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Saturday, August 30, 2008
Dolphins: Cutdown analysis


Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham

Biggest surprises: One sign of a bad team is their inability to cut good players. They don't have enough of them to have a surplus. While the New England Patriots were cutting starters such as CB Fernando Bryant and LB Victor Hobson, the Dolphins' most-experienced deduction was TE Justin Peelle, who has 39 starts in his six-year career. The fact a rebuilding team would cut a draft pick, sixth-round RB Lex Hilliard, also was surprising.

No-brainers: Virtually every player the Dolphins let go was foreseeable. TE Matthew Mulligan faced the longest odds. The undrafted rookie was up against veterans Anthony Fasano, David Martin and Sean Ryan. Mulligan, a basketball player, didn't begin playing organized football until he tried out for Division III Husson College. He later transferred to Division I-AA Maine and played just two seasons. Despite his inexperience, he's being considered for the Dolphins practice squad.

What's next: A flurry of waiver-wire pickups is likely. The Dolphins have been looking forward to this weekend as a preseason draft of sorts. For a team that went 1-15 last year and could not manage to attract many free agents in the offseason, rummaging through the castoff bin will strengthen the roster. Another team's 54th or 55th best player might be Miami's 47th or 48th.

The most likely place to trim are wide receiver and defensive end, where the Dolphins kept six players at each position.