The Miami Dolphins dropped their roster from 77 player down to 76 with a surprise cut Tuesday morning: punter Brandon Fields. The Dolphins have elected to use rookie punter Matt Darr for the season.
Fields joined the Dolphins as a seventh round draft pick in 2007. He has played in every game for Miami since then, appearing in 128 straight games over eight seasons. He has a career average of 46.8 yards per kick, topping 46 yards per punt every year since 2009. He was selected to the 2013 Pro Bowl and led the league with a 50.2 yards per kick average in 2012.
Darr joined the Dolphins this year an an undrafted free agent out of Tennessee. As a senior in 2014, Darr maintained a 42.2 yards per punt average, with 30 punts inside the 20-yard line. He also had 21 kicks of over 50 yards.
The cut is clearly a surprise move for the Dolphins, with Fields expected to continue his run as the second-longest tenured player on the roster (behind long snapper John Denney). Darr had punted well during the Preseason, and the team appears to feel he is ready to take over the position. Fields is one of the top punters in the league in pinning the ball deep inside an opponent's territory, and will likely not be out of work for long.