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Dolphins roster cuts 2013: Reaction to the Miami Dolphins 53 man roster

The Miami Dolphins have released their initial 53-man roster of the season, along with the 22 roster cuts it took to get there. This morning, here are my thoughts on the roster as it stands now.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Dolphins completed their required reduction from 75 players to the NFL mandated regular season roster limit of 53 players. Of course, with such a major move, the analysis of every portion of the roster, from the keeping of only four wide receivers, to having 11 defensive backs, started last night, and will continue today, this week, and probably this year. With that in mind, we take a look at my first analysis of the roster.

  • This is clearly still a roster being built. I would not be surprised to hear that the Dolphins put in some waiver claims overnight, adding some depth players and releasing more of the players that spent training camp in Miami.

  • The four wide receivers thing seems to bother a lot of people. The funny part is, in my Preseason Week 3 projection and my post-75 man cuts projection, that's exactly what I said. I'm not saying that to brag, because in the final version of my projection, I had the team keeping Chad Bumphis and Brian Tyms, so I talked myself out of the way the team actually went, but I mention it because, I don't think it is that surprising. The team kept Mike Wallace, Brian Hartline, Brandon Gibson, and Rishard Matthews, plus they will use Marcus Thigpen as a receiver. That means, while four people have "WR" next to their name, there are really five on the roster. I would expect Tyms and Bumphis to be practice squad candidates, and would not be surprised to see them on the roster at some point this year if they do make the practice squad. Keeping just four wide receivers does not bother me at this point.

  • A lot of people seem confused or upset about the Marvin McNutt release. He was simply way too inconsistent, and dropped too many passes.

  • Jonas Gray's cut should not be surprising. He came out hot at the start of training camp, but never seemed to be a sure thing on the roster. He has practice squad eligibility and, if he clears waivers, that's where I would expect him to land.

  • Pat Devlin made the roster, despite all the speculation, including mine, that he would miss out in favor of a slot on the practice squad. Part of that could be the fear that teams like the New York Jets andBuffalo Bills could put in a waiver claim on him, given how starved for quarterbacks they are, while part of it simply could be the team wanting to keep three quarterbacks.

  • The tight ends seem right. Kyle Miller could have made the roster, but Evan Rodriguez did enough to have the coaches want to keep him. I thought it might go the other way, with the team deciding Miller had more upside and Charles Clay could serve as the lead blocker if needed, but the Dolphins must like Rodriguez, who is entering his second year in the league.

  • Nothing about the offensive line is surprising. Four of the five starters (Tyson Clabo, Mike Pouncey,Richie Incognito, and Jonathan Martin) have been known for a while, with the assumption that a healthy John Jerry takes the right guard spot and fills out the starting rotation. Behind them, Nate Garner and Josh Samuda will be the primary reserves, while Will Yeatman will play if needed, but continue to develop in his transition from tight end to offensive tackle, and Dallas Thomas will get a redshirt year as the ninth offensive lineman, learning the game at the NFL level and getting ready for 2014.

  • On the opposite side of the line of scrimmage, the defensive line was a little surprising. I had the team keeping nine, while they only kept eight, but I did not have Vaughn Martin making the roster (which he did), instead seeing A.J. Francis and Kheeston Randall make the roster (which they didn't). Martin is listed as a defensive end on the Miami depth chart right now, but I would expect him to slide inside as the fourth defensive tackle. Francis, if he clears waivers, should land on the practice squad.

  • Defensive end Tristan Okpalaugo is another player who could be on the practice squad if he clears waivers.

  • The linebackers look right. Philip Wheeler, Dannell Ellerbe, and Koa Misi are the starters, whileJonathan Freeny and Jason Trusnik will be the primary reserves. Josh Kaddu, a fifth round pick from last year, still has potential and will be able to develop this year, as will this year's fourth round pick,Jelani Jenkins. The team released Austin Spitler, who still has a role in the league and will likely sign somewhere this week, while Lee Robinson could end up back in Miami on the practice squad.

  • As for the defensive backs, 11 is a huge number. The team kept six cornerbacks (Brent Grimes,Dimitri Patterson, Nolan Carroll, Will Davis, R.J. Stanford, and Jamar Taylor), which is not unheard of, but I am a little surprised that Stanford did enough to stay with the team this year. Five safeties is an interesting move. I would have expected Don Jones to be released, then signed to the practice squad, and he could still be if the team makes a waiver claim. Chris Clemons, Reshad Jones, Jimmy Wilson, and Kelcie McCray were the expected safeties to stay.

  • Nothing about special teams was up for debate.

  • A couple of streaks ended this year. Normally, the Dolphins make some trade at this point in the preseason, and at least one undrafted free agent usually makes the team. Neither of those happened this year.

  • The only rookies on the roster at this point are the nine drafted rookies, all of whom made it.

  • A lot of people made a big deal about the Dolphins being the last team to release their roster cuts yesterday. While I had some fun with it on Twitter, there were some people who really seemed to think it was an affront to them personally that the Dolphins waited a few hours to announce their 22 roster cuts. I don't understand that at all. Suddenly the Dolphins clearly hated their beat writers and their fans, because they didn't advertise the 22 men who had just lost their dream jobs immediately after the clock struck 4pm ET. Look, I would have liked to have them earlier, but you have to figure there was a reason other than the team just wanting to wait. Maybe someone was not available for some reason, or they were spending a good amount of time talking to each player, and they simply did not want someone to hear that they had been cut on Twitter. Just because the deadline had passed and the paperwork was passed to the league does not mean the player himself already knew. I'll give the team the benefit of the doubt (maybe that's the zombie in me) that they were trying to do the right thing for the players, and the couple of extra hours that we all had to wait did not in any way impact anything in our lives.

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