Dolphins RB Myles Gaskin, DL Da’Shawn Hand among cuts as Miami works toward 53-man roster

John McCall/South Florida Sun-Sentinel/TNS

The Miami Dolphins have started making cuts Tuesday morning before the 4 p.m. deadline to get down to 53 players on the initial active roster for the 2023 season.

Running back Myles Gaskin and defensive lineman Da’Shawn Hand were among the most notable veteran names let go. Gaskin, who has spent the past four seasons with the Dolphins and was looking to earn a spot on the team this season, was released Tuesday, according to ESPN. Hand’s release was reported by NFL Network.

Gaskin has run for 1,355 yards and seven touchdowns on 361 rushing attempts over his four-year career in Miami. He also has 101 receptions for 701 yards and six receiving touchdowns.

Gaskin, a 2019 seventh-round pick out of Washington, led the Dolphins in rushing in 2020 and 2021, but in the first year under coach Mike McDaniel last season, he was limited to just 10 carries for 26 yards.

Despite a fading role in the offense, he was back with the team for offseason workouts and training camp, competing for a job in a crowded backfield for the Dolphins.

With veteran running backs Raheem Mostert and Jeff Wilson Jr. returning and the the Dolphins drafting rookie tailback De’Von Achane in the third round, it appeared Gaskin was in competition with longtime backfield mate Salvon Ahmed. Ahmed has outperformed Gaskin during camp and the preseason. Miami also has undrafted rookie Chris Brooks, who has impressed in playing time late in preseason games during the exhibition season.

Hand was signed Aug. 6 as the Dolphins looked to add veteran depth to the defensive line. He has 31 games of NFL experience since 2018, mostly with the Detroit Lions.

Hand, however, suffered an injury during camp that kept him to workouts on the side of practice during latter portions of the preseason.

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Along with Gaskin and Hand, veteran defensive back Jamal Perry was among players cut Tuesday morning, according to a league source.

Dolphins tight ends Eric Saubert and Elijah Higgins, offensive linemen Ryan Hayes and Alama Uluave and outside linebacker Cameron Goode are also expected to be cut, according to the Miami Herald. Cornerback Ethan Bonner is also being waived, per KPRC 2 Houston.

Saubert was signed in March to provide another veteran blocking tight end in Miami’s rotation at the position, but he was injured in the preseason finale against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Higgins was the Dolphins’ sixth-round draft pick as the team looks to convert him to tight end after being a big college receiver.

Hayes was the Dolphins’ seventh-round draft pick in April. Uluave was an undrafted rookie and one of few linemen who could play center behind Connor Williams after the Dolphins traded Dan Feeney to the Chicago Bears late Monday night, but Liam Eichenberg has also practiced at the position this offseason.

The Dolphins began working down from 90 players on the training camp roster Monday, announcing 14 cuts. They also reported released outside linebacker Malik Reed, although he wasn’t among the names announced by the team.

The Monday cuts were: Wwide receivers Keke Coutee and Chris Coleman, linebackers A.J. Johnson, Aubrey Miller II, Mitchell Agude and Garrett Nelson, quarterback James Blackman, defensive tackles Jaylen Twyman, Josiah Bronson and Jamal Woods, defensive end Randy Charlton, safety Keidron Smith and offensive tackles Geron Christian and James Tunstall.

NFL players who are vested veterans — meaning they have at least four seasons of NFL experience — get released when they are let go while players with less experience are waived. Players who are released can immediately sign with any other NFL franchise after 4 p.m. The others hit waivers, and waiver claims will be processed by noon Wednesday.

The Dolphins, after creating their initial 53-man roster, can take their pick of players released and waived from other teams for active-roster spots. They are expected to put players, such as cornerback Jalen Ramsey, on injured reserve after getting him on the initial 53, which creates space for other additions.

Miami will also begin formulating its 16-player practice squad Wednesday. In it, the team can bring back players that it originally cut.

Wilson contract re-worked

Wide receiver Cedrick Wilson Jr. had his contract re-structured, according to multiple reports.

Wilson’s contract called for him to earn $7 million but now he’ll reportedly earn $2 million and receive a $3 million signing bonus. He has a chance to earn $7.25 million with incentives. Wilson’s contract now voids after 2024 instead of 2025.

This story will be updated.