6 Miami Dolphins Who Will Be on the Roster Bubble
The Miami Dolphins have already made some big news this offseason with the firing of offensive coordinator Mike Sherman and the agreement to mutually part ways with general manager Jeff Ireland (as reported by Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald).
Because of this, the team now finds itself with some uncertainty going forward this offseason, as they have a coach in Joe Philbin, yet no general manager or offensive coordinator.
The players are greatly affected by these developments, and now there are some players on the roster for 2014 who could very well find themselves on the roster bubble.
Here are six players who could find themselves either out in Miami, or at the very least fighting to stay.
Daniel Thomas, Running Back
Based off of how poor the Dolphins' running game was in 2013, you could make the case that either Daniel Thomas or Lamar Miller (or both) are on the roster bubble.
I'm only sticking Thomas on here based off of the fact that he has been in Miami for a year longer and because his play is a bit worse.
Thomas seems to exemplify in most fans' minds the failures of both Jeff Ireland and Mike Sherman.
For Ireland, Thomas was a player so prized that he traded up into the second round in 2011 in order to acquire him.
For Sherman, Thomas was a player whom he seemed to use much too frequently with almost little to no impact (save for a 55-yard run against the Pittsburgh Steelers in 2013 that helped set up Miami's game-winning touchdown).
Thomas is due for nearly a $1.1 million cap hit in 2014, but if released that cap hit will be only $214,435.
Between the salary-cap savings and his ineffective play over his first three seasons in Miami, Thomas likely has played his final game with the Dolphins.
Michael Thomas, Safety
Michael Thomas became a folk hero for the Dolphins when he picked off Tom Brady to seal Miami's victory over the New England Patriots in Week 15 and earned himself the AFC Player of The Week only days after Miami signed him off of the San Francisco 49ers practice squad.
Despite his heroics against the Patriots, Thomas will find himself fighting for a roster spot in Miami, as they have a glut of developmental projects in their secondary that includes safety Don Jones (a seventh-round pick in 2013), undrafted free agent Jordan Kovacs and 2013 third-round pick Will Davis.
In the end, there's a good chance that Thomas stays with the Dolphins through training camp and auditions for one of the 53 roster spots available, but his tremendous game-sealing interception will not factor into whether he makes it or not.
Pat Devlin, Quarterback
One of the questions I have about whoever becomes Miami's new general manager is whether or not they will look to add another quarterback in the draft.
My feeling is that it could happen. Miami likely won't select a quarterback until the third day of the draft (Day 2 at the earliest), but either way, it would likely mean that Pat Devlin's roster spot is in trouble.
Devlin has had three seasons with the Dolphins to show himself to be more than a third-string quarterback. So far we have only seen what he can do in the preseason, which might have looked good enough for some fans to warrant a chance, but the reality is his skill set is lacking.
His roster spot might be better spent on a quarterback who can be developed.
Jonathan Martin, Offensive Tackle
Despite the fact that the Dolphins will have a new general manager and offensive coordinator, it's still very unlikely that Martin will be back with the Dolphins in 2014.
I include Martin in this list because he is still on the roster, and if he and the Dolphins decided to try to make it work again, they easily could.
It wouldn't be the smartest decision in the world, which is why it won't happen, and it will be up to the new general manager to trade Martin during the offseason if he's able to find a willing trade partner.
But Miami has to hope that either team is willing to part with a pick for a player who in all likelihood will be released anyways, which is never the best situation to be in when you're trying to make a trade.
Michael Egnew, Tight End
If there's anyone who should be excited about Mike Sherman's departure, it's tight end Michael Egnew, who saw little to no playing time in his first two seasons in Miami and was embarassingly called out by Sherman on Hard Knocks in 2012.
Unfortunately for the tight end from Missouri, Joe Philbin is still his head coach and likely sees Egnew the same way that Sherman did.
Because of this, Egnew will have to fight for his job, if he doesn't lose it before training camp.
Marcus Thigpen, Running Back/Kick Return
After a breakout year in 2012, Marcus Thigpen regressed as Miami's kickoff and punt return man in 2013, while adding little to the offense when he was added to it.
Thigpen at times showed bad judgement when fielding punts, often fielding them when inside his own 10 yard line. That doesn't help an offense much.
Thigpen also saw his return averages go down while failing to score a touchdown in 2013 after scoring one off a punt and one off a kickoff in 2012.
Miami should be able to find plenty of capable return men during the offseason, and since they will likely spend a draft pick on a running back, the might find themselves choosing a running back that can return as well.
They could also use Lamar Miller in this role if necessary.