Phillip Merling, Miami’s second-round pick in the 2008 NFL draft, is done with the Dolphins.
Dolphins General Manager Jeff Ireland confirmed on today’s PFT Live that Merling was released this morning. The release comes as a surprise, considering that Merling just signed his restricted free agent tender two weeks ago. There were some suggestions that the Dolphins’ brass was unhappy Merling decided not to attend the team’s voluntary offseason workouts, but Ireland said the decision was unrelated to anything that has happened in the last few weeks.
“We’re just going in a different direction,” Ireland said.
Jeff Darlington of NFL.com, who first reported that Merling would be cut, noted that the Dolphins have had a brutal run of wasted second-round draft picks, with 11 second-round picks in the last 10 drafts. Those 11 players have averaged less than 15 starts a man. Chad Henne, Pat White, Derek Hagan, John Beck and Matt Roth are among the other disappointments. The Dolphins also traded a second-round pick for A.J. Feeley, traded a second-round pick for Daunte Culpepper and traded two second-round picks for Brandon Marshall.
With Merling gone and Kendall Langford having left for St. Louis in free agency, defensive end is a major need for the Dolphins in the draft.