The New England Patriots’ roster renovation couldn’t have come at a better time, as they figure to be in one of the most competitive divisions in the NFL.
While the Jets figure to be the clear bottom-feeders, the Bills and Dolphins have incredibly promising futures and, as the former proved last campaign by making the AFC Championship Game, could make serious noise in the playoffs if all things go according to plan.
Speaking strictly in terms of the Dolphins, they only added to their ample talent in last week’s draft by selecting potential future stars in wide receiver Jaylen Waddle and edge rusher Jaelan Phillips with their two first-round picks.
With that being said, however, we can’t help but scratch our heads at the Dolphins’ latest roster transaction.
ESPN insider Adam Schefter reported on Thursday morning that Miami informed safety and team captain (!) Bobby McCain of his release.
We obviously don’t have the first clue of what it takes to build a championship-caliber roster, but doesn’t cutting a multi-year starter and team captain qualify as something one of the NFL’s laughingstocks would do?
Patriots fans should laugh at the Dolphins’ latest roster move.
McCain was a fifth-round pick of the Dolphins back in 2015, and has since established himself as a pillar in Miami’s locker room. Perhaps more important is the impact he’s made on the field, as he registered 46 tackles, five passes defended and an interception, while limiting quarterbacks to a 64.3 passer rating last season.
The former Memphis star signed a four-year, $27 million extension during the 2018 offseason, and was due a 6.4 million salary this upcoming season. His release frees up $5.6 million in cap space, and the Dolphins better put it to good use to avoid further embarrassment.
Why should they be embarrassed? For starters, this is the second player they released this offseason who still had multiple years left on his contract.
As Patriots fans will recall, Kyle Van Noy (another team captain) was the first, and his axing was arguably a worse optic than McCain’s unceremonious release. After all, the veteran outside linebacker inked a four-year, $51 million deal as a free agent last offseason…and went directly to the Patriots.
“Tough. Scrappy. Fiery. Determined. Exceeded expectations.”
Those are precisely the qualities any team would want in a leader, and the Dolphins sent McCain packing for seemingly no other reason than to create some financial wiggle room and give second-round pick Jevon Holland a chance to play a big role as a rookie.
We know what the Patriots are up against in the Dolphins, who’ve made quite the turnaround over the last two years, but McCain’s abrupt release further proves they have zero idea what they want their final roster to look like.
Good luck explaining this move to McCain’s now-former teammates during the next virtual offseason meeting!