Monday, August 11, 2008

LB Kelvin Smith waived/injured

For the third time this offseason, the Dolphins have waived/injured a player. This time, it's second-year linebacker Kelvin Smith.

Smith, 24, was entering his second season with the Dolphins. He was drafted by the team in the seventh round (219th overall) out of Syracuse in 2007. He spent most of last season on the team's practice squad before finishing the year on the active roster. The Dolphins waived/injured Smith today after he suffered a serious knee injury covering a punt in Saturday's preseason opener against Tampa Bay.

Analysis

This isn't a very big loss for the Dolphins because I didn't have Smith making the team anyway. He had no chance at cracking the top three at inside linebacker behind Crowder, Ayodele and Torbor, so he was essentially competing with Edmond Miles for a roster spot. While I do think Smith is a better fit for the 3-4 than Miles, he is not a very good fit and is not the special teams player Miles is. His injury the other day looked to me like a torn ACL and if that's the case he'll miss the whole season. I doubt he is with the team next year, though he should get another opportunity if his rehab goes well.

Waived/Injured revisited

As I've had to discuss twice this offseason due to the media's incompetence in understanding or explain this process, "waived/injured" is not the same thing as being "waived." A player that is waived goes through waivers (where other teams can claim him and add him to their roster), after which time they become a free agent if unclaimed. A player that is waived/injured is exposed to waivers, then reverts to the team's injured reserve list if unclaimed. Since players who are waived/injured often have a serious injury like Smith, they are very rarely ever claimed by other teams. This has already happened twice on the Dolphins with wide receiver Tab Perry and tight end Aaron Halterman, both of which are currently on I.R. Smith is unlikely to be claimed in this case so he will likely land on I.R. for the team. An injury settlement is a possibility, but for now he's still a member of the team.