Over the past week, the Miami Dolphins have been busy trimming their roster in order to reach the 80-player limit by Tuesday. The team released anonymous camp bodies Mike Rivera, Johnny Jones, Jose Perez and K.J. Gerard.
At the time of this writing, the 'Fins must still cut another player in order to reach 80, but they will probably cut a few extras in order to make room for new signings. This stage gives Miami a chance to fill out their remaining roster holes and grab some players that they missed out on during past drafts or undrafted free agency signing periods.
Every NFL team has ineffective rookies and useless veterans stashed away on the dark depths of their rosters, and cutting that dead weight is a welcome progression towards the regular season. However, one man's trash is often another man's gold.
Here's five players recently-released players that the Dolphins should plunder.
Hey, the Dallas Cowboys cut somebody who played under Tony Sparano and Jeff Ireland. Can anybody guess where he might end up?
Jokes aside, Andre Gurode might be the best Cowboy castoff to hit the open market since the Trifecta assumed control of the Dolphins. "Then why would Dallas cut him?" you might ask. Well, Dallas is overhauling their roster. They're actually laying the foundation for a fundamental rebuild, and parting with again veterans like Gurode is an essential part of that process.
Regardless, Miami's offensive line looked very, very suspect on Saturday night. By adding Gurode—who was just voted the league's 57th-best player by his peers (and look who presented him!)—the Dolphins would immediately upgrade the most vital unit of the team. Although Mike Pouncey would likely be shoved over to right guard, it's a price worth paying.
After the Dolphins offense grew frustratingly stagnant and lethargic in 2010, the team set out to completely revamp and revive it during the 2011 offseason. Out are stale pieces like Dan Henning, Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams; In are electric figures like Brian Daboll, Reggie Bush, and Clyde Gates.
Clearly, Miami has grown more prone to gamble since Bill Parcells departed, and they should roll the dice on recently-released tight end/wide receiver Schuylar Oordt.
Besides rocking a great name, Oordt is a freakish specimen. The former Northern Iowa Panther, who weighs in at 6'6" snf 260 pounds, ran a 4.6 40. Although he is still very raw and doesn't necessarily fit the prototypical mold of a wide receiver or a tight end, there's no doubt he could be a weapon with proper grooming.
The Dolphins do have a similar player in Brett Brackett on the roster, but he has been a ghost in the team's first three preseason games. Miami might be stashing him away on purpose so other teams don't poach him, but Oordt is a truly unique athlete who could one day become a legitimate seam-threat tight end or red-zone wide receiver.
Just one year ago, Sports Illustrated's Peter King and Arizona Cardinals head coach Ken Whisenhunt, coined rookie quarterback Max Hall the next Kurt Warner. Even Kurt Warner called Max Hall the next Kurt Warner.
Pundits praised Hall for his impeccable intangibles, but that intelligence and leadership didn't translate onto the field. In three starts last season, Hall posted a 1-2 record and threw only touchdown. Moreover, he tossed four interceptions and accured an abhorrent 46 precent completion rate.
Hall recently suffered a season-ending injury, and Arizona felt comfortable cutting him now that Kevin Kolb is at the helm. Though he might sound like damaged goods, Hall is still loaded with untapped potential and the Dolphins should consider stashing him away on the roster.
Even though the Dolphins added a new trio of running backs this summer—including a former Heisman Trophy Winner, a two-time First Team All-Pro selection and a highly-touted second-round draft pick—they are still dangerously thin at the position.
Reggie Bush and Daniel Thomas might suffice for the foreseeable future, but the 'Fins should have another young back waiting in the wings that they can groom and polish over the next year or two. Based on his preseason play thus far, Nic Grigsby does not appear worthy of the investment.
Instead, Miami's best option might be former Kentucky running back Derrick Locke.
Locke, a former track star, boasts two key traits that increase his chances of landing in Miami: he is an experienced return-man and he has great hands. He posted a scorching 4.4 40 (and allegedly once ran a 4.21) time and caught 34 passes for the Wildcats in 2010. If he can pack onto his 188-pound frame and polish his return skills, Locke could be the next Darren Sproles.
Although the New York Giants cut Shaun O'Hara at the beginning of training camp, it might be time for the Dolphins to revisit signing the three-time Pro Bowl center.
When O'Hara was initially released, Miami brought him in for a visit, but according to Jeff Darlington of the Miami Herald, he "wasn't healthy enough during his visit." However, Darlington reported on Monday that O'Hara is "ready and willing to sign with Miami immediately, [but] the team does not have imminent plans to add him."
Now that Andre Gurode is on the market, the 'Fins are faced with a conundrum: sign a player they are familiar with (Gurode) or sign a player who might be better at this juncture (O'Hara). Because the offensive line play has been so poor this preseason, there's a very good chance one of these two will be picked up.
But, if ESPN Dallas' Tim McMahon's assertions that Gurode is "overrated, overpaid, and overweight" are true, then O'Hara should be Miami's man.