The Dolphins will cap Jermaine Eluemunor‘s Miami stay at less than three months. After signing the veteran tackle in June, the team opted to cut him on Tuesday, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets. Miami is also placing wide receiver Lynn Bowden on IR, per Pelissero (on Twitter).
Eluemunor, who spent the past two seasons with the Patriots, was vying for a backup tackle gig in Miami. The Dolphins have done some shuffling on their offensive line, but they will move on without the four-year veteran ahead of the deadline for teams to cut their rosters down to 80 players.
This move comes days after the team acquired third-year tackle Greg Little from the Panthers. The Dolphins have now parted ways with multiple veteran O-linemen since the start of training camp. They placed D.J. Fluker on IR and reached an injury settlement to jettison the guard.
Eluemunor started eight games for the Pats last season, filling in for a team that again was down Isaiah Wynn for a stretch and one that lost Marcus Cannon to an opt-out choice. Pro Football Focus graded Eluemunor as a middle-of-the-road tackle, slotting him 47th at the position in 419 snaps. Eluemunor visited the Broncos earlier this year, but Denver opted to sign Bobby Massie and Cameron Fleming to fill its Ja’Wuan James-created void at right tackle.
The Dolphins acquired Bowden from the Raiders last summer, marking a strange NFL path for the 2020 third-round pick. Bowden contributed in a few Fins games, catching 28 passes for 211 yards for a receiver-deficient team. Miami expanded its wideout group this year, signing Will Fuller and draftingJaylen Waddle in Round 1. Albert Wilson‘s return gave the Dolphins more depth, and Bowden was battling for a roster spot.
While the Dolphins could keep Bowden on IR all season and develop him, players who land on IR at this time of the year are often subsequently released from teams’ injury lists via injury-settlement payments. It is unclear if the Dolphins play to remove Bowden from IR via that transaction, but Tuesday’s move ensures he cannot play for the team in 2021.
The Bills signed Roberts to a two-year deal in 2019, doing so after he earned All-Pro recognition for his kick-return work on the 2018 Jets. Roberts has 10 years’ experience and two Pro Bowls on his resume. The second of those two Pro Bowl nods came last season with the Bills. Buffalo enters the season with its best chance to win the AFC East in maybe 20 years, so cutting an accomplished player is certainly surprising.
Foster made a splash as a rookie in 2018, but the Bills have overhauled their receiver group since. John Brown and Cole Beasley led the way last year, and the team traded for Stefon Diggs and drafted two wideouts — fourth-rounder Gabriel Davis and sixth-rounder Isaiah Hodgins — this year. Foster will nonetheless be an interest name on waivers.
Buffalo traded for Andre Smith earlier this week. The third-year linebacker could well be brought back on the team’s 16-player practice squad. Teams can begin assembling their P-squads Sunday.
The Patriotsmade a big splash last night when they signed former league MVP Cam Newtonto a one-year contract. The assumption is that Newton will be the team’s starting signal-caller, but Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network says the Pats made no promises in that regard. Still, while there is technically an open competition between Newton and second-year pro Jarrett Stidham, it would be stunning if Newton did not win the job (video link). Garafolo also points out that Newton still has to pass a physical, but the Patriots are confident he will do so.
Garafolo also passes along a fun fact (via Twitter): New England is the third team in NFL history to lose one MVP and sign another in the same offseason. The 2000 Dolphins parted ways with Dan Marino and brought in Thurman Thomas, and the 2005 Cardinals bid farewell to Emmitt Smith and signed Kurt Warner.
Now for more from the AFC East:
The Dolphins drafted Tua Tagovailoawith the belief that he will be the franchise signal-caller the team has been seeking for the past 20 years. He may not start right away, but Albert Breer of SI.com believes the southpaw will be put into the starting lineup at some point this season. While the 2020 Dolphins should be an improved squad over last year’s iteration, Miami is still probably at least a year away from playoff contention, so the team will have no reason to keep Tagovailoa on the sidelines for the entire campaign.
Miami is set at the LG and C spots with Ereck Flowers and Ted Karras, respectively. Beyond that, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald says the Dolphins are still undecided as to whether second-round rookie Robert Hunt would be a better fit at RG or RT in 2020. If Hunt gets a shot at RT and performs well, that could bump 2019 starter Jesse Davis back to the interior or to the bench. Meanwhile, Michael Deiter will compete for the starting RG and backup C slots.
In the same piece linked above, Jackson notes that the Dolphins are working out WR Gary Jennings in the slot — where he thrived in college — and on the outside. Jennings was a fourth-round pick of the Seahawks in 2019, but Seattle waived him in November and Miami scooped him up. He played in just one game for the ‘Fins before getting hurt, but his draft pedigree and upside will give him a good chance to make the club as the fifth or sixth WR.
In a minor trade last summer, the Bills acquired OL Ryan Bates from the Eagles in exchange for DE Eli Harold. Philadelphia subsequently cut Harold, but Buffalo hung on to Bates, who was active for nine games. Per Adam Caplan of InsideTheBirds.com, the Bills view Bates, a 2019 UDFA, as a viable right tackle, guard, and center, so they expect him to be a key backup in 2020 who may take on a bigger role down the road.