The Phinsider breakdown of the Miami Dolphins' 90-man roster, and how it might come together to form the team's 53-man regular-season roster and depth chart, continues this morning, turning now to the safeties. The day after the NFL announced Reshad Jones as the 64th best player in their Top 100 Players of 2016, safety feels like the right position to cover on the day.
Essentially, we are taking a look at the Dolphins' roster, attempting to project where the players currently under contract (or a rookie who has yet to sign a contract, or a player who is currently on the suspended list but expected to get reinstated) could fall between a starting position, a reserve position, on the roster bubble, on the practice squad, or cut. We have completed the first nine posts in the series, completing all of the offense and nearly all of the defense.
Part ten of our roster breakdown series now turns to the safeties.
Reshad Jones - 7th year
Isa Adul-Quddus - 5th year
Jones is on a mission to prove he is the best safety in the league - and it is a mission that should only benefit the Dolphins. Of course, he is starting that mission by skipping all of the team's voluntary events and expected to holdout during the mandatory minicamp and possibly training camp if he does not get a new contract. Jones is entering the penultimate season on his current deal, so Miami is not likely to be in a rush to renegotiate the contract. They will get a new deal done with Jones, but teams do not like to be strong-armed into negotiations with two years on a contract, because it sets a bad precedent; something will give eventually. Abdul-Quddus comes to Miami after starting eight games last year with the Lions, performing well enough that they tried to re-sign him only to see Miami swoop in and complete a deal with him. He should be installed immediately as the starter next to Jones.
Michael Thomas - 4th year
Walt Aikens - 3rd year
Thomas is working in the starters role with Jones skipping the workouts. He provides depth at cornerback as well, which is probably his natural position but he is really solid at safety as well. Aikens probably makes the roster as a depth safety, but more importantly for his special teams ability. He has proven to be a strong player in coverage on special teams, and the Dolphins will likely look to continue to use him in that role.
Shamiel Gary - 2nd year
Gary was promoted from the practice squad during the season last year, eventually playing six games with one start. He will have to beat out Aikens as a special teams player, but he could make the case for a roster spot, or possibly a practice squad position.
A.J. Hendy - Rookie (UDFA)
53-man roster prediction (48/53)
Jason Jones (Updated after article)
Cleyon Laing - defensive end
Isaiah Pead - running back
Deandre Coleman - defensive tackle
Matt Hazel - wide receiver
Griff Whalen - wide receiver
Spencer Paysinger - linebacker
Jake Stoneburner - tight end
Ifo Ekpre-Olomu - cornerback
Shamiel Gary - safety
Practice squad (9/10)
Brandon Doughty (rookie) - quarterback
Farrington Huguenin (rookie)- defensive end
Charles Tuaau - defensive tackle
Tyler Murphy - wide receiver
Rashawn Scott (rookie) - wide receiver
Mike Hull - linebacker
James Burgess (rookie) - linebacker
Gabe Hughes (rookie) - tight end
Ruben Carter (rookie) - guard/center