The Miami Dolphins have released yet another quality veteran.
As the Dolphins continued their purge on Tuesday — long after roster cutdowns were announced over the weekend — they have now released Nate Orchard, who led all Dolphins players in sacks with four, according to Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald.
Orchard had established himself as the veteran leader along the defensive line of the Dolphins, ending the preseason ranked third in the NFL in sacks. Furthermore, he was the most experienced player on the line with 38 career games played. That, combined with his impressive preseason likely the spelled the end of any chance he had of staying on the Dolphins’ roster.
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Twitter Makes Fun of Dolphins for Cutting Another Veteran
Needless to say, Twitter had even more fun at the Dolphins’ expense as they cut yet another productive player.
Only as recently as last week did head coach Brian Flores give Orchard an ultimate vote of confidence, via Alain Poupart of the Dolphins‘ official website.
“I think Nate has worked extremely hard since we got him in the spring,” Flores said earlier this week. “We’ve asked him to play a few different positions. He’s been productive in these preseason games. He’s out there every day. He’s gotten better and improved in a lot of areas, specifically in the run game. I’ve been happy with his progress.
Dolphins Clearly Tanking Season for No. 1 Pick in 2020
It’s not far-fetched to say that the Dolphins are going all-out in their bid for the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft. Over the past several days, they’ve either traded or released all of their best players. That would include trades featuring Laremy Tunsil, Kenny Stills and Kiko Alonso along with the surprising cut of John Denney, a two-time Pro Bowl long snapper who had been the longest-tenured member of the franchise since 2005.
Tunsil had established himself as one of the top left tackles in the game and was considered “untouchable” as recently as a week ago when the Dolphins were engaged in trade negotiations with the Houston Texans regarding former No. 1 overall pick Jadeveon Clowney.
Instead, the Dolphins rejected a trade proposal from the Texans that featured a first-round draft pick and Clowney. Miami would end up sealing a trade deal with the Texans for two first-round picks, a second-round pick and unknown benchwarmers in cornerback Johnson Bademosi and offensive tackle Julien Davenport.
In other words, the Dolphins didn’t want an impact player in Clowney because they’re too busy stockpiling endless draft picks in what is becoming a clear rebuild.
In the case of Stills, he was the team’s top returning receiver and the only real veteran receiver on the roster. Alonso was a former Defensive Rookie of the Year who had only missed two starts over his three-season tenure in Miami. The Dolphins spent all of preseason trying to trade the veteran linebacker before finally finding a taker in the New Orleans Saints. They ended up acquiring a linebacker named Vince Biegel, who has a total of 20 tackles to his name for his career.
Considering the Dolphins are facing a brutal schedule to begin 2019 — they face four playoff teams in the first four weeks in the Baltimore Ravens, New England Patriots, Dallas Cowboys and Los Angeles Chargers — it’s becoming harder and harder to believe that the Dolphins are actually trying to win games when they continue to cut their best players.