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Miami Dolphins cut-down analysis

8/30/2014

Most significant move: The biggest move the Miami Dolphins made Saturday was releasing running back Daniel Thomas, a second-round pick in 2011. Thomas was once expected to be a future building block on offense. But Thomas never showed the skills needed to be a feature back. He will go down as one of former general manager Jeff Ireland’s biggest draft busts. New general manager Dennis Hickey did not have strong ties to Thomas and graded him based on merit. Thomas was injured in training camp and most of the preseason before making his debut in Thursday’s exhibition finale. Thomas rushed for 38 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries, which wasn’t enough. Instead, Miami kept promising rookie running back Damien Williams on the roster as the No. 3 running back behind Lamar Miller and Knowshon Moreno.

New returner: The Dolphins will have a new kick returner in 2014. Miami released Marcus Thigpen, who had taken over the return duties for the Dolphins the past two seasons. Like Thomas, Thigpen also had nagging injuries in training camp. He muffed a punt Thursday in Miami’s preseason finale, which sealed his fate. The Dolphins will be searching for new options.The most likely candidates include receivers Jarvis Landry and Damian Williams.

Center of attention: Another interesting decision the Dolphins had to make involved Pro Bowl center Mike Pouncey. After weeks of rehabilitation, Miami decided to take Pouncey off the physically unable to perform list (PUP). This means Pouncey can play whenever he’s recovered from major hip surgery. He’s looked strong in rehab and dropped hints to the Miami media that he’d like to play in London in Week 4 against the Oakland Raiders. Keeping Pouncey on the PUP would have prevented him from playing the first six games of the regular season.

What’s next: The Dolphins will work on filling out their 10-player practice squad over the next 24 hours. That should include several players listed in Saturday’s cuts. Miami also could scan the wires to boost depth at a few positions on its 53-man roster. Thin positions of interest include the offensive line, linebacker and tight end.

Team moves: WR Marcus Thigpen, RB Daniel Thomas, CB Kevin Fogg, WR Matt Hazel, QB Seth Lobato, K Jake Rogers, OL David Arkin, OL Evan Finkenberg, TE Evan Wilson, WR Kevin Cone, S Jordan Kovacs, OL Sam Brenner, DE Tevin Mims, DT Isaako Aaitui, OT Tony Hills, TE Kyle Miller, DE D'Aundre Reed, DL Garrison Smith, LB Andrew Wilson, DT Kamal Johnson (IR)