Quinton Coples Released by Dolphins: Latest Details, Comments, Reaction

Danny WebsterAnalyst IIIFebruary 12, 2016

New York Jets outside linebacker Quinton Coples (98) stands over Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck (12) after he sacked him during an NFL football game in Indianapolis, Monday, Sept. 21, 2015. (Jeff Haynes/AP Images for Panini)
Jeff Haynes/Associated Press

The Miami Dolphins have released linebacker Quinton Coples, the team announced Friday.

Coples, a former first-round pick of the New York Jets, was released by the Jets in November, per Ben Shpigel of the New York Times. He played six games with the Dolphins but didn't record any tackles, according to Pro Football Reference.

Since the Jets took him with the 16th overall pick in the 2012 NFL draft out of North Carolina, Coples has not lived up to his potential. Despite not being a fan of the tape from Coples' senior year, NFL draft analyst Mike Mayock felt he had the intangibles of a future Hall of Fame pass-rusher.

"However, he showed up at the Senior Bowl and showed he could play like Julius Peppers," Mayock said in 2012, per NFL.com. "What I think Rex Ryan is going to love about this guy is that you can line him up anywhere along the front."

Coples has been healthy throughout his four-year career, but his playing time has been inconsistent. He started 28 games between the 2013 and 2014 seasons but started only two games in each of his other two seasons. He recorded a career-high 6.5 sacks in 2014.

ESPN.com's James Walker noted that releasing Coples was a cost-cutting move for Miami, as he was set to make $7.751 million next year.

One possible explanation for Coples' decline could be his switch from a defensive end to an outside linebacker. Shpigel noted that the 6'6", 290-pound Coples was not a good coverage linebacker. He's best suited as a defensive end.

For a team in need of a young pass-rusher, Coples could be an upgrade at the right price. He may not warrant a nearly $8 million deal, but Coples seems like someone who needs to be in the right scheme to fit his size and skill set.