What a dude.....
During the Dolphins' offseason practices, Merling had received most of the first-team snaps at right defensive end, opposite starting left end Kendall Langford. Odrick had received first-team work in goal-line and short-yardage situations.
Merling was expected to compete with Odrick for the job, which was left open when the Dolphins moved Randy Starks to nose tackle in April.
Merling, 25, had 33 tackles and 2.5 sacks in 16 games last season, including two starts. As a rookie in 2008, he played in 16 games and had 26 tackles and a sack.
Besides Odrick and Langford, the other defensive ends under contract are Tony McDaniel and Ryan Baker (who both can play tackle or end), Lionel Dotson and Ikaika Alama-Francis. The nose tackles under contract are Starks, Paul Soliai and undrafted rookie Travis Ivey.
Merling is the second defensive lineman that the Dolphins have lost in recent days. Last week, Jason Ferguson unexpectedly retired, though he would have missed the season's first eight games regardless because of an NFL suspension for using an illegal substance.
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