Miami Dolphins: 10 Players Miami Needs to Part with at Season's End
As the Miami Dolphins will likely move from one era to the next after this season, there are certain players who will be deemed untouchable, while others will be seen as expendable.
Miami has several key players now who could have a diminishing role next season, as well as players who won't have a role at all.
With any new coaching staff, an identity is set in parallel to the system they run. It is not uncommon to see an entire roster transformed after a coaching change.
These 10 players could be in different uniforms next season.
Koa Misi has been a decent contributor since he came into the NFL in 2010. However, as a second-round pick, the production level just isn't parallel.
Misi's five sacks as a rookie was definitely a solid start. Even with a decent number of sacks as a rookie, Misi just hasn't improved his coverage skills or pass-rush moves.
Playing a defense that relies on getting pressure on opposing quarterbacks, Miami needs to find another outside linebacker who can suitably rush the passer.
Miami's pro bowl outside linebacker Cameron Wake needs another player on this defense who can get to the quarterback. Without another pass rusher, Wake receives all of the focus from extra blockers.
Vernon Carey is merely a shell of his former self. For many years, Carey anchored the right side of Miami's offensive line at the right tackle position.
For the past two seasons, he has shown up to training camp overweight and unhealthy. When athletes play at a heavier weight, they are more prone to injuries because of the added stress to muscles and joints.
Carey's inability to get in shape caused the Dolphins to move him to right guard. As a guard, Carey doesn't have to deal with speed-rushers—although he lacks athleticism to be effective as a guard.
Any team that likes to utilize the run needs an athletic pair of guards who can block down-field.
Carey is no longer an asset to this team.
It was a mistake to even sign Colombo, let alone start him. He has no business being a starter in the NFL anymore.
After many great seasons in Dallas, injuries plagued Colombo. He has lost his ability to be an effective blocker.
Colombo lacks the athleticism and strength to make any kind of an impact, and he has been a huge liability on Miami's offensive line.
Colombo was a great player once, but apart from veteran leadership, Colombo does nothing that is beneficial to this team.
Reshad Jones' time as a starting safety for this team has come and gone. Jones made the most of opportunities last season, playing in limited time in dime and nickel sets, as well as on special teams.
Jones had the ability to see the field much more this season, as he was seen as more of a playmaker than safety Chris Clemons.
Jones has been a liability in coverage—being just a step behind the action. Miami's defensive coordinator, Mike Nolan, uses a defensive scheme that relies on pressure, leaving less defenders in coverage.
As a free safety in this scheme, a player must have the ability to quickly read a play and react even quicker to the ball.
Jones made several amazing plays last season in limited time, but he has been on the wrong end of several long plays this season.
With a solid free safety, this defense would be much improved.
If it already isn't obvious, Chad Henne is not the answer to Miami's quarterback problems. Though he did play decently well at the beginning of the season, his injury sealed his fate as a Dolphins quarterback.
Not only that, current starter Matt Moore has performed better than any Dolphins quarterback in recent memory.
It is hard to say that Moore's role will be with the team next season, especially when the team has a good chance of drafting a high-profile quarterback.
There simply won't be room for Henne on this roster. With Moore playing well, it looks like Miami will be much better off without Henne.
In Moore's last four games, he has thrown seven touchdowns to just one interception.
Phillip Merling is a decent player. He has contributed a fair amount since being drafted in 2008. Though, with off-field issues and trouble staying healthy, Merling is likely playing his last season in a Dolphins uniform.
Miami has very good depth on the defensive line, and Merling is fighting just to see time as a reserve player.
Merling hasn't made nearly the impact that other lineman have, which should be a cause of concern for the fourth-year player.
He did have potential when he was drafted, but most of that potential is gone.
Sean Smith is one of the most inconsistent players on the Miami roster. As a rookie, Smith had an attitude problem that effected his work ethic and performance on the field.
As many football minds have said, if they don't bite as a pup, they won't bite later either. Smith has had issues hanging onto interceptions, which is one of the key issues he has as a cornerback.
Before this season, Smith and Vontae Davis were self proclaimed as one of the best corner-tandems in the NFL. To be a tandem, you have to have two contributors, not just one.
Smith just hasn't been the player Miami thought he would be.
Anthony Fasano has been a good tight end. While being effective, he hasn't been utilized enough. Fasano would be a fantastic backup tight end because of his superb blocking ability and his sure hands.
His problem as a starter is playmaking ability. Fasano will go up to make a spectacular catch, but he leaves a little more to be desired with speed and running in space.
You can't have a great player at every position, so Fasano will be one of the least likely on this list to get cut.
Miami has found an athletic option in utility player Charles Clay, who has taken some of the heat off Fasano. Clay and Fasano have been a solid pairing since Clay's infusion into the offense.
Matt Moore has also developed a rapport with Fasano in the red zone.
Yeremiah Bell is another player on this list who could likely be retained next season. At strong safety, Bell is like another linebacker. He is reliable against the run and is a vicious hitter over the middle.
With that being said, Bell can be a liability in coverage—athletic tight ends give Bell fits. In a league that is turning into a finesse, passing game, a player like Bell starts to lose their role.
More and more, teams are looking for safeties to be agile and quick, with the ability to play well in coverage.
Bell might find himself without a solid role next season.
Brian Hartline isn't a problem as a receiver. The problem is that Miami has too many receivers with the same play style. Brandon Marshall, Davone Bess and Brian Hartline are all receivers who have an identity as possession receivers that get yards after the catch.
For Miami to get an explosive offense, they need to find a receiver with speed who can get solid playing time.
The Dolphins drafted Clyde Gates earlier in this year's NFL Draft, though Gates has yet to make an impact as a deep-threat.
Since Marshall is Miami's best receiver and Bess has a role as Miami's main slot receiver, Hartline could be the odd man out as Miami looks to bolster its roster next season.