The Miami Dolphins needed to cut one final player in advance of the 4pm deadline on Monday to get their roster to 75 players. Julius Pruitt, listed on the Dolphins depth chart as a 2nd team wide receiver, didn’t expect to be that cut. It was thought that Pruitt would be a virtual lock to make the Dolphins roster because he is an excellent special teams ‘gunner’ (fast guy on the outside that tries to down a punt inside the 5 yard line). On Monday, the Dolphins surprised many when they cut Pruitt to finalize their 75 man roster heading into the final week of the preseason.
Pruitt being cut was surprising, but it could have been done to send a message to all of the other wide receivers on the Dolphins roster. Pruitt had performed very well on special teams, but he was too inconsistent playing at wide out. Pruitt failed to prove to the Dolphins coaches that he belonged in the top 5-6 receivers. That’s really saying something, since the remaining guys on the Dolphins roster aren’t exactly Jerry Rice impersonators.
As we’ve mentioned before, the Dolphins are currently discussing possible trades and scouring the waiver wire for wide receivers. I suspect that the Dolphins will wait until the Friday cuts before they make a move. Every NFL team must trim their roster to 53 players by 9pm on Friday. This means there will be a lot of wide receivers available for free (no draft pick compensation). Usually, there are some surprising names that are cut. For example, the Patriots cut Jabar Gaffney yesterday. Gaffney is 31 years old, but the wide receiver caught 60+ balls each of the last 2 seasons. The question isn’t whether someone like Gaffney is great, the question is whether or not they are better than what the Dolphins currently have. Those evaluations will continue and I believe we’ll see the Dolphins with at least 1-2 new receivers by the time the weekend arrives (hopefully better ones).
Speaking of wide receivers, it appears that Brian Hartline is progressing in his rehab. He’s been taking part in the Dolphins walk throughs and doing individual drills on the side at practice. He’s even been seen running some routes and catching some passes…positive news. Hartline’s timeline for return is still not known. Also, Kevin Burnett and Karlos Dansby have also returned to practicing in a limited fashion. Both said yesterday that they expect to be ready by week 1 versus the Texans. That is all good news, as was the news that Jake Long’s knee injury is not serious…..thankfully!