Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Dolphins waive tight end John Nalbone

The Miami Dolphins have left themselves with just one tight end on the active roster barring a roster addition, having placed second-year tight end John Nalbone on waivers.

After making the team as lone backup to Anthony Fasano, Nalbone appeared in the Dolphins' first two regular season games in 2010 but did not record a catch.

This marks the second time Nalbone has been waived by the Dolphins in just over a year. After spending the first seven weeks of the 2009 season inactive on game days, Nalbone was waived on Oct. 31 and rode out the season on the Dolphins' practice squad.

Nalbone remains practice-squad eligible once he clears waivers and becomes a free agent, although it is unknown whether both or either party is interested in such an arrangement.

The Dolphins already have two rookie tight ends on the practice squad in Jeron Mastrud and Dedrick Epps, although it is possible one could be promoted to replace Nalbone.

A fifth-round pick out of Monmouth in 2009, Nalbone has appeared in just two career games and has no receptions.


I was a bit surprised the Dolphins kept Nalbone over David Martin and Kory Sperry following the preseason, since the 2010 cut-down was when we saw the team release 2009 draft mistakes Pat White and Patrick Turner.

Martin was reportedly not in the best of shape, although his 2008 performance as Fasano's backup was better than anything Nalbone will likely ever do as a pro.

Sperry, meanwhile, appeared to be ahead of Nalbone in the organization's eyes after earning a 2009 promotion to the active roster as a third tight end, while Nalbone languished on the practice squad the rest of the season.

Although he had reportedly made strides as a blocker, it's been obvious from the start the team wasn't that high on Nalbone and that he was unlikely to have much of an impact for the Dolphins.

As the Dolphins continue to search for a long-term No. 2 tight end following Joey Haynos' season-ending torn Achilles' tendon in August, the question becomes where exactly they will find Nalbone's replacement.

Martin has since moved on to Buffalo, while rookies Mastrud and Epps have never appeared in an NFL regular season game and may not be ready for a role in an NFL offense.

Another option could actually be Sperry, who was claimed off waivers by Denver last month after being let go by Miami. After he was waived by Denver during final cuts on Sept. 4, Sperry joined the San Diego Chargers' practice squad.

Sperry is eligible to be signed to the Dolphins' active roster from another team's practice squad, and saw action in eight games for the Dolphins last season (catching three passes and scoring a touchdown) while Nalbone was on the practice squad.

With just one tight end on the active roster of a team that has certainly been run-oriented of late, there is no doubt the Dolphins will have to add another tight end before their Sunday night match-up against the New York Jets.

As always, check out the projected depth chart reflecting these transactions here.

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