The Miami Dolphins released Nate Orchard, the team’s top pass rusher during the preseason, to make room for linebacker James Crawford, who was claimed off the waiver wire on Tuesday.
The move is a surprising one considering how well Orchard played in training camp and the preseason where he led Miami with four sacks and numerous pressures in his limited role.
Orchard, a former Utah standout who was playing for his fourth team since the Cleveland Browns cut him around this time last year, was viewed as one of the team’s best pass rushers and a talent who could severe as a pass-rushing specialist on third downs.
This past week’s release of Tank Carradine, and Orchard’s dismissal leaves Miami with Charles Harris, the team’s 2017 first-round pick, as the only viable starter at defensive end. However, the Dolphins do intend for undrafted rookie Jonathan Ledbetter to contribute.