After attempting to trade tight end Adam Shaheen, the Miami Dolphins placed him on injured reserve on Tuesday morning while they also made four cuts ahead of the NFL’s 4 p.m. deadline to get down to 85 players.
The Dolphins waived offensive lineman Cole Banwart, wide receiver DeVonte Dedmon and defensive lineman Jordan Williams and also waived cornerback Tino Ellis with an injury settlement.
Shaheen was traded last week to the Houston Texans for a late draft pick swap of a Dolphins’ seventh-round selection for a Houston sixth-rounder. The deal was nixed due to a failed physical with the Texans that flagged Shaheen for a preexisting knee condition.
Shaheen has now decided to have surgery performed on his knee after the discovery. He was practicing with the Dolphins this training camp before the physical.
“That’s a classic example of the process of the National Football League just being spot on,” McDaniel said on Tuesday morning, addressing how the finalized trade was rescinded. “He was practicing with nothing holding him back. … That’s why you have a physical before things can be finalized in the whole trade process. We were surprised, and we know Adam was.”
Shaheen was listed at No. 5 at tight end on the team’s depth chart released last week. He was placed behind Mike Gesicki, Durham Smythe, Hunter Long and Cethan Carter.
The training camp IR designation for Shaheen, who had 24 receptions for 260 yards and three touchdowns over the past two years with Miami, ends his season.
Of the four cuts, Ellis had spent time on Miami’s practice squad in 2020 and 2021 in addition to this training camp. He left Saturday’s preseason game at the Buccaneers with an injury. Banwart signed with the Dolphins in May after spending time on the practice squads of the New York Giants and Minnesota Vikings, as well as training camp with Tennessee. Dedmon was getting an opportunity on returns after spending two seasons with the Ottawa Redblacks of the Canadian Football League, but he fumbled on a kick return on Saturday. Williams was an undrafted rookie out of Virginia Tech.
“To the team’s credit, it’s not easy,” McDaniel said on Sunday ahead of the cuts. “And that’s a good thing for the Dolphins. There’s no no-brainer like, ‘this guy is a fish out of water.’ It’s far from that.”
The next preseason cut date is Aug. 23, to 80 players.
McDaniel said he’s “very hopeful” cornerback Byron Jones, on the physically-unable-to-perform list following offseason surgery on his lower left leg, will return in time for the regular season.
“The process remains the same,” McDaniel said. “The entire time, we’ve all known, including Byron, that things have to hit on all cylinders without a setback for that to be the case. Nothing’s changed in that regard. He’s still in that part of the timeline where it is unknown.
“As of now, he hasn’t had any setbacks, so still extremely hopeful. I believe in the player and the human being, so we hold the same optimism as we did before for him coming back for Week 1, ready to adjust if need be.”
McDaniel said Jones has been rehabbing and doing change-of-direction workouts. Jones has not done anything outside of individual drills.
“He’s exactly where we thought he would be at this point,” McDaniel said.
McDaniel touched on the team’s signing of veteran cornerback Mackensie Alexander on Monday in the wake of Trill Williams’ season-ending knee injury.
He said it’s not necessarily solely a move for a backup nickel cornerback, where the Dolphins don’t really have a true viable option after Nik Needham.
“The versatility of inside and outside, I think, is nice for us,” McDaniel said. “Everybody knows where he’s had his production from. … I’ll never be 100-percent committed to ‘This guy is only this.’
“I felt there was just a need for a competitive NFL defensive back. I’m not particularly worried about inside or outside. We like Nik Needham’s versatility. Luckily, we have a group of athletic, diverse players on the back end that that versatility is a huge strength.”
Second preseason game
McDaniel remains noncommittal on how he will treat the Dolphins’ second of three preseason games Saturday night at Hard Rock Stadium against the Las Vegas Raiders after sitting most starters last Saturday at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
“This week is set up to not know what I’m going to do,” McDaniel quipped when asked if the week is setting up for quarterback Tua Tagovailoa to start.
“I really, truly believe in the process and taking in all pieces of information to do what’s best for the team.”
McDaniel added he expects more starters to play than he ran out onto the field in Tampa.
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