NFL Miami Dolphins

5 Miami Dolphins Veterans Who Deserve To Be Cut

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Miami Dolphins Veterans Who Deserve To Be Cut

Miami Dolphins
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Dolphins have been in a state of NFL purgatory for years now. They haven’t been good, but they haven’t been bad either.

Instead, they've stayed right in the middle of the pack for years, finishing with either six or seven wins in each of the last four years. You know, right where you don’t want to be.

In the NFL, you want to be either contending for a championship, or building a young nucleus of players that can get you there someday. This means valuing all your roster spots, and most importantly making sure that each and every player is either contributing to wins now, or is being groomed to contribute to them down the road.

Miami has the defense to win now. They have a really good defensive line unit, only made better by the selection of defensive end Dion Jordan, with the fourth overall selection in this year's draft. The linebackers and defensive backs also got better via free agent acquisitions this spring, like with Dannell Ellerbe and Brent Grimes. Roster spots on this side of the squad will be hard to earn.

But the offense doesn’t have the same depth. The verdict is still out on last year's first round pick quarterback Ryan Tannehill. He showed enough to believe that he has a shot at being a franchise quarterback, but that potential will only be realized if the Dolphins build a solid offensive unit around him, especially an offensive line that can keep him clean in the pocket. Unlike the defense, the roster spots on the offense should be reserved for young players that can be part of the core the team needs to build around Tannehill.

Here are five veteran players the Dolphins should cut to bolster their defense and clear room for their young players on offense.

Ben Sullivan is an NFL writer for Follow him on Twitter @bensullivan52, "Like" him on Facebook and add him to your network on Google.

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5. Tyson Clabo

Tyson Clabo
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Tyson Clabo is a journey man offensive tackle who has spent time with four other teams in his career before being signed by the Dolphins this past May.

Clabo most recently played for the Atlanta Falcons, where he had some success, making the Pro Bowl in 2010. But that was three years ago, and the Falcons didn’t think he had enough left in the tank to keep him on the roster for 2013.

The Dolphins have been rebuilding for years now, and offensive line is one of their weakest parts. If they want to build a strong line for the future, they'll be better served by cutting the aging Clabo and giving his spot to a young player that shows promise.

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4. John Denney

John Denney
Fernando Medina-USA TODAY Sports

John Denney was an undrafted free agent from Brigham Young University, who carved out a spot for himself in the NFL as a long snapper.

While long snapping is a facet of the game that you can't just ignore, I'm not a fan of giving a roster spot to someone who's only way of contributing to the team is fulfilling those long snapping duties.

This is something colleges do more than pro teams, because in college you have so many more spots on your roster to give out. Not in the pros, where every roster spot has to be valued.

Long snapping is a skill that can be taught, and the Dolphins should offer the opportunity to a young backup offensive or defensive lineman trying to make the roster, that way they could fill both roles.

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3. Nate Garner

Nate Garner
Fernando Medina-USA TODAY Sports

Offensive line is a position of need for the Dolphins, but filling those needs with short term stop gap type players like Nate Garner is not the answer.

Garner's versatility gives him some value, but the fact that he's lined up at so many positions on the Dolphins line is more a factor of the team's inability to develop a core group of players along the offensive line.

Backup positions should not be given to veterans, your starters should be able to get the job done and the backup slots should be given to younger players who can be developed into future starters.

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2. Dimitri Patterson

Dimitri Patterson
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The Dolphins have talent on the defensive side of the ball, and especially so at defensive back. A position of strength for the team, there are no easy rosters spots to be had with the additions of Brent Grimes, Jamar Taylor and Will Davis this offseason.

Dimitri Patterson is a backup cornerback who's had a cup of coffee with six teams over his NFL career, most recently with the Cleveland Browns in 2011 before being claimed off of waivers by the Dolphins in December of last year.

Talented depth in the defensive back department is becoming more and more important in the pass happy NFL, so keeping a roster spot for Patterson will be hard with all the talent the Dolphins have at cornerback.

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1. Jason Trusnik

Jason Trusnik
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Another position of strength for the Dolphins this season should be their linebacking group. They added free agent pickups Phillip Wheeler and Dannell Ellerbe to play alongside 2010 second round pick Koa Misi this year.

Those players are the present at linebacker for the Dolphins, and the backup spots should be reserved for players who have the potential to be the future, players like undrafted rookie Alonzo Highsmith Jr.

Jason Trusnik, who also came into the league as an undrafted free agent, brings a lot to the table as a locker room leader and backup, but in the end, these all important roster spots need to be reserved for players who can either help the team win now, or win later.