The Miami Dolphins completed their third Preseason game Saturday night, beating the Atlanta Falcons 13-9. The end of the third Preseason means the next big event on the NFL calendar is not another game, but the first round of roster cuts. The NFL allows teams to carry up to 90 players during the preseason, but that number will have to be down to just 53 players when the regular season begins.
The Dolphins are already down to 88 players, having released wide receiver Michael Preston and placing safety Louis Delmas on injured reserve last week. The team will have to release 13 players over the next couple of days to reach the league's 75-man roster limit that will do into effect on Tuesday. Find the full Dolphins roster here.
There are still a lot of position battles that need to be determined for the Dolphins, with a lot of them involving depth players, making some of these roster cuts more difficult to make. Do the Dolphins continue to carry two kickers, taking away a roster spot from someone else who could have a chance of making the team, or do they declare the winner between Caleb Sturgis and Andrew Franks? Assuming Ryan Tannehill will not play much - if any - of the fourth Preseason game on Thursday, should Miami eat a roster spot of the 75-man roster by keeping all three other quarterbacks, Matt Moore, Josh Freeman, and McLeod Bethel-Thompson, or can they open up a spot by releasing one of the signal callers?
The Dolphins have numerous linebackers who are making plays, but is it enough to keep them all? Undrafted free agents like Mike Hull, Jeff Luc, and Zach Vigil have all flashed at times. Do they all make it through the first round of roster cuts? Will there be a surprise cut by Miami in this first round of moves?
Miami will also have many difficult decisions to make this year. Should they keep six wide receivers, giving a roster spot to Rishard Matthews and someone like Matt Hazel, or do they need that roster spot for depth in the secondary or on the offensive line? Whatever the case, the Dolphins are going to cut players who could make rosters with other teams. There is talent deep on the Miami roster, but it may just prove to be a numbers game that means talent has to walk out the doors to the team's training facilities.
A day after the final round of roster cuts, Miami will be able to sign 10 players to the club's practice squad. The majority of those signed will be players the Dolphins just cut.
All of the roster moves could start as early as today, and will continue through to next Saturday.
Roster cut dates and times
Tuesday, September 1, 4pm ET.: Roster must be down to 75 players
Thursday, September 3, 7pm ET: Final preseason game (vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
Saturday, September 5, 4pm ET: Roster must be down to 53 players
Sunday, September 6, 1pm ET: Practice squads can be signed