The Dolphins front office was extremely busy today, trimming the roster down with some cuts and making a trade as well.
First, the team released WR Ernest Wilford, RB Anthony Kimble, LB Orion Martin, LB Tearrius George, and NT Joe Cohen. WR Chris Williams was also waived/injured, but it is believed that the team is trying to reach an injury settlement with him. If they do not, and no other team claims him off waivers, he would revert to Miami's Injured Reserve list. Apparently, Williams broke his left hand in Saturday's preseason game against the Panthers.
Wilford's release ends the tenure of what was an incredibly poor free agent pickup last offseason. The team gave him $6 million guaranteed last year, and he will cost the team $4.5 million against the cap this year. This, my friends, is the penalty for poor free agent signings (throw Eric Green on that trash heap, too).
In a positive move, the team was able to turn some of its offensive line depth into future resources. G Andy Alleman and T Ikechuku Ndukwe were traded to the Kansas City Chiefs in return for an undisclosed 2010 draft pick. I love this kind of move. It shows the benefits of bringing in young players with some level of potential. Even though Miami didn't have a huge need for either one of them, what with the emergence of Shawn Murphy and the acquisition of Joe Berger, the team was able to turn them into a future draft pick. This is just a small example of why it's so important to stock the second and third strings of the team with young developmental players. They can be treated like a farm system, and if their progress toward playing time is impeded, as it was in this case, the team can still profit off of them.
With all of these departures, the Dolphins roster now stands at 71 players, including Matt Roth who is still on the Non-Football Injury List. The NFL requires its teams to be at 75 players or less by September 1, so the team now has room to actually add players if they so choose. Of course, anyone brought in between now and the final roster cuts likely doesn't stand a very good chance of making the team, so perhaps the coaches just want to get more reps for the players who are on the roster right now.