1 Fort Lauderdale
News & Reviews
1. Kicking switch: Among the Dolphins’ follow-up roster moves Sunday was a bit of a surprise with the claiming off kicker Cody Parkey off waivers from the Cleveland Browns coupled with the release of incumbent Andrew Franks. Parkey, who played at Jupiter High in Palm Beach County, was 20-for-25 in field goals for the Browns last season. Three of his misses, ironically, came against the Dolphins at Hard Rock Stadium in a September game the Dolphins won 30-24 in overtime. Parkey made the Pro Bowl as a rookie with the Eagles in 2014 when he made 32 of 36 field goals, including a long of 54 yards. Franks was 29-of-37 on field goals in his two seasons with the Dolphins. His career highlight no doubt was his 55-yard kick on the last play of regulation at Buffalo last December that helped the Dolphins pull out a 34-31 overtime victory that clinched their playoff spot. Franks was the only one of the three Dolphins returning specialists — the others were punter Matt Darr and long-snapper John Denney — who did not face competition during training camp, which is what made the move somewhat of a surprise.
2. New linebacker: Along with Parkey, the Dolphins also claimed linebacker Justin March-Lillard off waivers from the Kansas City. March-Lillard is a second-year player from the University of Akron who started all five games he played for the Chiefs in 2016 after winning the job in training camp. March-Lillard, who went undrafted in 2015 and spent his rookie season on injured reserve, had 22 tackles with two passes defenses in his five games last season before he was sidelined by a hand injury.
3. Practice squad signings: The Dolphins filled eight of their 10 allotted slots on the practice squad Sunday, with all eight being players who were with the team throughout training camp. Signed to the practice squad were QB Brandon Doughty, TE Thomas Duarte, T Sean Hickey, WR Malcolm Lewis, CB Jordan Lucas, DE Cameron Malveaux, WR Drew Morgan Morgan and RB De’Veon Smith. Lewis, Malveaux, Morgan and Smith all signed with the Dolphins as undrafted rookie free agents in May. The Dolphins can fill in the other two practice squad openings at any time.
4. Joining another team: Three other players released by the Dolphins in the cut to 53 were claimed off waivers Sunday: CB Lafayette Pitts was claimed by the Buffalo Bills; LB Deon Lacey was claimed by the Buffalo Bills; and WR Damore’ea Stringfellow was claimed by the New York Jets. Of the players released by the Dolphins on Saturday, only tackle Sam Young and defensive lineman Nick Williams were NOT subject to waivers because of their NFL experience.
5. Looking at Larsen: There was one roster move that wasn’t made by the Dolphins on Sunday, and in this case no news was good news. There had been some expectation that guard Ted Larsen would be placed on injured reserve-designated to return because of the biceps injury that sidelined him during training camp. That would have kept him sidelined for at least the first eight weeks of the regular season. Instead, Larsen remains on the active roster and can return whenever he’s healthy enough to practice. Larsen appeared slated to start at left guard before he was injured, so his return to the lineup no doubt will be significant and the sooner, the better.