The Miami Dolphins continued their pre-training camp roster purge by releasing two defenders who had starting experience a season ago.
The Dolphins waived former University of Miami linebacker Trent Harris and former starting defensive end Avery Moss on Sunday, trimming their roster down to 83 players before training camp begins on Tuesday.
NFL teams can enter training camp with up to 90 players but must reduce their rosters down to 80 by Aug. 18 due to league-mandated coronavirus precautions. With Brazilian lineman Durval Queiroz Neto granted a roster exemption for the second straight year as part of the NFL’s international program, the Dolphins will really be able to carry 81 players.
If the Dolphins wish to remain above the 80-man threshold, they must split practice sessions into two groups: one for rookie and second-year players, and another for all other veterans.
Miami may make two more cuts to get to 80 players before training camp practices begin after players undergo COVID-19 testing to avoid the split practices.
Dolphins rookies, quarterbacks and other injured players already were tested for COVID-19 last week, while the rest of the Dolphins veterans are expected to arrive for testing on Tuesday.
NFL players must test negative twice before being allowed into team facilities, and the ramping up periods for football work begin in camp.
Harris and Moss were both claimed off waivers by the Dolphins last season, each playing in 11 games during the first season of Miami’s rebuild under coach Brian Flores and general manager Chris Grier.
Harris had 22 tackles (16 solo), 1.5 sacks (including one on Tom Brady) and one forced fumble during his stint with the Dolphins, which included three starts. He was undrafted out of UM in 2018 and spent the 2018 season on the New England Patriots practice squad.
Moss, a former fifth-round pick by the New York Giants in 2017, started in eight games for the Dolphins with 25 tackles (11 solo) and one forced fumble.
The Dolphins added several free agents earlier this offseason like Kyle Van Noy, Emmanuel Ogbah and Shaq Lawson to their edge rushing group, making players like Harris and Moss ultimately expendable.
The Dolphins added tight end Adam Shaheen in a trade with the Chicago Bears on Saturday to bolster depth at the position, shortly after releasing practice squad quarterback Jake Rudock (St. Thomas Aquinas High) and receiver Ricardo Louis (Miami Beach High).
The Dolphins also waived undrafted rookie defensive tackle Ray Lima last week, although he reportedly decided to retire before reporting to camp.
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