Miami Dolphins: Naanee's Release Should Open the Door for Rookies

Connor McKnightSenior Analyst IOctober 3, 2012

GLENDALE, AZ - SEPTEMBER 30:  Defensive back Greg Toler #28 and free safety Kerry Rhodes #25 of the Arizona Cardinals leap in an attempt to intercept a pass intended for wide receiver Legedu Naanee #19 of the Miami Dolphins during the NFL game at the University of Phoenix Stadium on September 30, 2012 in Glendale, Arizona. The Carindals defeated the Dolphins 24-21 in overtime. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

It was no secret: Legedu Naanee was a running joke among Dolphins fans.

His horrid performance against the Arizona Cardinals summarizes his season completely. When he brought in his one ball for 19 yards, Naanee still managed to cough up the football—and the fumble was recovered by Arizona.

This brings his season total to one catch, one fumble. Throw in his subpar blocking and Naanee has been more of a detriment than a help to the Dolphins at this point in the season.

Following the Cardinals game, there were ubiquitous cries from Dolphins fans for his release.

And Joe Philbin answered.

When Miami parted ways with Naanee, it opened the door for more playing time for some of the other young receivers in the Dolphins organization.

Considering that this is a weak point in the Dolphins offense, it would be extremely beneficial to give these young receivers experience.

One of the wideouts that would benefit from added playing time is Rishard Matthews, this year's seventh-round pick out of Nevada. Earning a roster spot amid tough competition, Matthews looked promising in preseason and could add another element to the Miami receiving corps.

The Dolphins could also activate Jeff Fuller from the practice squad. Fuller, who was Ryan Tannehill's go-to guy at Texas A&M, could also ease his way into some playing time, particularly as Tannehill gets more and more comfortable in the NFL.

Don't get me wrong, Jabar Gaffney is a fantastic upgrade for the Dolphins, but there is a great opportunity here for younger talent.

When it comes down to it, cutting Naanee was a step forward for the Dolphins. They can now breathe a little bit easier in South Beach and develop some talent at the wide receiver position.