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The Final Rosters are Set....Or Are They?
Updated 09-02-02

Miami chopped its final roster down to 53 yesterday, (boy, was I wrong on a few of my predictions) and there were not too many surprises. Obafemi Ayanbadejo was released, which was a little surprising. Femi played well in the preseason, and some thought that he might have made it. But in the end, he was gone.

Personally, I had hoped he would have made it, if not as a FB, then as a #4 TE. Femi played TE in college, and in my opinion has more upside as a player than Shawn Draper, who hasn't done squat since he's been here. I was also a little surprised that Henry Taylor was beaten out by Dario Romero. But I guess that is how it goes.

The Dolphins reached an injury settlement with OG Leon Searcy, and he was released. So much for his comeback. I have no problems with this. Searcy couldn't beat out incumbent Todd Perry, who struggled last year. And after his latest setback to his oft-injured tricep, the Fins had seen enough. Considering that it was this same injury that has kept him out the last 2 years, it might be time for him to retire.

Robert Edwards has been labeled the "Come-back Kid" as he made the final roster. After a series of injuries, I figured that he had made a nice run, but that it wasn't meant to be. But Edwards beat the odds, made the squad, and will back up Ricky Williams. I look for Leonard Henry to end up on the practice squad.
There were some surprising cuts around the NFL, and I tend to think that Miami's final roster is not quite set, as the Dolphins will look to pick up a veteran player or two that hit the market yesterday.

First on the list is CB Terrell Buckley. The Miami Herald is already reporting that the Dolphins have an interest in Buckley. According to Herald, Dolphins senior vice president Rick Spielman said, ''If that's true, we'll definitely be interested in talking to him,'' At the time of the quote, Spielman had not seen that Buckley had been released. I'll be surprised if the Dolphins don't pursue Buckley. T-Buck is known for taking gambles, which sometimes pay off with a big play. He is also known for giving up the big play from time to time. But he would be a much better nickel or dime back than a player like Ray Green, who looked great in spring practice but hasn't shown much since.

The Lions cut Terry Fair, who is a decent CB. But Fair has foot problems, and is not 100%. For the Lions to cut him, he must be in pretty bad shape. But he might be a player to keep an eye on later on in the season, should the Dolphin CBs have their own injury problems.

The Broncos cut LB Terry Killen. I am hoping that Spielman takes a long look at him. He is an excellent special teams player, and would make a decent backup. I'd cut Scott Galyon for him in a heartbeat. Another LB that is free is former Raider Greg Biekert. But it appears that the Vikings are the front runner for his services. Biekert is a solid player, but I just don't see him coming to Miami. Biekert wants to start, but he won't unseat Zach Thomas. He also wants a larger salary than what the Dolphins would probably offer. So with that, I hope Miami takes a look at Killens.

With the release of Searcy and Brent Smith going to the IR, Miami has only 2 players listed at the OG position. Our OL is incredibly thin, and one injury away from being a disaster. But there were a few offensive linemen released yesterday that Miami might take a look at. The first is OG Tre' Johnson, who was cut by the Browns. Johnson is a solid OG, but has a history of injuries. Still, bringing him in for a look might not hurt. Also released was OC/OG Tom Ackerman. The Dolphins had some interest in Ackerman a few years back. I don't think he would unseat Todd Perry, but he'd be a serviceable backup with veteran experience.

There were a few other player that were cut that I would like to see Miami take a look at, but I doubt they will. WR Darnay Scott was released by the Jags after holdout Jimmy Smith agreed to terms. Scott is a solid possession receiver who could be had for league minimum. But for the Dolphins, he would be a luxury. Miami won't have more than 5 receivers on their roster, and Chambers, Gadsden, and Ward are locks in my opinion.

Albert Johnson will be our return man I think, leaving only McKnight. And cutting McKnight now would cost us more against the salary cap than what we want to spend. So I don't expect to see Scott coming to Miami anytime soon.

Miami has some weaknesses. Our OL is dangerously thin, and we still need some quality depth at LB and DB. And while there aren't any long term solution available, Miami can scan the waiver wire for some short term fixes. And those just might be the key to Miami's playoff future this year.

--James Lancaster