The Miami Dolphins trimmed their roster down to 53 players this past weekend, cutting ties with a group of players that includes Will Allen, Larry Johnson, Phillip Livas, Lousaka Polite, Ronald Fields, Gerald Alexander, Nate Ness and Kevin O'Connell.
Among that list are players with valuable skill sets or experience that would have greatly benefited the Dolphins. Miami might try to re-sign a few of these guys on cheaper contracts but that strategy has haunted them in the past (see: David Martin).
The following four players were rather puzzling cuts who may or may not return to the team in the coming days and weeks. Whether or not the 'Fins bring them back, their presence might be missed.
Mediocre production from Reggie Bush and Daniel Thomas led the Dolphins to lure Larry Johnson out of irrelevancy. All indications suggested that Johnson had put his checkered past behind him and was a rejuvenated man—he even volunteered to play special teams.
At the very least, we figured Johnson could be an effective goal-line back. However, he showed he still has something special left in the tank when he broke of a 22-yard touchdown scamper against the Cowboys.
The Dolphins must believe there is a superior running back on the open market right now because Johnson definitely looked like he could have been a valuable asset for this team.
We can't blame for the Dolphins for cutting ties with cornerback Will Allen but it's hard not to feel like he kind of got screwed.
Allen has been sidelined for a majority of the past two seasons by some lingering lower body injuries. He finally returned to action midway through training camp and looked passable in game action, but the 'Fins didn't see enough to keep him around.
When healthy, Allen was this team's No. 1 cornerback. He helped anchor the 2008 defense to a playoff berth, and although he would only serve as this team's nickel or dime corner, Miami should have given him more time to readjust.
There is clearly something special about Kevin O'Connell.
He shattered multiple school records at San Diego State and ran a 4.61-second 40-yard dash at the 2008 Combine. Bill Belichick proceeded to draft him in the third round of the 2008 Draft, and he has since spent time with the Detroit Lions and the New York Jets under Rex Ryan.
The Dolphins scooped up O'Connell earlier this summer but hardly gave him a chance to play. He threw only one pass in Miami's four preseason games.
Even if O'Connell was a poor practice player, the 'Fins should have given him a chance to prove himself in game action.
The Dolphins' need for a legitimate seam-threat tight end is well documented and could soon reach dire levels. Dedrick Epps could have become a valuable weapon in the passing game but the Dolphins chose to release him rather than develop him.
Epps has a solid 6'3", 250-pound build and was an effective receiving asset at the University of Miami.
Granted Miami seems invested in Brett Brackett, Epps definitely seems to have more upside than a player like Jeron Mastrud or Will Yeatman.
Easily the single most surprising cut to surface this week was linebacker A.J. Edds.
Edds, a 2010 fourth round draft pick, missed all of last season with a torn ACL but returned with a clean bill of health to training camp. He figured to factor into Miami's defensive rotation due to great athleticism and coverage skills.
Yet, even after a stellar preseason, the Dolphins released him. It's a puzzling move to say the least, and if Edds resurfaces on a contending team, it's one Miami could definitely regret.