Miami Dolphins’ roster set, now time for depth chart decisions

The Dolphins are down to 53. Now they need a depth chart. (Allen Eyestone/The Post)

The Dolphins just completed what is almost certainly the biggest roster cut in franchise history, going from 89 to 53, and they’re not done yet.

The rest of the weekend will be a scramble for them as they try to cement the roster before Monday’s practice, which marks the beginning of their preparation for the upcoming season opener against the Buccaneers. Miami contributed to a deluge of more than 1,000 free agents Saturday and will scour the market for anyone it deems to be an upgrade over players it decided to keep.

“Most of our guys have been going for quite a while now,” coach Adam Gase said after the preseason finale. “It’s a long process and a lot of work. We’ll see how it goes down and maybe see if there’s anybody we’re going to switch out, or if we’re good with the guys we’ve got.”

There are no major surprises among the 53 players the Dolphins penciled into their roster Saturday. The same core they’ve been planning on for the Tampa Bay game is still intact, leaving depth chart placement as the next task.

Left guard is the only spot on offense yet to be determined, and that decision comes down to Anthony Steen versus Jesse Davis. Steen was with the team all last season, playing 15 games (seven starts) at center, and Davis has been fairly even with him over the past few weeks. Miami started Steen at left guard when Mike Pouncey played in the third preseason game, then went with Davis in the final one.

Davis is the team’s feel-good story of the weekend after losing out at the end of the last two summers with Seattle and the Jets. He was headed toward repairing farm equipment before saving his NFL career over the past several months with the Dolphins.

“I don’t really think about it too much,” he said a couple weeks ago. “I just wake up every day and try to do what I can do to help move the team forward. I don’t think of it as, ‘Oh yes. It’s awesome.’ It’s a great opportunity. I hope I can hold onto it and really help this team out.”

Defensively, the Dolphins must pick a starter at linebacker, defensive tackle and cornerback.

Defensive tackle, meaning the man who will line up next to Ndamukong Suh, has been one of the most contested jobs on the team. Fifth-round pick Davon Godchaux appeared to have it locked down until about a week ago, when incumbent Jordan Phillips made a run. Phillips’ three years with Miami have been marked by inconsistency, but the staff isn’t ready to bail on him yet.

At linebacker, the plan was to go with Kiko Alonso and Lawrence Timmons, plus second rounder Raekwon McMillan when a third was necessary. When McMillan tore his ACL in the preseason opener, Mike Hull stepped into that spot. The Dolphins later added veteran Rey Maualuga, but it’s unclear whether he’ll be physically ready for the Tampa Bay game.

Cornerback was thought to be settled until Byron Maxwell had a frustrating week in Philadelphia and free agent signee Alterraun Verner emerged as a threat to overtake him. It will likely be Maxwell and Xavien Howard on opening day.

Among returning players, the Dolphins cut offensive tackle Sam Young, linebacker Neville Hewitt and defensive end Nick Williams.

Miami decided to stick with two quarterbacks, Jay Cutler and Matt Moore, by cutting backups David Fales and Brandon Doughty. Gase is also content to move forward with a five-man receiver group, keeping his three starters plus Jakeem Grant and Leonte Carroo.

At running back, the Dolphins added Senorise Perry to the mix behind Jay Ajayi, Damien Williams and Kenyan Drake. That choice came down to Perry or Storm Johnson, and it’s a meaningful addition given that Williams is dealing with an unspecified injury.

All of the team’s 2017 draft picks made the roster. Seventh-round pick Isaiah Ford is on Injured Reserve for the year with a knee injury. Five undrafted rookies made the team, including No. 1 punter Matt Haack replacing Matt Darr.

Many of the players Miami cut today are candidates for the 10-man practice squad, which must will be filled by 1 p.m. Sunday. Promising linebacker Deon Lacey was told the team wants him on its practice squad if no one picks him up, a source said, and Doughty is another logical choice for that after spending all last season on the squad.

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