The Phinsider’s annual 90-in-90 series is back today with another in-depth look at the players who are currently vying to make the Miami Dolphins’ 53-man roster. This series of articles takes a look at each individual on the roster, breaking down how they performed in 2017, why they could progress or regress in 2018, and the odds that the player makes the team when the regular season arrives.
This year, we have already finished the reviews for wide receiver Leonte Carroo, punter Matt Haack, safety T.J. McDonald, running back Buddy Howell, wide receiver DeVante Parker, defensive end William Hayes, wide receiver Isaiah Ford, safety/cornerback Walt Aikens, defensive end Claudy Mathieu, linebacker Kiko Alonso, cornerback Xavien Howard, long snapper Lucas Gravelle, wide receiver Danny Amendola, tight end A.J. Derby, running back Frank Gore, defensive tackle Gabe Wright, wide receiver Kenny Stills, cornerback Tony Lippett, kicker Jason Sanders, kicker Greg Joseph, left tackle Laremy Tunsil, tight end Mike Gesicki, linebacker Raekwon McMillan, running back Kalen Ballage, wide receiver Jakeem Grant, tight end Durham Smythe, quarterback David Fales, wide receiver Albert Wilson, defensive tackle Akeem Spence, linebacker Chase Allen, defensive end Cameron Wake, running back Senorise Perry, and tight end MarQueis Gray. Today we turn to offensive lineman Ted Larsen.
Larsen signed a three-year contract with the Dolphins as a 2017 free agent, then immediately fell into the madness that was 2017 for the team. Installed as the team’s starting left guard, Larsen sustained a biceps injury during training camp and landed on injured reserve. He was activated from injured reserve mid-season, reclaiming his starting role at left guard.
Why he will progress
Larsen provides depth for the Dolphins offensive line this year and should not have to deal with a major injury that keeps him out for half the year. He has also now been in the system for a full year, which should allow him to work well in the line and the offense, as well as assist with developing some of the younger players.
Why he might regress
Larsen does not appear to have a starting job this year. Josh Sitton will be the starting left guard and Jesse Davis appears to be the starting right guard. That should leave Larsen as the top reserve, but for a player who was a locked in starter and was supposed to solidify the left side of the offensive line last year, moving back to being a reserve is a regression.
Chances of making the 53-man roster
Having an experienced guard (who can also play center) as a depth player is always important for a team, so Larsen should be safely on the roster. He could still compete for a starting role against Davis for right guard, but he most likely will be the seventh offensive lineman on the roster, with Sam Young the sixth as the swing tackle. Larsen would be $800,000 in dead money if he were released and $1.1 million in cap savings, so it is possible the Dolphins could look to do the odd (but fairly common) move of releasing him before Week 1, then re-sign him before Week 2 in order to keep his full salary from becoming guaranteed for the season.