Sunday, August 3, 2008

CB Roberson signed, two waived/injured

I'm a little late on one of these moves, but right on time in another. The Dolphins made a swap at cornerback on July 30, waiving undrafted rookie Scorpio Babers and signing free agent Chris Roberson. Meanwhile today, the team also waived tight end Aaron Halterman and offensive lineman Rueben Riley.

As for the cornerback moves, this transaction is of little importance. Babers probably isn't a legitimate NFL prospect, while Roberson is a former seventh-rounder who has struggled with injuries. An Eastern Michigan alum, Roberson spent two seasons with the Jaguars from 2005-2006 before being cut prior the last season. While I do consider this an upgrade, Roberson is a long shot to make the team and will have to battle guys like Joey Thomas and Will Billingsley for the final cornerback spot.

Meanwhile, I'm still waiting for confirmation on just exactly what happened with Halterman and Billingsley. You see, when players are hurt they are usually waived/injured, which is a precursor to going on injured reserve. However, the media usually get this wrong and just say a guy was "waived." (see the Tab Perry situation earlier this offseason.) This causes confusion because if a guy is just waived, he becomes a free agent if not claimed. If a guy is waived/injured, he goes to I.R. once he clears waivers and is still with the team. Since Halterman and Riley weren't practicing due to injuries, I'm going to have to keep on eye on the situation to see if they were actually waive/injured. I'll update when I confirm.

I should also point out that even if Halterman and Riley do go to injured reserve, they will be strong candidates to be let go with injury settlements and it seems unlikely they'll spend the entire season with the team. Teams just can't release injured players without the fear of grievances, so this is typically how things go with "scrubs" this time of year.

Regardless of whether or not they become free agents or go to I.R., the losses of Halterman and Riley aren't terribly significant. Halterman was a long shot to make the team at a crowded tight end position, while Riley was just a recent pickup for offensive line depth. One thing I will say, and it's something I've touched on often lately, is that the Dolphins are still very thin at the backup tackle spots. Riley's departure makes it even thinner and it's something they still need to address. With two open roster spots now, it seems likely at least one will be used on the line.