*** DOLPHINS NEWS ***
Aug 24, 1999: -- W.Green; Burton Released --
** Willie Green, Shane Burton Released
The Dolphins have released WR Willie Green from his contract
with the team and waived DT Shane Burton and TE Rickey Brady as of
Sunday. The Dolphins felt that Willie Green was not needed at this
point after a lackluster performance in training camp and in the
pre-season games, even though many of the Dolphins' receivers are
Also, the team waived DT Shane Burton after Burton refused to
take a pay cut. Burton signed a one year tender off this spring for
Burton had been a backup defensive tackle who could also play
defensive end. He has been an important part of the defensive depth
chart, but the Dolphins now feel that Rich Owens and Antoine Simpson
can substitute for him and that his salary of almost $1,000,000 was
** WR Robert Baker is out for the year
In the biggest disappointment of this training camp, the team
announced on Monday that WR Robert Baker had suffered that most
devastating of knee injuries - the torn anterior cruciate ligament -
and would be out for the rest of the season.
Baker was originally signed as an unrestricted free agent
after his release from prison this spring. He had been having one of
the best training camps of any player until he went down Saturday
night during the pre-season game against the Chargers.
The release of Willie Green is not surprising. Green was
originally signed as an added receiver back before the Dolphins got
Tony Martin. He has not performed well in training camp and his
recent history does not indicate that there is anything special about
him that the team would be missing.
The release of Shane Burton is more surprising, but
considering that he'll never be a starter, a million dollars is a
little steep for a permanent backup. According to the Miami Herald,
JJ did try to trade him last week, but without success.
The loss of Robert Baker is certainly disappointing, but Baker
was an unproven rookie and while he looked like he might be able to
contribute significantly to the team, he was not going to start
anyplace except perhaps as a return man.
The more serious effect that the injury is going to have is on
Baker himself. He was in the process of trying to reclaim his life
after prison and now he has to put that process on hold. Hopefully,
he can go through rehab this summer and fall and return to the team
next spring. Certainly, the team is used to working with guys who are
rehabbing from ACL injuries, so they should be able to help him.
I wish him the best of luck.
On a completely unrelated note, I was going over some old news
and I came across an item published several weeks ago from ESPN, where
Chris Mortenson told the whole world that JJ was "disappointed" with
Cecil Collins and that he was thinking about releasing him.
Of course, hindsight is 20-20, but that "news scoop" now seems
so absurd that it seems to have come out of a Jets' fan's fantasy.
You don't suppose that Mortenson has admitted that he made an
error in this case, do you?
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