selected Franks in the fifth round of the 2010 draft, playing in 11 games last year for the Falcons. He tallied 20 tackles, with two interceptions in 2011.
Another interesting target the Dolphins could bring in for a look, especially if he clears waivers, is former Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Danny Coale. The Dallas fifth round pick this past April suffered a broken foot earlier this year and missed most of the Cowboys' training camp and preseason because of it. The Cowboys also have a gluttony of wide receivers right now, and Coale just became the odd man out.
And, not someone that the Dolphins would probably pursue, but is someone who has a special place in every Miami fan's heart, is Greg Camarillo. The wide receiver who scored the overtime touchdown that gave the Dolphins their only win in the 2007 season, was released by the New Orleans Saints yesterday.
While the Dolphins did establish their 53-man roster last night, that document is highly fluid, and probably won't look anything like it does this morning by tonight.