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Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Dolphins finally walk away from Shawn Murphy


Posted by ESPN.com's Tim Graham

The Miami Dolphins admitted their first notable mistake of the Bill Parcells era Tuesday by cutting second-year guard Shawn Murphy and signing 6-foot-7 tackle Lydon Murtha off the Detroit Lions' practice squad.

Murphy will be best remembered in South Florida as the son of baseball star Dale Murphy, but Shawn was fully expected to cut his own swath in the sports world. The Dolphins drafted him in the fourth round out of Utah State last year.

Murphy not only failed to start a game, he didn't dress once. The Dolphins deactivated him every week even though he never was listed on the injury report.

Soon after the Dolphins drafted Murphy, he was surpassed on the depth chart by sixth-rounder Donald Thomas, who a Connecticut coach discovered during a pickup basketball game on campus and didn't start until his senior year.

When Thomas went down with a season-ending foot injury on opening day, the Dolphins plugged in Ike Ndukwe, who'd been released by three previous NFL teams. Rather than trust Murphy enough to put him on the field, the Dolphins churned the waiver wire for guys like Matt McChesney and Evan Mathis.

The Dolphins gave Murphy the chance to assert himself. They inserted him as the first-team guard at the start of training camp, while Thomas was recovering from an injury. The experiment didn't last.