As many expected, the Miami Dolphins were one of the busiest teams in the NFL today as they searched the waiver wire for upgrades to the current roster. The Dolphins were awarded a total of four players off waivers while making seven claims, although it is unknown which players Miami's unsuccessful claims were for. Each addition filled a need, most notably at the wide reciever and cornerback positions.
The first player the Dolphins were able to add off the waiver wire was former Carolina Panthers cornerback RJ Stanford. A seventh round pick in the 2010 draft, Stanford is a project however he will be a part of the 53 man roster. Stanford who is entering his second season in the league has 13 tackles and one career interception in limited playing time. In Miami, Stanford will be the team's fifth cornerback, adding depth to a thin secondary.
Miami then claimed safety Troy Nolan off waivers from the Houston Texans. The 25 year old safety is entering his third season in the NFL with career totals of 84 tackles, 3 interceptions and 1.5 sacks in 30 games. With Nolan in the picture, the Dolphins now have the option to move Jimmy Wilson from safety to cornerback which is his stronger position. The addition of Nolan instantly improves the Dolphins secondary and fills a void in arguably Miami's weakest position in the past few years.
The most significant move the Dolphins made thus far was the addition of former Washington Redskins wide reciever Anthony Armstrong. Miami and Washington had discussed a trade that would send Armstrong to the Dolphins for running back Steve Slaton untill the deal ultimately broke down. Armstrong returns to Miami after he was released in August of 2009. In 2010 Armstrong had a breakout year catching 44 passes for 871 yards and 3 touchdowns however he was held to only 7 recpetions last year due to injuries. If healthy, the 29 year old will provide the deep vertical threat that the Dolphins desperately need out of their recieving core since trading Brandon Marshall.
The Dolphins also added former St. Louis Rams linebacker Sammy Brown. Brown was released by the Rams on Friday however they had intended to put him on the practice squad. Brown was an impact player in college as he registered 21 sacks and 50 tackles in his first two seasons but slipped down draft boards due to a lack of effort. With Brown being at the bottom of the Dolphins depth chart of the team's current linebackers, he will be counted on to contribute on special teams.
As the Dolphins claimed four players they were also required to cut another four to get back down to a 53 man roster. Rumored to be headed to Washington yesterday, RB Steve Slaton was Miami's first cut of the day. Slaton was expendable seeing as the Dolphins have a surplus of running backs including Reggie Bush, Daniel Thomas, Lamar Miller and Marcus Thigpen. Linebackers Jonathan Freeny and Josh Kaddu were also cut along with veteran safety Tyrone Culver. The addition of Nolan made Culver expendable and the move clearly shows that the Dolphins are committed to building a young team.
Although Ryan Tannehill was named the Dolphins starting quarterback weeks ago, there is still plenty of uncertainty surrounding the others on the squad. Miami currently has four quarterbacks on the roster with Tannehill and Pat Devlin already safe. It is unlikely Miami will take four signal callers into the regular season meaning there is only one roster spot for Matt Moore and David Garrard. With Garrard nearing a return from a knee injury and Moore having higher value at this point, the former Panther is likely to be traded in the coming days. A possible landing spot for Moore is Arizona where the Cardinals have an ongoing QB controversy and a surplus of recievers including Early Doucet.
While today's moves are a good start for the Dolphins towards improving the roster there is still plenty of work to be done.
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