The Miami Dolphins have been busy in the last 24 hours as they prepare to finalize their 53-man roster ahead of the regular season. With just two days until the Dolphins’ final preseason game, head coach Brian Flores and Miami’s management have rang the gong in ending six players’ runs on the team. Below we grade the moves:
Defensive tackle Akeem Spence: D
After being acquired in a trade with the Detroit Lions before the 2018 season, Spence started all 16 games for the Dolphins last season. He totaled 42 combined tackles (23 solo) with six tackles for a loss. He tied his career-high in quarterback hits (nine), had 2.0 sacks and recovered one fumble in the team’s loss at the Indianapolis Colts.
The move almost guarantees rookie DT Christian Wilkins will be the starter this season and his backup is now Joey Mbu who last played for the Atlanta Falcons in 2017 but was last with the San Francisco 49ers. If Spence did lose his job to Wilkins, he was a solid backup option that did not carry high-risk. Releasing Spence also did not save the team much in salary cap money for the upcoming season.
Linebacker Chase Allen: B-
Allen was waived because of an undisclosed injury. In a time where teams need to be healthy, this prompts that the injury is more than a little bump. Although Allen wasn’t listed as the starter and was behind Raekown McMillan, McMillan is also dealing with some sort of injury. Miami MUST have confidence in backup (now starter) Tre Watson who joined the team this year in case McMillan isn’t ready for week one vs Baltimore.
The Dolphins got Allen as an undrafted college free agent in 2017 out of Southern Illinois University. He played 21 career games with five starts, with 36 total tackles (24 solo). He also had seven special teams stops and one special teams forced fumble with Miami in his time.
Offensive Lineman Will Holden: A
Holden joined the Dolphins in July and was quickly disposed of. It was clear to management that he didn’t fit the scheme or execute on what he needed to do. With Miami quickly seeing the flaws, it wasted no time in moving on from someone who it thought couldn’t help them. The Dolphins’ track record of keeping players too long because of potential has had a poor track record, so the new management’s awareness should make fans happy.
Holden spent the past two seasons with the Arizona Cardinals, playing in 11 games with seven starts. Holden also spent time on the New Orleans Saints and Colts’ practice squads in 2018.
Offensive Tackle Jordan Mills: B
According to Ian Rappoport, Miami released Mills on an injury settlement. Although it is claimed to be a short-term recovery, there is no denying that Mills is struggling in preseason. The Dolphins have one of the worst OL’s in the NFL, but Mills is making it worse, not better. However on the flip side, Miami doesn’t have much OL depth, so though the move removes an underperforming player, it brings more uncertainty to the line. Hopefully for Miami’s case, it finds a diamond in the rough.
Tight end Clive Walford: A
It didn’t make much sense to onlookers that the Dolphins brought in Walford despite their TE uncertainty. Walford was currently the No. 4 TE on the depth chart and has struggled staying in one place in the NFL. He originally went to the Oakland Raiders, and spent time with the Colts and New York Jets in four years. Although Miami is still working on how the TE situation will be useful, it doesn’t need four guys at the position. Additionally, Miami will also most likely cut at least one more TE on the roster before Saturday’s roster deadline.